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Old 15-08-2010, 10:44   #91
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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Thomas,

Very nice! Can you convert the complete set or do a write up on how to make the conversion?

Thank you very much,

Paul
Paul

I have found some good arguments to ImageMagics function "convert", the rest is just to write a georeferencing header-file for each ocean + some script glue.
Hopefully it's enough to do the conversion once and then find a "home" for the files. The question is what is an acceptable resolution? The file size increases with resolution, so a compromise has to be found. I want to be able to easily read the text on the pilot charts.... Anyway, here is a link to a testfile.
This chart file is about twice the size of the original pdf.

Thomas
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Old 15-08-2010, 12:44   #92
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Thomas

This is great! it also matches our cruising grounds for 2011.

The obvious next request: Can you create them for all 12 months and have them available on your webspace?

Yes, I do find them useful.

Dirk
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Old 18-08-2010, 11:15   #93
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Thomas

This is great! it also matches our cruising grounds for 2011.

The obvious next request: Can you create them for all 12 months and have them available on your webspace?

Yes, I do find them useful.

Dirk
I have done all the IO pilot Charts. Eventually all available PC:s will be converted, .... North Pacific & South Atlantic are not yet available from official sources as pdf:s.
At least to start with theses charts will be hosted on opencpn.org.

PC_IO.zip.
The zipped download is about 48 mb.

Thomas
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Old 18-08-2010, 12:16   #94
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Thomas

Awesome. You even took care of the naming so openspn sorts Jan-Dec from left to right in the charts selection bar. Cool.

Thanks!

Dirk
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Old 19-08-2010, 10:37   #95
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Thomas

Awesome. You even took care of the naming so openspn sorts Jan-Dec from left to right in the charts selection bar. Cool.

Thanks!

Dirk
Thank you! It's interesting with the sorting order in the chart-selection bar. In my 64 bit Ubuntu the order seems random. It looks like we need some "Fly Spray" on this matter

Thomas
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Old 19-08-2010, 12:14   #96
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South Pacific Pilot Charts now available PC_SP.zip. Warning, almost 100 mb.
I have treated the info sheet for each month as a "chart" as well. Suggestions and opinions on this release are welcome. The original pdf is slightly skewed. I have not done anything to correct this, very small, error.

Thomas
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Old 22-09-2010, 05:43   #97
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Have you heard of JVComm32? This German made software program allows you to dowlnload weatherfaxes from your SSB through a simple 3.5mm male to male cable (headset in SSB, Microphone on Computer). I am waiting for my cable and will test it out in the next few days. Vincent sv/MAKAI
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:32   #98
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Have you heard of JVComm32? This German made software program allows you to dowlnload weatherfaxes from your SSB through a simple 3.5mm male to male cable (headset in SSB, Microphone on Computer). I am waiting for my cable and will test it out in the next few days. Vincent sv/MAKAI
You can do it via the microphone too, the software demodulates OK. There is another piece of software that does the same job named MscanMeteo or something like that. And you can take in the NAVTEX via it too.

Testing best done in the open sea, (or from a nearby and strong signal). Your SSB must have the USB / LSB capability and fine tuning too. We used a small NASA receiver.

But it all works as advertised and you can get weatherfaxes thousands miles from land.

b.
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Old 17-10-2010, 14:10   #99
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GRIB files and OpenCPN 2.1.0

Hi,
Would very much appreciate to know how I can read GRIB files freely available on Index of /pub/outgoing/fnmoc/models/ww3_regional/med/latest_data
There are many other interesting GRIB files available from this "provider" like 200, 500 mb contours, wind from the COAMPS model ...that we don't find at every street corner!!!
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Old 17-10-2010, 15:22   #100
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Hi,
Would very much appreciate to know how I can read GRIB files freely available on Index of /pub/outgoing/fnmoc/models/ww3_regional/med/latest_data
There are many other interesting GRIB files available from this "provider" like 200, 500 mb contours, wind from the COAMPS model ...that we don't find at every street corner!!!
I don't know about those files, but have a look at zyGrib , which can get and display 200 and 500 mb data and much more.

Thomas
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Old 17-10-2010, 17:06   #101
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I don't know about those files, but have a look at zyGrib , which can get and display 200 and 500 mb data and much more.
Thomas
Thanks but have already tried this...basic!!!
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Old 19-10-2010, 17:02   #102
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Hi Guys
Thought I would contribute to the access to wx at sea discussion. Here is my setup, it is cheap and works well

The best data for the price is globalstar at 9600 baud and solid when it is up much better than iridium for data. At the moment 19.95 per month for unlimited data or call time due to their satellite problems. For you snowbirds no charge to start up or shutdown service once you have an account if you are ashore for a few months. It is not always up as you all know but I find more than enough up time for my purposes. On average about one reasonable length link per hour.

The phones are pretty reasonable as the dealers have been panning the service for some time. I bought a older 1600 model for less than 300 bucks with extra batteries and hard flotation case on Ebay. You will need a data cord. List price is stupid high retail but I found one for twenty bucks on the Internet. I usually have my kids send me an email with the call times in my area 4 days out so that I don't have to fart with the web software at low baud rate but it is fairly easy to watch the phone for a signal.

