Thursday, December 15, 2011

VOAProp and WWV

A couple of days ago I received an email from Mirek, OK1DUB, to let me know that, due to a small change in the format of the Geophysical Alert from WWV (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/wwv.txt) VOAProp is no longer able to process it, reporting that the format is invalid.

Mirek has written a PHP script to run on his server (http://ok1dub.cz/ham/) which reads the original WWV file every 5 minutes and creates a new version using the old format. This file can be accessed at http://ok1dub.cz/wwv/wwv.txt . When I first tried it, the server was very slow to respond and I was afraid that it might not be able to handle the hundreds of daily requests made by the tens of thousands of copies of VOAProp that are out there. But this was apparently only a temporary problem. I have tried the file again today and it loads quickly. Mirek says he is happy to allow public usage.

A page explaining what Mirek has done (and disclaiming responsibility for any error) is here.

What you need to do is:
  • In VOAProp, click the Solar Data button to open the window that displays the WWV file.
  • In the Data URL field, enter the address of the replacement file which is http://ok1dub.cz/wwv/wwv.txt .
I am grateful to Mirek for providing this solution and hope that other VOAProp users will be too. To those who emailed and did not receive a reply (or received a rather tetchy one) instead of checking the Troubleshooting help page that I updated to point to this post, sorry, but this issue has put me on the receiving end of an unwanted email pile-up.
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