What first, threat net or just mobile internet?

Kyle Frisbie

Hello all, just a short while until the season get's going! This will be my 3rd season to chase and for the past 2 seasons I've chased "naked" except for a wx radio. I've decided that I want to end my data on the road problems, but I am having trouble deciding what to do first. First of all, to have either threat net or just cellular internet I'll need a laptop, I've heard some discussion about some laptops being "bogged" down by wx works, but no specifics on personal experience with a machine that runs it particularly well or just do's and dont's in general. Obviously, I'm trying to reduce cost, so I have no desire to spend money on a nicer notebook than is nessesary. Also, when it comes to internet, what service offers the best coverage of T alley, I have a T mobile cell phone and I have ZERO service about 90% of the time I'm chasing. To sum up, I would like specific suggestions as far as laptop of choice(Min: processor speed, Memory, ect.), decision to get threat net and which mobile internet provider is ideal. Thanks for ALL comments and suggestions...

KF
 
There are many threads regarding this, even recent ones. Check the Vault for more.

Software/hardware requirements should be on Baron's website.

We already have good threads on mobile internet.
 
Well if mobile threatnet is an option in this question I'd say go that route. Why? Because you can pick up a good wifi card for cheap and be PLENTY covered with just those two. I got xm wx-worx in 2005 and an orinoco gold card and never once needed to use my cell phone for data(well minus the November chase when xm was off). It really is the perfect setup in my mind.

It is so simple to get most of the internet data you need by occasional wifi stops. Once all that has been gathered and is in your brain there really isn't much need for things not on xm. Leave your wifi stop and you have constant radar and surface updates right there next to you with no work from yourself.

I'm running delorme street atlas with gps and xm at the same time on the laptop I use with no problems. The laptop is at least 3 years old.

But anyway, it sure is nice not messing with cell phone connecting/connections and wondering about minutes. After that initial cost of xm data is dirt cheap and esspecially so for having a constant feed. I use the $30/month xm plan and don't know why you'd really need anything more than that.

And to be quite honest you could probably do very well without xm or cell data if you had a wifi card and a list of libraries.
 
Thanks for the response Mike. You mentioned that you are running the Delorme street atlas along with the xm, do you have the built in GPS along with the threat net, or it just that the Delorme is that much more satisfactory? Also, you said your laptop is 3 years old, do you know what kind of processor and/or amount of RAM it has. For instance the celeron processors are much less expensive, but I am concerned about handling capability. I know the Baron site has a basic list of requirements, however, I recall nearly a year ago reading a post either on here or wxchase from someone who said you need a little bit more than what Baron says to avoid extremely slow loading and operation of threat net.

KF
 
I use street atlas just because I had it before I got xm. The reciever won't work with xm and/or there was something you had to do to get it to work. I've yet to see the real need to have it running on the xm screen. It'd be simpler I guess but once you are on the storm and maybe in need of using gravel roads you really don't need xm then, so having SA open and in view works fine. I really didn't want to mess with the ports either as I feared I would just make something stop working. If you know more about computers than I do then all that probably isn't worth worrying about.

I can look on the laptop later and see what it has. I don't think it is over 1.0 ghz and was thinking 800mghz with 256k of ram, but that might be way off. It isn't actually my laptop but my parents. I killed the cheap e-machines I had at the beginning of 2004 and have been using theirs as they never use it. I'll be out at their place later and will boot it up and look.
 
Kyle,

I agree with Mike in that Wx Worx and a good wifi card, esp. an orinoco gold card with external antenna is the way to go. There are services like Cingular and Sprint that are decent, but I think you will be fine with just wifi and Wx Worx. Not sure on the processor speed to run Wx Worx, but I do know they suggest 512 MB of RAM to run the program. Also a good gps unit would be nice. There are several Delorme earthmate units for around $80 on ebay that will do the job. Good luck on getting some new equipment. I have gotten some new equipment as well this year and I am ready to check it out. Just went to the xm site and here are the specs. to run mobile threat net. Just scroll to the bottom.
http://www.wxworx.com/ground/index.php
 
Originally posted by Mike Hollingshead
I use street atlas just because I had it before I got xm. The reciever won't work with xm and/or there was something you had to do to get it to work. I've yet to see the real need to have it running on the xm screen. It'd be simpler I guess but once you are on the storm and maybe in need of using gravel roads you really don't need xm then, so having SA open and in view works fine. I really didn't want to mess with the ports either as I feared I would just make something stop working. If you know more about computers than I do then all that probably isn't worth worrying about.

I can look on the laptop later and see what it has. I don't think it is over 1.0 ghz and was thinking 800mghz with 256k of ram, but that might be way off. It isn't actually my laptop but my parents. I killed the cheap e-machines I had at the beginning of 2004 and have been using theirs as they never use it. I'll be out at their place later and will boot it up and look.

What plan do you use for the $30 a month? Do they still have start/stop fees? If it's only 30 a month and I can shut it off in the downseason, I might be able to save up and get one. I love mobile radar through the laptop, but it seems like I never have coverage when I really need it.

I just noticed that if you get the non-bluetooth receiver and don't bother with the GPS upgrade, you can get a WXWORXS receiver with the threatnet software for under $700. Hmmmm.
 
It's the Marine/Sailor subscription service. I believe activation was $50 for it while it is $100 for the others.

