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#264847 - 01/01/2005 12:20 Downloading weather radar while chasing
David Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 27/10/2003
Posts: 413
Loc: Moorooka Qld
Is there a way to download to PDA, laptop or mobile to get radar images while your out and about chasing. Most frustrating part for amatuers is not knowing whats going on if you don't have someone at home base, giving you up dates on the movement of storms etc. I have gone in the wrong direction so many times becuase the person I am talking to on the phone can't read the radar or I can;t get someone to tell me what is happening. I know as my forecast knowledge grows I can get to where it might start but if things happen quickly?

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#264848 - 01/01/2005 12:25 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
dan Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 08/11/2001
Posts: 727
Loc: ipswich
GPRS is a option, very costly tho

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#264849 - 02/01/2005 03:27 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
O-3 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 07/06/2001
Posts: 368
Loc: SA-AUSTRALIA
Just hookup your mobile phone to your laptop...you don't need GPRS.

Transfers are slow but it's still a great help

Cheers

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#264850 - 02/01/2005 08:12 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Scud Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 1207
Loc: Mcleans Ridges
Easiest solution - Buy a second hand laptop and then connect to a ISP using a cable connecting your mobile phone to the laptop. The speeds wont be ideal and you do get frustrated but it works.

Having done a year of that myself the last 2 years I have been using Telstra's 1X high speed data connection. Recently they have changd their plans to make it more affordable. All you need is a CDMA phone that is 1X enabled , a data cord that plugs into the USB port on your laptop and your ready. $29 a month (no contract , cancel or change whenever you like) gets me 10mb worth of downloads on the road and $4 for every Mb I spend afterwards.

Having done a bit of research into GPRS and 1X I would say if you dont already have a high speeed data phone then go with the 1x. Download speeds are faster than GPRS and normal ISP calls(up to 144kbps - compared to the 9.6kbps you get connecting to a ISP through your mobile) and coverage is doubled. Just compare a CDMA coverage map to a GSM map, you can see the huge difference CDMA has and 1x is available from all their towers.

If your a serious chaser and do head to far away places to chase(this year for me I have done Walgett, Coonamble, Brewarrina , Charleville, Cunnamulla, Goondiwindi etc) CDMA is the country option. With an external antenna I have had coverage every where I drove around in N and NW NSW even when 100kms from the closest town). If your a city chaser then GPRS will be fine.

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#264851 - 02/01/2005 13:51 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Grinch Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1165
Loc: ACT
I will just add my two cents worth into this, there are more and more wireless network sites coming online these days so consider a wireless NIC and an account with an isp that supports wireless access.
Some towns and communities have local wireless access available also.
More info here on available nodes in new south wales.
http://www.nodedb.com/australia/nsw/?

Why not implement a system of volunteer radar watchers on line who can be contacted via mobile phone and are willing to pass on updates and road information STA's/W's to chasers out on the road.
I know this takes place informally between chasers but there are others who do not have the benefit of knowing all the other chasers.

WZ could add a field into profiles so an individual could indicate wether they participate or not as a radar watcher so they are easily found by new and old users, not a good idea to publish phone numbers online but these can be exchanged in a pm or something.
Print a copy of the list and ring away when needed smile :cheers:

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#264852 - 02/01/2005 14:46 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
dan Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 08/11/2001
Posts: 727
Loc: ipswich
Well funny you mention Wisp's
at the moment ipswich cams and lightning tracker are peered on to the www.ips-mesh.net project, however that project isnt moving along to well at the moment

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#264853 - 02/01/2005 17:39 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
aussielunix Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 25/10/2003
Posts: 784
Loc: Windellama, NSW @ 630m asl
Hi all, For the sydney chase you have all forgot one easy and fast solution. Unwired and a laptop.
It works well. And fast.
As for out west a usb gprs modem or for the rich this

smile

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#264854 - 04/01/2005 15:41 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
David Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 27/10/2003
Posts: 413
Loc: Moorooka Qld
Looks for the out of town chasing options a laptop with a mobile connection are the cheapest and best option. The sat dish would be great but out of my price range.

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#264855 - 17/01/2005 18:45 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Greenmantle Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 19/12/2004
Posts: 196
Loc: S 27 28.930 E 153 01.800
Vodafone also currently have a mobile data plan which includes a PCMCIA card that does all the work. http://www.vodafone.com.au/business/buss...l&ss=databundle

$50/month plus the cost of the card should provide more bandwidth than you'd need for general storm chasing, forum use and emails, ect.

If I ever upgrade my laptop, I'd consider changing to this plan just for convenience.

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#264856 - 18/01/2005 18:14 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
Hi guys!

I'm with James...go with a CDMA 1X enabled phone, or a GPRS enabled phone. You can connect to your ISP, but it's very slow...you can get your laptop to connect to a mobile and then use the number "*99#" to get the mobile to connect via GPRS...which is much quicker. But it can cost a bit depending on which service provider you're with...I pay $15/mb on GPRS...James, what number do you use to tell your CDMA phone to dial up to CDMA 1X as I want to look into that? I only got a CDMA phone for TDU recently, but just dialed to the ISP...but I think using 1X will be cheaper, and better coverage too!

If you don't have a laptop etc, the other options are:

- Libraries, all libraries have internet access
- Net cafes (little more expensive than libraries, many libraries are just $2-$3 for an hour)
- Become good friends with some one in front of a radar screen!

