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Old 28-05-2014, 14:53   #1
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Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

Hi, I am trying to keep things simple with my iridium 9500 phone. I have 500mins for the next 12 months and would prefer not subscribe to an xgate type service for mail compression. I just realized emails can be sent and received from the handset so that covers my email needs. Im not sure what the cost is to send them but its just a basic 160 character message. Messages can be received for free and its easy for the sender to fill in a simple message form on the iridium site and send 160 characters, or send directly to the phone number (#@@msg.iridium.com) so that works well enough for my needs.
So that just leaves gribs which I would like some info on' I like to use Zygrib, which I believe is fairly well compressed. I am assuming I could connect using Iridiums direct connect to download the grib, so I am wondering about the steps to do that. Also the recommended Zygrib settings to allow small file with maximum info. Say for an Atlantic crossing from the Canaries, what area would you select and time intervals, data etc
Thanks for any help
Monte
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Old 28-05-2014, 16:10   #2
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

You could set up an email account that gets nothing but your gribs, and just check that once a day. I recall collecting gribs (from Saildocs) took about a minute of Iridium air time, but that was in conjunction with MailaSail compression. I'm not sure how it would work uncompressed.

Do you have the Iridium data adapter, and a good USB-serial adapter? If not, get the Tripp-Lite USA-19HS USB-serial adapter. I went through two different generic adapters that wouldn't work with Iridium before I found the Tripp-Lite.
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Old 28-05-2014, 16:31   #3
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

I like to use Weather4D on an iPad to display my GRIB files.

You can easily intergrate it with the Iridium Axxess Point which is a WIFI attachment for your phone. Now you can place the phone and Axxess Point outside on deck with clear view of the sky and keep you iPad or laptop inside.
Weather4D makes it easy to create and send your request. Iridium | Products | Iridium AxcessPoint
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You can select which method you want to use to get your GRIB file, including Axxess Point.

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The best feature on Weather4D is that you can define a route and select a projected SOG. Then you can show wind, waves, CAPE and other values along the route. See the screen shot with wind shown in the upper graph. You can easily slide the boat along the route and see what weather to expect.

It also offers the option to calculate an optimized route based on your GRIB and boat polar.
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For longer passages I get 5 days at 6 or 12 hour intervals, and 1 degree resolution. I then try to get an update evry 24 hours.
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I get Wind (10m), Pressure, Temperature, Precipitation, Cloud Cover, CAPE, and Waves. Near the Gulfstream I also get the current.


On my last delivery the owner had an Iridium phone and used a laptop to download GRIBS using saildocs either via Iridium or via SSB. We then used Instashare to transfer the GRIB files from the laptop to my iPad.

As a general rule add about 10% to the wind speed - at least. The prediction is for 10m and you are measuring at 20m above sea level. Also, GRIBs tend to underpredict; often. Very helpful are the CAPE values which are an indication of squall potential. On long passages you will run into squall areas and they call for caution due to high, erratic wind speeds and directions. Maybe best to the most put experienced crew on watch then.

Here is a picture of a squall that I could not avoid on my last trip. I tried fore-reaching at about 2 knots for 1/2 hour (see upwind track), but it kept on growing to windward. I finally had to go for it. As I did, it opened up right in the middle and brought some light rain and a little more wind, but nothing too bad.
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hope this helps.
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Old 29-05-2014, 04:59   #4
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

Thanks for the advice, sorry the phone is the 9555 and the connection is the supplied mini usb to usb connector. Ive been trying to download even a simple email and having difficulty. The phone connects OK and the screen says active data connection, but nada coming through on the computer.
I checked my computer and found a few programs using TCP so I disabled all but outlook and a browser but still no luck. Zygrib didnt work either with a 30kb grib. I had full bars on the reception on the phone.
Any ideas what next?
Thanks again, Rolf that program looks really good
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Old 31-05-2014, 10:34   #5
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

Downloaded weather4d pro. Ordered a axcess point. Seems like the access point is a good thing. Compression services with no ongoing fees. I'll report when...if I get it up and running. The 4d satelite view looks like a great idea for timing transmission when the satellites are in range. I can't see how to select different grib profiles yet though. The standard doesn't have waves or pressure.
Rolf, do you have a polar for your 450 I could use? Or can you recommend one for a 40 ft cat ?
Thanks
Monte
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Old 01-06-2014, 21:17   #6
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

I have a polar for the L450 which I modified somewhat. I am not entirely sure how much it represents the real performance. Oliver from Weather4D corrected my CSV file for me as it failed to import. Oliver is really good and quick in replying to questions.

Oliver also published an iBook for Weather4D. I believe it costs $9.95. It comes with videos for many subjects.
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Old 01-06-2014, 21:25   #7
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Re: Simple Iridium email and Weather gribs 9500

To add new GRIB files:
Click Zones
Click Add
Give it a name
Select Coordinates and drag the area icon to the shape and size you like
Select the options from the list below (see screen shot)
Click Save
Click the Load icon
Wait for the file to download
Click the file name and click Select in the next dialog
The file will be displayed
Now you can select the individual parameters you want to display.
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