Tag Archives: Cocoa Modem

Frank’s maritime radio suggestions

In response to my previous post, The Best Shortwave Receiver for Your Boat or Yacht, Frank (VK3JFH/VP8DNM) writes:

“I have all three of the portables mentioned, the Sony SW7600GR, the Sangean 909X, and the Tecsun PL-660. The latter is currently my portable of choice. Having just read this post re radios afloat I took the time to suck down a fax from Charleville, Queensland.

(Click to enlarge)

Frank’s Tecsun PL-660 and Macbook Pro decoding a weather fax with Cocoa Modem 2.0 (Click to enlarge)

Results shown..

This was with the Tecsun 660 attached directly to a (near) horizontal longwire at my home QTH, inserted directly into a Macbook Pro running CocoaModem 2.0 via the headphone socket on the Tecsun.
I have had similar results with the Sony and the Sangean

To all intents the result is as good as with my other radios ( K5000 etc.).

(Click to enlarge)

Screenshot of the weather fax image (Click to enlarge)

However if I was starting from scratch afloat I would get an Icom IC-718. Only $689.95 from Universal Radio. You may choose to simply use it as a receiver or as a Ham TX/RX. However it can also be ‘opened up’ with a simple diode snip to transmit on all the marine bands. Not strictly legal [nor is the IC-718 designed for those bands] but there are a lot of ‘opened’ 718s out there and in an emergency you can transmit a mayday on anything…. even a couple of jam tins and string although you may need a fair old length of string….

If you wish to transmit on your IC-718 you will need a tuner. I have an LDG IT-100 on mine.

Hooking up a consumer receiver to a marine antenna….? Simply make up a pigtail with a 3.5mm jack at one end and a BNC or SO -259 at the other.

Non-marine radios afloat…. ? I had an IC-735 aboard from Cyprus (1992) until Patagonia (2007). Since 2007 I have had an IC-706Mk2G afloat…. no problem with either one.”

Many thanks for your input, Frank!

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