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Iridium Mail & Web : GRIB weather files on iPhone and iPad in open sea [Update-2]

[Update December 15 rd 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 device

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 up to 30 meters.

* Warning, the connection is not guaranteed, according to length of the device and the firmware version.

The software

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 up to 20%.

Implementation

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 username@myiridium.net), 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 to create 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. In example 50 KB load in 4 up to 5 minutes.

The request is automatically created Saildocs, ready to be sent by email, Choose Iridium Mail & As Web mail.

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 application iWatchSat 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.

wifi connexionRock your iPad/iPhone on Iridium Mail application & Web and select the button "Send/Receive Mail". :

envoi des mails

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).

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(¹) The subscription by courier XGate Global Network Navy uses a similar application, but accompanied by a paid service.
(²) The management of Iridium GO!® dance Weather4D
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Author : Francis

Since 2009 independent IT trainer and consultant for boating. Translator of many navigation applications on iOS and MacOS. Professional in boating for over 25 years, I provide training for applications and consulting and assistance for the integration of mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) on pleasure boats.

16 comments

  1. Hello,
    I am interested in the axcesspoint and mail and web.
    Do you know a dealer in Switzerland, or, if it is not the case, in France.
    Thank you in advance,
    Sincerely,
    Huaras Gauthey

  2. The Axcesspoint is available from IEC Telecom, in Paris, they seem to be the official representative of Iridium in France = cheap…

  3. IEC Telecom is not the official, but only one of many resellers Iridium.

  4. Hello
    Very interested in the point Axcess
    Is compatible with the Iridium 9505A oldest
    Or only with recent models mentioned 9555 and 9575
    Thank you

  5. Hello everyone,
    I broke down and bought everything I, ipad2, inavx, weather4Dpro, Axcess point and Navionics.
    I followed the instructions of Francis, tried queries with 4Dpro weather and I have found traces of the email in the outbox waiting for a satellite connection.
    Honestly, is not complicated and all seems nice as any for browsers like me who often change mount. For less than 1 kg of material, can be reached on a boat where there is neither electronic nor cards. We can even disconnect to avoid any use current.
    Just one question, what is the email used to receive his mail at sea by iridium : username@myiridium.net provided that the username is the name assigned by Iridium during recording AxcessPoint Mail & Web. I can not try again I do not iridium 9555 on hand.
    In fact we must also consider that the default settings are correct in the soft point of Axcess ? I must say that would be great if the documentation was in French ?
    A big thank you to Francis for the translation of the interface iNavX and instructions.
    I will soon send 10000 nautical 4 months and I will not fail to report my experience ipad / weather and iridium.
    Happy surfing to all

    • Hello,

      Yes I confirm, it is at this address you can receive your emails by Iridium.
      In the application configuration Axcesspoint you can set the maximum size of emails you wish to receive. You also have an option to be notified by SMS of the presence of a new mail (This service is free).

      Cdt.

  6. Hello Francis ! And congratulations for all the work you do ! I just received my wireless multiplexer. I'm going in conveying 2 weeks (Mayotte, Reunion)
    I just refer you to 2 view :
    -Iphone 2017 Pro or Ipad 2 9.7′ ? Use as a navigation station on my boat and I go on conveying losque.
    -Weather 4D pro ou 2.0 ? Before the last rather critical opinion iNavX, I wonder if the weather version of 4D 2.0 So with Carto and no more interesting…

    Short, you know the gear and software, can you enlighten me ?

    Thank you in advance.

    Alex

    • Hello,
      I have exactly the same questions, would it be possible to send me the answer.
      A big thank you in advance.
      Dominique

    • -Iphone 2017 Pro or Ipad 2 9.7′ ?

      Especially not iPad 2017 = low-cost + non-laminated screen not anti-reflective treated
      iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular (if available on Refurb Store) or Pro 9″7 Wi-Fi + Cellular
      Warning : iPad Pro 10″5 does not enter into the case AIShell.

      -Weather 4D pro ou 2.0 ?

      Without hesitation W4D 2.0 + carto SHOM + UKHO (if necessary)

  7. Hello Francis, what is the “+cellular” ? They ca not specify the site Refurb Store.
    I imagine that the iPad must have a USB port to connect directly to power 12 V the boat ? otherwise how do … I do not want to go through a transformer 12v / 220v that will consume my “little energy”. I'm going on deckchair end 2017 the West Indies. thank you for your answers. Alain

    • I see that you are completely new to Apple device ! There are no USB connector on an iPad but a lightning connector provided to a 220V supply. But there are 12V power supplies, some are described on my website. There are two types of iPad, Wi-Fi only, et un Wi-fi + Cellular. See This ticket.

  8. Hello,

    User 4D Weather PRO for over 2 years and greatly satisfied, I would like your opinion on the module “Predictwind” application “Iridium Web & Email”.Thank you.
    Sailing ship”CALYSTENE” In uruguay.

    • A pale copy of Weather4D unusable with the Iridium flow. Better stay with GRIB files and if necessary add graphics cards (See article on this blog).