On saturday I did a few first steps in short wave technology. One of the basics is to be able to receive a wather fax. This is hardly anything new. People have been doing that since the eighties. The thing is: I don’t have a shortware tranceiver and I don’t have a Windows(TM) PC.
So I coupled my trusty handheld SW radio with my MacBook using a 3.5mm ‘headphone’ cable. The software I was using/testing was: CocoaModem 2.0, Fldigi 3.2 and MultiMode Cocoa. After fiddling around with the receiver (using mode: USB) I finally received a faint signal. But that was enough to pull that first weather fax from Northwood, UK !
It’s actually quite amazing that one can receive quite precious data using only standard components and free software – without internet, telephone, WiFi… Well. It was only a test for getting used with the software. The final setup will hopefully consist of a proper tranceiver and a dedicated small Netbook or Laptop with all software installed and configured. Unfortunately the ONLY piece of software that doesn’t exist on Linux or Mac is the SailMail program for sending/receiving emails via SSB. But maybe I can find a solution for that, too.