[Update 15 February 2019] The recent update of the application Iridium Mail & Web gives me the opportunity to refresh the ticket originally written in December 2011.
The Wi - Fi gateway Optimizer RedPort the company enables owners of a mobile satellite phone to query and receive GRIB weather files from an iPad or iPhone on the high seas, into the wild, anywhere on the world.
Having implemented and tested this solution on a long journey, it has proven perfectly operational. However, it is limited to receiving only predictions GFS weather model global, and model WW3 waves, obtained by the autoresponder US server Saildocs.
The Optimizer creates a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect an Iridium phone (9505A models*, 9555 and 9575 « Extreme ») one – or more – iPad , iPhone or any device over Wi-Fi, so that they can send and receive mail, including queries and receiving GRIB weather files output by the automatic server Saildocs, through the Iridium satellite network. The theoretical range of Wi-Fi is 20 to 30 meters.
* Warning, the connection is not guaranteed, according to length of the device and the firmware version.
Iridium Mail & Web, free application for iPad / iPhone to download on iTunes AppStore, presents a messaging interface preconfigured for use between mobile devices using Wi-Fi and satellite phones Iridium. We can write and view e-mails offline, set size to minimize the connection time. Iridium Mail & Web also automatically retrieve mails from external personal accounts (use with caution). You can set the maximum size of files to send or receive. The application blocks pop-up, remove the ads, background images and compresses files at a rate of 15 to 20%.
1 • Register to Iridium Mail & Web
Once in possession of your box Optimizer, and an Iridium phone number (MSISDN), you have to register the service Email & Web Registration, to create your free account email, unless another supplier offers an alternative (¹). You will need to fill out the form, Choose a username who will be the root of your email account (in the form firstname.lastname@example.org), a password, and provide the phone number that was assigned to you. That's all, your email account is immediately operational.
2 • Download the application
Since iTunes AppStore install Iridium Mail & Web app. Launch the application and type identifiers, "Username" and password you entered when creating your account, on the page "Settings".. You can set the maximum allowable size for sending and receiving files to control the consumed airtime.
Use with Weather4D (all versions)
1 • Create GRIB file request
In Weather4D GRIBs access the page and select "Query Saildocs". A dedicated window opens that includes only data from the GFS model and waves WW3. Configure your weather box by choosing Settings (resolution, steps, duration) and select the data you want to receive. Create a zone preferably determining a small file. For example 50 KB load in 4 to 5 minutes.
Iridium Mail application & Web is launched automatically, one finds the request ready to send in Outbox :
2 • Find out the time of the next satellite passage
To optimize your time request, you can use the free applicationiWatchSat to visualize the Iridium constellation and determine the next satellite pass time.
After typing the "Next" button on the top bar, Clock displays the start time of the next satellite pass over your location. You can start the Iridium connection from that time and so ensure an optimized communication, fast and seamless.
3 • Start the application file to Saildocs
At the time of the satellite arrival, make the connection with the Iridium phone. Connect it with the USB cord to the box active Optimizer. Verify that the connection has well 5 maximum reception bars. Connect your iPad / iPhone to WiFi access point box Optimizer.
The login window opens, displays a download progress bar and displays the successive steps of the communication.
Once finished, check the satellite position in iWatchSat. If you have been quick, but it is rare, you still may have enough time to immediately start receiving the email returned by Saildocs containing the requested GRIB file. In which case just tap again on the button "Send/Receive Mail".. Otherwise wait for the passage of the following satellite, about 5 minutes, and repeat the procedure.
4 • Retrieve and open the GRIB file Weather4D
GRIB file arrives as an attachment from SaiDocs in Inbox. A tap on its name will open it in compatible applications :
And here's the result that appears in Weather4D :
Note that files downloaded from external sources remain stored in the page GRIBs.
Reminder, servers with an Iridium GO!® use Saildocs queries and Iridium Mail application & Web is useless, car Weather4D (all versions) order directly download all the available models since its own servers (²).