WxWorx problems


Feb 3, 2005
Shawnee, OK
Has anybody else here had any problems getting data with your WxWorx?
Last year was a nightmare keeping it running error free. I thought I had solved the problem by getting an AC power adapter and running it off of an inverter. It seemed to work fine until yesterday. I had it on all day. It never received any data. It never gave any errors either.
Today, I had it on and didn't get any data this morning. I called Tech support, but all technicians were busy. Then I started getting data fine. It was only short lived. All data stopped after about 20 minutes. I called back and finally got through to a tech support person. My problem stumped them. They couldn't find a reason why I am not getting data. I am sending the receiver back to them for a replacement. Hopefully this will work. I got a replacement last year in the middle May (was without it for two weeks in prime chase season) The replacement worked intermittently. Last year the problem was with the 12V adapter and the not so steady voltage a car puts out.

Anybody else have problems with XM?
I'd always ran a scanner and my laptop off one 140 watt inverter through a cig lighter. Never had anny power issues with those. That inverter failed last year and I got a new 175 watt one. Well I got xm the other day and was trying to get it all started. I only put the xm reciever and the laptop on this inverter and when the car wasn't running the inverter would beep at me. Turn the car on and the inverter was fine(yay lets leave the car running at stops at $2+ a gallon...not). It finally blew the fuse to the cig lighter. So, to get it working for yesterdays chase I used the cig adapter that came with the xm and ran it to one cig lighter and used the inverter for just the laptop. I had them both on ALL day yesterday when chasing and no problems car on or off. This was from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m.......zero data problems with it. I noticed that anntena cable they give you is a bit flimzy and you really have to push hard to get it plugged into the reciever. I could see having problems with that down the road. Mabye that is it? Or like you say a power issue. That little reciever must pull fairly hard seeing what it was doing with my laptop and that inverter that I'd never had any problems with before.
Since I got mine a little while back, I have been running it here in the house (off the house current). One period I had it on for several days and it never stopped working. I fired it up a little last night and it came right up and started aquiring data. Haven't tried it yet on the vehicle power.
I ran it all of the 2004 season with my laptop on an inverter and the XM receiver on a cig lighter outlet with no problems. Just activated it yesterday and have been running both on house current without any problems. I did however have to call listener care to get them to send the initialization signal an extra time after waiting an hour without receiving the 'Responder' service level.
I have had numerous problems with it. For some reason, last year it would stop updating data after about four hours. I would have to power down and start it back up again and it would work for about another 30 minutes before I would have to repeat the process. To solve the problem I wouldn't turn it on until about an hour before I expected storms to initiate so that by the time it quit working I would be on a storm and wouldn't need it anymore.
I got a new computer this year and getting XM to work with it was a royal pain in the ass. I was on spring break last week and I spent 1-4 hours on the phone with tech support everyday before we finally got it to work on Friday(I am not exagerating). I couldn't get the activation mode to finish. It kept on locking up half way through. Then there was the power issue. I only had the cig. lighter power cord and the reciever wasn't getting enough power when my computer was plugged into my inverter. They sent me an AC power cord which solved that problem. The other problem I had was with getting the map display up on my computer. It was a production trying to get that thing up and running.
Yeah on the thing about first setting it up. The sheet says it could take up to an hour to do it....it ain't lying! I had to keep my car running or the inverter would whistle at me and blow fuses so I didn't care for it taking so long. It took about 25 minutes to finish. Why it takes it that long the first time I have no clue(one wouldn't think it should). Just mentioning that for anyone reading that hasn't started theirs up yet.
Mike I went straight to the battery with the inverter. The better setup would probably be the dual battery setup Ive seen on here, but the room needed...
I can run a 300 watt inverter a little while without the engine, I monitor it though, I have a 2003 Astro van, bought a used rental, great deal, Ill post pics on the chase vehicle thread!
WX Worx is a joke, waste of money, piece of crap!!!

The following is a review of the WX Worx system for storm chasing.

Ok, after using XM Mobile Crap Net WX Worx System last week, for those of you that want to get that system, save your Fn Money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know a lot of people are impressed with data in the field for the first time but honestly, WX Worx system is a piece of crap!!! Save Your Money!!!

I have been chasing since 2001 with Swift WX and as well last year with Storm Lab. Both software packages are good and give you a lot of needed data. The problem was getting the data signal in the middle of nowhere. WX Worx looked to be the answer but honestly, its not worth the money.


