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  #11  
Old 06-10-2011
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ipad?

How is an Ipad going to get weather information when you are 30 miles off shore?

Barry


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I agree 100%.

I find value in a multi-tasker and the Ipad is that hands down. Email, weather, charts, entertainment, real GPS (not cell phone gps), etc, etc,,,,,,,
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
How is an Ipad going to get weather information when you are 30 miles off shore?

Barry
There are several weather apps that will download days of weather info to use offline. I've received a usable cell signal as far as 10 miles offshore and know someone who installed a cell receiver on the top of their mast that gets the signal to 25 miles.

The query was for a coastal cruiser, so one just grabs an update when close enough to do so. There aren't too many coastal cruisers that would be that far for more than a day or two and most will be in an anchorage every night.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2011
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Being that the OP was talking about being 20-60 miles off-shore, and with the unpredictability of weather and WiFi availability, I would not trust being caught beyond the range of WiFi and not have something capable of receiving we-fax on board.

It's just too cheap and easy to put together a reliable system to receive faxes over shortwave to not use it.
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Old 06-12-2011
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We use XM Weather on our chart plotter, and it worked all the way down to Georgetown.
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Old 06-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffwind View Post
.......I will be coastal cruising in the 60 to 20 mile offshore range...mostly within 20
Emphasis added. You guys were reading something more hard core than I.
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Old 06-12-2011
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From and engineering standpoint, and considering the frequencies used for the spreadspectrum used for WiFi, I would not rely on it beyond a few miles from shore for anything that might be mission-critical. I consider anything that could impare the safety of the boat (and my family) to be mission-critical when it could endanger us. Weather is not predictable enough to be able to rely on charts that are more than a day old. Weather tends to change, sometimes quickly, and if you are cruising even 20 miles off-shore for more than a day, it would be prudent to have additional means of collecting weather data aboard.

I would consider shortwave reception, with all the propagation shortcomings, to be more reliable and that has also been my experience over the years - both measured and calculated. That is why NOAA has used shortwave to braodcast to boaters for many years.

If your coastal cruising is concluded in marina hoping, then you might be able to rely on WiFi, but if we only plan for the safest conclusion, then I think we are doing a disservice to those that rely on us to keep the passage safe.
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Not WiFi..... 3G broadband. With less than 60 seconds of reception, I can download substantially more data than SSB could in any amount of time. If you need real time precipitation info, radar and satWx are the only way to get it well off shore.
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Old 06-12-2011
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3G broadband, aka WiMax, aka 4G may be good for around 10 miles offshore. At the typical power output and the typical gain characteristics of the antennas used, the radiated power over water will only get you around 10 miles, and at the outskirts of that coverage, you will have diminished bandwidth.

The only logical choice for anything extending over two days and for planning such a cruise is SSB and we-fax for weather reports via radio. Depending on your cell phone connection is prone to failure unless you are staying really close to shore to ensure coverage.
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Old 06-12-2011
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Ya know...If I could understand some to the communications language and references that you guys are throwing back and forth, I would probably have known enough about the subject to not have asked the question!

I take it that XM weather subscription with receiver, like the Garmin GDL 30a, will give me current weather in all coastal cruising situations ( as one responder could access weather with that system to Bahamas). And if I want to leave coastal cruising grounds for Bermuda or the BVI, that I should be equipped with SSB and fax reception equip. Is that the conventional wisdom out there? Is that the current state of art for offshore cruisers?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffwind View Post
Ya know...If I could understand some to the communications language and references that you guys are throwing back and forth, I would probably have known enough about the subject to not have asked the question!

I take it that XM weather subscription with receiver, like the Garmin GDL 30a, will give me current weather in all coastal cruising situations ( as one responder could access weather with that system to Bahamas). And if I want to leave coastal cruising grounds for Bermuda or the BVI, that I should be equipped with SSB and fax reception equip. Is that the conventional wisdom out there? Is that the current state of art for offshore cruisers?
I guess you'd have to define coastal cruising and would have to have some sort of propagation (coverage) map of your data coverage for your area. Some areas between cities along the coast may be very limited with regards to data coverage.

I don't speak of this lightly. I've been an EE (degreed engineer) for some 25 years now, and spent the last 15 designing and tweaking propagation performance with one of the largest PCS carriers. I was senior engineer and had eight engineers under me in my last position before I retired and went on to another career in our own business. In that time I have been responsible for many multimillion dollar budgets for site aquisition, build out, and performance. Make a mistake once (at 1.5 million average per site) and you are forgiven. Make one twice and your career is over. I have also been a Ham operator for 20 years, and hold both a General Class Ham ticket and an FCC General Radiotelephone (commercial) licence. I have also designed and helped build a lot of microwave shots to remote locations. I know of what I speak with regards to cellular/PCS coverage. I have also worked extensively with both real-life and computer models of radio propagation for most all bands in the spectrum, and have an expert understanding of how propagation works in many given configurations.

You might use your phone/data as a backup close to shore, and if you can get a data connection, good, use it. If you are going to venture more than around 5 miles have an alternate method of obtaining weather information. Sailors all over the world use SSB/we-fax and SSB voice for obtaining weather information. There is good reason that they do and have for many years - weather is critical and SSB/we-fax works.
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