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Guest Moghdad

Instructions for offline mode?

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Guest Moghdad

Are there any step-by-step instructions available for using offline mode? I am using WXre 1.91. I consulted the PDF manual but I found no clear instructions at all. The "Offline Mode" section consists of a few brief paragraphs without any specific instructions other than specifying you must select a "valid .wfx file." The "Offline File Reference" section seems to be written with the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the operation of Offline mode, which I am not.Specifically, here is what I would like to do:1. Download weather for the next 24 hours. Typically I would like to do this in the evening. My time zone is -5 UTC (CDT). Therefore I would be conducting the download at around 20:00 Monday local (CDT), or 01Z Tuesday.2. I would then like to make a simulated flight based on local weather conditions that will prevail the following morning. Therefore the simulated time would be 07:00 Tuesday (CDT) or 12Z Tuesday. Keep in mind that it is still Monday evening as I am simulating this flight.My questions are these:1. To which file(s) should I save the download?2. From which file(s) should I load the weather for my simulated flight?3. Which options or functions should I activate in WXre?4. What settings should I use for Date, time and weather in FS9?Thanks for your help.Mogh

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Thanks for writing,1. You can only download the current METAR and not 24 hours worth. Why? Because future METARs have not been created yet.2. You cannot, on Monday night, fly in Tuesday morning's weather! Why? Because no human knows what the weather will be like.1. You don't need to save the download to any files. The download will create the proper files for the hour you download.2. In Offline mode you choose the cycleXX.wxd file. The XX represents the UTC time of the cycle.3. In wxRE activate the Offline Mode option and choose your cycle file4. In FS settings are the same as for Online Mode. The date and time do not matter, set them for anything you want.I hope I answered all your questions and I hope I cleared up some of your misunderstandings about Offline Mode. Please post back with any other questions you have.Hope this helps,JimActiveSky Support

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Guest Moghdad

Thanks for the reply, Jim. I thought wxRE was able to contruct weather based on forecasts. Is that not the case?What exactly is a weather cycle, and what exactly am I doing when I download? I understand I can download 24 hours of weather information. It this the PREVIOUS 24 hour period? Is the weather information based entirely on METARs from the past 24 hours, or is data from forecasts (past or current) somehow integrated into this?"2. In Offline mode you choose the cycleXX.wxd file. The XX represents the UTC time of the cycle."Could you please clarify this with an example? Is XX the UTC time at which the cycle begins, ends, or something else? Let's say I make a download at 07Z on Tuesday. What time period is covered by the cycle?"3. In wxRE activate the Offline Mode option and choose your cycle file."How do I know which cycle file to choose? Let's say that I made my download at 07Z Tuesday. I want to fly the weather at some other hour during that cycle. What file and/or settings should I choose?"4. In FS settings are the same as for Online Mode. The date and time do not matter, set them for anything you want."Are you sure about this? How exactly does wxRE know WHICH hour in the current cycle to activate if not by reading the FS date and time settings? Also, does it matter whether I choose "system time" or FS time in the wxRE options menu?Thanks for your help. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is confused.Mogh

