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 Post subject: Sangean ATS-803A World Band Receiver

Joined: 17 Jul 2014, 12:40
Posts: 4
Hi I am new to the forum and to the sailing community. i am hoping to use a SSB (Sangean ATS-803A World Band Receiver) reciever to pick up weather info while sailing in the Caribbean. Does anyone have any knowledge on SSB reciever radios for weather info while cruising and can you connect the radio to Naviogatrix/open cpn to collect weather files? Many thanks for your thoughts. :)

 Post subject: Re: Sangean ATS-803A World Band Receiver

Joined: 29 Apr 2013, 06:05
Posts: 36
Hi Simunye,
welcome to the forum. Before we had a Pactor modem we downloaded a lot of weather faxes. In the carribean we found the ones from NOAA very useful. The interpretation was very simple because NOAA includes wind arrows in the faxes. In the end it was just like interpreting a grib file then. Back in the days we used Fldigi as a weatherfax decoding program, but it took some time to get used to. Navigatrix includes also JWX and hamfax- two programs that only do Fax reception and for that are probably a bit easier to use, but personally I never used either of those. With your receiver, you also could listen to Navtex frequencies. The low tech solution would be to just tune into the various radio nets, most of them provide a good weather report.

The SSB receiver is connected to the computer via the headphone jack of the radio to the microphone jack of the computer. The easiest way to do it would be simple cable with the apropriate piugs on each side. Please note that the microphone jack probaly expects a much voltage than the headphone jack is delivering, so turn the volume on the radio way (!!!!) down. Probably start at zero and go up from there very slowly until you got a good signal on the computer. If you don't get a good signal or you have a problems with ground loop effects (a low humming in the audio), then you probably want to include a small "transformer" in your cable, to separate the computer and the radio galvanically. But go with a simple cable first- it is probably all you need.

Mind you, the most important thing for getting good quality pictures is a good antenna and a good ground/earth connection. On a metal boat the later is not a big problem, the antenna could be a whip antenna, isolated backstay, or the budget solutions: use the lifeline (if it is isolated from the ground- this could be used for reception only) or hoist a cable into the mast (ok for transmitting as well). Rule of thumb is, make the antenna as long as posslble.


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