F4Wx v1.05 fully compatible with BMS 4.35!
Current Version: 1.05 - Fixes compatibility with new NOAA server/GRIB format.
This version works with both BMS 4.34 and BMS 4.35.
As always, download links at the bottom.
I am presenting the evolution of my previous tool Grb2Fmap, that as you know was limited by the user having to do most of the job by downloading data via zyGrib and so on.
I am posting it in this different thread as the program has been re-branded due to the code being 90% re-written from scratch, and also because I would like to keep Grb2Fmap out there for those who use it and to offer compatibility with older GRIB 1 files.
The purpose of the tool is, as with the previous one, to generate weather for BMS based on real observation/forecast. F4Wx uses data from the NOAA GFS forecast model as provided by NOMADS. This time the focus is on user-friendliness, so most of the process is automatic, with the user only having to go through a 1-2-3-4-5 tick-some-boxes process.
Some of the new features include:
- Automatic data download for selected theater
- Preview of generated weather
- Matching of local time on generated weather
- Option to load data from a different part of the world or to a custom non-preset theater
For additional installation and usage instructions, and frequently asked questions, refer to the README.TXT file, quote below:
F4Wx v1.05 Release
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(c) Ahmed 2016-2021
CONTENTS OF THIS FILE
* Bug reporting
F4Wx is a real weather tool for BMS 4.35 that allows the user to download, tweak and convert real weather into the simulator in a user-friendly way.
* For questions about the program, submission of bug reports and feature suggestions visit the release thread on the BMS Community MODs/WIP forum.
This program requires Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.
This program requires the following packages:
* Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 (x86) or later (https://aka.ms/vs/16/release/vc_redist.x86.exe)
* Extract ALL the contents of this compressed file to your folder of choice.
* To launch the program simply excute F4Wx.exe
Q: I get a message saying that MSVCP140.DLL is missing from my computer
A: You didn't follow the instructions above, especifically the one regarding the requirement for the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 package. Make sure that you download and install vc_redist.x86.exe
Q: Where do I put the generated .fmap files?
A: Single files go into your campaign directory and you must load them manually from BMS. Sequences go into the WeatherMapsUpdates directory inside the campaign folder and get loaded by BMS at their appropiate time during the campaign
Q: Do I have to put the first file of the sequence in a different folder?
A: Reportedly if your campaign starts at 05:00 BMS will not load the first (10500.fmap) file automatically from the WeatherMapsUpdates directory. You may either move that file manually, or better yet select 05:01 (real campaign start +1 minute) as start time in F4Wx and forget about this issue
Q: Is this compatible with Windows XX?
A: F4Wx has been tested with Windows 7 and Windows 10\. Minimum required Windows Version is Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2\. Windows XP and Windows Vista are NOT supported.
Q: I don't know what X control does
A: Most of the not-so-intuitive controls include tooltips that describe their functionalities. Hover the mouse over the control to have the tooltip appear. If in doubt, don't touch.
Q: I get a "Error downloading file index" message
A: Because of the way NOAA publishes the GFS forecast data, there is a variable time period (usually around 1 hour) between the first time the GFS run shows in the GFS selector list, and the time when all the data required by F4Wx is available for download. To avoid this error message just choose a prior GFS run from the GFS selector list
Q: Can I load GRIB version 1 files or can use old zyGrib files that I used on Grb2Fmap?
A: As of this version GRIB 1 files downloaded from zyGrib don't work on F4Wx. Use GRIB 2 downloaded from within the application or saved from NOAA NOMADS server
Q: I am developing X theater and would like to have its preset included in the tool
A: Get in touch with me when your theater is nearing public release and I will gladly add it
Q: For some inexplicable reason I have set the interval to 1 minute and loaded 124871208741204 weather files and the application has crashed
A: You have run out of memory for a 32 bit program i.e. not a bug
Q: I get a message prompting me to download an updated version and the application quits afterwards
A: During the BETA period, only the latest version will be usable in order to help on the development and bug tracking. Your collaboration is appreciated
Q: Can the auto-updater harm my computer/OS?
