WX Worx price increase

EDIT: after careful review, the price is still $929 for the usb receiver, however the bluetooth version is $1179 and does not come with the GPS hardware.

Well it looks like Baron finally got receivers back in stock, but the bad news is that the price went fron $929 to $1179. Too bad for those who have waited. It was introduced at $999 a year and a half ago, then went down to $929 just before this chase season started and now went up 250 bucks! Whew...

I still believe it's worth it though as we landed a few good storms and some tornadoes on our last chase May 10-13, thanks to MTN!!
 
That's one heck of a price for a hobby. I don't think I've spent that much on my other hobbies combined. Unless you make enough money selling videos/pictures I just can't see justifying it myself...but hey. That's just me.

I'd get it if I could justify it...more power to you if you can!

You don't think you could have landed the storm with a cell phone data plan for $20/m and Stormlab or GRLevel3?
 
Actually the price increase is for the new bluetooth receiver they now offer. Still 929 for the usb receiver w/ premium mapping and 99 for the holux gps. Im hoping to get this over the winter to go with my new dell laptop i ordered this morning.
 
Why is that really so outrageous to spend on a hobby? I know people who have spent that much on a set of wheels for their car, spent that much on fishing/camping gear, or even on a computer just to play games on.

Considering that many of us can easily put on a 1000 miles a trip, why not maximize any chances you have at seeing something with that kind of time and gas money already in to it..

I have been in plenty of situations on the plains where the haze was so bad you couldn't see more than 20-30 miles, were in an area with NO cell phone data coverage. Something could have went ballistic 30 miles away and you might have missed the show. That should never happen to you with wxworx. And that is just one scenario of many.

It's not going to make you a better forecaster or chaser. But there is NOTHING like having that "live" data with you 24/7.
 
Originally posted by Eric B'Hymer
Actually the price increase is for the new bluetooth receiver they now offer. Still 929 for the usb receiver w/ premium mapping and 99 for the holux gps. Im hoping to get this over the winter to go with my new dell laptop i ordered this morning.

congrats on the new dell eric.. What kind did you get?
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
Why is that really so outrageous to spend on a hobby?

I agree... I've spent more than that on one camera lens. It all depends on how much you are into what you are doing, and of course, funds.

I think the WxWorx system is ideal and very worth the price for me, as I am a lone chaser with no now-caster support. Those days where the sky is socked in will no longer be so much a chase buster for me now, since I can at least get some data to perhaps save the day and make my trip worthwhile (possibly).
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
Why is that really so outrageous to spend on a hobby?

true. I guess I just haven't spent that much money on a hobby before. Could be because I have like 5..instead of just one :)

Not casting stones...just not sure I see the benefit...I'll take your word for it. Obviously folks find it useful.
 
This is what i ordered fplowman, prob is it wont be here till june8-10th, but by next season i will have wxworx to go with it.

Inspiron 6000
Intel? Pentium? M Processor 730 (1.60 GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB), Microsoft? Windows? XP Home Qty: 1
Unit Price: $1,725.00
Inspiron 6000D Intel? Pentium? M Processor 730 (1.60 GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB)
TM16DN
[221-5488]

Display 15.4 inch WXGA LCD Panel
15XGA
[320-4266]

Memory 1GB DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms
1GB2D
[311-4741]

Video Card 128MB DDR ATI's MOBILITYâ„¢ RADEON X300 PCI Express x16 Graphics
128ATI
[320-3897]

Hard Drive 60GB Hard Drive
60GB
[341-2124]

Operating System Microsoft? Windows? XP Home
WHXP
[420-4766]
[463-2282]
[412-0689]
[420-4928]
[420-4830]
[412-0706]

Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
INTNIC
[430-0493]

Adobe Software Adobe? Acrobat? Reader 6.0
ADOBER
[430-1048]

Combo/DVD+RW Drives 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
24COMBO
[313-3242]
[420-5111]

Wireless Networking Card Intel? PRO/Wireless 2915 Internal Wireless (802.11 a/b/g, 54Mbps)
IP2915
[430-1257]

Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) No productivity suite - Corel WordPerfect word processor only
ICOREL
[412-0714]

Security Software No Security Subscription
NSNOR
[412-0802]

Digital Music Dell Jukebox - easy-to-use music player and CD burning software
MMBASE
[412-0741]

Battery 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery (53 WHr)
6BAT
[312-0277]

Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options 1Yr Ltd Warranty, 1Yr At-Home Service, and 1Yr Technical Support
S1OS
[950-9797]
[950-3337]
[412-0360]
[960-6910]
[960-6580]

Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months America Online Internet Access Included
AOLDHS
[412-0625]
[420-3224]
[412-0687]
[412-0787]

Digital Imaging Photo Albumâ„¢ SE Basic
DPS
[412-0744]

Miscellaneous Award Winning Service & Support
I6000X3
[463-8991]

Financial Software No QuickBooks package selected- Includes limited use trial
QBSSP
[420-5139]




Dell Home Customers: Save $750 on select Inspiron notebook purchases of $1499 or more (before tax and shipping)!
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Originally posted by Eric B'Hymer
This is what i ordered fplowman, prob is it wont be here till june8-10th
:( wow what a wait. That was one reason i steered away.. I wanted to chase this year with it. I think overall for the money Dell is a great laptop though.
 
