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Old 02-26-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
City: Athens Georgia
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Satellite Weather

We are hoping to go to the Bahamas for a couple of months and want to stay updated on the weather. Our Nobeltec nav system has great weather info but it is internet based. I think we need a satellite system but don't know anything about them. I looked at Wx Worx but I'm sure there are others. Also, I know we will need additional satellite receiver to get the data.

Does anyone have suggestions on what we need?

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Old 02-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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Check out Sirius (like the sat radio) can be displayed on some chartplotters.

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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A simple program for you computer and a quality all band radio (must be frequency stable) will allow you to download all the weather in the world for free.

The amount of free info is staggering , its the same raw data the weatherguessers use to make their forecasts.

In the "old days" many folks were forced to buy a ham set to obtain the required frequency stability , and a 12V fax printer to view the data.

Today its EZ as pie! And almost free !
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
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I've got the Sat weather box on my current boat tied into the Furuno chart plotter. It's nice to get wind and wave forecasts overlaid on the chart, and there is a way to "dial ahead" to see the forecast, but it's very obscure how to do it. I used the system for two years and could never figure it out and finally contacted Furuno. It's in there. Note that there are different subscription levels, and one of the differences is how far ahead the forecast goes. I think it's 36 and 72 hrs if memory serves me.

BUT, carefully check the coverage maps. It's a US/North America service so check where it cuts off as you head south. If you think you will be close to the edge, you might want to see if there are users in that area to confirm it works OK there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
...carefully check the coverage maps. It's a US/North America service so check where it cuts off as you head south. If you think you will be close to the edge, you might want to see if there are users in that area to confirm it works OK there.
Here's our experiance with Siriuis radio reception. We do not have the weather subscription. We lost total coverage on the West Coast in Costa Rica with an external marine Siriuis antenna and had intermittent from the southern MX border.

In Panama we picked up the Pixel Technologies Pro-500, 12 dBi antenna. We had music and news again. The only time we had issues was occasionally around sun set do to propagation and when we were in Cartagena where we had no coverage. In Trinidad good coverage with the exception of 1-2 hours around sun set. As we are heading north, the signal strength gets better and better.

It is not a omni directional antenna so you have to aim it. We went on line found the Siriuis satellites. We then determined the angle and azimuth. Right now were at anchor with 15-20 knots and are able to hold the signal. We have been told that once we get to St Martainn's we should be able to use the Siriuis omni directional marine antenna again. We'll see.

Pixel also makes a model Pro-600. Don't spend your money. The reception is not as good.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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I think the OP plans on going to the Bahamas rather than Central America. The Siruis weather info works fine if your electronics are capable of receiving it. But in our experience, the information from the NWS, especially covering the Bahamas should be used with a great deal of skepticism. We find they are more often wrong than right and you might add about 5 knots to any wind forecasts, including current conditions and at least 1 foot to any wave predictions, and maybe more. We do use their forecasts to track trends more so than the actual forecast and list several sources here, The Trawler Beach House: Blackwater Sound To Key Biscayne. We do use a variety of sources, none will work with your plotter. For weather info in the Bahamas you will need an internet connection when you are near a BTC tower. See our post here on how to do that, The Trawler Beach House: What Cruisers Want To Know About The Bahamas . A SSB will be your friend for gathering weather in the Bahamas. There are many nets that will provide you with a wealth of information. Save your money from the sirius weather subscriptions and sign up with Chris Parker of Caribbean Weather Net. Your gonna need an SSB for this or access to email. With the right equipment you can get email over the SSB which Chris sends out daily. There will be VHF nets in Georgetown and Marsh Harbor that will also provide weather but you must be in VHF range. I hope this helps. Chuck

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