A: The auto-updater is coded to only be able to modify the contents of your F4Wx install folder. In any case, the disclaimer at the bottom of this README applies
Q: Does this work on BMS 4.33?
A: No. Version 1.0 and later are only compatible with BMS 4.34 and BMS 4.35 due to weather engine changes in the sim
Q: I hear that BMS 4.34 has different wind layers. Can I select which one to preview in the preview map of F4Wx?
A: Yes. Press SHIFT while clicking on the wind select checkbox and a popup window will let you select the layer to visualize.
Report the bugs via private message, in the release thread in the Community MODs/WIP section of the BMS forum, or via e-mail. Make sure to describe:
* What weather data you were using (what GFS run)
* What options you had selected in the program (preferibly with a picture)
* Any other information to consistenly reproduce the problem
* IMPORTANT: If you are reporting a crash please include the minidump file as generated by the program
THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT ANY GUARANTEES OR WARRANTY.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRODUCT, THE AUTHOR MAKES NO WARRANTEES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OF TITLE, OR OF NONINFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR OR ANYONE DISTRIBUTING THE SOFTWARE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
USE OF THE PRODUCT BY A USER IS AT THE USER’S RISK.
v1.0 Beta (Build 38)
* Initial public BETA release
v1.0 Beta (Build 39)
* Corrected position of the 'Poor' inclement precipitation text
* Fixed Initial Time showing invalid inputs even though they had been truncated internally
* Fixed starting day being always 1 on generated .fmap regardless of selection (Initial Day option was being ignored)
* Save From Current option renamed to Start From Current and enforces the current previewed position as the initial BMS position
* Loading weather data from local GRIB files with different dates or from different geographical areas will show an error
* Timezone sync now works with locally loaded GRIB files
* Added warning when selected options prevent timezone sync from correctly syncing time
v1.0 Beta (Build 40)
* Added confirmation question when loading data from different geographical areas than the selected theater
* Changed style of error/info messages
* QNH/Wind/Etc text updates during animation play if mouse on preview area
* Preview image can now be saved (right click over preview area)
* Custom image can now be loaded as preview background for custom theater preset (right click over preview area)
* Recoded worker/UI thread synchronization
* Upgraded from ECMWF GRIB API library to customized ECMWF ecCodes 2.5.0 library
* Changed GFS download list contents to a more user-friendly format
* Fractional timezones now possible (for theaters in half-hour timezones). Range increased to -12h to +14h
* Added option to batch-save all preview options when generating a FMAP sequence. For now:
- The preview images are saved in the 'preview' subdirectory of the folder chosen to save the FMAPs
- The images are fixed size of 350x350 (same than in the program)
- The fields currently selected in the UI (temperature, winds...) are drawn in the preview images
* Added auto-updater. Notifies about new program versions and can also download data updates (theater presets/GRIB definitions) on user approval
* Memory usage greately reduced (internal fmaps are now generated 'on demand')
* Added crash handler to generate minidump file for crash reports
v1.0 Beta (Build 41)
* Possible security issue on updater fixed
v1.0 Beta (Build 47)
* Fixed GFS list parse error
v1.0 Beta (Build 49)
* Fixed compatibility with NOAA SSL web server
v1.0 (Build 52)
* Program is now compatible with BMS 4.34 (only)
* Fixed bug in timezone sync
* Fixed various cosmetic bugs in the UI
v1.01 (Build 53)
* Improved (but not guaranteed) compatibility with olders versions of Windows
v1.02 (Build 54)
* Changed preview folder name to follow BMS name convention
* Made compatible with the new NOAA server file structure (13 June)
v1.03 (Build 55)
* Bugfix on preview save
v1.04 (Build 56)
* Changed all references to BMS 4.34 to BMS 4.35
* Fixed issues with updater
v1.05 (Build 57)
* Fixes for new NOAA server path structure and GRIB file contents
Download links - v1.05
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