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Old 02-06-2021, 13:17   #16
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Richard and Andrew,
I posted a very detailed, very real-world report, of my recent (March 2021) WeFax reception, right at the dock, in S. Florida....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
what frequencies did you tune to receive the WFAX?

Richard
Have a look here:
Good HF WeFax Reception on-board, at the dock, March 2021, real-world
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ld-248424.html

This, along with the "stickies" at the top of the Marine Electronics page here, should answer all your questions!

FYI, from CT you will be too close to NMF (Boston) to receive WeFax from them on anything other than their 4mhz channel....so, have a listen for NMG, New Orleans, as well...




Andrew, if you're in S. Florida (as I am), you should have the same results as I do....
If not, I suspect two things:
a) You haven't spent much time perfecting your HF Voice reception.
b) You have an abundance of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) on-board....(too much noise!)


Please, Please. Please.....read my thread linked above....
Then read it again....(and watch the videos linked, therein)
Then understand that it is the noise that you need to get rid of....but, unless you're aware of what is "noise" and what is the WeFax signal, you're chasing-your-tail!
Please, Please, Please, learn and perfect your HF Voice reception first....and, only then attempt to receive non-Voice / digital signals (WeFax)....
I cannot stress these points high enough!!



I hope this helps.
But, you're going to have to do the work....read the linked thread, and all links therein....and watch the videos....it's all up to you to learn this....just like you learn sail trim, anchoring, splicing/knots, head repair, diesel maintenance, etc....HF radio comms is actually VERY predictable and pretty darn simple (heck my late, very non-tech, father learned it!), but, it's NOT like swiping on an iPhone, you need to learn how to make mothernature work for you!

Fair winds.

John
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Old 02-06-2021, 13:34   #17
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

John, thanks, but I had zero SW on a plain field with zero interference sources around. An old short wave radio I took along too had reception.
So, the Tecsun went back and they agreed to replace it with a more thoroughly tested unit....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Richard and Andrew,
I posted a very detailed, very real-world report, of my recent (March 2021) WeFax reception, right at the dock, in S. Florida....

Have a look here:
Good HF WeFax Reception on-board, at the dock, March 2021, real-world
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ld-248424.html

This, along with the "stickies" at the top of the Marine Electronics page here, should answer all your questions!

FYI, from CT you will be too close to NMF (Boston) to receive WeFax from them on anything other than their 4mhz channel....so, have a listen for NMG, New Orleans, as well...




Andrew, if you're in S. Florida (as I am), you should have the same results as I do....
If not, I suspect two things:
a) You haven't spent much time perfecting your HF Voice reception.
b) You have an abundance of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) on-board....(too much noise!)


Please, Please. Please.....read my thread linked above....
Then read it again....(and watch the videos linked, therein)
Then understand that it is the noise that you need to get rid of....but, unless you're aware of what is "noise" and what is the WeFax signal, you're chasing-your-tail!
Please, Please, Please, learn and perfect your HF Voice reception first....and, only then attempt to receive non-Voice / digital signals (WeFax)....
I cannot stress these points high enough!!



I hope this helps.
But, you're going to have to do the work....read the linked thread, and all links therein....and watch the videos....it's all up to you to learn this....just like you learn sail trim, anchoring, splicing/knots, head repair, diesel maintenance, etc....HF radio comms is actually VERY predictable and pretty darn simple (heck my late, very non-tech, father learned it!), but, it's NOT like swiping on an iPhone, you need to learn how to make mothernature work for you!

Fair winds.

John
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Old 02-06-2021, 13:46   #18
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Franz,
I assumed this was the situation...
And, assumed you had it all taken care of...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
John, thanks, but I had zero SW on a plain field with zero interference sources around. An old short wave radio I took along too had reception.
So, the Tecsun went back and they agreed to replace it with a more thoroughly tested unit....
My response here was to Richard and Andrew.

But, just in case Andrew had the same radio and same issue as you, he should read what you wrote here!


Fair winds.

John
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Old 03-06-2021, 14:31   #19
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

I'm always grateful for your posts, John.

I'll try again. I didn't realize Boston was too close to me. I couldn't understand why I could'nt get New Orleans nor Boston if I was able to get Havana, Shanghai, Madrid, as well as stations in the central plains and southwest deserts of the US.
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:16   #20
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Richard,
You're very welcome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
I'm always grateful for your posts, John.

