Help with using the MailASail teleport-weather System
Our teleport-weather system is extremely easy to use and in most cases you need to nothing more than click the links that are in each email that you receive
Sorry we can't put the real email address on the web page or else it gets inundated with "spam" messages. However, it should be easy to understand what the real address is! To order up the main index page which gives you the main instructions on using the system you simply send a COMPLETELY blank email (ie NOTHING in the subject line!) to the following address and receive the instructions back within a few seconds as the response:
- weather (at) mailasail (dot) com
What is happening is that there is a computer program listening at the other end of that email address which responds to your requests and sends back the desired weather files. Note that you DO NOT have re-request the main help file each time to use the system - instead you should keep the instruction emails safe and re-use them.
Then simply click the links in the messages, or write a new message to the usual address with the EXACT name of the required forecast as the SUBJECT line. Please be sure to smell it correctly, and remember that the file names are CaSe SenSiTiVe!
GRIB files are a very clever way to send weather data across the internet. Rather than sending a picture of a weather map, instead it's possible to send a computerised description of the map, eg something like "draw a wind barb here pointing at an angle 20 degrees and show the wind strength as 20 knots" can be send much more compactly as a few "bits and bytes" than it can by sending a picture of such a wind arrow. So the GRIB data is computer data and not directly viewable and instead you need a program to draw the data out on the screen.
There are a number of such programs and they vary dramatically in cost and ease of use. Three of our favourites (because they are free) are:
- "Viewfax" from the Airmail SSB software (see the following link for more info: http://www.siriuscyber.net/wxfax/viewfax434.exe )
- First download this latest (beta) file and install it: http://www.siriuscyber.net/wxfax/viewfax434.exe
- The final program does not automatically open when you double click on a GRIB file, so the easiest way to change this is to:
- Save a real GRIB file to the C: drive
- Double click the GRIB file to open it and choose "Select the program from a list" when prompted by Windows.
- In the next screen choose "Browse" and navigate to: C:\Program Files\Airmail\Viewfax.exe
- OK, now you should be able to double click .GRB files in an email and have them open automatically
- iExpedition - really a racing package, but they make a free version which simply shows the weather
- Download iExpeditionLT from here: http://www.tasmanbaynav.co.nz/download.htm
- If you like the product then consider buying the full race software
- B&G Deckman
- Download and install the demo (40MB) from: http://www.bandg.com/en/Products/Deckman-Tactical-Software/
- This is a commercial application - the demo allows you to view weather grib files extremely easily - however you may be interested to purchase the full application which includes navigation and "routing" features (Routing means choosing the fastest route based on the predicted winds, your yachts performance to windward and also how the weather is expected to change in the future)
However, there are also a lot of other very good GRIB plotters, eg:
- Xaxero Windplot - http://www.xaxero.com
- MaxSea - http://comen.maxsea.fr/MaxSea/default.aspx
- Raymarine RNS - http://www.raymarine.com/
- Software Onboard (SOB) - http://www.digiboat.com.au/
- Theyr - https://www.theyr.com/grib/index.asp (OS X compatible)
- Zygrib - http://www.zygrib.org/index.php?page=inter (Windows/OSX/Linux)
Note, the majority of these programs are Windows only. Unfortunately OSX is still somewhat lagging in marine applications, however, the few which are available are fairly good and the gap is closing fast. OSX compatible apps are noted above. (And you can also use Parallels/VMWare/Virtual Box to run Windows applications natively on your Mac)
Graphical Grib Request Utility
This graphical utility (from Nimble Navigator) will allow you to request GFS and NWW3 Grib information easily using a graphical interface.
Using the weather system from an internet cafe
If you are in an internet cafe and using the Web Mail system to read your email then the clickable hyperlinks will not work as expected.
This is because the hyperlinks are designed to cause the default email program on the computer to open up and start creating a new email with the correct default destination address and subject - however, in an internet cafe the default email program will be something like Outlook Express and it will either be totally unconfigured, or configured with some random details that you don't want to use.
So in order to request the files correctly via the Web Mail system you will need to
- Highlight and copy the exact text of the file you are requesting.
- Create a new email in the Web Mail system to: weather (at) mailasail (dot) com
- Paste in the text of the file you are requesting into the subject line
For more a huge list of other weather information please do also visit Frank Singleton's website here: