Re: Inquiry about DIFAX over the internet


James-

tenki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (James Murakami) wrote:
 I am the staff meteorologist in the atmospheric sciences department at UCLA. We 
currently receive DIFAX charts via a leased satellite dish from Alden. The department 
would like to reduce costs by accessing the DIFAX charts via internet. Edie Arbetter at 
Alden suggested I contact you people for information. What software do we need(where do 
we obtain it) to make sense of the "G3 fax" format? Do we need a dedicated 
printer for this new format, or will the software allow us to store away the charts for 
later printing? Have you heard of disatisfaction with getting DIFAX charts in this new 
way(i.e. poorer quality charts, frequent internet black-outs for this DIFAX line)?


We do not print out the DIFAX charts here, so we don't have a solution in 
place.  However, other sites are using various shareware programs like netpbm 
to convert the g3 format to a printable format.  The best advice I can give you 
is to look at the messages that have been sent out to the 
difax@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx list.  There are some sites that have posted their 
solutions in that list.  You can get a file with all the traffic on that mail 
list at:

http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/projects/idd/difax.html

There are also discussions of reliability and printers that are being used.
 I'm a little uncomfortable receiving the DIFAX signal via internet considering 
how frequently we have black-outs in receiving domestic data and NCEP numerical 
grid data. However, with our current printer(C-Itoh) getting old(ribbons are 
getting difficult to find), internet DIFAX charts will inevitably be the future 
for us.

Well, this is a problem which will hopefully clear up as the network backbones 
are beefed up to handle the plethora of internet traffic.

You are right that the IDD delivery of the DIFAX charts is the future.


Don