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Old 05-05-2015, 05:05   #1
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Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Welcome to this active community of cruising users and programmers. We help each other improve skills and improve the program. The program has become quite robust with active programming on windows, linux, osX and android platforms.

Ask your questions here and you will benefit by having the whole community contribute.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:43   #2
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

On 5/5/2015 7:32 AM, John Hockings wrote:
Hi Rick, thanks for the email. I'll take your advice and create a new thread. However, I wonder if I could just clarify that I'm onto what I think I am.

I use Expedition routing software, and in the past I have used QtVlm. I assist a boat in real life doing coastal passages here in Australia, and use Expedition a little for my own sailing.

To improve my understanding of the capabilities of Expedition, I sail online in the Sailonline community (SOL), which is a racing/navigating simulator.

Over a year or so of doing ocean races in SOL, I have realised that long distance routing using the 16 day NOAA forecasts is fraught with difficulty, not only because of course the long distance forecasts themselves are changeable, but more so because the highly changeable low pressure systems around the doldrums and convergence zones are treated as gospel by the router (as of course it has to do). With each WX update the router, when trying to route around/through high pressure systems will come up with radically different routings.
Yes.
I believe I need to do my long distance route planning a different way - basically by determining the fastest probable full course by using Pilot Chart type wind data. What I would really love to find is a grib file which matches (on a monthly or fortnightly basis) the wind diagrams I found on the cogow site:

[IMG]

I imagine that the most likely winds for a given month as described on Pilot Charts if described graphically would also look a bit like this.

If I could somehow find a grib file which describes this circumstance, I assume that I could load it into Expedition and plot an optimal route across an ocean or some other long distance route. Of course the winds as described on cogow or on the pilot charts are static for the whole month but I'm assuming for the moment this would not throw Expedition.

Yes, absolutely. Using Opencpn and Climatology_pi and Weather_routing_pi will produce the monthly charts you would like. You will need good polars for your boat (Polar_pi or Polauto (windows) I do not believe that Climatology has an "Export" feature to use in Expedition which has better racing tools than Opencpn. You could ask Sean about that and I am sure he would appreciate some help from you as well (see below). We have compiled and compressed all the data required.
This idea seemed exactly what you were keen to achieve if I read your posts correctly in the Cruiser Forum earlier today.

Sean has done it with some of my help. Sean is looking for a new wireless nmea wind instrument. He is sailing around the world in a 27' Bristol. He is a hard working smart programmer and would like to have a wind instrument above all else. Perhaps something like this SailTimer Wind Instrumentâ„¢ which is wireless, but he'd be interested in a good used hardwired nmea wind instrument too.

He needs this nmea instrument (or a similar one) for his own use and also to improve his Watchman_pi plugin (no write up yet but the download is available here scroll down to find it.) which has all kinds of alarms for the single hander, but is really very useful for everyone sailing long distances. He would very much appreciate a donation on paypal towards this nmea wind device, but I should let him speak for himself. This is his sourceforge website About and there is a Donate button on it. Also you can PM him on the Cruiser's Forum, "Boat_Alexandra".

Do you think it's possible to do what I'm hoping?
Yes, if Sean would add the feature to export from Climatology?, but why not use Climatology_pi and Weather_Routing_pi first?

It it's possible, then I imagine I would be constructing what would in fact be an ideal route, based on statistical averaging of winds over a long period of time, for the particular month and ocean I was interested in at the time.

That's what Weather-Routing_pi (also Sean's plugin) is intended to do.
By constructing waypoints around such an ideal route, I could then assess current NOAA data, and route using current winds to the more or less fixed waypoints.

That is at least my plan!

Install Opencpn 4.0 and try the plugins! I am sure Sean would like to have your feedback and if you could help him purchase the needed nmea wind instrument, that would be great. (Other users please also help Sean towards this goal.)
Look forward to hearing if you think this is possible and if the climatology plug in and or OpenCPN can give me this grib I'm chasing.

cheers
John
John I am going to post this to the thread I've created earlier, if you don't mind. We look forward to your use and help improving the program and plugins!

Best regards,
Rick
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:03   #3
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Dear Rick,in that rather wordy email, I referred to low pressure systems and I of course meant high pressure systems.
cheers
John

Dr John Hockings
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Old 05-05-2015, 17:03   #4
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

With Rick's help, I'm about to embark on this process. However, before I do, can I get clarification on a few points.

1. I will eventually be able to download to my computer a grib file which is a kind of summary of historical wind data for a particular ocean (eg North Atlantic) and a particular time of the season (eg May).

