Nov 20 2010

Software Aboard a Sailboat

In gathering what is needed for extended journeys, I knew that I would have to have some way if obtaining weather reports while many miles off-shore where there is no Internet access.  The only obvious, and reasonable, choice is to receive weather faxes through a shortwave radio.  It is as reliable as you can get considering the drawbacks of communications anomalies related to the atmosphere.

The program that I settled on and have tested is SeaTTY.  It was as easy to set up as installing the software, plugging a cable between the radio’s headset output and the microphone input to my laptop, and downloading a listing of frequencies that weather faxes are transmitted on.  The only other considerations as that you have to set the input level for your microphone to a low enough level so that you don’t overload the input.  That will cause distortion and ultimately noise on the fax.  You also have to have a receiver that is able to receive SSB (Single Sideband) transmissions.  They are readily available on the Net and Ebay.

Google SeaTTY and check it out if you have a need.  It is shareware and they give you 30 days to evaluate.  It costs somewhere about $35 and is well-worth the cost.