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» Online Classroom   » Marine Weather   » Public Discussion of Marine Weather   » Shortwave radio

Author Topic: Shortwave radio

 - posted December 04, 2018 07:21 AM      Profile for zacman           Edit/Delete Post 
I have been looking to incorporate a shortwave radio for receiving weather fax charts (and maybe NOAA APT satellite images). Previously I had an HF radio onboard and was able to use the computer to listen to the broadcast for the whole voyage and download the charts, this current boat doesn't have HF.

I notice your book suggests a sangean or another brand of radio. Does anyone have any further advice as to the model of radio that they like and works well?

As for the APT signals I know I need a quadrifilar (circularly polarized signal) antenna like this one https://www.antennas.us/store/p/404-UC-1374-531-4-dBic-VHF-APT-Weather-Satellite-Antenna-WXSAT.html and likely http://www.wesacom.de/e_apt06.htm this receiver.

I think being able to receive these images via radio would save a lot of money on the satellite connection.

From: San Diego, CA
David Burch

 - posted December 04, 2018 08:06 AM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
I had used a SW receiver years ago at sea before satcom. I think mine was a grundig yachtboy,... but that model is long been replaced. The one i recommend in the book is there because the fellow who wrote the translation software recommended it and has an article about it. His link is in the book. he has fax and navtex software.

NWS and NIST have discontinued the time broadcasts as of jan next year, so no storm warnings or time tics going forward. There is still the voice broadcasts, but they are at 3 kW whereas the storm warnings were 10 kW.

I just ran across this site the other day but have not looked into it. seems they discuss the SW radios a lot. for the rfax you need very stable signlals, which is i think the main virtue of the sangean recommended.


PS. these SW radios start out at under $50, but i think you are closer to $300 before it will be dependable for what you want. There are also two modifications to the sangean to be made... or paid to be made that improve its functionality. Google search on the topic will find them.

Even the best SW portable, however, will not be near as good as a proper SSB HF radio. I recall in the past using the insulated backstay from the the SSB to connect the yachtboy when we were low on power.

PS. you can also get the sat images by email request to saildocs using your HF radio. the files are about 250kB. we will have an article on these shortly. working on it now.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

 - posted December 05, 2018 12:22 PM      Profile for zacman           Edit/Delete Post 

Thanks for the reply. I will look into that link.

Agree not something very easy to just implement and get good signal.

Easier with satcomm, I just always worry about satcomm issue (which only occurs with carbon main blocking inmarsat).


From: San Diego, CA
David Burch

 - posted December 05, 2018 12:30 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
That is an interesting note about the carbon fibre main blocking the radio transmission. I had not heard of that before. I would think that there were often enough satellites in the sky to overcome that.

If this is a frequent issue, then you might consider a wireless receiver such as the Iridium Go, which you could move around on the boat for best reception.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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