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Old 15-10-2013, 22:47   #1
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Question Weather Underway

I am setting off again on a couple of long trips. The first leg is a really long 4400 mile run from Costa Rica to Hawaii.

I do not have an SSB this time. I am wondering what works best for weather underway these days. So I am throwing it out there. How do you get your weather underway, what do you like, why do you like it?

I do have a Nera world phone that is data capable?

I also have an older Inmarsat C system that I never hooked up.

My time frame is short, I am looking for simple solutions. Even a good weather router available by sat phone.
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Old 16-10-2013, 01:53   #2
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Low budget, something like a degen 1103 reciever and some weatherfax software on a tablet sitting next to the radio works surprisingly well. Or jvcomm on a laptop.
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Old 16-10-2013, 02:34   #3
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We find a barometer is fairly simple and fool-proof. Doesn't even need batteries, a satellite connection nor connection to the electrical system.
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Old 16-10-2013, 07:27   #4
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Re: Weather Underway

Get Inmarsat isatphone and ask a router ashore to monitor the wx for you.

Get SSB receiver with audio out and use radiofax.

b.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:12   #5
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Re: Weather Underway

Buy cheap shortwave receiver, listen to WWWV and WWVH. It worked on our first trip.
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Old 16-10-2013, 10:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Buy cheap shortwave receiver, listen to WWWV and WWVH. It worked on our first trip.
Those are just for alerts are they not?
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Old 16-10-2013, 11:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post

Those are just for alerts are they not?
WWV & WWVH only have alerts but there are plenty of other HF voice, text and fax broadcasts that you only need an SSB receiver for.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvprod.htm
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Old 16-10-2013, 11:51   #8
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Quote:
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WWV & WWVH only have alerts but there are plenty of other HF voice, text and fax broadcasts that you only need an SSB receiver for.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvprod.htm
Good link. Thanks!
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Old 16-10-2013, 16:28   #9
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Re: Weather Underway

A barometer is always useful but only tells me the weather is going to get worse or the the worst is over.
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Old 16-10-2013, 17:46   #10
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Re: Weather Underway

Two radios to consider.... Tecsun 660, Sangean 909x..... the Tecsun is the best bang for the buck.... simple longwire antenna..... jack from headphone out on radio to audio in on laptop.... JVComm32 - FAX SSTV RTTY SYNOP NAVTEX program if you use a PC.... cocoaModem if you are using a mac.

Pic is a Tecsun 660 sucking up some wefax..
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Old 17-10-2013, 11:36   #11
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Re: Weather Underway

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainRod112 View Post
A barometer is always useful but only tells me the weather is going to get worse or the the worst is over.
And not always that. A rapidly rising pressure gradient can produce as much storm-force wind as a rapidly falling one, but our association with a rising barometer with "the worst is over" can be a tricky assumption.

Great Lakes Storm of 1913 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Several ships more or less safely docked behind breakwaters ventured out into the Great Lakes on the basis of a rising barometer, only to get hammered and sunk.

There's also retrograde storms, that a simple single-station pressure reading wouldn't reveal and (normally) one wouldn't expect:

Earthchange: Unusual storm system moves backwards across continental U.S. | The Extinction Protocol

So while a barometer is helpful in indicating pressure trends, and therefore likely weather, it isn't the whole picture by a long shot. For that, you need synoptic charts, 500 mb charts and the means to obtain them and the knowledge to read them. Luckily, an SSB receiver and WX fax combo (or means to show this on a screen instead of wacky '80s thermal paper!) aren't too expensive and will give you the knowledge needed to alter course for safety or, if you are going to be at the intersection of a weather bomb or cold front, the warning necessary to clear decks, batten down and heave to with thermoses of hot soup and plenty of crackers!
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Old 17-10-2013, 12:01   #12
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Re: Weather Underway

i used a simple shortwave receiver for the USCG HF voice broadcasts. the coverage was pretty great in the caribbean, especially since they split the forecast zones to be more specific a year or so ago. it's definitely the cheapest option, we used a small grundig with a 20ft retractable antenna.

but if you have the time, weatherfax is much better.
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Old 17-10-2013, 12:39   #13
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Re: Weather Underway

jvcomm and a ssb receiver for weather fax images. can be frustrating to get your first image. almost impossible to get reception in a marina in a metropolitan area.

I didn't get my first image until I was underway going down the coast.

signals come from hawaii and pt reyes, california. I don't know where the signal comes from for costa rica. You can look it up. I think Peru participates in the worldwide system.

for a lower power draw solution, there is a weatherfax app for android. tablets use much less power. laptops can suck up as much or more as a refrigerator when charging.

jvcomm also allows for navtex reception.

example of navtex below (actual) while underway in july 2012. these transmissions can take over an hour to recieve so laptop battery must be fully charged. (no ac running on the boat or there can be signal interference)
after a while you can understand the flow of the navtex and turn the radio on after transmission has begun to pick up only the section of information relevant to you.

in the text below, there are underline characters where alpha numeric symbols should be represented. due to fuzziness of reception, not all characters are received. sometimes entire sections are garbled until the syncronization signal is received and the transmission resumes.


NNNN
ZCZC CB44
FZPN02 KWBC 082330
HSFEPI
HIGH SEAS FORECAST FOR METAREA XII
NWS OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER WASHINGTON DC
2345 UTC SUN JUL 08 2012

SUPERSEDED BY NEXT ISSUANCE IN 6 HOURS
SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY
BE MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

PAN PAN
PACIFIC N OF 30N AND S OF 67N E OF A LINE FROM BERING STRAIT
TO 50N 160E

SYNOPSIS VALID 1800 UTC JUL 08.
24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC JUL 09.
48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC JUL 10.

