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Old 03-09-2007, 15:57   #1
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Pactor Modem Uses

I'm interested in using my Pactor modem for things other than e mail. For example I believe you can get internet access albeit limited, receiver weather faxes and probably lots of other useful things.

However I don't seem to be able to find any easily understood information on other applications.

Has anyone any experience outside e mail or pointers as to where I can find information.

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Old 03-09-2007, 16:03   #2
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You can download GRIB weather files for weather maps. It involves sending an email to an automated receiver and the reply includes an attached weather map. Sail Mail allows such attachments but otherwise allows only TXT transmission. It's the only attachment Sail Mail allows. You can subscribe to Sail Mail with a SSB radio. The Pactor modem of course only speeds the transmission. Pactor modems really don't care what the heck you transmit or download. They don't know at all. So in that sense a Pactor modem won't care what so ever. It;s the service you are connecting to that cares. Sail Mail is the cheapest SSB connection you can get.
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Old 03-09-2007, 20:13   #3
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I don't believe that's entirely true. Winlink is a Ham only version of Sailmail that doesn't require the annual fee. Only requirement is that you have to be a licensed ham able to use the frequencies required, and that you don't use it for business purposes. Weatherfaxes are also available through winlink I believe.

As far as internet access over HF, I'd just forget about it, it should be technically possible, but the amount of time required to download anything but simple text, which can be accomplished through email, would be staggering. I've heard of internet over VHF and UHF which have higher bandwidth, although still pretty limited. To get anything decent, you need to get up into the Gigahertz band which is what normal wifi connections use.

I'm still fairly new to all of this, but there are some pretty neat things which can be done with digital mode radio.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:59   #4
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Your Pactor modem has a lot of capabilities. If you aren't already using Airmail (The Airmail Home Page) for e-mail I do recommend it. Airmail comes with applications that allow you to receive HF Fax weather charts directly. It works very well. Airmail and an SCS Modem also provide direct support for Navtex messages, very useful in Europe for weather and traffic information.

Airmail does support a keyboard - to - keyboard teletype mode that I have not used.

The SCS Pactor modems also support CW, SSTV, and RTTY which may be of some interest if you are a ham. I haven't used any of those yet. The hardware will send faxes as well as receiving them, which may be of some interest. I haven't checked the regulations for the legality of those modes on marine SSB. They are allowed in the ham bands.

On my transatlantic last year I used a SCS IIpro and Airmail with an Icom 802 to send and receive e-mail and receive GRIB files over both Sailmail and Winlink, received Navtex, and received weather faxes. It worked quite well and I'm pleased with the performance.
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