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PC Navtex

PC Navtex is software for your PC that connects to your NAVTEX receiver, bringing the NAVTEX messages onto your PC.

Many makes and models of NAVTEX receiver are supported, covering both commercial models for SOLAS compliant ships and receivers for small craft. Note that PC Navtex cannot be used with a general radio receiver - it needs a NAVTEX receiver.

Users include vessels of all sizes from small leisure craft to commercial vessels, as well as Naval vessels, training establishments, hydrographic offices and more. It is used by Sperry Marine as a component in their ECDIS systems.

PC Navtex is one of a range of software products produced by Smartcom Software.

NAVTEX in the News

New Office, New phone number - 06 January 2014

With the European Space Agency having provided us with office space at Harwell for our TeamSurv project, we have closed the old office at the Portsmouth Technopole - we can only fill one office! E-mails remain unchanged, but the phone number has changed to +44 (0)7985 927376.

 
New Sailor 6391 NAVTEX unit - 01 November 2013

Cobham are launching the new Sailor 6391 SOLAS spec NAVTEX receiver. This is a triple band receiver with a separate touch screen display unit, which can also be linked to other Sailor systems such as their AIS. There is no printer option, but a network enabled printer can be connected using the Ethernet port. As this is a SOLAS receiver, it should be fully compatible with PC NAVTEX.

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Indian NAVTEX System Upgrade - 14 June 2013

The NAVTEX stations in India are to be upgraded by

Rolta

to seven transmitters covering the entire Indian coastline, coordinated by two control centres, one on the East coast and one on the West.

 
Updated NAVTEX Abbreviations - 11 March 2013

An updated list of NAVTEX abbreviations has been published by Environment Canada. See our abbreviations page for a full list of all NAVTEX abbreviations in use.

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New NAVTEX Station for Skaggerak - 13 September 2012

A new NAVTEX station is now operational at Jeløya to cover the Skagerrak area. As a consequence, amendments have been made to the NAVTEX Service Areas for Rogaland and Grimeton along with changes to B1 NAVTEX Transmitter Identification Characters (B1 idents) within NAVAREAs I, XIX and XX. 

Changes to Indicator letter  (the B Ident) that determines the times of broadcasts:

Arkhangelsk (Russian Federation - NAVAREA XX)  B1 ident is now “L”

Murmansk (Russian Federation - NAVAREA XX)  B1 ident is now "K"

Vardo (Norway - NAVAREA XIX) B1 ident is now "C".

The new station  at Jeløya (Norway – NAVAREA I) B1 ident is  "M”

Grimeton (Sweden – SubAREA I) reduction of NAVTEX Service Area.

The United Kingdom transmission from Oostende  B1 ident is now  "V".

 
Changes in US NAVTEX Schedules - 14 August 2012

Effective 0000 UTC 14 August 2012 most U.S. Coast Guard NAVTEX stations will readjust broadcast transmit schedules to conform to International Maritime Organization guidelines. Broadcasts currently scheduled near this time may be interrupted or corrupted as these changes are being implemented.
New broadcast schedules are as follows:
ATLANTIC AREA:
BOSTON (F) 0050/0450/0850/1250/1650/2050/UTC
PORTSMOUTH (N) 0210/0610/1010/1410/1810/2210/UTC
CHARLESTON (E) 0040/0440/0840/1240/1640/2040/UTC
MIAMI (A) 0000/0400/0800/1200/1600/2000/UTC
NEW ORLEANS (G) 0100/0500/0900/1300/1700/2100/UTC
SAN JUAN (R) 0250/0650/1050/1450/1850/2250/UTC
PACIFIC AREA:
KODIAK (EAST) (J) 0130/0530/0930/1330/1730/2130/UTC
KODIAK (WEST) (X) 0350/0750/1150/1550/1950/2250/UTC
ASTORIA (W) 0340/0740/1140/1540/1940/2240/UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (C) 0020/0420/0820/1220/1620/2020/UTC
CAMBRIA (Q) 0240/0640/1040/1440/1840/2240/UTC
HONOLULU (O) 0220/0620/1020/1420/1820/2220/UTC
GUAM (V) 0330/0730/1130/1530/1930/2330/UTC

 

See page III-2.2 in the US Notices to Mariners for official notification.

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IMO NAVTEX Panel Report - 16 August 2012

Minutes from the latest IMO NAVTEX Panel, giving changes to NAVTEX stations globally over the last year, and information on planned changes.

