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Old 01-15-2022, 09:56 AM   #1
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Weather - SiriusXM marine for the PacNW

Considering SiriusXM for coastal (no cell) applications for the Northwest.

Looking for weather reports, ISObars, radar, waves.. with a new Garmin based system.

I'm having a hard time finding screen shots or videos on what gets displays and overlayed.

Does anyone have any Sirius XM subscriptions marine weather - given I wont have cell service in most locations in the PNW inside passages?

Thanks, Tom
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:34 AM   #2
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Here's what service and products are offered:


https://www.siriusxm.com/marine/packages


I had it for a Loop trip once, but my receiver didn't give me all the products and found it wasn't needed much, so I dropped it. It did have some value, however.



I've used it extensively in aviation since it came out and find it quite valuable. It's also a lot better quality and timely that one can get on any cell phone service.
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Old 01-15-2022, 03:43 PM   #3
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Hi Seevee,

Per many recent posts regarding weather services in the PNW, the overall consensus (and my personal opinion as well) was that SiriusXM weather is useless in this region. Their satellite coverage is nil north of approximately the north tip of Vancouver Island.

Most (at least, those without significant other satellite services) rely on VHF weather, and, should there be sufficient cellular coverage, applications such as Windy or Predict Wind.

And....cellular coverage from the north end of Vancouver Island in BC remains spotty, unless you're close to settlements.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:10 PM   #4
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On the other thread there was some personal experience relayed on the Garmin and Lowrance implementation. I'd like to hear from someone who has used Raymarine north of Cape Scott.

I've used it up to Cape Scott and it worked as well as it worked anywhere on the continent. The coverage map shows Juneau as the edge of coverage. I've been at the other edge of coverage (Exumas) and was receiving fine. I would not expect good reception in some of the channels (especially east-west) since the satellite will be pretty low in the sky.
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:59 PM   #5
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Here's the coverage map:


https://www.siriusxm.com/marine/coverage-map


One may have to get a Canadian subscription, depending on the coverage they want.
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Old 01-15-2022, 07:12 PM   #6
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We have used SiriusXM all over SE Alaska with very few terrain masking problems. There are two places where we always run into problems, about 1/4 mile of the entrance to Thorne Bay and in Appleton Cove. Where ever the audio works weather should work.

Tom
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tpbrady View Post
We have used SiriusXM all over SE Alaska with very few terrain masking problems. There are two places where we always run into problems, about 1/4 mile of the entrance to Thorne Bay and in Appleton Cove. Where ever the audio works weather should work.

Tom
Hi Tom and everyone, thanks for chiming in, my time is limited to get the electronics figured out as we order a new Helmsman 38E being delivered in May.

We will be cruising most of our time from Seattle to Glacier bay and back through the inside passage. We did this a few years back in our 27' Seasport and got into some situations where we had no communications for days in channels and inlets (no VHF or other signals) and got into some weather changing issues which was a bit concerning at times.

Pete - While I hear you, the Garmin map is much further north. Someone isnt accurate. Maybe Garmin added satellite coverage since then or over advertising. as for "Most (at least, those without significant other satellite services) rely on VHF weather, and, should there be sufficient cellular coverage, applications such as Windy or Predict Wind." ...

I would love get windy or other aps. The times we had issues; was the times we had no cell coverage, No VHF. Think of it being delayed for 1-2 days in a area of neither coverage and then we need to head out of isolated areas asking why there are 3-4 foot waves winds from opposite direction when the forecast was supposed to be flat (2 day old forecast). First mate wasnt happy.

Assuming the map is accurate, then Tom can you tell me if you used SiruisXM for weather or just music.

If this weather works, the only thing I'm chasing is what value is the information. I'll need marine weather (in general), ISO bars (so I can see what is going on), any kind of radar-type overlay on MFD. Accuracy and value.

I cant find anything on Garmin, Sirius other than a bunch of marketing words say you get some of these things plus lightning and water temps which I dont need.

Camping in the backcountry of Baja with limited net. Hoping to make a decision soon.

I appreciate the feedback. Tom
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:09 AM   #8
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Tom,

I used both weather and music for a year and then cancelled the weather. Garmin had stopped updating software on my 4212 and the XM module I had was also obsolete even though less than 18 months old. At this point I would not buy in to any XM weather unless I had the opportunity to test it for at least a week and determine if the manufacturer’s implementation presented all the current data in the area where I was cruising. The most important data is the current 12 hour forecast and current observations. I could not reliably get the current forecast and the observations were limited to buoys only, not observations from sites on islands or rocks. After drilling down through bureaucratic layers at Garmin, XM, and WSI, I learned the data was being sent by XM just not being displayed by Garmin.

