Dec 2, 2001 1:55 pm

I've received three recommendations for SSB Transceivers. Kenwood TS-440, Yaesu FT-840 and SGC. The one question I failed to ask was about receiving weatherfaxes. Are these capable of doing so? Are there other radios better suited for this? What other equipment is needed?


Dec 2, 2001 10:26 pm

I have the Coretex weatherfax thing. It needs nothing more than an audio output. That might be available from a headphone jack or an AF output connector on the radio's rear panel (as on my Yaesu FT-840). I had to buy an adapter jack from Radio Shack to convert the RCA phono plug to the Coretex's 1/8" phone plug. The advantage of using the AF output is that the volume control does not change the amplitude (i.e., volume) of the signal at that jack, so the fax works the same no matter how you've set the volume. The connectors need an occasional sprits with Wd-40 if you're at sea, since everything, including your underwear, will corrode a little.

Some fax programs do not use a "demodulator", and connect the radio directly to the computer's mike input. I have no experience with using these.

Some of the fancier radios can be tuned remotely by the computer. That is no benefit for faxes, but if you ever get the Sailmail email setup is handy. The FT-840 cannot be remotely tuned this way.

The lady I pursued to Rhode Island (via car as the engine gave me trouble at the Delaware Bay entrance) and I anchored Voyager in Baltimore's inner harbor for the Parade of Lights this weekend. Awesome! And, we were alone there, despite the warm temps and clear skies. As is often the case, someone from a passing boat, in this case a powerboat, yelled across asking if she was a Seawind. Though there aren't many of us, the boat sure is well known.

Dec 3, 2001 4:29 pm

Have been receiving weather faxes on our SGC for over 10 years now and found excellent.

One thing to be aware of is interference that can be caused by Adler-Barber refrigeration units. Many cruisers have been complaining about the new units which have something in them that is picked up by SSB radios that creates a terrible noise. They have to shut off the Adler-Barber refrigeration units to use their SSB radios. As we have Grunert Refrigeration we don't have the problem.