I'll try again. I didn't realize Boston was too close to me. I couldn't understand why I could'nt get New Orleans nor Boston if I was able to get Havana, Shanghai, Madrid, as well as stations in the central plains and southwest deserts of the US.
Yes, HF skywave propagation can "skip-over" you, if you're too close!!
Please have a look at my videos, where this is detailed...

As for what freq, when, and how?? From CT?
Well...

Well, if you try NMF from Boston, try late evenings from ~ 10:30pm EDT thru 12midnight, on 4233.1khz...

And, try NMG from New Orleans, on 8502khz, from 8pm EDT thru 10pm EDT...

But, please watch the videos on "channel choice" and "radiowave propagation"...that's the first two videos on this playlist...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


And read my thread on HF WeFax...
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/good-hf-wefax-reception-on-board-at-the-dock-march-2021-real-world-248424.html


Here is an edited snippet:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Hello to all,
a) US Coast Guard Stations (WeFax and Multi-use):

NMF (Boston, Massachusetts): 9108.1khz,12748.1khz, 4233.1khz (and 6338.6khz....but this freq was off-air for a while)
https://www.weather.gov/marine/marsh
https://www.weather.gov/media/marine/hfmarsh.txt

NMG (New Orleans, Louisiana): 8502khz, 4316khz, 12788khz
https://www.weather.gov/marine/gulf
https://www.weather.gov/media/marine/hfgulf.txt

BUT...

But, to be clear, the most often over-looked issues are:
a) unfamiliarity with HF comms in general (meaning you're not sure what to listen for, nor what noises are "normal")
b) way too much local RFI (man-made noise / interference)

Which is why I ALAWYS stress the need to perfect your HF VOICE reception first....get used to the noises, etc....AND, get rid of the noise / interference producing devices....and, then proceed with trying to receive WeFax...

Note that in step "a", you are getting familiar with HF radiowave propagation as well as the noises....and, this is the "why" and "how" you perfect HF reception, not by using a computer or smartphone ap!


Fair winds.

John
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:57   #21
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Thank you so much for all the info. Ii really appreciate it
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:11   #22
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

You're very welcome!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JD-MDR View Post
Thank you so much for all the info. Ii really appreciate it
BTW, all I ever ask is:

a) when asking a question, or seeking help/advice, please give as much info/detail as possible (don't hold back!)

b) read everything / watch everything (even if it looks like a LOT), 'cuz chances are the hidden gem will be missed otherwise....

c) when asking questions on HF radio, SSB radio, WeFax, etc. etc., please look up at the top of the Marine Electronics page and read the "Stickies" first....(and/or do a search for the topic, using KA4WJA as the user name...'cuz it's likely that I've answered that question before)

d) when you do get your problem solved, be sure to stop back here and let everyone know



fair winds

John
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:12   #23
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to confirm the radio I had was defect and has been replaced free of charge with another PL-880.

Thanks for the input! Looking forward to more testing now.
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Old 18-06-2021, 16:45   #24
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

If you are onshore or close offshore, it IS mostly noise.


We have a NASA unit and it only gets decent signal maybe 60 miles offshore. We noted fewer and fewer stations each year. Unless you like listening to religious junmbobumbo that seems to be more and more each year.


Btw we tried both the active antenna, and a wire antenna. Somehow, the wire works best ...



Apparent lack of signal was a source of real torture to me when we started using ssb first in la Gomera (2003). But once we went underway, we got both voice and very decent wefax. Once in Martinique, the signal 'misteriously' disappeared again. Etc.


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Old 18-06-2021, 16:49   #25
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

One thing you may like to have (or arrange for it) is the capacity to record transmissions while you are asleep or driving. They come at fixed hours and often reception is best when you sleep soundest. It drove me nuts to get up half of my sleep slot to get a radiofax. But I did.


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Old 18-06-2021, 17:15   #26
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
One thing you may like to have (or arrange for it) is the capacity to record transmissions while you are asleep or driving. They come at fixed hours and often reception is best when you sleep soundest. It drove me nuts to get up half of my sleep slot to get a radiofax. But I did.


b.
Tecsun make two very handy little recorders...I have the Q3 https://www.anon-co.com/product/tecs...recorder-radio on the boat but haven't had much opportunity to use it

No timer function on either model but according to the ICR-100 manual https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/stor...100-MANUAL.pdf an 8G SD card will give 120 hours recording and it records in 60 minute blocks.
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Old 19-06-2021, 03:29   #27
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Tecsun make two very handy little recorders...I have the Q3 https://www.anon-co.com/product/tecs...recorder-radio on the boat but haven't had much opportunity to use it



No timer function on either model but according to the ICR-100 manual https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/stor...100-MANUAL.pdf an 8G SD card will give 120 hours recording and it records in 60 minute blocks.
Thanks.