Memory, WX Worx is a memory hog. It uses more CPU and Memory then Adobe Premiere 6. It was sucking up 10 percent of the CPU and most of the memory in the laptop to even work.

Takes for Fn ever to load. I was showing the system to Rory and I told him to note the time after we restarted my Dell 2.8 Ghz Inspiron 5150 laptop.
It took over 5 Fn Minutes to load!

Were sorry but Radar is not available at this time! After waiting over 5 minutes for the software to load, it still did not have radar data and would give me an error.

But it has lightning... So does Weathertap now with there new data provider.

GPS over the maps. Yeah right, I can't get the stupid system to even see my GPS. I downloaded the patch that someone sent me to get the software to see the GPS, HA, now my street atlas software does not work and XM still does not see the USB GPS.

Costs, I was told by a couple people that its pretty cheap and they bill you. Not so, I just signed up and they wanted a quarterly payment and the fee to turn it on which was almost $500.00 on my credit card right then and there. To top it off, the XM sale guy was trying to get me to buy the XM radio package upgrade and I finally had to tell him to tell me how the hell I was going to get the radio when its only hooked up to the computer? He was like, ummm, you will have to buy an upgrade...

Radar look and data. This totally sucks ass!!! I'm sorry, but for $100 per month, I want a COD Nex Lab, I want different levels of return, I want SRM and radar, not Baron Viper Cartoon Radar Data. And that's when the system will even give me the radar data in the first place when its not telling me that data is not available at this time.

Visible Satellite Data, oh this is a total joke.

I guess if you want to get data and see where the storms are, when the Radar feature is working, I guess it would be a good system but not for what I'm paying for.

In my professional "severe storms photojournalist" opinion, WX Worx is a big Fn joke and I'm not planning on renewing my quarterly subscription. Some developers and programmers at Baron need to go back to the drawing board and redesign this system and then beta test it.

One could pick up a copy of Swift WX or Storm Lab along with a good WiFi Card and a AT&T Cingular or Sprint Data Card for TWO WAY DATA (yes, send and receive emails) for data.

Once the storms fire, most chasers are using visual referece, a nowcaster, skywarn nets, and the tools most of us already have been using for years.

XM WX Worx may be good for the Aviation market and shipping but for storm chasing, it sucks!!!
I agree with some of the things Doug was saying. but here’s how my system runs. Smooth except a few time's I need to restart it because my Laptop goes into hibernate because I haven’t touched it. it loses signal with that. I do have a problem rebooting the program after the signal is lost. which until this week I had not ever had a problem with. something to do with the com port. but i quick found out the reason why the stupid adapter that i had put the WX power adapter in came out of the ciggarett lighter outlet. so there was no juice for the USB to be fed into the computer. hence it didn't recognize the com port.

I'm running the master mariner, for 49.99=50.00 in the end. and it had a 50 dollar activation fee. cheaper than the 100 activation for the responder package and 100 for the monthly service. You basically get the same stuff with the Master Mariner as you do with the Responder package. With a few things missing, not much though. So I saved 100$. I talked to the XM representative and I asked if there was an activation fee. I could of said that my subscription ended last month and that would of canceled the activation fee. Doh me and my honesty! But she was about to put me on a quarterly plan and I said to her the last time I activated I was allowed to do a monthly subscription. meaning I can choose an end subscription date which will be the 29th of April and all I have to do is call with the serial number and say hey I want to extend my subscription and they’ll do it. My total some how with the 50$ activation, and the 49.99 Master mariner package was 85.50. I asked if she gave me the right package and yup. some how they knocked off 15 bucks. I wont argue with that.

Yes the smoothing radar isn’t the greatest. MY GPS is flawless with the program using the Holux GPS which I got off Ebay saved 50$ doing that instead of going through WX worx itself. The mapping itself isnt that detailed but with in retrospect to your positioning to the storm it helped big time in IL on the 30th. Amos was stating that it was a pain trying to correlate your postion to the storm on SA 2005.

I run the program on a Dell Inspirion 5150, 256+512 MB of Ram 2.66 GHZ. which helps. With that set up I haven’t noticed the pull others experience. I run the cigarette power adapter and keep it away from my inverter. which is rated for 400 watts any way. I even run my HAM radio at 50 watts if needed and don’t notice any flux in the way WX runs. As of now I only run 120amps for my alternator. And i keep a volmeter i got from Radio Shack plugged in to make sure im not going below the needed level to start my car.
Radar look and data. This totally sucks ass!!! I'm sorry, but for $100 per month, I want a COD Nex Lab, I want different levels of return, I want SRM and radar, not Baron Viper Cartoon Radar Data. And that's when the system will even give me the radar data in the first place when its not telling me that data is not available at this time.

