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Old 12-06-2016, 18:17   #1
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Weather fax on a phone!

Recently we used Black Cats weather fax on an Iphone during a Tasman crossing to get the weather charts. Normally I use JV comms excellant program on a laptop to pull down the weather fax, but it wasn't installes on the computer and we couldnt find the CD that had it on..

Anyway the little phone app worked well with our sangean reciever, pulling down the 4 day prognosis reasonably well.

It worked Ok as advertised just sitting on the speaker, but a set of cheap headphones seemed to give a clearer signal.

One issue on the iphone was the fact that the saved files wouldnt display properly for some reason. We got around this by taking screenshots of the image. Useful program.







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Old 13-06-2016, 01:33   #2
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Re: Weather fax on a phone!

I love that app.

FWIW I had some display bugs with it (inability to control zoom) on the IPhone 4s but no problems on the IPhone 5 or our much older IPad 2.

Now I just have to finish learning how to read the charts.


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Old 13-06-2016, 02:17   #3
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Re: Weather fax on a phone!

Thats good to hear Matt, it was on an old iphone4, and it was a zooming issue as well with the saved PNG files. Maybe that version of Iphone didnt like big PNG files? Anyway with the screenshots saved it made it very easy to review old faxes. The aussie 4 day charts are pretty handy, unfortunately the updates in the afternoon arent easy to recieve at that time due to daylight.

Certainly much easier on a phone (or tablet) than lugging out the laptop.

I still use the forecasts as well as the weather maps, its hard to accurately judge windspeeds from a synoptic map. But it gives context to the voice forcast, and a useful prediction of possible scenarios and risks.


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Old 13-06-2016, 06:26   #4
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Re: Weather fax on a phone!

Somewhere I have the bits to make up a connector that sends the output from the headphone socket on the HF radio to the earphone socket on the iphone. Some little trick with resistors tells the iphone that the earphone socket is now a microphone socket. Supposed to give an even better picture. When I finally get around to it I will post the results of the experiment. Hopefully the result wont be a fried phone. Might try it one of the older phones kicking around in a drawer first.


Of course, I still can't actually READ the charts, you are one up on me there.


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Old 13-06-2016, 06:56   #5
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Re: Weather fax on a phone!

^^ very interesting about the Mic connection. Makes sense since the handsfree kits work through the same headphone socket. Saying that the biggest issue we had was poor reception rather than poor data transfer, but I guess every bit helps.

Experience is really the best way to learn to interpret a wx fax. Print out the aussie four day every day and make a guess as to what you will get. Compare it to the forcast and I bet you will learn real fast! You really need to watch an area for a long time to recognise the dangerous situations, but just like gribs, if they are changing frequently they are suspect. Developing lows are hard to predict accurately and often worth treating with respect. Cold fronts are also unpredictable. As are troughs. These features are often not clearly shown on the gribs so both are better if used together, as they perfectly complement each others weaknesses.

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