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Old 08-01-2012
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Re: SSB vs sat phone for weather reports

That is a fine setup for sure and one to be proud of. I myself have spent about two months tinkering with how I would handle weatherfax and being a technophile I came up with a couple of solutions.

The objective of my first solution (in the evolution of solutions) uses a world radio rig. After talking with a good many long haul cruisers, a majority of the many mile/cheap budget vessels get it done this way. It involves purchasing a inexpensive weatherized AM/FM/SHORTWAVE radio with ssb capability. Yes just like those $10 old timey radios you see at garage sales. You can buy them new anywhere from $30-200 depending on how slick you want it. The radio is used to tune to a weatherfax frequency you need (like New Orleans 8503.9 kHz) then you run a patch cable from the headphone out of the radio to the mic input of your computer/laptop. Then you run one of many free programs on your PC (like JVComm32) and sit back and watch the magic unfold on your screen as you get the full weatherfax.

This solution has its drawbacks. Your radio must be rugged to survive long term exposure to the environment or you will be buying a new/used one every so often. Your laptop has to be on long enough to catch the weatherfax at the transmit times (or schedule it being on at those times)

The plus side is this solution can be inexpensive and easily maintained.

I am still experimenting with my 2nd solution evolution. So far so good but I want it to be easily repeatable in instruction form so anyone can use it without being a techie.
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Morgan 22
Naples, FL
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