.WARNINGS.

...GALE WARNING...
.LOW 47N164E 998 MB MOVING NE 25 KT WILL TURN E AND SLOW AFTER
24 HOURS. WITHIN 480 NM NE AND 420 NM SE QUADRANTS WINDS 25 TO 40
KT. SEAS 9 TO 16 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 600 NM NE AND 660 NM S
AND SE QUADRANTS WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 14 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 54N174E 994 MB. WITHIN 540 NM SE QUADRANT
WINDS 25 TO 35 KT. SEAS 9 TO 16 FT. ELSEWHERE WITHIN 480 NM
NE...720 NM SE...360 NM SW...AND 240 NM NW QUADRANTS WINDS 20
TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 14 FT.

.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW 52N178E 999 MB. WITHIN 300 NM OF LOW CENTER
EXCEPT E QUADRANT WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 12 FT.

.SYNOPSIS AND FORECAST.
.FROM 37N TO 45N BETWEEN 123W AND 128W AREA OF N WINDS TO 25
KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST LITTLE CHANGE.
.48 HOUR FORECAST FROM 32N TO 44N BETWEEN 120W AND 130W AREA
OF N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS TO 11 FT.

.LOW 55N148W 1008 MB NEARLY STATIONARY. WITHIN 300 NM NE AND
240 NM SE QUADRANTS WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 55N146W 1011 MB. WINDS LESS THAN 25 KT.
SEAS LESS THAN 8 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW DISSIPATED.

.LOW 45N143W 1014 MB MOVING NE 10 KT. WINDS LESS THAN 25 KT.
SEAS LESS THAN 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 50N137W 1009 MB. FRONT TO EXTEND FROM LOW
CENTER TO 41N142W. WITHIN 180 NM NE AND SW QUADRANTS AND WITHIN
180 NM E AND SE OF FRONT WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 9 FT.

.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW MOVED INLAND.
.LOW 42N152W 1015 MB MOVING E 25 KT. WITHIN 540 NM W AND SW
QUADRANTS WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW AND CONDITIONS ABSORBED BY LOW 50N137W
ABOVE.
.A LOW PRES TROUGH EXTENDS FROM 30N171E TO 32N178E. WITHIN 180
NM W AND NW OF TROUGH WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 8 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST CONDITIONS DIMINISHED.
.
24 HOUR FORECAST NEW LOW 39N146W 1016 MB. WITHIN 240 NM SE
SEMICIRCLE WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 9 FT.

.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW 43N141W 1016 MB. WITHIN 180 NM N AND NW
SEMICIRCLES AND 300 NM S AND SE QUADRANTS WINDS 20 __YT______M
SEAS TO 10 FT.

.24 HOUR FORECAST LOW 43N162E 1011 MB. WITHIN 420 NM E AND SE
QUADRANTS WINDS TO 25 KT. SEAS TO 10 FT.

.48 HOUR FORECAST LOW DISSIPATED.
.48 HOUR FORECAST NEW LOW 52N161W 1002 MB. WITHIN 300 NM E AND
NE...480 NM SE...AND 960 NM W AND SW QUADRANTS WINDS 20 TO 30
KT. SEAS TO 12 FT.
.DENSE FOG. VSBY OCCASIONALLY LESS THAN 1 NM FROM 39N TO 56N
W OF 164W__ND WITHIN 240 NM OF 44N141W.

.24 HOUR FORECAST DENSE FOG FROM 37N TO 55N W OF 162W AND WITHIN
___P NM OF 45N136W.

.48 HOUR FORECAST DENSE F_G FROM 35N TO 55N W OF 152W AND WITHIN
90 NM OF 43_J_EO_W.
90 NM OF 43NXQEOW.
.HIGH 50N131W 1023 MB DRIFTING NW.
.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH DISSIPATED.

.HIGH 58N137W 1022 MB MOVING NW 15 KT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 61N148W 1018 MB.
.48 HOUR_FORECAST HIGH DISSIPATED.

.HIGH 35N139W 1027 MB MOVING NE 10 KT WILL BECOME NEARLY
STATIONARY AFTER 24 HOURS.

.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 37__136W 1026 MB.
.48 HOUR FORECAST LITTLE CHANGE.

.HIGH 32N158W 1027 MB NEARLY STATIONARY.

.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH DISSIPATED.
.HIGH 49N160W 1022 MB MOVING SE 10 KT.

.24 H_UR_FORECAST HIGH 46N154W 1023 MB.
.48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 44N148W 1022 MB.
.HIGH 39N175W 1030 MB NEARLY STATIONARY WILL MOVE SE AFTER 24
HOURS.

.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 38N174W 1030 MB.
.48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 35N171W 1028 MB.

.HIGH 58N171W 1022 MB MOV_NG NW 10 KT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 60N175W 1016 MB.
.48 HOUR FORE_AST HIGH MOVED W OF AREA.

.24 HOUR FORECAST NEW HIGH 34N16_E 1020 MB.
.48 HOUR FORECAST HIGH 36N163E 1022 MB.
.48 HOUR FORECAST NEW HIGH 49N136W 1025 MB.

.FORECASTER MILLS. OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER.
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER _IZMI FL
E PACIFIC FR_M THE EQUATOR TO 30N E OF 140W.
SYNOPSIS VALID 1800 UTC _UN JU_R_______HOUR FORECAST VALID 1800 UTC MON JUL 09.
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