OCC Forums

We use UGrib


By DariaBlackwell - 24 Mar 2012

We have been using UGrib to download GRIB files via SAT phone while underway. To make it economically feasible and a small enough file to download relatively fast, we only get small sections in our vicinity. That compromises our ability to "see" what 's coming. Has anyone else come up with a viable solution that won 't break the bank on an ocean crossing?
By RobbieW - 25 Mar 2012

Saildocs? Its not as easy to use as Ugrib but it is email based and geared toward minimal download size. Usability improves if you use the Airmail program which has a graphical interface to create the request email. As an aside I recently had to give up on Ugrib, having used it for 6/7 years, bcause it started to refuse my logins. It seems this is a known quirk to do with using multiple IP addresses over time. I now use zyGrib.

THe other thought would be to install an HF reciever, assuming you currently have no HF capability. With relatively simple PC based software you can then pick up weather fax services to get a big picture.
By DariaBlackwell - 26 Mar 2012

Thanks for the view on UGrib, SailDocs and zyGrib. We 'll play with the others and see what we can work out.

We looked into HF actually as I do have a long range radio license and learned that the cost of the new equipment (which is heading for obsolescence) made the upfront costs significantly higher for HF than SAT phone. So we opted to keep our old SSB and add a SAT phone instead. That way we have SSB for one to many and SAT phone for one to one communications. That drove our choice of weather forecasting tools.
By RobbieW - 26 Mar 2012

Hi Daria, stop me if I 'm doing the egg sucking thing...

Do you have a Pactor with your old SSB setup? If not there is some newer software around that makes use of sound cards. It wont run quite as fast as the Pactor protocols, so its debatable whether you 'd really want to do more than exchange short emails. Also it 's probably only supported on the ham stations so if you dont have a ham call sign it wont work for you. Keyword to search for is WINMOR.

The other thought is to look at subscribing to one of the limited bandwidth email services. Mailasail is one, Sailmail is another. Both provide an optimised connection service when using either SSB or SatPhone connections. They say that they effectively provide a duplex connection when connecting so minimising your connection time, important if your using a SatPhone service.

My experience of SatPhones, mostly on deliveries, was that getting a good connection with handheld equipment was tricky. I wasted probably half the minutes on poor connections.
By DariaBlackwell - 22 Apr 2012

Have finally had a chance to look into your recommendations. WINMOR looks really interesting. We 're going to give it a shot. Thanks for the lead.