I learned from a pilot friend of mine that Garmin’s aviation implementation of XM weather worked over a lot of Alaska south of Fairbanks and was very good. As far as marine is concerned someone would have to show me that Raymarine, Garmin, or Lowrance have done a thorough job in displaying all the data being sent and keeping it current.

For now I depend on cellular data and NOAA weather radio, and complain when NOAA doesn’t fix sites that have off the air for extended periods. Canadian VHF weather is pretty good in my travels through Canada 3 times, but didn’t venture off the beaten path.

Tom
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:23 AM   #9
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We had SiriusXM as far south as Panama. We were introduced by another cruiser to a 12dBi Pixel Pro-500 antenna. I mounted it on a piece of 12 square plywood and used some lead weights to hold on the foredeck. It was portable since you had to adjust the elevation and azimuth. It didnt work underway but at anchor, unless we were really sailing around, it was fantastic. In marinas, buildings were the only issue. We had friends who tried the Pro-600 but it didnt work as well.

https://pixelsatradio.com/collection...lified-antenna
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpbrady View Post

I used both weather and music for a year and then cancelled the weather. Garmin had stopped updating software on my 4212 and the XM module I had was also obsolete even though less than 18 months old.
This is my main complaint about anything Garmin. They do not support their products post sale.

Using the Raymarine version, I got current weather predictions but only from NOAA, not Environment Canada. I got current conditions on buoys that were actually reporting - the maintenance of these is often lacking by the CG. I got doppler radar and GFS grib wind & pressure predictions. Now SiriusXM is offering marine weather to Canadian customers, so perhaps now it includes the Environment Canada predictions. I've just made an enquiry about that.

You have to buy the more expensive Coastal or Offshore packages to get the buoy observations, and the Offshore package to get the longer range wind predictions. Curiously, these are less expensive for Canadians than US.

I'm glad to hear that reception continues to work up into SE Alaska. That was my only reservation in installing the Raymarine equipment on the trawler.
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:25 PM   #11
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Id be interested in installing their antenna if I could get decent podcasts from XM, and maybe then the weather as an add on

Does anyone find their music quality good?

But I really want quality selection of podcasts.
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Old 01-16-2022, 03:45 PM   #12
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Hi Pete and others,
I'm sold on what they offer, if anyone is interested in weather, I finally found a few youtubes including details from Sirius website with videos.

The reservation I have on this is showing all the vids on the east coast, I can only assume it works where they advertise it works in full coverage in the PNW. I may call them tomorrow.

This will give me weather overlay for:
Real time and forecasting
Wind direction and speed
Waves height - feet
Wave intervals - seconds
Iso bars
Clouds worthless
Sea temps worthless, unless Im chartering to go Tina fishing.
Eco tops not sure of its value
Populated forecasts would be good to see
Lighting not an issue in PNW
Precipitation radar
Buoy actual data good to get
Storm tracking with smaller cells within storms May not apply in PNW
Watch box Weather warnings..
Local weather, click on your screen, gives you the forecast at nearest data location
Marine zones forecast this would be awesome if it works in PNW actually even if I had VHF working I dont have to super focus on some crappy 8-track recording. I dont have the attention span to figure out the area names and which one is mine.
If you want more information, you can get screen shots from the videos and use of the data here (you can click on garmin, simrad.. or whatever system):

https://siriusxmcommunications.com/m...aspx?id=Garmin
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:18 PM   #13
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You should search more on the forums for Alaska and XM. There were a number of posts by people who said it didn’t work out and they cancelled. Enough so that I decided not to get it, even though I intended to. However, if it helps at all, why not except the pricing.

Part of the reason for not needing it is you can download by wifi at select locations before the few crossings you need the info and the 3 day forecast is really good on those services.

Others complained about poor or not updated data, and satellite availability the further north you go.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:16 PM   #14
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A bit more information:

A received a reply from SiriusXM, stating that the Environment Canada forecasts are in the feed, but "MFD's must have current software to display them". I've asked for clarification, since the link they sent me to does not confirm this. Environment Canada has marine zone forecasts just like NOAA, and it would be useful to get them when out of WiFi range. Much of the same info is broadcast on VHF when you can get VHF reception, but often you have to wait for an entire recording cycle (twice, since it is French every other time) so it requires patience and robust reception. In my experience these can change very significantly in a 24 hour period so a 3 day old forecast that you got on WiFi could be invalid.

