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Old 02-03-2018, 08:15   #1
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How to receive Weather Faxes

Hey all, I have Iridium Go aboard and have used Predict Wind for the past several years as I have moved west from Ecuador and presently in New Zealand. I have an old Kenwood TS 430s that works ok in that it transmitts well and recievs ok.
We all love the grib files and the different apps like Predict Wind with their wonderful grafics. The problem is all that weather modeling is worthless when a front approaches. In the area between Australia and say French Ploynesia the fronts move in quickly and change direction quicker than the weather models and the algorithms or what ever techno babble they are working on. I have come to think I would prefer the actual Weather Faxes that are produced by actual Meteoroligists like Met Service, NOAA and the like. If my memory serves me these weather charts are being created by real people at least every 12 hours if not more frequently. My experience with Predict Wind is no where near that. Lovely graphics tho often meaningless.
So my question is....Is there any way to get Weather Fax info besides HF Fax which I am having a hard time getting a very clear picture using my Ipad, tho it seems to be a little better on the laptops but not good enough. I have been going over the usual grounding, tuner and Sideband connections as well as the connection to the backstay. In the next month or so will be having a tech come down to check the Sideband system out. Appreciate any thoughts....
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:21   #2
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

Can you get regular email with your Go? If so, you can get wfax charts emails from saildocs.com (as well as GRIBs).
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:14   #3
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

Quote:
wfax charts emails from saildocs.com
Wfax CHARTS through saildocs.com? Really?

Thanks,

Carsten
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:34   #4
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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Originally Posted by CarstenWL View Post
Wfax CHARTS through saildocs.com? Really?

Thanks,

Carsten
Directly via email as well -
http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/robots.txt

Saildocs ask for the http address in the message -


to :query@saildocs.com

send http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/PJAA99.gif
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:38   #5
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

Yes. I've found that the saildocs wfax charts are curther compressed (smaller size) than the ones I used to get directly from NOAA. I posted this some time back:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Correct about the text-only email formatting. But you might consider using saildocs.com instead of the NOAA ftp server. Saildocs compresses the images to a lower, but still quite usable resolution, and the filesize is typically half of the NOAA-delivered images. An example:

PYBA01.TIF from NOAA is 30.4 KByte

PYBA01.TIF from Saildocs is 15.8 KByte


To request the file from Saildocs, sent an email to "query@saildocs.com" with the body text "send PYBA01.TIF". For more details about saildocs, send a blank email to "info@saildocs.com".
You should check the catalog, and test this out before heading out. The file names may have changed since I wrote that. Even the saildocs files are too big for SSB / Pactor sailmail (if you want to get a lot of them), but it's not a problem with Iridium.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:41   #6
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Yes. I've found that the saildocs wfax charts are curther compressed (smaller size) than the ones I used to get directly from NOAA. I posted this some time back:


You should check the catalog, and test this out before heading out. The file names may have changed since I wrote that.
the one i just tried was same size both sources... free compression would be great though
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:57   #7
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

... excellent - thanks!

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Old 02-03-2018, 11:04   #8
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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the one i just tried was same size both sources... free compression would be great though
I just looked at the script I was using on my cron job, and it was getting ftp files from tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax (PYBA01.TIF, and others). Perhaps something has changed, or I should have been getting different files? Anyway, Saildocs works for me.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:10   #9
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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Originally Posted by philiosophy View Post
I have come to think I would prefer the actual Weather Faxes that are produced by actual Meteoroligists like Met Service, NOAA and the like. If my memory serves me these weather charts are being created by real people at least every 12 hours if not more frequently.
remember you are still looking at computer weather models, possibly tweaked a little. GFS model comes out 4 times a day.

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Old 02-03-2018, 11:28   #10
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

I just tried both the noaa ftp site and saildocs, in both cases getting "PYBA01.TIF" The noaa version is 32 kBytes, but the saildocs version is 17 kBytes. NOAA also has "PYBA01.gif" on their ftp server, but that file is even bigger: 85 kBytes. The saildocs image is visibly compressed more than the noaa one.

I'm not trying to prove I'm right (much), but I am truly interested in keeping the filesize to a minimum when I'm getting this stuff at sea. If there's a better way I want to know about it! I would have attached the files here, but apparently ".TIFF" isn't an approved filetype. So instead, here's a screenshot:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	filesizes.png
Views:	197
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ID:	165252  
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:03   #11
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
I just tried both the noaa ftp site and saildocs, in both cases getting "PYBA01.TIF" The noaa version is 32 kBytes, but the saildocs version is 17 kBytes. NOAA also has "PYBA01.gif" on their ftp server, but that file is even bigger: 85 kBytes. The saildocs image is visibly compressed more than the noaa one.

I'm not trying to prove I'm right (much), but I am truly interested in keeping the filesize to a minimum when I'm getting this stuff at sea. If there's a better way I want to know about it! I would have attached the files here, but apparently ".TIFF" isn't an approved filetype. So instead, here's a screenshot:
Weird. Coming out same size here


Using web gmail-

to query@saildocs.com
send http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/PYBA01.TIF

Quote:
URL: http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/PYBA01.TIF
Date: 02 Mar 2018 19:57:02 -0000
Last-Modified: 02 Mar 2018 02:57:09 -0000
Must be a reason, what email prog you using?
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:09   #12
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

To answer your original question:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hf-w...394199597?mt=8

You can decode WeFax info with just your soundcard. No internet connection required.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:14   #13
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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Originally Posted by philiosophy View Post
....Is there any way to get Weather Fax info besides HF Fax which I am having a hard time getting a very clear picture using my Ipad, tho it seems to be a little better on the laptops but not good enough.
Bear in mind offshore you will get a much better signal, so the problem might not actually exist. Where was the boat when you were testing? Any masts/buildings etc around can suck up the signal.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:20   #14
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Bear in mind offshore you will get a much better signal, so the problem might not actually exist. Where was the boat when you were testing? Any masts/buildings etc around can suck up the signal.


This.

Offshore, or in any remote location I can pull in a exceptional weatherfax image. At the dock, or anchored in civilization I struggle to even hear the fax signal much less decode it.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:57   #15
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Re: How to receive Weather Faxes

I am not sure what is your concern with the GRIB files. They contain all the info that is on the wfax. Have a look at the surface pressure chart, it is all there. I guess the fronts are missing but you can figure those out, with time and experience.
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