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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2008
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Sailmail for SSB

We are planning a trip up the East Coast this summer so I want to get set up for receiving GRIB files from the SSB. Am I right that it costs $250 a year to get set up. If we were full time cruisers it would be a deal to send and rec'v email, but we need it only for a few days.

I downloaded the Airmail software, it looks fine, and I a have a PactorII modem. Are there any other options, or should I just pay the $250?
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Old 03-24-2008
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If you have a ham radio license, there are options as long as it isn't business related comms; otherwise, you have a choice of Sailmail or a satphone, the latter can be rented which may be your best bet if only for a few days.
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Old 03-24-2008
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If your going up the east coast, why not just get a air card for your laptop. You should be able to pick up wifi on the ICW before going off shore, if that is your intent.
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Old 03-24-2008
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If you're just coasting, another option might be to use wifi or the data services provided by Verizon, et. al. This option costs about $40 a month for full access at high speeds. You can get a card for your laptop -- some with an external antenna option -- and would then have direct access to the Internet where you could download all the data needed.

Also, many marine nets provide detailed weather forecasts, mostly based on National Weather Service forecasts. The WaterWay Net (7268kHz LSB) provides such weather for mid-Atlantic, Southwest North Atlantic and Carribean, Florida Coast and Gulf of Mexico forecast areas each day beginning at 0745EDT. You don't have to be a ham to listen to these reports.

WLO in New Orleans also provides the weather, as does the USCG on various marine SSB frequencies. There are a number of other nets covering the East Coast, both marine and ham. A good list is:
East Coast Cruising Nets

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 03-24-2008 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008
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We will be going offshore. Since we'll have to go around Hatteras it will mean we'll probably be 80-100 miles offshore - most likely out of VHF weather range. Heading to Rhode Island - I am thinking it will take a few days (4?) and I would like a weather update during that time.

Renting an Iridium Sat phone last year ended up costing a bunch more than I expected. I have thought about Globalstar, but would kind of like to use the SSB if I can.
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I do the weather reports for the WaterWay Net on Thursdays, and could do weather for you most anytime and anywhere during your trip....via SSB.

If that would help you, PM me or email bill at wdsg dot com

Bill
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Old 03-24-2008
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Why not just use the sound output of the SSB to feed a weatherfax/navtex program? Weather messages decoder - RTTY, NAVTEX, WEFAX (HF-FAX), NWR SAME software
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Old 03-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Why not just use the sound output of the SSB to feed a weatherfax/navtex program? Weather messages decoder - RTTY, NAVTEX, WEFAX (HF-FAX), NWR SAME software
That looks pretty slick.
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Old 03-24-2008
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Cam -

There's a learning curve for me...looks cool, but where does the broadcast itself come from? Maybe I should load the software and play around with it...

Bill-I just PM'd you re: the offer to do a weather report. .
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Old 03-25-2008
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Pam...the faxes and the Navtex messages are broadcast on schedules by NOAA and tunable on your SSB. The software converts the sound output which sounds like bursts of static, into pictures (fax) and text for navtex. You can get the hang of it easily.
You can also get VOICE offshore forecasts for rounding Hatteras etc. on the following frequencies and times. (Times are ZULU or Grenwich mean time)
4426, 6501, 8764 kHz (USB) 0330Z1 0515Z2 0930Z1



6501, 8764, 13089 kHz (USB)

1115Z2 1530Z1 2130Z1 2315Z2
8764, 13089, 17314 kHz (USB)


1715Z2

1 Offshore Forecasts, hurricane information
2 Highseas Forecast, hurricane information

Here is a pdf of ALL worldwide radiofax broadcasts. the info you will be most interested in is on page 34 and 35. As you can see...there is a wide range of products available to you.
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

This is what a navtex forecast on 518khz will look like:
Ocean Prediction Center

Sitor (similar to Navtex) is also receivable on the following schedules and frequencies:
USCG HF SITOR

Hope this helps a bit!
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