I've also enquired of Raymarine if their current products and software will display these forecasts. In 2018 the older products I had did not. I got them for NOAA but that ends just across the borders.

Of the laundry list in the above post, the things I consider valuable are:

RT buoy reports with wind and wave conditions.
Marine Zone forecasts
Doppler radar and storm tracking

The doppler radar not that useful for navigation but does let you know if this rain lull will last 10 minutes or two hours, big help for near term planning.

Marine zone forecasts are never fully accurate, and Environment Canada is extremely conservative with them, but it is sometimes all you have.

RT buoy reports are very valuable for deciding any open water crossings.

SiriusXm music is pretty useless for me, but they do carry almost every professional sport broadcast including the home team call. If you are a sports fan that can be good.

That coast is sheltered for the most part and you can usually duck in somewhere, but knowing what wind velocity is forecast helps you to decide where and when to duck, and which side of the anchorage to chose.

Given the choice I'd take PredictWind, but the satellite version appears to be several times the cost both going in and monthly.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:00 PM   #15
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Id be interested in installing their antenna if I could get decent podcasts from XM, and maybe then the weather as an add on

Does anyone find their music quality good?

But I really want quality selection of podcasts.
I have it in my car. Because every 4-6 weeks I make a round trip of 6 hours each way. Its all a matter of taste of course. I have yet to find a station on there I can say I like. They stream the audio part of the major cable news stations and I tune into those for maybe 20 min each before I get too disgusted and revert to silence again. Then an hour later begin a music hunt again, then news. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:50 PM   #16
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Hi everyone, Im the one who started the ask on SirusXM weather for the PNW and concluded I am going to pass on that solution. I will review IridiumGo and PredictWind as that appears to be favorable but slow. It's the choice by most coastal and offshore sailors and cruisers. Maybe in the meantime Musk might solve it someday. Thanks everyone and thanks to bowball for making me think of doing more research on this site.

PS I called sirusXM and asked escalated to get the scope on coverage. Getting a 2nd level supervisor, I got the same pitch word for word from the marketing website with no real conversation about performance..
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:56 PM   #17
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It works quite well on furunos navnet. Every thing you ask for is there. Im in Florida but I just pulled up the are you are trying to get info for. Here are some screenshots.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:42 PM   #18
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Cafesport,

If you get a chance see if you can find the observation for Lincoln Is (LCNA2). It is in Clarence St about 60 miles north of Ketchikan.

Tom
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Old 01-18-2022, 02:21 PM   #19
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Hi everyone, Im the one who started the ask on SirusXM weather for the PNW and concluded I am going to pass on that solution. I will review IridiumGo and PredictWind as that appears to be favorable but slow. It's the choice by most coastal and offshore sailors and cruisers. Maybe in the meantime Musk might solve it someday. Thanks everyone and thanks to bowball for making me think of doing more research on this site.

PS I called sirusXM and asked escalated to get the scope on coverage. Getting a 2nd level supervisor, I got the same pitch word for word from the marketing website with no real conversation about performance..
A few months ago I asked about it too as I wanted it for the same use case as you and also concluded that it had too many shortcomings to buy. Im looking now at iridiumGo as you are. Its too bad as xm weather if it had the coverage and was as good would be perfect as its already incorporated in my Furuno.
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:07 AM   #20
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Tom, that station is probably one of the local stations which are monitored and aggregated into the Sirius metar data and broadcast via satellite. Its data also is collected by the furuno nav center server in case you dont have the Sirius weather module.

Both can be displayed on the navnet but they are different. The nav center data requires you to first select an area and then choose the parameters to download. You can only display four parameters of the selected weather values via overlay at one time. The other eleven can be viewed in a pop up box at the point of touch if they were downloaded.

Where Sirius shines in its ability to broadcast instant data and alerts. In my region lightning strikes, fast moving line squalls, and hurricane data in real time are most helpful.

Iridium and an app like a grib viewer are too slow to be of much use unless you are traveling on a multi day trip say across an ocean. With the furuno nav net you can choose to display the Sirius weather data or the typical internet data. As of yet there is no one perfect solution but for 2 bucks a day including all the news music sports and comedy, Im a pretty satisfied customer.
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