Wetter Infobox, smart design
Back to business and a big thanks to Roy Mevers, Electra’s professional skipper and a freelance offshore racing navigator, for showing me this little cutie. Who knew? Inside that box, which is maybe four inches long, is a dual channel Navtex receiver, a ferrite rod antenna, and a re-chargeable battery. It can run three days on its own and has enough internal memory for “762000 indications”, which I’m guessing means characters of Navtex weather reports, nav aid warnings, etc. Plug it into your computer via USB and the batteries charge while you can use any web browser to access the reports, and control the receiver, via an attractive master page living in the box. Apparently the instructions simply explain how to make a shortcut/favorite to the box, and thus the Wetter Infobox can work with Windows, Macs, even Linux, no software needed, or even power and antenna cables. How smart is that?
Do note that the Infobox is not waterproof (though it would be easy to seal it in a ziplock). And also that U.S. Navtex doesn’t seem to offer quite the same weather detail as available in Europe. Also note that there may be some coastal coverage holes with this receiver. Roy’s experience so far is a little spotty but he is on the outer coverage band according to the prediction maps. For more information see Morer’s Infobox site here and the PDF brochure here. Note that this is the 250 Euro WIB2 model, appropriate for worldwide use.