Well it seemed like a good idea to get an SSB instead of the dedicated Navtex displays that are on the market…there isn’t much price difference and with an SSB you can receive Weather fax, RTTY and Navtex transmissions anywhere in the world and all for free – no subscriptions required!
This is the SSB that I installed it is the NASA Target HF3M SSB with dedicated antenna and the audio PC cable to interface with the laptop’s soundcard.
This does cover the spectrum from 30Khz to 30Mhz – so you can listen to AM radio (yes, you would have to be a long way offshore to want to do that !) and also receive the teletext transmissions called RTTY, and also the free Weatherfax
I have found the whole process very fragile however – maybe I just need some more patience to wait for the timed broadcasts and then for the slow acoustic modem speed transmissions – remember 300bd modems?…well this is slowwww….
It is best to do this at anchor or in a marina, so that the signal has a reasonable chance of getting through in a stable fashion.
I keep a folder of frequencies and times of broadcasts handy so that you can set up at the appropriate moment instead of having the laptop on for hours on end. This may be an argument for having the fixed receivers from people like NASA instead of the SSB radio coupled to a a laptop….?