TECHNIQUE So you download SSB weather with a little radio and an offline app!

THE PERFECT GIFT!

Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

ssb
After the first installment on how to cheaply defeat humidity on board, the second on the dangers of do-it-yourself stoves, the third on the fears of the inexperienced crew, our column continues, dedicated to you who, like me, have always had the dream of living on board. In addition to the many tips and seafaring culture found in the literature (even the Journal of Sailing has made its contribution with the manual Living on Board), we want to cover an extremely useful topic today: Receive marine weather reports in text format with only a small radio and a smartphone (no Internet!).

Shortwave radio, queen of maritime links

Unlike VHF, shortwave radio, or HF-SSB (High Frequency, Single Side Band) is the queen of maritime links, the favorite of the shipboard mariner. The shortwave range, up to 30MHz, can be hundreds of miles. SSB shortwave radio is almost always installed on board by ocean navigators.

What you need: Radio with SSB button and DroidRTTY

You need a portable shortwave radio that has an SSB button. Four models are on the market today, the Tecsun PL660, used for this article, Tecsun PL880, the Sangean AT-909X, and the Sony ICF-SW7600GR. Prices range from about 150 to 250 euros. No licensing required; these are receive-only devices. Costs are minimal compared to dedicated equipment.

The app to install on your Android smartphone is DroidRTTY, (about 5 euros), you can find it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wolphi.droidrtty

Marine weather reports in RTTY text.

Transmitted with the very old (circa 1850) teletype technology, RTTY (Radio-TeleTYpe). For European seafarers, the broadcaster of choice is DWD (Deutscher WetterDienst), which broadcasts forecasts from Pinneberg, near Hamburg, for the Mediterranean, Atlantic coast, seas in the north, Baltic and Black, and tide buoy readings.

The detailed schedule with times in UTC, can be downloaded as a pdf here: https://www.dwd.de/EN/specialusers/shipping/broadcast_en/_node.html

How it works: No wires, a chirp and the bulletin text appears!

Just tune the radio to a frequency of DWD: (4583kHz, 7646kHz, 10100.8kHz) and press the SSB-USB (upper side band) button. You will hear the ‘unmistakable chirping of the teletypewriter. Without connecting cables, you bring the smartphone closer to the radio. Through the phone’s microphone, the DroidRTTY application decodes the signal. The text of the bulletin appears character by character.

WeatherFax and NavText

2 other similar apps, DroidNavTex and HF-Weather decode NavTex bulletins as well as WeatherFAX with weather maps….and maps with ice thickness in the Baltic Sea! Navtex works in medium waves, worldwide always on 490kHz and 518kHz. In the image below, example of Frontal Analysis transmitted for mariners on shortwave with fax radio technology on 8040kHz from the Fleet Weather and Oceanographic center in NorthWood, England.

http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/tempusfugit/marine/fwoc.htm

Meteomar receivable at great distances

Voice weather bulletins and notices to mariners are also transmitted on shortwave, preceded by call on international distress frequency 2182kHz. The frequencies of major Italian coastal radio stations are in kHz, Genoa 2642, Rome 1888, Cagliari 2680, Naples 2632, Palermo 1852, Trieste 2624, Ancona 2656, Augusta 2628, Lampedusa 1876. The complete list of “Radio Services for Navigation” can be found in the Navy Hydrographic Institute’s official publication of the same name: http://iim.shopfactory.com/contents/it/d65.html

Voices and sounds on board from around the world in an app

Finally, the shortwave radio will navigate you through a sea of sounds and voices from around the world. A complete catalog of all world frequencies is downloaded with the free Skywave Schedule app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=swbcdx.cap.shortwavelist

Luigi Gallerani

P.S.: Don’t feel like reading? Don’t panic! In this video I explain everything in detail:


HELP US KEEP YOU UP TO DATE

The journalists of the Sailing Newspaper, strive every day to ensure quality, up-to-date and correct information about the boating world free of charge through their websites. If you appreciate our work, support us by subscribing to the magazine. The annual subscription costs only 49 euros and we also give you two gifts!

DISCOVER THE SAILING NEWSPAPER YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Daily interviews, boat trials, webinars. The whole sail, minute by minute. But on video! CLICK HERE To sign up, it’s free!

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

To stay up-to-date on all the news from the world of sailing, selected by our editorial staff, sign up for the Sailing Newspaper newsletter! It’s super easy, just enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “Sign Me Up” button. You will then receive on your email, twice a week, the best sailing news! It’s a free service and you can unsubscribe at any time, with no obligation!


Once you click on the button below check your mailbox

Privacy*

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox

Privacy*


Highlights

You may also be interested in.

Guida al rollafiocco - SVB Marine

What you need to know about your roller furler

The jib reel, also known as a furler, is among the indispensable equipment for sailboats. In the shop of SVB Marine you can find new ones to buy, but also replacement parts to refurbish the furling reel you already have

Register



Sign in