Valentia to Netherlands Coastguard
NAVTEX on the Go
Out and About with the Mörer ‘Weather Infobox’ WIB2D
I have mentioned this astonishing little radio here before. The Mörer ‘Weather Infobox’ WIB2D is a NAVTEX device with a difference. It is a very sensitive digital receiver for 490 and 518Khz, the international NAVTEX frequencies, which it receives simultaneously, 518kHz in English and 490kHz in any national languages of the location it is used in. The receiver has an inbuilt ferrite-bar aerial and monochrome LC Display at 128x64 pixels resolution.
It is stand-alone, in that it is not tethered to anything (except when charging) and it automatically decodes and sorts messages it receives. The radio offers the user the facility to customize and filter what kind of messages to receive. In addition to this, the device has a rudimentary onboard barometer with a resolution of 0.1hPa, updated once every minute, which displays air pressure trends over the last 48 hours and stores the previous seven days’ values, which is handy when at sea. For data transfer (only) to a PC, there is a USB connection.
The inbuilt ferrite bar aerial is directional, and the three NiMH AAA 800mAh batteries inside recharge from a USB port of portable lithium-ion battery, most likely the latter when you are underway.
Check out the September issue of RadioUser, for an introduction to NAVTEX reception, by our Maritime Matters columnist Robert Connolly.
A full review of the Mörer Weather Infobox WIB2D NAVTEX receiver is in the October issue of the magazine.
Meanwhile, maybe, you will want to listen to Cecilia McDowell's astonishing piece The Shipping Forecast as you weather the next storm...