You can get packages for as little as $29 a month. The radar image samples have been on their site for some time now. I would think anyone going to spend that much on a unit would take note about that part and expect it.

The laptop I use doesn't even have a full 512mb of ram and I ran xm and street atlas both for 10+ hours straight last wednesday and not once was there a single problem.

If the 5 minute start up is such a big issue I can't imagine those trips to find wifi being much more enjoyable.

I already love the little thing. I realize however if your forecasting is bad on a given day it won't do you a heck of a lot of good. So far I don't know what out there beats this automatically updating radar loop you can have sitting next to you without doing anything.

To me the thing is best for 2 cases, running after initiation so that you will know right away if something better has popped up nearby and for those targets you pick that have little chance at any wifi/data(western NE boonies, holidays...). The unit itself seems a bit pricey for what it is though.

All I can say is we had the exact opposite experience that you did. last year we used it on every chase without 1 problem. From the time we got it it was plug and go. We never had an issue with the GPS, Power supply or updating. it would take 5-10 minutes from the time we started it until we could loop images but it is still way faster than a phone connection (if you can even get one).

we used a good laptop with a 2.8ghz processor and 1gb of RAM. We also ran SA2004 behind it at the same time and still had no CPU issues. maybe you were trying to run other things in the background. 1 thing we did do was to close all other programs we wouldnt need like anti-virus etc.. Closing all the background stuff saved us about 80mb of RAM.

yes the Radar is smoothed but it is still very valuable with hail and shear values. plus with the Tops feature you can jump on storms before any radar even shows it. The only thing I wish they would add is a watch program to their warning program so not only do we get county warnings but we get SPC watches as well (along with a day1 outlook :wink: )

So in my 20yrs of chasing opinion it is the best tool out there to date. I wouldnt trade it for anything else out on the market right now.
XM Barons

I disagree with Doug. I just bought my system about 3 weeks ago and have used it on two chases now.

My chase partner Dave Ewoldt used it all last year and would not trade for it.

My stress level chasing has gone down considerably because i am not wondering what the heck is going on or worrying about getting data.

I Chased the line of storms yesterday in eastern OK and was simply able to watch radar and see the next storms coming up from the SW and see the intensinty and decide wether i wanted to chase the cell I was on NE into the trees or simply wait for the next cell from the SW to reach me.

I already see huge bebefits from having XM Barons, i am very glad i purchased it, and am excited to have it.

The barons equals my same excitement level as when i first started using GPS on a laptop several years ago.

I also have a ATT internet pc card, I never even connected one time yesterday, I didn't need to.

Also the GPS function works great, since I was on major highways yesterday, I never even used my Delorme GPS, but you will still need it for rural roads.

Also i like the storm tracks feature and the times it gives for arrivals at certain towns, storm motion, cloud tops, hail size storm projected path and shear etc.

I would highly recomend the XM Barons to anyone.

In fact i hope most of you don't use it. :)
So far the only problem I have had is trying to get the looping to work. The reps tell you it can take up to 12 hours????

I find that hard to believe.

I have been using the product at home. Testing it out. Everything seems to run ok. Will have to wait and see how it works in the field.
So far the only problem I have had is trying to get the looping to work. The reps tell you it can take up to 12 hours????

I find that hard to believe.

I have been using the product at home. Testing it out. Everything seems to run ok. Will have to wait and see how it works in the field.

It can loop in as little as 10 min. Keep in mind, for it to loop, you first have to set you loop settings (how many images to loop and how often). One you have set that, it has to have downloaded enough images to loop, which it downloads one about every 5 min or so.

So like I have mine to loop 10 images, when I first fire it up, it can take up to 5 min to get the first radar image. At that point, even if you click loop, it won't because you only have one image and nothing to loop. However as time goes on and more images or dowloaded it will start looping what it has. So within an hour you should be able to fully loop 10 images. 12 hrs for looping....someone was either ignorant of how it works or was blowing smoke.
Re: WX Worx is a joke, waste of money, piece of crap!!!

I want SRM and radar, not Baron Viper Cartoon Radar Data.

I had to admit, that quote had me rolling. :) That should be in the chaser lexicon alongside SDS and Allsups.