Little remark, if you run a Navpc & the Tecsun anyway, you can record directly with a timer from within the free audio app Audacity. Than simply feed it into the decoding app of choice, like the weatherfax plugin of OpenCPN when convenient.

All you need is to connect the Tecsun Audio out to the PC Audio in. If your PC happens to have no Audio in, you can get USB sound connectors for a few bucks now...
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Old 01-09-2021, 22:08   #28
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

Wish I'd seen this thread before I bought the unit. So far I have a $150 FM radio. NPR sounds great! But I was hoping for something easier to use. None of the youtube tutorials are really even tutorials. Just salesmen saying how great it is. Thought this would give me an edge, but alas my hobby is boats, not radio operation. Back to Amazon tomorrow.
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Old 03-09-2021, 15:26   #29
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

If you're willing to undertake the arduous 90 degree learning curve, Amazon recommends buying an additional antenna.The Tecsun actually includes a similar antenna in the box. Might want to ignore Amazon's upsell.
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Old 03-09-2021, 19:45   #30
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Re: Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB

To all:
As I have been saying now for many years (decades)....
It's up to the individual sailor, to learn the skills they need...NOT to try to make "radios" their hobby!!




Russian007,
1) Quite frankly, I'm a bit confused by your postings here?
As, I assumed you read the answers to your questions months ago....or at least this past week or so?
(but, if I assume that English is not your first language....I mean with a handle like "russioan007", I suspect it is Russian....so, no worries here, I'm still willing to try to help you out. )

I've been trying to help you out here, for many months now....and, I'm going to give one last attempt.
Please READ ALL THE OTHER THREADS I reference (d) {and ALL THE LINKS THERE}, and WATCH THOSE VIDEOS....nobody is trying to sell you anything, there are no fees, no subscriptions, no BS, no simulations, etc....all real-world and designed / targeted for layperson, non-tech, sailors....from someone who has both many decades of real-world experience with this, AND formal education/training with this!


2) FYI, before you go any further, please remember three important things:

a) I've been trying to help you out with this system, for many months now...
Please re-read ALL of these...(and ALL of the links there, especially to the "stickies", and other threads directly on-topic)....and of course please watch the videos!

All your answers are there, in the links and some answers in the body of these threads....and I cannot see where anyone ever recommended a non-SSB-capable receiver, nor spending $$ on an "auxiliary" antenna....

Satellite Internet Bahamas?
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3389551
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3474807

Stand alone weatherfax still make sense?
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...-250511-2.html

And, a post directly above here:
Tecsun PL-880 only noise on SW & SSB
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3419123


Here is a direct link to the other thread (that I referred to, 5 months ago, in the other thread that YOU read and posted on "Satellite Internet Bahamas?"...and, where I referred you here to this thread, etc....as I said, I have been giving you the answers here now, for months! )
Good HF WeFax Reception on-board, at the dock, March 2021, real-world
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ld-248424.html


b) 15 - 20 years ago (and for all the decades before) we didn't have the plethora of cheap, made-in-China electronic crap / chargers / power-supplies / misc LED lights, etc. surrounding us and our radios / radio antennas, but these days we do....and hence this is why we now must reduce or eliminate our on-board radio-noise (RFI) to have easy and effective HF reception!
Sorry to say, it is our own fault for populating our lives with all of this crap (we want "cheap", we bet "cheap"), and it is now paramount to reduce/eliminate this RFI, in order to easily make our system work well! (and, you need to know what those "noises" are / what they sound like versus what noises are "natural", and how-to eliminate them, will make your on-board use of HF radio, SW radio, WeFax reception, etc. easy-peasy and effective!)


c) Spending an hour or two, many folks take much less time than this, learning about HF radiowave propagation (and HF radio operation) has ALWAYS been the first step in the HF radio process, whether Voice or data, SSB or WeFax, etc!
And, secondarily, spending a few minutes LISTENING on-the-air, to HF Voice communications, to get used to the "natural noises" versus our man-made radio-frequency-interference (RFI), versus the desired radio signals, has ALWAYS been the accepted way of assuring success in HF communications! (my videos will be of help here!)
Anyone that tells you, or implies, otherwise, is someone you should politely walk away from and ignore their radio advice.


