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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about getting a SSB Receiver in the hope to get the Radio Fax at sea. I have a splitter on my VHF.
Should I bother get a receiver that have an external connection for an antenna and connect it somehow to my VHF Antenna ? Will that boost the reception ?
Or should I go for the Strut or Backstay as I have read somewhere ?

Any feedback appreciated.
 

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islander bahama 24
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Go with the backstay antenna. splitters don't work so good except to add a second antenna for the vhf imo
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it is a manual switch, Btw. Not sure if that matters.
I realized that you have to insulate your Backstay, which is a no go in the time I have.
Option would be to hang the antenna from a halyard , or maybe using my flag line to my strouts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
What about a Metz Weatherfax Whip Antenna ?
Would that do the job ?

Metz Weatherfax Whip Antenna

To be clear, I bought a Tecsun PL880. I am hoping to get weatherfax through my passage from CA to HI. (we have a Sat phone I was planning to get the gribs, but it seems unreliable at sea).
it comes with a small mounted antenna. Now, I aheb one week to figure a way to get a better reception if possible.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I am thinking about getting a SSB Receiver in the hope to get the Radio Fax at sea. I have a splitter on my VHF.
The SSB receiver is fine. The splitter on your VHF antenna isn't really relevant.

Should I bother get a receiver that have an external connection for an antenna
Definitely be sure there is an external antenna connection.

and connect it somehow to my VHF Antenna ?
Don't do that.

Will that boost the reception ?
An external antenna will make a HUGE difference.

Or should I go for the Strut or Backstay as I have read somewhere ?
Not sure what you mean by a strut, perhaps a whip? I wouldn't insulate your backstay just for a receiver unless you are doing rigging work anyway. You can hook up to a shroud or backstay chainplate inside the boat, lifting any ground or bonding wires, and get good performance.

Go with the backstay antenna. splitters don't work so good except to add a second antenna for the vhf imo
VHF/VHF splitters are fundamentally not a good idea (good quality VHF/FM broadcast aren't terrible).

Option would be to hang the antenna from a halyard , or maybe using my flag line to my strouts...
Those work.

What about a Metz Weatherfax Whip Antenna ?
Would that do the job ?
Would work fine, although more wire higher would be better.

To be clear, I bought a Tecsun PL880. I am hoping to get weatherfax through my passage from CA to HI. (we have a Sat phone I was planning to get the gribs, but it seems unreliable at sea).
Great and easy. Google for rfax.pdf. You'll get good stuff from Point Reyes all the way across.

Gribs don't show fronts which you do care about.

You'll need software on your laptop for the wefax. JVCOMM32 is what I use. Multipsk works well also and there are others. Many are free. See NWS Radiofax . You don't need hardware - just connect the shortwave radio headphone jack to the laptop mic jack. Note that most shortwave radios have stereo headphone jacks and laptops have mono mic jacks. To ensure it works, get a 1/8" male mono to 1/8" male mono cable and a 1/8" female mono to 1/8" male stereo adapter.

it comes with a small mounted antenna. Now, I aheb one week to figure a way to get a better reception if possible.
The telescoping antenna will disappoint. Go external.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright. Seems I am not too far from the truth then.
I bought the Sangean ANT-60.

Now, in a few day and minimal budget , can I do better as an antenna ?

I have a Spinaker halyard free. (or I can free it when trying to get the weFax).
I am thinking I could get this Antenna up to the backstay by attaching it to a looped line around the stay and the halyard, and bringing it up the mast.

Now, could you point me to DIY dead simple hoistable antenna ?
I am sure there is plenty of litterature somewhere, but usually I am lost in the technical stuff :( - and I am running out of time to figure this out.

Thanks !!!!
 

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islander bahama 24
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The big thing in the back of my mind is once you start cruising you will want to talk to other cruisers you now say receive only buy it will happen so its best to get an antenna that will do the job and do it right the first time
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Arrrrrgh. I am leaving in two days and all I got is black noise when I switch to HF Fax mode.
I went one mile offshore and got a signal clear enough I could hear distinctly the weather forecast on the Voice Broadcast from Point Reyes. The signal from the radio on the weFax channel sounded clear enough, specially when the tones were clear.
No luck in tweaking either the sound card or SeaTTY or JWX :(
Help Help Help

I know I dont have much info, but is there a way to tweak and debug the settings - like a source wav file or something ?
 

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islander bahama 24
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Arrrrrgh. I am leaving in two days and all I got is black noise when I switch to HF Fax mode.
I went one mile offshore and got a signal clear enough I could hear distinctly the weather forecast on the Voice Broadcast from Point Reyes. The signal from the radio on the weFax channel sounded clear enough, specially when the tones were clear.
No luck in tweaking either the sound card or SeaTTY or JWX :(
Help Help Help

I know I dont have much info, but is there a way to tweak and debug the settings - like a source wav file or something ?
What frequency did you tune to exactly all the numbers please
 

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islander bahama 24
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I tuned exactly at 12786 SW USB. I think that s the only I could catch.
OK doesn't sound quite right to be pt rayes the frequency in the books is 12730.0
And the fax signal carrier is 12728.1 here's the whole list and must be on upper sideband Frequencies:

4346.0 kHz: Night (tune radio to 4344.1 kHz)
8682.5 kHz: 0000-2400 UTC (tune radio to 8680.6 kHz)
12730.0 kHz: 0000-2400 UTC (tune radio to 12728.1 kHz)
17151.2 kHz: 0000-2400 UTC (tune radio to 17149.3 kHz)
22527.0 kHz: Day (tune radio to 22525.1 kHz)
CARRIER FREQUENCY IS 1.9 kHz BELOW THE ASSIGNED FREQUENCY

Here's the list for Hawaii
KVM70, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Frequencies:

9982.5 kHz: 0533-1930 UTC
11090.0 kHz: 0000-2400 UTC
16135.0 kHz: 0000-2400 UTC
23331.5 kHz: 2350-0236 UTC
CARRIER FREQUENCY IS 1.9 kHz BELOW THE ASSIGNED FREQUENCY.
 
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