I can show you how GPRS works on a laptop on Sunday at the QLD ASWA meeting if you like David (Twisted)?

AC
_________________________
Weatherwatch www.weatherwatch.net.au
Downunder Chasing www.downunderchase.com

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#264857 - 18/01/2005 18:37 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Scud Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 1207
Loc: Mcleans Ridges
I Dial #777 and within around 6 seconds you are connected and authenticated. 1X has plans depending on how much you think you will use each month. These can be cancelled or changed at any time. My $29 per month gives me 10MB with each MB over costing $4. Is that figure of $15/mb for GPRS correct AC ? That seems to be very expensive.

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#264858 - 18/01/2005 18:57 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
Thanks! Will test it out on my CDMA phone when I get a chance...

Yep, 1.5c/kb which is $15/mb...a ripoff really...CDMA 1X is much cheaper, I think my phone supports it...

AC
_________________________
Weatherwatch www.weatherwatch.net.au
Downunder Chasing www.downunderchase.com

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#264859 - 18/01/2005 20:17 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
anewts Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 21/08/2002
Posts: 3343
Loc: Forestville, NSW
Some good info, i use CDMA but not sure if my phone is able to be used for this purpose. Will have to look into the options, as am keen to get radar up and running while out and about. I also have a SE k700i, so not sure which would be the better option (if i can use the CDMA).

Andrew

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#264860 - 18/01/2005 23:36 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
One thing...the plan James is on is for "mobile broadband" which is a different type of 1X, and only a handful of handsets can support them...normal CDMA 1X is a bit more expensive...but still cheaper than GPRS! Pretty fast though, I got it up and running this evening and was downloading @ 8kb/sec smile

AC
_________________________
Weatherwatch www.weatherwatch.net.au
Downunder Chasing www.downunderchase.com

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#264861 - 19/01/2005 02:13 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Stormy Spott Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/2004
Posts: 1546
Loc: Daisy Hill, SE Qld
Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony Cornelius:

If you don't have a laptop etc, the other options are:

- Libraries, all libraries have internet access
- Net cafes (little more expensive than libraries, many libraries are just $2-$3 for an hour)
- Become good friends with some one in front of a radar screen!

AC
lol AC, that's pretty much where I get my radar images, at the nearest library or a net cafe, the one I normally go to in the city, gets me on for $3 an hour, since I get a discount for being a member.

I relate to your comment about good friends one time in front of a radar screen, one time walked in and logged on, then three guys sitting next to me went 'Hey it's that weather guy'.

Although libraries are good, the problems come when one, there are no computers, or two you haven't booked for one, and 5 mins into checking the radar, the librarians become bouncers.

Also if your in the city a quick visit to the local BOM, well here in Brisbane at least, there's high quality radar images on loop mode outside the ground offices for free. smile

:cheers:

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#264862 - 19/01/2005 08:00 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Scud Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 1207
Loc: Mcleans Ridges
Give me 144kb/sec anyday please :p

AC is right about certain phones, just check that the phone you are getting is 1X enabled and your laughing. There are plenty of older models out there in the market place that will give you 1X access cheaply. I use the Kyocera 2235 which was worth around $400 3 years ago but Im sure you could get it for under $100 on ebay now. Once you have the phone you just need the Datacable (which can also be found on ebay or at Telstra shops) to plug into your laptop and then highspeed internet access pretty much anywhere across NSW and QLD is yours.

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#264863 - 19/01/2005 14:29 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
David Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 27/10/2003
Posts: 413
Loc: Moorooka Qld
Thanks guys, Anthony I will definetly get you to show me your set up. I have done a few amateur chases trouble is all my friends with computers want to come too! I think my phone supports GPRS not sure about CDMA (I don't think so). All I need now is a laptop, any mimimum requirements (Processing power, RAM etc?).

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#264864 - 19/01/2005 17:56 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Michael Bath Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 20/06/2001
Posts: 2447
Loc: McLeans Ridges, Northern River...
I have just set up a 1X connection with my Nokia 6385 CDMA and laptop. Works nicely. Chose Telstra's $10/mo plan for now that gives you 3mb, then its $4/mb after that. I don't expect to use too much data for storm chase updates. A couple of chases a month shouldn't use too much data with the odd radar/ obs or satpic update.

Any laptop with a USB port would work with this. No need for the latest technology there.

MB

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#264865 - 19/01/2005 21:49 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
Hi MB!

Is that the EV DO plan or the normal one? When I rang, they insisted that 1X was more, but I could only see the EV DO prices on Telstra, might give them another call...have a hunch they're both the same price.

We can display to those interested how it works on Sunday smile

AC
_________________________
Weatherwatch www.weatherwatch.net.au
Downunder Chasing www.downunderchase.com

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#264866 - 20/01/2005 00:18 Re: Downloading weather radar while chasing
Scud Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 1207
Loc: Mcleans Ridges
EV DO and Mobile Broadband use the same plans. You can choose from 1) Pay as you Go 2) DataPack plan and 3) PC Pack . Personally the Data Pack plans are the way to go. MB , it sounds like you are on the $10 Data Pack plan and I am on the $29. Not much of a difference between them.

Check here for the info on it http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/business/products/mobilebroadband.htm?tR=3m

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