BTW, I fully understand that many folks have limited time (and money), and some find "tech" things confusing, etc...no worries here, I DO get it!
But, please remember that nobody is born with this knowledge and expertise of radio comms, etc....just like they're not born with the knowledge / expertise of sailing, sail trim, navigation, anchoring, diesel maintenance, head repair, etc., nor the knowledge/expertise of word processing, html, basic computer skills, etc., nor even born knowing how to dial a phone!
So...
So, why do some sailors assume that they don't have to learn even a tiny bit about radio comms?
Is it because they are "sold" the dream (i.e. sold the BS) that all you need to know, to sail-the-world these days, is how to swipe on a smartphone? I don't know...but..
But, I do know that anyone can spend a couple hours learning what they do need to know about marine radio comms / HF WeFax / etc. etc. etc...and, be good-to-go....
If some refuse to do so, that is their choice and I wish 'em well...but, I'm not going to spend much time trying to convince them otherwise...

So, it's up to you all to learn the skills you need...NOT to try to make "radios" your hobby!!


3) Not sure what radio you bought, but I cannot see where anyone here on Cruiser's Forum ever recommended that you buy an "FM" radio for this?
(it won't work...as you've found)

And, while I don't have a tutorial specifically using a portable SW radio, as my tutorials are targeted at ocean-crossing offshore sailing and hence a bit more higher-budget audience....but all the same basics apply!

And, I am NOT selling anyone anything!

And, I do NOT participate in any Youtube revenue stream, I have NO ads, and do NOT ask you to subscribe to anything!

And, I do NOT have any sponsors! No "donors", no BS....it's just me, my radios, my fingers, and my ~ 50 years of education/training and experience..

And, I do NOT accept any gifts, nor any products for evaluations, etc...

EVERYTHING you see in my videos are things that I personally bought / paid for....and that I personally use and recommend, when sailing offshore/ across oceans and in far remote locales!
And, much of these things I have been using for decades! fyi, made my first Atlantic crossing in the 1970's....and back then, we used the US Navy HF WeFax (from Norfolk, VA and Rota, Spain....heck, I even remember the freqs, 8080khz and 10865khz)


I take pride in all the above, and find it somewhat insulting that you assume that just because you see a video on Youtube it must be someone trying to sell you something!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian007 View Post
Wish I'd seen this thread before I bought the unit. So far I have a $150 FM radio. NPR sounds great! But I was hoping for something easier to use. None of the youtube tutorials are really even tutorials. Just salesmen saying how great it is. Thought this would give me an edge, but alas my hobby is boats, not radio operation. Back to Amazon tomorrow.
Again, I find this insulting....I am not selling anything, to anyone....
I'm just sharing knowledge / expertise, to do my part to assist my fellow sailors!
And, while I'm no longer sure what your application is? (primarily 'cuz you haven't told us, have you?)
And, of course, you've not told us where you are located, where you're sailing/cruising, nor what boat you have, how it is equipped, etc.. etc. etc..?

~~~~~~~~~


And, here I'm really confused....
Why are you taking "radio advice" from Amazon?
{note: if you want my advice, you're gotten it in detail over the past few months, and have seemed to ignore it....but, it is all still there for you, for free, 24/7/365....right here on Cruiser's Forum and Youtube...}
And specific to this query about "an additional antenna"?
I already pointed you to what you can use / should at least try....for free!
Did you read this in those threads and links? Did you try this?
Whatever the case....this "additional antenna" is a waste of $$$....as I have written earlier (many, many times....not just to you this summer), you must rid your boat of RFI, learn a tiny bit about HF Radiowave propagation and radio operations, and use/perfect HF Voice reception FIRST!
(if you do all of these, and connect the radio to a stay/shroud and then you still don't have success, then you can build "an additional antenna" for ~ a few dollars, or buy one....but, NOT until you've completed the other tasks)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian007 View Post
If you're willing to undertake the arduous 90 degree learning curve, Amazon recommends buying an additional antenna.The Tecsun actually includes a similar antenna in the box. Might
want to ignore Amazon's upsell.

Russian007, I have tried again to help....and I do hope I have.

Fair winds.

John


P.S. All of these videos are referenced and linked in those threads....but, just in case others might not want to sift through all of the specific answers you ask for....here are some further direct links...

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Icom M-802 Instruction
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr


Some may want to have a look here, too:
HF comms to multiple stations within minutes of walking on-board!
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/new-video-showing-hf-comms-to-multiple-stations-within-minutes-of-walking-on-board-212861.html

And, for some fun sailing....
Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nbwAGh5DKgTCj15iyl6qoY[/QUOTE]

fair winds...
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