The Art of Dredging

Dredging and shipping

Meteo info onbaord part II: Weatherfax

Most dredgers have a full GMDSS-installation, including a HF-SSB receiver.

This radio-receiver can be tuned to frequencies in the HF-marine band so as to receive weather-faxes, send by certain coastal stations, listed in the frequency-list herewith, or in Admiralty List of radio Signals.

 

This technology is already 40 years old, but the results are still very handy during a seapassage, and work in remote area’s, typhoon tracking, etc…

 

A two-core cable is connected to the loudspeaker of the SSB-receiver, and plugged into the soundcard of a PC. Install dedicated software (like JVComm3) on the PC, and you have an online, weatherfax-receiver. The software detects the start of a transmission, saves the image (a weatherchart), and can print it out automatically. The software contains a good help-file that explains all.

 

JVComm3 sofware recieving a forecast through a SSB-receiver. 

 

Some stations broadcast all day, with an average of 40 weathercharts a day, including satellite images, typhoon forecasts, wave height charts, etc, etc …

The whole system can be online 24/24 and need no attention at all, except for reading and interpreting the weathercharts.

On GM, we connected  a stand-alone PC and printer to the HF-SSB-receiver, and had good reception of weatherdata at distances up to 5000 miles from the station, with signal quality depending on weather conditions.

 

 

 

 

Sample infrared satellite view, as received with a "software" weatherfax. 

JVComm3 is a fully functional program that can be downloaded from internet, though other software exists.

 

You need the GMDSS HF-SSB-receiver and any scrap PC or laptop with a soundcard.

Piece of cake.

 

  

Marc Van de Velde

 

Links:

       http://www.hffax.de/

      http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.htm

      http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/multimode/fax.html

      http://www.jvcomm.de/

 

Marc Van de Velde



 

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