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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter #1
I was planning to get a Siris weather system when I do my electronics upgrades next year. However, the price is actually funny. $55 a month, plus the electronics. Am I the only one that finds this insane? It also goes only a few hundred miles offshore. Sorry, but that is insane. I guess if your on your brand new lagoon, sailing coastal, with 10, 15" chart plotters, then its not much. For the rest of us thou, I see no point.
radio $`19 a month
weather $55 a month
Same satellite, they are relaying data that is FREE.... Weather fax or bust...
 

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+1

If they priced this at $15/mt with weather, $25/mt for weather and sat radio it would be on every boat with modern gear.
 

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Master Mariner
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For the few months I was in range of Siris, it was absolutely fantastic; well worth the money. I'd pay that in a heart beat if it was available down here. To have actual, real time weather radar when a squall line is bearing down on you, as you look to weather and wonder what those dark, foreboding clouds are bringing, is pretty sweet.
Real time current, tidal and weather info at the helm; priceless!
I'd certainly give up the 10 beers a month the $55.00 would equate to.
 

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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter #4
For the few months I was in range of Siris, it was absolutely fantastic; well worth the money. I'd pay that in a heart beat if it was available down here. To have actual, real time weather radar when a squall line is bearing down on you, as you look to weather and wonder what those dark, foreboding clouds are bringing, is pretty sweet.
You can do the same thing with your radar, if you know how to use it. You can also have hourly weather charts from the weatherfax.
 

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capta, is the detail any better than just reading the weather radar from NOAA directly over an internet link? (Assuming you're within data range of the shore.) Or is the advantage just that you can get it further offshore?
 

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capta, is the detail any better than just reading the weather radar from NOAA directly over an internet link? (Assuming you're within data range of the shore.) Or is the advantage just that you can get it further offshore?
I've yet to find a TV or computer that functions in any weather, especially really bad weather, with the current and color coded weather overlaid on my real time position on the chart, AT THE HELM. I can zoom in, out or scroll around; things that can't be done at the helm in a blinding rain storm, with a computer or TV, I don't think.
No, the radar will not give me the same information, especially wind strength, even if I did know how to use it. Radar will only return on the first strong target (the front of the squall line), not a detailed color picture of everything coming at me, miles deep, that is, even IF I knew how to use it.
I've been getting my ass severely kicked by nasty weather long enough to really appreciate a gift such as this. You all go with your internet or TV or fax (I have fax and it is NOT real time), but if I can get the Siris, I'll gladly pay the money, honey.
 

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Whats the point if you are already in?
It never hurts to have some real time info if you are offshore, but it might be a matter of survival to know which way to go to get to better conditions when you are near shore.
When a horrendous squall line was threatening (on a perfectly lovely clear afternoon) Siris warned me of an impending front (06/09/11), long before I saw it. I was able to douse all sail and go from 6 miles south of Long Is, NY to within a mile of the shore, certainly lessening the effects of the 60+ knots of north wind, that devastated the area that evening, on me.
 

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capta, from what you're telling me SiriusXM is giving you weather radar information (i.e. squall lines) and ground wind speeds that are not being sourced from NOAA, or are being sourced in better detail than the conventional NOAA products??

I'm unclear on that, since the data has to come from somewhere. If the source is public...the only question is the convenience of the feed.

As to not seeing a V on the helm, I'm talking about internet access. It is possible to get tablets, monitors, smart phones (pads) that are waterproof or waterproofable. i.e. a Panasonic Toughpad is certainly not cheap--but it will survive and prosper on the helm.

Best 10 Inch Rugged Android Tablet - Panasonic Toughbook Tablet (Toughpad FZ-A1)
 

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capta, from what you're telling me SiriusXM is giving you weather radar information (i.e. squall lines) and ground wind speeds that are not being sourced from NOAA, or are being sourced in better detail than the conventional NOAA products??
I have no idea, nor do I care where Siris gets it's wx info. I'm only saying it was great and very, very helpful, and if it was available where I am, I would purchase the service.
I am not trying to tell you it's better than something else for YOUR purposes, only relaying my own experience.
 