Set up saildocs to send you grib files or whatever you are interested in. To lower file sizes I typically have more than one request - a large area low definition one so that I can see what is coming and then a small area high definition one for where I am anchored. Really helps when dropping the hook for the night. As you know grib files don't have local effects but are generally very good one to two days out. After 3 days I am doubtful but at least I have the 5 days in my back pocket.

I use Opera browser for all my sat data stuff. It works great as it has a low bandwidth mode with compression that works well and email filters and will send you the headers for every email. They come up quick on a call in and then it is a simple matter to select which emails you want to download. I may have several days of grib files in my inbox but I just download the latest ones or the most recent maps.

Another nice trick. Get a google voice account and have your voice mail forwarded to it. Google will transcribe your voice mail and forward it to your opera email account. Download your voice mail as an email and call them back. Now you don't have to worry about whether people can call you due to the satellite down time. The transcription works pretty well so you can usually understand the message. Doesn't seem to like Brit accents - they must talk funny or something. Damn free yankee software.

I am very careful who I give my offshore email address to in order to avoid the dreaded Internet forwarders although Opera sorts them in the headers.

So there you go for 19.95 a month all the weather you want. Family available all the time. No fees for compresson or wx delivery, no modem cost and if the devil seam opens up you can just step into the raft and call the coast guard.

Also if I meet people I like that have been on the hook for a while I let them use my phone as calling is unlimited. Make sure your downlink is locked to your home location or you will pay extra charges.

By the way. Great thread.

Cheers
Larry
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Old 19-10-2010, 17:36   #103
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I tried to check out Globalstar calling/data plans, and as usual they make it some complicated they drive you away. . . . What is the name of that $19.95 plan you have?

We have an Iridium phone that we use for e-mail only, and it's expensive by the minute, plus expensive for the phone, which I would gladly sell on EBay if we could find a better alternative.

I did hear one woman in George Town saying "We have a Globalstar, and it's only good as a kellet!" But she may have been trying for reliable voice calling. She did take a certain pleasure in referring to it as "Garblestar."

I'm happy to get two brief email check-ins a day -- one morning and one evening. If Globalstar could do that within reason, I'd switch over.
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Old 19-10-2010, 21:28   #104
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I don't want to be a shill for Globalstar but I was pleased with my service within the limits of satellite availability. Put a location in the web tool and if it says there is going to be service it will be there. That will give you an idea of the time available during the day. If someone is expecting a cell phone like operation they would be unhappy.

They seem to have overhauled their web site. They mention a 19.95 plan in the small print on the front page but I couldn't find any more info inside the site. They are launching new satellites this month so I don't know how long that deal is going to last. I will say that their customer service and tech support in my experience has been quick to answer the phone and generally good.

Twice a day data is no problem in my experience. My mom had a heart attack last spring while I was offshore making for a lot of calls more than normal for me and we did pretty good but it is definitely not 24/7 availability.
Data when it is up is far better than iridium. There is a good report on why on the Internet. I will see if I can locate it.
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Old 19-10-2010, 21:39   #105
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Here is a little bit more of the story on iridium for data My experience is that globalstar works well and is far better than iridium for data if you don't need 24/7. Again the caveat of the satellite schedule.
Cheers
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Satellite Phones - The Bits and Bytes of Data Calls Continued

It has to be noted that the end users have grown accustomed to the rate of business and home environments, thus making the systems quite slow. Although this did not come as a surprise being that both systems were made for a marker for voice calls. Nevertheless, Iridium is only comparable to Globalstar in the single category of downloading highly compressible files while using their packet data sevice. This again, is due to Iridium's use of data compression technology. In every measure, Globalstar satellite phones are significantly superior to Iridium satellite phones.
Although both satellite telephones are searching for ways to improve their data rates, heavy users would find unacceptable the 2.28 to 7.62 Kbps data rates of the satellite phone systems. If the end user required only the download of files or emails limited to 100 kilobytes, then side-by-side testing shows that the Globalstar phone system offers a relatively superior data rate compared to the Iridium phone system under all conditions. This was not unexpected, given the basic technical differences that are inherent in the design of each satellite phone system. Also it indicates that Iridium can obtain up to 8 Kbps, the data rate will be much lower since most files that we use today are compressed to a certain extent. Iridium's compression technology will only be beneficial in a minority of instances.
The rate of successful downloads is the final research point. Iridium satellite telephones had a significant amount of failed downloads due to lost connections, stalls and spoofing problems. However, the Globalstar phone has a successful rate of 100%. This success rate covers both packet and dial-up scenarios and accounts for more that 80 attempted downloads. Iridium, on the other hand, had a download success rate of 70% for the dial-up scenario and 88% for the packet scenario, giving an average success rate of 79%.
“This information was referenced from an evaluation made by Satellite Communications Group of Frost and Sullivan”
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