The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Tips For Receiving Weather Fax

Starting with this chapter I’m going to focus on weather reception tools that work when we are offshore or in remote places where the internet is not available. Let’s start with weatherfax and why it’s still important.

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When off soundings, I convert weather faxes to charts in our chart plotting software (this also takes care of skew). This allows for instant geo-referencing and facilitates planning.

Jim Patek (S/V Let's Go!)

Can you recommend a “hardware” demodulator and does this allow the signal to come through without blasting over the SSB speaker?

I have been using ‘s small TIF weather charts accessed via the sat phone. The size of the small TIF is nominally around 17 kb so to do what you do, i.s. slideshowing a series, might be a bit expensive at $1.75 or so a chart. But, when the WF is giving a poor or non-existent report, it’s a very good way to go and 100% reliable.

Richard Hudson

Are the UK weather faxes receivable from western Greenland? I was there last summer and, not realizing UK weather faxes covered areas farther north than Boston ones and assuming transmissions from UK would not make it over the mountains, never tried.

I found the Arctic Surface Analysis broadcast from Iqaluit to be quite useful, since it was the only weatherfax I knew of then that covered areas farther north than the ones from Boston. Not an easy fax to read (much data, all fine lines), but it does show all the weather systems in the Arctic.

Larry Robbins

Receiving faxes at sea over SSB using either a soundcard or hardware demodulator delivers noise in the audio signal received as noise in the fax image. This can make reading the fax quite challenging. The Ham radio version of sailmail (airmail) has a huge selection of weather charts and forecasts available on request meaning that they can be acquired when propagation is good and/or when planning is at hand. These require a ham license, a HF SSB that transmits on ham bands, and a pactor modem. Gribs are also available by subscription – that is – regularly updated for an area specified in the subscription request. Ham bands are great for social networking and emergency communication. Licenses in US do not require morse code these days.

Larry Robbins

(no editing function) The pactor modem faxes are noise free. Airmail Ham service is also free and includes email. Larry

Philippe Sandelé

I realize I am linking in to an older post, so I hope this will get read.
I would like some assistance on how to best link a world receiver to an HF Weather Fax app on a tablet. In my case it is a Sangean ATS909 receiver, which I would like to connect to my iPad. There is a nice HF fax app by Black Cat Systems. However I am still struggling with the connection between both apparatus. On their site Black Cat systems mention the following: “with the Camera Connection Kit, you can plug a USB sound input device into the iPad, and use a patch cable between it and the radio’s audio output. This is by far the best solution”. I have been searching the internet for this but I am getting lost in all the available information. An answer from BCS is also not forthcoming.
Any suggestions? Thank you.



Considering to purchase this product:

It seems to bundle all I need:
“The NAV-FAX 200 includes a data interface port, cable and software for viewing and printing weather fax images and data.”

I would like to be able to receive Navtex along the European coast, something I know Winradio does. However Winradio is prohibitely expensive.

I don’t want a SSB transceiver, please.

Will the SI-TEX NAVFAX 200 do, please?



Larry Caillouet

Weather fax 2000 looks like a simple, useful, and relatively inexpensive weather tool in terms of boat bucks, but like Iridium sat phones it is stuck in the past by requiring Windows 7 or even older versions. Does anyone know if it will work with Windows 10?

Larry Caillouet

Thanks, John. I’ve read your chapters on Iridium and downloading weather info with great interest. On your advice I bought an Iridium 9575 Extreme sat phone instead of jumping on the Iridium GO! bandwagon, but it is still unclear to me how to optimize the hardware, software, and subscriptions. Where does Xgate fit into the sat phone-to-laptop transmission of weather data and emails? I know it is a 4 to 1 compression system. Does it duplicate anything that UUplus or Sailmail does? And does WeatherFax 2000 add benefits beyond what can be retrieved from SailDocs? I don’t want to subscribe to multiple services that overlap. Cruising is expensive enough without that!

Richard Koller

My SSB radio has a lot of interference most likely due to the electronics in the pilot house. Will this prevent weatherfax 2000 from receiving the downloads?
Any suggestions?