Originally posted by Tyler Allison+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tyler Allison)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-David Drummond
Why is that really so outrageous to spend on a hobby?

true. I guess I just haven't spent that much money on a hobby before. Could be because I have like 5..instead of just one :)

Not casting stones...just not sure I see the benefit...I'll take your word for it. Obviously folks find it useful.[/b]

Ah, as do I. Fortunately, I have found ways to integrate some of them into or alongside storm chasing. Like the vehicle modifications. I love doing that stuff. If it wasn't a chase vehicle I would probably be building up another 69 Dodge Charger. Then there is ham radio and computers and I am venturing into some "hobbist" video projects I might never have tried if not for storm chasing. Heck I want to try my hand at doing one of those Star Wars fan films at some point, and no doubt the cameras, computers and software I have gotten for chasing will come in handy for that.
 
Yea... that really isnt alot for 1 or 2 of your big hobbies...

My paintball gun costed over 1000 total....lol

I cant really say for chasing i'd spend that much but this is also my first season of really actually getting out and doing it... so this could very well change...
 
Originally posted by Chris Allington

I cant really say for chasing i'd spend that much but this is also my first season of really actually getting out and doing it... so this could very well change...

Good point. I don't chase in the plains so that could also be the reason why Im not seeing the need for me.

Somebody let me know when the price drops to $20 a month :)
 
Originally posted by Tyler Allison+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tyler Allison)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Chris Allington

I cant really say for chasing i'd spend that much but this is also my first season of really actually getting out and doing it... so this could very well change...

Good point. I don't chase in the plains so that could also be the reason why Im not seeing the need for me.

Somebody let me know when the price drops to $20 a month :)[/b]

Tyler, there is a $19.99/mo option, actually. There is also a $29.99/mo plan. The monthly costs aren't what's prohibitive to me. Rather, it's the huge initial equipment cost (the ~$1000) that's keeps me from getting the system.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder

Tyler, there is a $19.99/mo option, actually. There is also a $29.99/mo plan. The monthly costs aren't what's prohibitive to me. Rather, it's the huge initial equipment cost (the ~$1000) that's keeps me from getting the system.

Okay..how'd I miss that on their webpage?!? Now I'm going to have to go back and look again. Burns my butt to think about giving Baron my money but sometimes you gotta pay the devil to play.
 
Originally posted by Tyler Allison+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tyler Allison)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Jeff Snyder

Tyler, there is a $19.99/mo option, actually. There is also a $29.99/mo plan. The monthly costs aren't what's prohibitive to me. Rather, it's the huge initial equipment cost (the ~$1000) that's keeps me from getting the system.

Okay..how'd I miss that on their webpage?!? Now I'm going to have to go back and look again. Burns my butt to think about giving Baron my money but sometimes you gotta pay the devil to play.[/b]

I wasn't entirely accurate in my above post. The lowest plan for WxWorx starts at $29.99, though I still think that they had a $19.99 for a short while...

The plans are WxWorx plans. However, they are for the Marine or Aviation packages, not the ground / MobileThreatNet plan. You still get radar, but some of the other included products are different. There are actually two different marine plans for $29.99, and one aviation package for $29.99. Check out the marine packages at http://www.wxworx.com/marine/service_pricing.php and the aviation packages at http://www.wxworx.com/aviation/service_pricing.php .
 
well its been said that some may not chase in the plains and those that do know the cell coverage can be minimal if at all. So the WXWorx is very handy.

The other package they have that is 49.99 Master Mariner is excellent. There may be 2 things you dont get that you only get with the responder package. I think those things I never use any way.

I used the responder package last year and there's no diffrence with how things are shown on screen. Ehy the responder package is 50 dollar more is beyond me but i dont use it anymore any way.
 
Do the shear SCITS come with the Master Mariner plan? If so I may upgrade just for June. I have the $30/month Sailor package (radar, METARS, warnings, fronts, forecasts). I can get by without the shear data, but it'd be very helpful to have for another $20.
 
next year ill have it :(

I am torn between that and cingular wireless card though.. Still trying to decide.
 
Originally posted by fplowman
next year ill have it :(

I am torn between that and cingular wireless card though.. Still trying to decide.

