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Old 17-03-2024, 06:54   #1
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single sideband receiver only

We plan to cruise down Baja and into the Sea of Cortez this fall--out third trip. Our new boat is a 30' single diesel. On our previous trips we've had a SSB transceiver, mainly for weather reports. I do not want to install a SSB transceiver on a small boat. I'm considering installing a simple, SSB receiver to monitor cruising nets for weather reports.

Has anyone used just a receiver for weather reports from the nets (Chubasco, Sonrisa)? Is it workable? How's the quality of the sound and reliability of broadcasts?
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Old 17-03-2024, 08:59   #2
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Re: single sideband receiver only

https://www.nasamarine.com/product/hf3w-ssb-receiver/


Works great, no ground plane needed. Need a 3.5mm jack to USB converter to connect to modern laptop/pc to get synoptic charts and text weather.
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Old 17-03-2024, 09:24   #3
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Thanks so much for the response. Please forgive my ignorance, but would you elabrate on
synoptic charts and text weather. Again, thanks so much.
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Old 17-03-2024, 09:33   #4
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Re: single sideband receiver only

If you are a user of OpenCPN www.opencpn.org load up the "weatherfax" plug in and follow the instructions.



Use internet option to practice and then replace with HF Schedules option when using SSB.


The manual is very comprehensive.
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Old 17-03-2024, 12:27   #5
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Again, thank you for the help.
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Old 17-03-2024, 12:59   #6
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineMeandYou View Post
Thanks so much for the response. Please forgive my ignorance, but would you elabrate on
synoptic charts and text weather. Again, thanks so much.
You can receive weather faxes, much like old school paper faxes from fax machines, via SSB. At a regularly scheduled time a fax is sent of a weather chart. To our ears it sounds like a modem or digital noise. But connect to a laptop or ipad, and you can get a picture.
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Old 17-03-2024, 13:43   #7
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Re: single sideband receiver only

I used an old Harris Receiver back in the service. Not sure if you can find one these days, but they were the best HF receiver I’ve ever used, and very simple.
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:29   #8
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Re: single sideband receiver only

If I was going to install a receive only SSB, I would buy an SDR dongle, Software Defined Radio, and toss a wire on deck for the antenna or haul it up a flag halyard. Cheapest way to receive SSB and a lot of other stuff. There are several Open Source software packages available.

https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-...s%2C260&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-...s%2C260&sr=8-2
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:39   #9
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Re: single sideband receiver only

You could do a whole lot worse than buy a Tecsun portable.
The 880 is pretty good
https://radiojayallen.com/tecsun-pl-...ortable-radio/

For wefax decoding BlackCat produce some decent stuff
https://blackcatsystems.com/software...ather_fax.html
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:56   #10
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Thanks all for the terriffic info, especially about the Tecsun portable. It's the second time someone has recommended that particular radio.

We used the weather fax with the laptop when we cruised Mexico and Central America in the late 90ies, and it worked well. My objective is to LISTEN IN on Chubasco , LSB (7.194), Sonrisa, LSB (3968) and Southbound USB (6.516) for VOICE weather. I believe all three nets included weather on the outside of Baja. My concern is reliablility and readability--is the voice quality good. Sounds like it may work. Any divergent opinions.
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Old 18-03-2024, 02:28   #11
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineMeandYou View Post
Thanks so much for the response. Please forgive my ignorance, but would you elabrate on
synoptic charts and text weather. Again, thanks so much.
A synoptic chart is the scientific term for a weather map.
Synoptic charts provide information on the distribution, movement, and patterns of air pressure, rainfall, wind, and temperature. This information is conveyed using symbols, which are explained in a legend. Synoptic charts are used to report on the current weather, and to predict future weather patterns.

Weather Basics: How to read the weather maps
Good Old Boat magazine, issue 45, Nov/Dec 2005
page 36 ➥ https://www.cruisersforum.com/galler...r&imageuser=79
37 ➥ https://www.cruisersforum.com/galler...r&imageuser=79
38 ➥ https://www.cruisersforum.com/galler...p?i=4905&c=500
39 ➥ https://www.cruisersforum.com/galler...r&imageuser=79
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Old 18-03-2024, 07:17   #12
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Thanks again for the input; however, I'm uninterested in weather fax (synoptic charts) for a number of reasons.

I'd like to know--this is mainly for Mexico cruisers--if anyone has used a receiver only to "LISTEN IN" on weather reports from local cruising nets (Chubasco, Sonrisa and Southbound)? And if so, were you satisified with the end product: were weather reports clear.
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Old 19-03-2024, 00:01   #13
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Re: single sideband receiver only

I used a Tecsun portable, the 660 variant to listen to Sonrisa when I was in LA. It works quite well. Best to use the long-wire antenna that comes with the portable and minimize RF noise (this means no LED lights, no engine/alternator, no switching power supplies). The Tecsun portable uses 6V power... either use rechargeable batteries or if using golf cart batteries, just feed 6V directly to the radio. Again, no switching power supplies.

You can also feed the output of the radio to a laptop/phone to monitor digital transmissions. I understand you are not interested in weather fax. Another useful transmission to listen to is HF-DSC traffic. These are mostly test calls from large ships but with the appropriate decoding software (yadd, free) and the DX Atlas mapping app you can see in real time the position of the ship and the responding coast guard station which gives you an idea of the propagation paths. Pretty cool.

The Tecsun also has an airband that should theoretically allow you to listen to air traffic but I could never get good reception on the airband.
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Old 19-03-2024, 01:29   #14
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Re: single sideband receiver only

You could have a look and a listen on websdr.org
World wide radio receivers opened up to the web so we can listen.
Scroll all the way to the bottom there's a map, not checked but if you get lucky there will be one down that neck of the woods receiving on the frequencies you are interested in.
Regard a receiver, I like Nasa kit but the radio they made really isn't their finest hour....
Google / AI search will come up with the most popular SSB options, I use a Degen 1103 but think it's discontinued now.
Happy listening
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Old 19-03-2024, 03:36   #15
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Re: single sideband receiver only

Thank you Pizzazz! That's exactly the info I was looking for. The 660 is in my cart on Amazon; it's time to pull the trigger. And thank you Barco Me Casa, I'll give it a try and hope for good luck.

Thanks
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