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Changes in US Forecast Coverage - 03 April 2012

Effective Apr 03, 2012 at 1800 UTC the US NAVTEX forecasts were reconfigured to limit coverage to within 200 nm of the coasts assigned to New Orleans, Miami and San Juan transmitters. Specifically, the forecast area for the New Orleans transmitter will cover the northern Gulf of Mexico from the Suwanee River, FL to the mouth of the Rio Grande, out 200 nm. The Miami NAVTEX forecast area will cover the waters around the peninsula of Florida from Suwanee River on the Gulf Coast, to Flagler Beach on the Atlantic Coast, out 200 nm. The San Juan forecast area will cover the waters within 200 nm of the San Juan transmitter, to include the Mona Passage and part of the Anegada Passage. This reconfiguration will better conform to the range of the transmitters, provide more detailed information along the immediate coast, and better meet broadcast time constraints.

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India plans new NAVTEX coverage - 13 February 2012

The Indian Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships has just finished commissioning a new VTS system covering 6 ports in the Gulf of Kutch (or Kachchh) in the north west of India, just south of the border with Pakistan. In the handover ceremony it was also stated that the gulf will also be provisioned with NAVTEX coverage as part of the same system.

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NAVTEX message triggers international incident - 16 September 2012

A Turkish NAVTEX message warning of survey operations in the area south of the island of Kastelorizo triggered diplomatic action by the Greek government, claiming that part of the survey area lay in Greek waters and so the Turkish government had no rights to carry out survey activities there. 

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New Sailor 6390 NAVTEX Receiver - 04 September 2012

Thrane & Thrane have announced that they are bringing out a new SOLAS NAVTEX receiver, the 6390, in Q2 2013.

As this is a SOLAS receiver, it will work with PC Navtex by selecting the "Generic NMEA" receiver type. Once we have obtained one for testing, we will add this as a specific receiver, supporting any additional features or quirks in their implementation of the NMEA specification.

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India plans NAVTEX upgrade - 26 January 2012

The Indian Ministry Of Shipping have asked for tenders for the provision of establishment of a national NAVTEX network along the Indian coast line.

India already has some coverage with NAVTEX transmitters at Chennai and Bombay, but perhaps they are now looking to extend the coverage?

 
ICS wins BEEA Award - 14 October 2011

Congratulations to Kevin Page and the team at ICS Electronics on winning the British Engineering Excellence Award.

ICS produced a range of NAVTEX receivers as well as providing NAVTEX base stations and producing other radio communications based equipment. On being bought by McMurdo, the NAVTEX receivers were sold under the McMurdo name, and ICS concentrated on the base stations, and so disappeared from most people's view. With the changes in ownership of McMurdo, they have since bought themselves out, and have restarted producing the NAV-6 and NAV-6 plus receivers.

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Improved NAVTEX Coverage on West Coast of Scotland - 26 December 2012

Around the west of Scotland Portpatrick reception can be difficult to impossible because of topography. On 518 kHz, Malin Head broadcasts Sea Area forecasts for Shannon, Rockall, Malin and Bailey (as well as Irish Coastal  and some High Seas Areas).

The MCA has been in negotiation with their Irish colleagues. The result is that, after a little more trialling,  Malin Head will use the 490 kHz, national NAVTEX frequency to broadcast UK Inshore Waters forecasts. Areas will be the same as Portpatrick, i.e. Land's End to Cape Wrath, the Minch, Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough.

The B1 letter will be A so that broadcasts will be every four hours from 0000 UTC. There will probably be one slot for weather forecasts and two for weather actuals, as in the Portpatrick broadcasts.

Between them, Malin Head and Portpatrick are expected to give good reception over much of the area. 

The three UK NAVTEX stations will continue to broadcast four Inshore forecasts each day. However, that means that actuals will only be broadcast at the other two slots. There is simply not enough time to do otherwise at present.

 
WMO Survey on Weather Forecasts - 26 December 2012

The WMO are running an ongoing survey on the usefulness of weather forecasts to the mariner, with the emphasis on the official GMDSS products (e.g. NAVTEX, SafetyNet, WxFAX etc.).

To take part, follow the link.

You can also see results of the survey from 2011, compared to a baseline of 2009. Key points are:

  • SafetyNet over INMARSAT C is very good
  • NAVTEX suffers from poor coverage in many areas
  • VHF voice forecasts are very good
  • WxFax suffers from reception problems
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