2. To get this grib, I will need to install OpenCPN plus the Climatology plug in.

3. If answers to this are positive, is there a guide as to which charts I should download. I do not need detailed charts as I am routing long distances across oceans, not sailing along a coastline.

Many thanks. John
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:58   #5
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

The sources of the wind data are 30 years worth of data. Total download of all the data for climatology was huge over 100 gb. The wind data source used was 6hr where it makes a difference and 12 elsewhere. Sean created an executable which I ran to compress this data down to 5mb and with the increased resolution version I think it is 7mb. This is quite an accomplishment and wholely Sean's work. The data is part and parcel with the plugin, they need each other to work. The plugin is an Opencpn plugin so you need that program too. They are open source. Climatology does not export monthy gribs, it serves them to opencpn screen and to weather_routing_pi. Try the system, there is not software like it. Use weather_routing and grib_pi (grib fetch and control) to run a 8 or 16 day grib, then let the route be extended using climatology 30 year averages data.

The weather router offers good control and many options, including finding the right weather window.

Keep in mind that the 30 year averages are useful but there are macro weather patterns such as la nina etc. Sean would like to be able to select those to run routes against, but it will take more work.

Give it a try and if you like it donate to his wind instrument fund.

Better yet, why not compare the results you get with opencpn and Expedition? Please post your results in the forum. There is bound to be some improvements as a result.

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Old 07-05-2015, 04:29   #6
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Thanks Rick. I've installed openCPN and the climatology pi. Give me an hour an I'll attempt to set up a route across the Atlantic from west to east. If that fails, I'll come back with questions.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:31   #7
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Atlantic west to east is good. Start simple out of box and get a route to run. Then add/change one step at a time and run the route, getting familiar with it

Try climatogy w wxroute, then grib w wxroute. Then both. Note where you select to use grib and climatology.

Good luck. Standing by

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Old 07-05-2015, 09:45   #8
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Hi,

Using climatology with weather routing is still only reliable in prevailing wind areas. I put some options in like most likely, average, etc.. to try to avoid some issues here.. but the problem is still not even close to solved (if it ever can be)

I had wanted to seed the climatology data with current gribs to give a much more accurate prediction of averages based on past years with similar conditions, and also maybe give an indication of the variability in the climatology data used in the current route. Also implementing better support for climatology indicies like elnino and others to filter the data better for the current conditions would be nice.

As a note.. I don't want wind instruments above all else... I have had so many things break more important than that.
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Old 09-05-2015, 00:44   #9
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Hi Rick and Sean. OK, I finally managed to get things up and running. I loaded climatology pi and set it 'winds' only for two distinct times of year, that is Jan and June.

I ran optimizations for three different routes across the Atlantic for both of those times, and I didn't load any gribs because I wanted to see what the optimizations would look like based solely on historical Pilot Chart type data.

I ran optimizations for 'average' and 'most likely' scenarios.

I used a VO 70 boat polar.

I was a little surprised to see that the optimizations for each route for the two different times of year virtually overlaid each other on all three routes. Any thoughts. I was expecting them to be quite distinct for summer and winter.

cheers
John


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Old 09-05-2015, 03:29   #10
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Unexpected but maybe try changing the months?
Also try reversing the routes.
I'll do some runs later and post.

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Old 09-05-2015, 03:32   #11
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Sorry Sean I guess I want you to have wind data, I understand you have other priorities.


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Old 09-05-2015, 05:02   #12
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

I could do a lot with wind instruments, but it's just so difficult on this side of the world because I cannot just mail order things. I'm leaving for africa in 3 days so I'm really trying to fix the problems with my boat and get food and water.
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:03   #13
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Sean, take care and drink fresh water! - From where to where? How long will it take do you think?

John can you send your Volvo 70 polar by attaching it to a post as a .txt or .doc file?
The one I have stops at 16 mph wind so the routing fails. Thanks
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:54   #14
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

Hi Rick, I got the polar from weather router pi polars. It seemed to work fine for me. I have a lot of polars from other programmes but I couldn't seem load them into weather router but that's a secondary problem for now. I don't mind what boat I use to do this testing and the VO70 will do the job just fine.

Tomorrow I will try some reverse routes as you suggest.

On one of those routes (USA-UK) I tried quite a number of different months..still got the identical routes.

I assume if I untick grib and use Climatology, then those winds as shown in the roses from climatology on the chart will be what weather router uses to optimize...correct?

Sean, am sending you a small donation...good luck with the trip!
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:13   #15
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Re: Use and Installation - New User - Welcome!

John you need tp change the start date in wx route. I will try vo70 again.

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