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Author Topic: Question about weather reports and email on HF bands and digital modes  (Read 1055 times)
KM6YCJ
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Posts: 1




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« on: February 26, 2019, 07:12:46 PM »


Hello,

 I am new to ham radio and I'm not sure what I need or what to ask.

 I am mainly interested in using ham radio to receive weather reports, and send and receive emails from remote locations in the USA West Coast. I cannot get NOAA 162.*** MHz weather channel reports when I am in the California mountains, so I am looking for an alternative source such as Weatherfax or emailed weather reports. I also would like to have email for emergancies. There are no 2m or 70cm repeaters where in the mountains, so I think I need a HF band (10m) radio for longer distance contacts.

 I wanted a Yaesu 857, but someone said the 857 is old technology and I should look at a radio that offers digital modes, so I have been looking at the Yaesu FT-891, Kenwood TS-480, and icom 7100. The problem is I do not know which digital mode I would need to send emails or get weatherfax reports on HF bands. There appears to be 3 types; DMR, Fusion, and D-star. I do not want to have to buy extra boxes and converters to link between the radio and computer/laptop. I think Winlink or something similar would work for me for emails.
 
 What digital mode and radio would be best for me for emails and Weatherfax reports; or something similar to Weatherfax (I do not need fancy graphics. Plain text weather reports is good enough)? I would be using this around Northern California, Nevada, and Southern Oregon, if the region matters.

I do not have extra money to try out different radios to see which would work for me, and I dont want something that will be obsolete in a few years.

Thank you.
KM6YCJ/AG

.

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G4LNA
Member

Posts: 249




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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 03:06:48 AM »

It sounds more like you need a Satphone rather than rely on amateur radio, which can be patchy at best with the present conditions, who knows, it might even save your life when you are out and about in the mountains. Not cheap, but what is the cost of a life?
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AA4PB
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Posts: 15067




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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 06:22:23 AM »

Look into WinLink. https://winlink.org/
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
N8YX
Member

Posts: 1397




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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 07:39:11 AM »

APRS, if you're at a decent enough height to get into a nearby digi.
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RENTON481
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Posts: 281




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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 02:48:41 AM »

I hope you're able to find a solution, but for the time being, wouldn't local AM and FM stations in the area have weather reports -- at least for things like snow, rain, wind, heat, etc.?
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KX4QP
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Posts: 404




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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 10:35:32 AM »

I get my basic forecast from my cell phone -- via home or other wifi, if available (independent of cell service in that case), or independent of wifi if I have cell data service.  If you have neither, you'd need to get your information on a wavelength that can get to you, so I'd start with finding what bands you can listen on, then look for digital networks available on those bands, before committing to a particular radio.
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K4VBX
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2019, 07:44:18 PM »

I can't answer all your questions, but receiving Weatherfax is fairly straightforward with the right equipment or software. I run Cocoamodem on my mac. It has a HF-Fax mode (receive only). The interface is a simple audio output from the receiver to line in to the computer. You can also use the built-in mic in a pinch, but any ambient noise reduces resolution and clarity. Look up the weather fax frequency and schedule in your neck of the woods from the NWS website here https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.htm and it includes a list of other programs for various operating systems.
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