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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-25-2007
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XM Weather

I have heard about XM Weather and am interested in knowing 1) how good it is and 2) what is involved in receiving it? (What equipment is needed? can I use my laptop with some type of receiver?)
We are going over to the Bahamas this winter and another weather source would always be welcome.
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I don't know of any laptop compatible receivers for the XM WX service. Most of the receivers I know of are designed to display the information on a chartplotter screen. Garmin and Raymarine both have them... and many of the smaller Garmin units are capable of using their XM WX receiver. Be aware that the XM WX is a subscription based service, so it will incur a monthly cost, above and beyond that of the receiver hardware.
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Old 10-25-2007
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I use it everyday and stake my life on it..

As a pilot, I use the Garmin GPS system and it has XM weather uplink and it works REALLY WELL

A few things, in the smaller handheld GPS installs the XM is part of the antenna and that has the XM id on it.

All in all I say it is good stuff!
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Handheld GPS/weather

I have a Garmin chartplotter now that is not weather adaptable (that I know of) I see a Garmin 376c that might be a possibility, but am interested in options and any personal experience.
Thx,
Wm
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I wouldn't go with a 376c as a chartplotter, as it doesn't have any detailed charts pre-loaded.

The 478 is probably a much better buy, since it has the coastal US charts pre-loaded. If you sail inland US waters, the 378 is the same as the 478 but with the inland charts preloaded.

However, I would recommend going with either the 440 or 540, which also have the coastal charts pre-loaded, use standard SD memory cards, instead of the proprietary Garmin cards, and have a much larger, albeit lower resolution, screen. They're also less expensive than the 478 model, and probably comparable to the 376C model in price.

If you can swing it, you might even look at the 3205, which has even higher resolution than the other models. The major advantage of the 3205 is that it is capable of upgrading to handle radar as well.

Comparison chart here.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-25-2007 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 10-25-2007
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What is the range of XM weather and brodcast channels. Can it be used in the Caribbean?
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Originally Posted by speciald View Post
What is the range of XM weather and brodcast channels. Can it be used in the Caribbean?
The short answer is apparently not. According to the XM website, the claim coverage out to 100 miles into coastal waters from CONUS.

There are products that will interface to a PC to provide XM Weather data but they may or may not be suitable for use aboard a crusing sailboat.

I use XM weather displayed on a Garmin handheld GPS in my aircraft and have used it on the boat on occasion. It is awesome for that use, but the sattelite coverage doesn't extend far enough for offshore crusing, and even if it did, the source data becomes sketchy-er than with the US.

It would be great stuff for the coastal cruiser.
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Old 10-25-2007
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It is coastal US but that includes Bahamas and PR...not the Caribbean.
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I wouldn't be surprised if it works farther out even if XM doesn't advertise it. Take a look at these coverage maps for Sirius and XM. They also mention some mods to increase reception:

http://www.dogstarradios.com/sirasasecoma.html
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Punjabi...I think the difference is that the XM weather service is broadcasting pre-packaged items so while you might be able to receive the weather for Puerto Rico while you are in St. Lucia...odds are that you'd rather get the St. Lucia weather!!
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