Got a SSB reciever but can't get ANY Weather. - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-31-2010 Thread Starter
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Got a SSB reciever but can't get ANY Weather.

I have all of the channels. I've got all of the times. I've got the reciever and when I pull out the antenae, rest it on one of my metal shroud lines going up the mast, the radio gets loud with lots of ............static. Occasionally it will have a little chinese or lebanese or spanish or some vague mumbling mixed in with the static but none the less its not the weather to me and its not because I am surrounded by boats because this morning I was far away from anywhere and no luck at getting Chris Parker. Does anyone have suggestions.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-31-2010
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Is it a proper ssb receiver $100 or so or just one of those radios with short wave reception? I know I recently tried one of those cheap and cheerful ones and it was totally useless-returned it to the shop!.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-31-2010 Thread Starter
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It is supposed to be a proper SSB reciever. I get the Cuban Channel 6.01MHz something like that and it is consistent. Kaito is the Manufacture. Made in China but from what I have read people have been happy with it. I can type in the specific channel down to the third decimal place. Its supposed to be comparable to a more expensive Radio Shack model. I paid $150 for it.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-01-2010
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maybe these will help. weather frequencies are NMN (voice weather read by "Perfect Paul", the computerized voice of NOAA weather radio): 4426, 6501, 8764, 13089, and 17314 kHz USB; NMG (New Orleans weatherfax): 4316, 8502, and 12788 kHz USB; and NMF (Boston weatherfax): 4233.1, 6338.6, 9108.1, and 12748 kHz USB. Official schedule and frequency information is available here from NOAA:
Marine Radiofax charts

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-01-2010
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The problem with 'portable' HF radios is that they NEED a 'good' external antenna - especially when used inside a boat, when the 'built-in' antenna is within the 'plane' of the lifelines, shrouds, etc. and thus becomes 'shielded'. A simple 'long wire' attached to the 'Ext. ant.' jack and raised up to a spreader, etc. is usually all that it takes .... the 'longer the wire, the better'.

Here's Chris Parkers broadcast schedule: CARIBWX The Caribbean Weather Site
Be advised that at this time of the year, you can only 'usually' hear Chris at about 400-600 miles from central FLorida on 4mHz, and up to 1000 mi on 8 mHz. and depending on which way his 'antenna is directed' - towards Bahamas (4.045) /Eastern Carib (8.137)/Western Carib.(8.104). All these frequencies are USB - "upper side band", so you may need to 'switch' to the correct 'side band' (USB) to hear him or be in the proper geographical position to be within his 'beam'.

"Atmospheric's" and radio propagation strength at the time you listen is also a cause of 'missed signal'.

Put a 'long wire' (just a long length of 18ga. etc. wire and proper connector) and run it up your mast if you want to get the 'max' out of your HF/SSB receiver.
Make sure that the frequency selection is set to USB on the LSB/AM/USB switch when in HF/SSB mode.
"national and commercial" broadcasts are mostly on AM
Marine SSB is 'mostly' on USB
Ham/amateur radio is 'mostly' on LSB, etc.

If you have the Kaito KA1102, the pic. I have on this rig doesnt seem to show a LSB/AM/USB switching ..... and that may be your problem. Amazon.com: Kaito KA1102 - Worldband radio.: Electronics
Longwire external antenna: Amazon.com: Kaito AN-03L - Radio antenna: Electronics: Reviews, Prices & more

Last edited by RichH; 11-02-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-01-2010
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One thing to remember is that shortwave radio propagation differs during the day and also on different days. Generally speaking, shortwave reception is best at night (and also differs during different times for different frequencies).

At the right time with a small (amplified) antenna I can receive on my Sony ICF-SW07 pretty much any shortwave station all around the world. I used it for a while to receive HAM rtty transmissions and also weatherfax.

That said, use it during the day and you'll hear nothing but static - shortwave propagation during the day is very poor.

Also, as others noted, you need a sideband switch (lsb/usb) and also, preferably, a fine-tuning capability to tune within a given frequency. A single "1 khz" frequency can house a number of transmissions and without fine tuning you may be right next to one and miss it.

(And all of the above is why I abandoned shortwave radio - it's a technology whose time, in my opinion, has passed. It's too much work for too little payoff, though it's sure fun to play with)
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
One thing to remember is that shortwave radio propagation differs during the day and also on different days. Generally speaking, shortwave reception is best at night (and also differs during different times for different frequencies)
Propagation has been REALLY bad for the last several weeks making reception very poor overall.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
The problem with 'portable' HF radios is that they NEED a 'good' external antenna - especially when used inside a boat, when the 'built-in' antenna is within the 'plane' of the lifelines, shrouds, etc. and thus becomes 'shielded'. A simple 'long wire' attached to the 'Ext. ant.' jack and raised up to a spreader, etc. is usually all that it takes .... the 'longer the wire, the better'.
Yes....but remember, there is a definite limit to proper longwire length...I can't remember exact length, but maximum is like 100 ft or something I remember from when I used to mess around with land-based shortwave units. But that shouldn't be a problem on a boat. And remember it should be insulated from rest of rigging or you will get too much interference.

I just picked up a neat little Grundig called the G6 Aviator on clearance sale for $59 from Radio Shack (regular $99). It has a SSB switch w/ capability up to 30,000 khz and a jack for external antenna. I have a dedicated SSB insulated section of my backstay...but when I hook up the Grundig to this insulated section, I get TOO many voices all coming in at once. I guess it is set-up for use with a antenna tuner....I don't know much about SSB side of things.

"...and a star to steer her by."
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-06-2010
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Maybe this is overly simplistic, but are you on the right frequency? The published frequency is mid-channel. The radio tunes to carrier frequency. Tune USB 1.9 kHz below the published frequency and try again.

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