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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter #12
I have no idea, nor do I care where Siris gets it's wx info. I'm only saying it was great and very, very helpful, and if it was available where I am, I would purchase the service.
I got 3G internet 30 miles offshore, with a booster and antenna up the mast I think 50-80 should be likely. In most places that is the same as the siris coverage.



The real issue here is there is no good competition. Siris and XM should never have been allowed to merge.
 

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UP-
You won't (or "shouldn't") get cellular service further offshore and "shouldn't" be getting it 30 miles offshore. Most of the major carriers have intentionally designed their software to reject any signal that is more than 16 miles from any tower, in order to prevent software problems in their systems. They detect your distance from the tower by examining signal latency in the transmissions, so there's no way to cheat on that.
If your carrier has set up a coastal tower in exception of that rule...32 miles, maybe, but beyond that, quite unlikely no matter what antenna and power you use. Don't expect it.

Capta-
A little web browsing shows Sirius is integrating the feeds from a number of private sources, they're not just echoing NOAA. I didn't look to see how else it is available, but for their price, all that integration might be worthwhile. Or at least, a handful to accomplish by other means. I'm not out in it enough, on a mandatory schedule of any kind, to have a real need for much more than eyes, ears, and sometimes throwing the dice with the wxcast.
 

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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter #14
UP-
You won't (or "shouldn't") get cellular service further offshore and "shouldn't" be getting it 30 miles offshore. Most of the major carriers have intentionally designed their software to reject any signal that is more than 16 miles from any tower, in order to prevent software problems in their systems. They detect your distance from the tower by examining signal latency in the transmissions, so there's no way to cheat on that.
If your carrier has set up a coastal tower in exception of that rule...32 miles, maybe, but beyond that, quite unlikely no matter what antenna and power you use. Don't expect it.
Don't know. I was posting to forums, getting email, all 30 miles offshore. 3G coverage. Its funny too, some places on the hudson river were a dead zone, and out at sea we had high speed internet. Maybe this needs to be looked into, what distance they set towers for on the coastline? Max would be a great idea, for safety sake. Some fishermen dont even have a VHF, or one that works. Just a guess, and opinion thou, no idea what they set coastal towers to.
 

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"Maybe this needs to be looked into, what distance they set towers"
Don't waste your time. Either a front-office scr who knows nothing technical will fob off any excuse to placate you, or you will be told "That's a security matter, we cannot comment on it." Everything technical, including the simple location of the towers (some of which are required to be in public databases, others not) is considered a security issue. Because bad men might shut it down if they knew where it was. "Bad men" being crooks, terrorists, or simply, the competition.
The only way to get real answers is from former employees. Or field testing, which doesn't always tell you what the system is supposed to be doing.

The gaps in the Hudson Valley are normal of any cellular system. Microwaves are line of sight only, and if you are down in a valley, if you can't see a tower you probably have no signal. Putting towers on every peak is very expensive, it is only done when there are lots of people in the valleys.
 

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If I were going a long distance over a long period, I would find the satellite weather to be worth it. For most of our cruising up and down the New England coast, we get plenty of real time weather data aboard from 3G access. The only exception so far has been Maine.
 

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If I were going a long distance over a long period, I would find the satellite weather to be worth it. For most of our cruising up and down the New England coast, we get plenty of real time weather data aboard from 3G access. The only exception so far has been Maine.
Still, the coverage area of Sirius is so limited, seems hardly that much of an improvement over a smart phone...

This is not the same thing, but for really going places, this WX satellite decoder setup is worth a look. I've not used it myself, but I know a very experienced voyager who's based his yacht in Chile and the Falklands for several years, and rates this system as by far the slickest WX info he's ever used...

WXtoImg: software to decode APT and WEFAX signals from weather satellites


 
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