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Old 29-09-2011, 16:14   #1
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NOAA's POES Images Over Xaxero / SkyEye - Worth it ?

I'm looking at SkyEye by Xaxero and trying to figure out if I will use sat images enough to warrant installing it. Up to now I've been only using eyes, barometer, weather maps, gribs, and notes from previous weather analyses. But I want to make sure I get the weather setup right this time.

Do you use sat images in weather analysis? It seems that real-time sat images of boat's current location, specifically of cloud patterns, are useful and I remember wishing a few times I knew how the pattern looked from above.

Do you find image reception of SkyEye to be good, consistent?

Any other thoughts about SkyEye or POES imagery in general?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 29-09-2011, 16:55   #2
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Re: NOAA's POES images over Xaxero/SkyEye - worth it?

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Do you use sat images in weather analysis?
Do you find image reception of SkyEye to be good, consistent?
Skyeye works well.

However, I am a bit of a weather geek but I don't use real time sat images at sea. The gribs already give me more information than I want to deal with (when at sea). I sometimes get multiple grib models if the weather is complex. I figure the supercomputers have already incorporated most of the information content from the sat pictures. I figure my job at sea is not to second guess the supercomputers but to figure out how best to sail given their output.

When you are looking for a weather window from shore, you can see the sat pictures if you want via the internet.

That said, when crossing the doldrums, there might be some value to the sat pics, as the grib wind data is pretty worthless at the doldrums. But I use the grib rain layer and it seems an acceptable substitute for the sat picture.
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Old 29-09-2011, 17:35   #3
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Re: NOAA's POES images over Xaxero/SkyEye - worth it?

Unless one is a retired storm forecaster from NHC, I can't really see the value of satellite pictures other than to scare the crap out of the prudent skipper. There is also cloud and breeze, but only where the isobars crowd like passengers on the Tokyo subway is there likely to be heavy weather (although not always...have been in more than one blue sky squall).

I agree with Evans here that GRIB files give you the basic "big picture" and communication with other boats or shore forecasters via SSB gives you "local" weather.

Otherwise, you can use easily acquired weather lore and a well-tuned radar to figure out if you need to go port or starboard for a couple of miles to avoid a gusty thunderhead. Conversely, if you need to fill tanks, drop sails and have at her!
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Old 30-09-2011, 04:42   #4
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Re: NOAA's POES images over Xaxero/SkyEye - worth it?

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...
The gribs already give me more information than I want to deal with (when at sea). I sometimes get multiple grib models if the weather is complex. I figure the supercomputers have already incorporated most of the information content from the sat pictures. I figure my job at sea is not to second guess the supercomputers but to figure out how best to sail given their output.
...
I do compare different grib models to try to pinpoint any errors, but sometimes they are all in [wrong] agreement... On the east coast of Canada there were a few times in places with strong currents when different grib models and weather maps agreed on one weather pattern, but reality was completely different. Ending up with a front that went through 24 hours earlier and wind against strong current (yesterday's models) is not very pleasant...

I am thinking that maybe sat images would give me another angle to look at the weather.

Thank you for your thoughts!
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:16   #5
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Re: NOAA's POES images over Xaxero/SkyEye - worth it?

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I am thinking that maybe sat images would give me another angle to look at the weather.

The weather forecasting is certainly none too accurate. I once (was bored) took a year's worth of 24 hrs forecasts and compared them to the actual weather that developed and the 'accuracy' (which I defined as the ability to specify the right sail configuration & general trim) was about 40%.

The best complement we find for the (grib and text) forecasts is to listen to boats that are around us on the nets. Having someone who is about 200 miles up-weather who is a big talker on the radio is pure gold. You then get to hear what's actually out there coming your way.

If you really enjoy the weather stuff and are good at it then perhaps you might enjoy and get value from skyeye. Its not so expensive or difficult to install (although it does add antenna clutter). However, I personally have not found I could look at the real time pics and systematically make a better forecast than the official one.
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Old 30-09-2011, 08:39   #6
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Re: NOAA's POES Images Over Xaxero / SkyEye - Worth it ?

Thanks for the feedback, estarzinger. We are not planning to have an SSB (the result of a very long discussion between my husband and me), so I am looking for some other way to know what's going on 200 miles ahead... But most likely I'm just overthinking this.

While I'm overthinking this though, I found another POES receiver setup: Weather satellite Receivers and NOAA Antennas - Weather Satellite Station for 1/3 of Xaxero's price. It's smaller, but the antennae doesn't look as nice.

And then there's the antenna clutter, as you pointed out. Ok, back to drawing board. Thanks again!
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:17   #7
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Re: NOAA's POES Images Over Xaxero / SkyEye - Worth it ?

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We are not planning to have an SSB (the result of a very long discussion between my husband and me), so I am looking for some other way to know what's going on 200 miles ahead...
We also don't have an SSB - we have a receive only all band receiver (Sony). So we can and do listen to the nets but don't talk. These are inexpensive and easy to install (don't need backstay insulators for instance).

We had an SSB on the previous boat and did not really like what it did to our cruising ambiance.
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Old 30-09-2011, 14:06   #8
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Re: NOAA's POES Images Over Xaxero / SkyEye - Worth it ?

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We also don't have an SSB - we have a receive only all band receiver (Sony). So we can and do listen to the nets but don't talk. These are inexpensive and easy to install (don't need backstay insulators for instance).

We had an SSB on the previous boat and did not really like what it did to our cruising ambiance.
Thanks for the suggestion. Is your Sony the same as mentioned on another thread: ISFS7600G: Sony SSB?
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:03   #9
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Re: NOAA's POES Images Over Xaxero / SkyEye - Worth it ?

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Thanks for the suggestion. Is your Sony the same as mentioned on another thread: ISFS7600G: Sony SSB?
Ours is a now obsolete model. We have had it for 2 circumnavigations. But the 7600G looks to be its replacement in Sony's line.
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