I have WxWorx with the Reponder plan. In retrospect given the choice between WxWorx and a Cingular wireless card I think I would go with Cingular. I do not have Cingular so I cannot speak with any authority as to their coverage area, but if it is anything close to what their coverage map indicates I think it would be the better choice.

While it is true that with WxWorx you have coverage everywhere, there are still several draw backs. The first one is that WxWorx is a memory and power hog. Many people have posted complaints to that affect and that has also been my experience. With WxWorx and your laptop are both plugged in you need to keep your car running or you will lose your WxWorx signal and have to resent your reciever.

The second reason is simply the cost, even if you have to sign a contract with Cingular, I think it will still be cheaper in the long run.

Third, WxWorx does not give you access to any SPC or SPC mesoscale products.

Fourth, WxWorx radar while it is "current" it can still be up to 6 minutes old, since WSR88d data is only taken every five minutes and then you have some processing and transmission time, a lot can change in 6 minutes.

Fifth, WxWorx only becomes a distraction once you have located your storm.

Sixth, the radar data is "nexrad" not 88D, meaning it is smoothed and filtered, only 6 reflectivity levels. With Cingular you would have access to 88d data as well as radial velocity data.

The benefits of having WxWorx are that it integerates with your GPS and updates automatically. I will say that on a couple of occassions when I was traveling, not chasing, I was able to navigate around and through storms and avoided any hail as a result of having WxWorx. It has also helped in being able to make good decision as I approached storms while chasing in areas, one of the many areas, where my Sprint data card does not work. However if I would have had an opporational data card I probably could have achieved the same results.
 
Than you for the input Jason. Very compelling and valid points. I may be swayed towards the cingular card.... Anyone elses opinions if you had to choose between the two?
 
I've been out in the field using WxWorx and it is absolutely amazing. The "tops" function and satellite will show where convection may be starting. I have used the radar to pick storms and to navigate around nasty cores at night. I also like the surface station data. You still need to forecast but during the chase, it is very helpful. Definitely worth it though I wish it was cheaper!

Bill Hark
 
Sixth, the radar data is "nexrad" not 88D, meaning it is smoothed and filtered, only 6 reflectivity levels. With Cingular you would have access to 88d data as well as radial velocity data.

Just a quick note... The data is very smoothed, as Jason noted, thus meaning that any small-scale radar signature is likel lost. However, it still is WSR88D data, which is the same as NEXRAD. Unless you have level II data access, the data you view on an internet page (again, assuming it's NIDS data, which all are currently IIRC) will be the same as the WxWorx system uses, though WxWorx is severely smoothed. With internet data (e.g. CoD), you do have access to other NIDS products, such as VIL, various velocity tilts, etc. WSR88D = NEXRAD for all intents and purposes.

Now, I still can't understand why the smooth the data so much. If the ground system is aimed towards the likes of emergency managers, and you assume that emergency managers know how to interpret radar in a basic sense, why smooth the heck out of it? Cmon.. The target audience is at least a little skilled at radar interpretation, so why handicap us/them by a smoothing process which essentially severely reduces radar resolution? Ugh.
 
I agree, smoothing of radar data is bad, bad, bad. Smoothing operators basically attempt to make the whole echo appear more uniform, and since it blends a gate with neighboring gates it results in lost information and causes real structure in the data to be lost. The "blur" function in a paint program does the very same thing to an array as a smoothing operator!

You do get some visual aesthetics from a smoothing operation, but it makes it that much more difficult to get real information from the product (especially if, god forbid, on a velocity product).

Nothing against the people who use WxWorx, of course; they're doing the best they can with the products available.

Tim
 
Well as much as I hate to do it I am going to have to get WXWorks next season. In some ways it takes some of the fun away from the forecasting aspect of the chase but at this point I must be able to compete with many others that do have it.

Mr. Hulst had his setup with him while he was chasing with us a few time this season. It indeed was a very very handy tool. Had I had it on 5/11/05 S.W. KS I would have one more tornado under my belt.

I can see pros and cons about using it but I will have to deal with them both.

I will plant my money tree this summer so, perhaps, it will produce next season. lol

Mick
 
I may be mistaken, but I think the reason for the smoothed radar, satellite and lack of SPC products is due to limited bandwidth on the XM system. The smoothed radar image contains far smaller pixel resolution than the radar images you'd get on the web. Essentially the receiver has to download a full-size national mosaic every five minutes, which, assuming a slow baud rate, may only be possible if the data is smoothed.

I'm only guessing at this, but watching the XMlink status window shows that the receiver is constantly receiving data as it slowly trickles down from the satellite. With our current technology it seems that it would be easy to accelerate the baud rate and add all kinds of hires imagery and products to the datastream. But perhaps XM commands a high premium for their bandwidth, and the only way WxWorx can make it feasable is to buy a tiny bit of bandwidth and use it the best they can, trimming down file sizes and resolution as much as possible.
 
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