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Mogh,I am going to go through your above post and I hope to answer your questions. If I don't or raise new ones, please post back!1. You are correct WxRE can base weather on TAFs.2. A weather cycle is a set of all METAR's from all reporting stations that are programed into wxRE. It covers ONE hour of weather. It is NOT based on 24 hours of anything!3. Here is how cycles work. It may not be technically 100% correct because I am not a pilot, but I think you will get the idea. Near the top of each hour weather stations across the globe make observations about the current weather at their station. Many of these stations are manned, some are machines only. The stations process their observations and formulate a report called a METAR. There is a standard that sets what information is contained in the METAR. Each station then sends their METAR to NOAA where it is stored. By this time it is typically 5 to 10 minutes after the top of the hour. As a standard they are numbered with the zulu hour that they were created. Unless a station is undergoing a major weather event, it will wait another hour until reporting again. So, the XX time is the time the observations were made. So think of a METAR as a "snapshot" of the weather conditions. Yes, 10 minutes after the METAR is created the weather could change and unless it is a situation that pilots need to be made aware of, it may or may not show up until the next hour.4. Using your 07Z Tuesday download as an example now. On Tuesday at 07Z you told wxRE to download the cycle files. wxRE does so and now you have a file called 07Z.wxd in your "Select Your Offline Definition File" window. You change to Offline mode and double click on the 07Z.wxd file. Now you start up FS and go flying. At this point wxRE could care LESS about what time it is in FS. All wxRE knows is that it is going to process and send weather from the 07Z cycle. It could be dawn, noon, dusk, or night in FS, any day of the week of any month, in any season, and guess what? wxRE would still only send weather data fron that 07Z file! If you had a cycle file from last January and you were at a station that reported snow back then, guess what?? It would start snowing in FS!! Why? Because wxRE is only processing data from the old January cycle file. So see, in Offline Mode wxRE only knows to process the cycle file YOU, THE USER, tells it to use!OK, my brain is worn out now!! I really do hope this helps you and others as well. After thinking about all this and writing this I have a question for you: Why are you so interested in using Offline Mode? It is good to use in certain situations and a great feature, but I am always interested in feedback from users such as yourself. Believe me I learn much too in this whole process!!Hope this helps,JimActiveSky Support

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Guest Moghdad

Thanks once again, Jim. By the way, I am a private pilot. The reason I want to use offline mode is that I am only able to play with FS in late evening but I am interested in simulating flights for other times of day.If I understand you correctly, when I download the weather cycle for 07Z I am loading a snapshot of weather based on METARs that are current for that hour?But in that case, wouldn't the weather that wxRE recreates based on that download be static? METARs do not contain dynamic information. Whereas I understand that wxRE actually models a changing weather situation in offline mode. Therefore the changes would have to be based on forcast data, correct? So somehow wxRE must also save and load this forecast data, as well as METARs? And if forecast data is saved, is it possible to access these forecasts to simulate a flight in future weather conditions?Let's say we have this situation, a METAR and a TAF from Gary Airport where I sometimes fly, with a cold front moving in overnight (we are currently five hours behind UTC in this part of the world):KGYY 100700Z 21005KT 10SM CLR 15/8 29.95KGYY 100530Z 100606 21005KT 10SM CLRFM0900 30010G14KT 5SM -RA SCA040FM1000 33020G25KT 2SM +TSRA BKN030CBBECMG 1012 03010KT P6SM SCA040 BKN080etc.So I perform a download at 07Z and select 07Z.wxd.wxRE will save the METAR, but won't it also record the TAF forcast? Then let's say that I start up FS and set the time for 07Z on Tuesday the 10th. I set wxRE to offline mode and select 07Z.wxd.Now when I return to FS, I should see clear skies with winds southwesterly. But if I sit at my desk watching my screen for a few hours, I would expect to see winds shifting northwesterly and becoming strong and gusty, while lower clouds and then thunderstorms roll in. Still later I would expect winds to shift northeasterly and moderate. In other words, I would expect wxRE to create a dynamic weather situation based on the downloaded TAF. From what I understood, if I let my computer run indefinitely wxRE will continue to play out this downloaded forecast on a 24-hour cycle, then return to the beginning and start over.Am I correct about this?If so, here is a further question. Let's say that I have conducted this download at 07Z and save the information in 07Z.wxd. But instead of beginning the simulation at 07Z with winds light and southwesterly, I want to simulate a flight that begins three hours later, at 10Z, with gusty winds from the northwest, thunderstorms and heavy rain?Can I do this, and if so how?Finally, one more question. If I am correct that wxRE will recreate a dynamic weather situation based on downloaded forecasts, which "clock" regulates the unfolding of this situation? Is it based on FS time, system time or something else?Again, thanks for your help. I'm not trying to be annoying, just to understand how this program works. I feel these are key concepts that are not really explained in the manual. I am not the smartest person in the world, but I am not the most stupid either, so if I am confused I suspect others must be too!Mogh

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Yes, correct.Yes, correct.Set your FS clock to 10Z.Based on processing time.I think that page 27 and 28 of the Manual do a good job of explaining how TAFs are used and processed. Post back! Sorry, I didn't know your background!Hope this helps,JimActiveSky Support

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