Shoot, I forgot to check the laptop info. I will try to remember to do it today.
 
Ooops I guess I was way off on the speed. It is a 2.8 ghz celeron with 448mb of ram.
 
Thanks for checking that Mike. That's def. something I needed to know, that's a pretty big processor, but I'm a little surprised at the RAM. I hope I don't need a processor quite that big, that'll cost me...lol Anyone else had luck with a slower processor?
 
Mike,

where did you get the system requirements? I didnt see specs that high but maybe I missed them. What I found on their page was

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Tablet PC
Pentium Class Processor - 800 MHZ or better
512 MB of RAM
350 MB of hard-disk space
CD-ROM drive
Available USB ports


My partners have used WxWorx for a few years now and we love it. I have one on the way for me. I am suppose to get it Tuesday. My laptop is a 2.0ghz with 768mb RAM and it has run WxWork and Street Atlas together just fine using my partners system. I may upgrade my RAM to 1gig just so I have some extra if needed for dial-up connections etc..

THe Marine Package is the best value. We talked with the rep for quite a wjile before I decided. The only difference is with the marine package you dont have Shear detection feature. You still get the rotating donuts on you screen to show strong shear but you cant click on the shear button to show all levels of shear. He said the page was wrong and hasnt been updated but with the marine you also DO get echo tops and upper level winds.

It is half the price of the ground package and the activation fee is half so I can live without the shear button. If the shear is strong the donut shows up which is all I need.
 
Mike,

where did you get the system requirements? I didnt see specs that high but maybe I missed them. What I found on their page was

Those weren't the specs for the requirements but simply what my laptop had, since I was asked.
 
I was wondering...lol

You can run WxWork with only 448 of RAM? does it have any issues with updating or locking up? If no problems then I dont see any reason for me to upgrade to 1gig unless you run it standalone. I also run SA 2004 at the same time.
 
I have SA and xm running at the same time for extended periods during a chase and have had no problems with that laptop.
 
Fellows,
I am getting ready to order my Weather Worx system and can't make my mind up based upon the comments here on Mobile System vs Marine system.
The Marine system (as I understand it) has everything one would need AND it comed with the heavy duty Marine antenna. It is also less money to operate. I need pros and Cons now!!

PLEASE MAKE YOUR LAST COMMENTS AS I AM PURCHASING ONE OF THESE SYSTEMS SOON!!!

Thanks
N5PTW
 
Originally posted by Jay McCoy
I was wondering...lol

You can run WxWork with only 448 of RAM? does it have any issues with updating or locking up? If no problems then I dont see any reason for me to upgrade to 1gig unless you run it standalone. I also run SA 2004 at the same time.

I ran my wx worx last year on a laptop that had 256 mb of ram. I usually had SA running as well. Only time I had a problem is after an hour and a half or so, it would start telling me I was low on memory. It can be done, but I am going to upgrade this year.
 
Fellows,
I am getting ready to order my Weather Worx system and can't make my mind up based upon the comments here on Mobile System vs Marine system.
The Marine system (as I understand it) has everything one would need AND it comed with the heavy duty Marine antenna. It is also less money to operate. I need pros and Cons now!!

PLEASE MAKE YOUR LAST COMMENTS AS I AM PURCHASING ONE OF THESE SYSTEMS SOON!!!

Thanks
N5PTW

I could be wrong, but I think that it is possible to get the mobile hardware system, the mobile software package, and the marine or air data package. Right? At least, that's what people were saying last year.
 
I think the hardware is the same for all. I have the mobile maps/software and am using Marine/Sailor.

Sailor is the cheaper Marine plan at $30/month instead of the $50 one. You don't have echo tops, lightning, or upper level winds with this plan, but oh well.
 
Does anyone have any experience with the marine antenna? Seem an external waterproof antenna might be a good thing to have in the rain and it looks better built than the smaller GPS type receiver.
 
Does anyone have any experience with the marine antenna? Seem an external waterproof antenna might be a good thing to have in the rain and it looks better built than the smaller GPS type receiver.

I was going to ask this as well. The land combo comes with the regular looking receiver, whilest the marine version comes with the little white stubie looking antenna. If I understand this correctly, it really depends on the software installed more than anything else?
 
Does anyone have any experience with the marine antenna? Seem an external waterproof antenna might be a good thing to have in the rain and it looks better built than the smaller GPS type receiver.

I was going to ask this as well. The land combo comes with the regular looking receiver, whilest the marine version comes with the little white stubie looking antenna. If I understand this correctly, it really depends on the software installed more than anything else?

Well, the antenna is just the antenna. You can stick any old compatible antenna on the WXWORX box. From the looks of it, you can probably use the same antenna that you use for the music service on Delphi units.

I have XM radio. XM radio utilizes the same tiny little magmount "puck" antenna that the WXWORX does. It held up to rain just fine on my now-extinct Crown Vic -- even carwashes didn't phase it. :) Antenna type shouldn't be an issue. Actually, if you want to be really, really stealthy about your chasing, you can just leave the antenna in the corner of your windshield inside your car. As long as it can see the southern sky, it'll get data just fine.
 
So the software is interchangible with each version? OR the software IS the version? Hope that makes sense.
 
Are you sure that can run on 20-60K mobile internet feeds? Looks more like something that would require high speed...
 
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