Now and again you see a really good bit of programming.
Check out DroidNavtex.
This brilliant little app can decode NAVTEX messages from any SSB, amateur radio, or shortwave receiver.
So you need two things – an Android smartphone and an SSB receiver.
Smartphone – At the moment there is only an Android version of the app so good news if you have an Android smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy SII, or an Android tablet like the Asus Transformer TF101…
NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships. It was developed to provide a low-cost, simple, and automated means of receiving this information aboard ships at sea within approximately 370 km (200 nautical miles) off shore.
NAVTEX broadcasts are primarily made on the Medium frequencies of 518 kHz and 490 kHz. The international NAVTEX frequency is 518 kHz, and these broadcasts should always be in English. Regional transmission of NAVTEX uses 490 kHz specifically for broadcasts in local languages. In the USA NAVTEX is broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard District Broadcast Notices to Mariners affecting ships outside the line of demarcation, and inside the line of demarcation in areas where deep draft vessels operate.
DroidNavtex is able to decode NAVTEX messages from your receiver through the phones/tablets microphone or through a connected interface. Special audio filters even decode very weak signals through the microphone and make DroidNavtex a very affordable alternative to high priced decoders.
Even if you already have a dedicated Navtex receiver on board, you can use this app with your smartphone or tablet while in the marina cafe, or at home when you are planning – brilliant.
- An “Auto mode” finds the frequency and the sideband of the Navtex signal automatically. With “Auto mode” turned off the frequency and sideband can be adjusted manually
- Special audio filters decode very weak signals
- A built-in database stores the received messages which can then be filtered, sorted and shared. Messages can be deleted individually, in groups or by age
- To save battery power 7 timers can be set to start DroidNavtex at a given time to decode messages. All timers can be set in local time or UTC
I hope they bring out an Apple OS version they really deserve to sell a million!