Live marine weather, Sirius vs XM, the prolog

Sirius Weather E-120 Panbo

I looked forward to the battle of XM and Sirius marine weather services, and now it’s here. Right now, down in the shop, I’ve got Sirius Marine Weather running on the E-120 and XM Marine Weather running on the Garmin 3210 (and both are ready to go aboard Ralph, which I launched yesterday, yeee-ha). That screen shot above is Sirius on the E, bigger here. You’ll notice Nexrad precip radar, storm cell vectors, water temp, wind arrows, outlines for NOAA text forecasts, and of course the red Tornado Warning area. There’s a lot to these services, and to the interfaces needed to get the most from them. I’m wondering if any of you have experience with either service, or would like to see particular data screens, or just have opinions about subscription weather? Here’s a good page to see what XM beams down, and here’s a similar list for Sirius (click on the FAQ). Don’t be shy!

PS 7/13: An unusual aspect to the Sirius screenshot is that we almost never get Tornados in this part of the world, and it was nice to have a plotter beep me about the possibility. On the other hand, no tornados actually materialized (no fault of Sirius). Below, bigger here, is a Garmin XM image from last evening. That rain definitely did come my way.

Garmin storm mode Panbo

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

5 Responses

  1. Craig says:

    Ben, I have used the XM WX system on both Garmin products and a PC (WXWorx on water)and really enjoy it. One of the particularly interesting tests I have done is to try and throw as much data on as I can and then back it off to find the point that the remaining data was actually readable in a boating environment. I’d love to see a comparison of how both depict wave data (height, direction, period) and Wind (speed, direction) at the same time, on a medium range screen. Then try it with NEXRAD/precip on to see how they perform. Thanks!

  2. Capt Dan says:

    This is interesting stuff, but too expensive for all but the most rabid racers or fishermen. I personally use OCENS Weathernet,which is a “pay for what you order” service. If I want a GRIB file, I ask for it, and it cost me a few cents, it can be used with HF Pactor or Globalstar or other satellite providers. If you figure the cost of the hardware for Sirius or XM (we have XM radio aboard) you can add a Globalstar phone and have both the weather and communications capabilities.
    Capt Dan

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice service.. too expensive for the typical sailor or boater… even one who like gadgets.
    Subscription fees suck.

  4. Eliboat says:

    True the systems are expensive, and the fees stink, however I know the WSI system is all inclusive, and they allow for seasonal subscriptions. On mine, I only pay for service from May through September. I don’t have to do anything to reactivate the service either.

  5. Kim Grantham says:

    A quick response to Eliboat from July 14, because many of you may not have heard about the XM WX End of Season package that was announced in October 2005. XM has made it possible to keep your data receiver active and keep your XM account active with no monthly costs, thus the end of season. When you are ready to start boating again you call them up and tell them which package you want to switch to and you never have to reactive your receiver. This can occur once a year, at any time of the year.
    Kim Grantham, WxWorx

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