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What is the best home dopplar radar tool
05-30-2006, 10:27 PM
Post: #21
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
Hello,
I've been able to use several of these programs over the last few years. Here are my thoughts (for what they're worth):

1. I own StormLab and really like the program. It is extremely stable and fast. It's appearance/interface are a little outdated, but I believe they're addressing that in a new version due out soon (version 4). I definitely recommend the professional version, though. You get watch/warning overlays, a distance tool and pathcast function. Definitely try the 2 week trial.

2. I currently have been using SwiftWx Professional v2.5 more. It takes a little getting used to after working with StormLab for a few years, but I've really come to like it better (at least for now). It has the ability to overlay roads down to street level (I love seeing exactly where storms are at that level) and it integrates GPS so you can load the program on a laptop, plug in a GPS unit and use your cellular phone for internet access and bam, you're on the map with the radar.....awesome for storm chasers. I know that there are some more updates coming on it soon too....can't wait to see what's up next.

3. I've used the trial of GRLevel3. Very slick....like the smoothing feature, however, being a purist, I'm not 100% convinced that the smoothed image is the most accurate image. It is definitely the best to look at. I didn't play with it's GIS (street level overlay) features since I only downloaded the trial, but I really can't say anything bad about it. Probably the most reasonably priced of the 3 so far (I think it's about $80....can't remember for sure).

4. I currently have a subscription to WeatherTap. There are 2 advantages to WeatherTap.....you can access it from anywhere and I love being able to get loops (including the satellite loops, not just radar loops). You can also get lightning data through them. However, I believe StormLab is working on this for a future version and I think they may be looking into the possibility of doing it in SwiftWx as well. For now, though, WeatherTap is a bargain at $6.95/month.

5. Finally, I have a site I've used for quite some time that is pretty slick and FREE! Go to http://www.my-cast.com it is easy to use and you can put markers for multiple locations on there. You can then get forecasts for those places and best yet, you can zoom the radar to those locations (center on that location and zoom in and out). Very nice and again, free!!! It updates often so you're never more than a few minutes off of current. Keep in mind the radar images update MORE frequently as you zoom in. The most zoomed in updates every 3-5 minutes I believe. When zoomed all the way out, it's around 15 minutes. Keep that in mind.


Hope this helps a little....just what I've seen from several different programs!

jamierob
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06-01-2006, 03:28 PM
Post: #22
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
Jamierob have you ever tried Nexrad3?
http://www.nexrad3.com/Nexrad3.html
http://www.candlerfloridaweather.justfri...0/loop.gif
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06-01-2006, 09:24 PM
Post: #23
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
I have tried it several versions ago....not recently. I came across it again a couple days ago and downloaded the trial. Haven't had a chance to give it a go yet.

Thanks for the reminder....I'll let you know what I think... Smile

Jamie
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06-01-2006, 09:34 PM
Post: #24
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
I wouldnt suggest Nexrad 3

Go with Stormlab or GRLevelX

they're clearly the most advanced radar softwares, they have patented technology, and the fastest, and most advanced GIS systems available
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06-01-2006, 10:37 PM
Post: #25
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
I'm pretty open to trying whatever I can. I own StormLab and like it a lot. I had no problem with grlevel3, just didn't feel like shelling out the extra money right now.....and I've been using SwiftWx since early April....really gotten hooked on it. Ares, have you tried SwiftWx v2.5 (2.6 is due out soon, I think)? Pretty nice....if you haven't tried it in awhile, I'd recommend at least giving it a try. Just like I'm going to go back and revisit Nexrad3. I didn't really care for it before, but it's been updated and improved so I'll give it a whirl. I was the same way with SwiftWx. I tried it a couple years ago and didn't care for it, but it's ungone several changes that make it a very viable option.

I agree with you, both of those programs are top notch.....I just think there are others that are as well.

Thanks,
Jamie
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06-02-2006, 11:22 AM
Post: #26
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
Ares, not trying to start a war of words over the best software but what do you mean by the fastest, and most advanced GIS systems?
Stormlab I tried and while it's a good program it just wasn't for me.
Same with GR3. Great program just wasn't for me.
Dave.
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06-02-2006, 11:48 AM
Post: #27
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
GIS engine as in, fastest zooming techniques, and smoothest viewing of roads and what not... simply, just smooth, easy to manuever mapping

Swift WX is nice, but I just dont care for the GIS.... and the radar data is too low of resolution for me... and there just arent enough features/hand written algorithms (which Stormlab and GR do have)
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06-02-2006, 05:37 PM
Post: #28
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
I know there are several changes coming soon to SwiftWx. Definitely check back there frequently.....more of the handwritten type of algorithms that you're looking for....

As for the resolution of the data. I believe it using the actual data supplied by the NWS which is what the others use as well. Swift does not perform any kind of "smoothing", which as a purist, I'm not super fond of. I love how it looks, but I'm not convinced of it's accuracy. Any time you manipulate data, you tend to screw with the integrity of the original data. Just my opinion.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming improvements in SwiftWx and for StormLab v4.0.

Thanks,
Jamie
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06-02-2006, 07:37 PM
Post: #29
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
Jaimie, I'm with you in that I'm not a big fan of smoothing data either. It looks great. Especially GR3, but manipulating data like that isn't right. But, I think we are in the minority on that subject as a lot of people do like it. I know most of the TV stations use it now. Especially down at street level. Heck on my website I even have an image of my county that's smoothed with Nexrad3. People like it.
Anyways the reason I use Nexrad3 over all the other ones is the ability to incorporate more than one radar site on your map. I live about 120 miles from 3 different radar sites but there's always that area where the data ends. Using all 3 sites on one map solves that problem. I don't know of any other program that let's you use multiple sites. People living close to a radar site wouldn't have that problem but I hate having a blind spot. Sure I could use the longer range option but you lose a lot of resolution using that product.
Dave.
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06-02-2006, 08:29 PM
Post: #30
What is the best home dopplar radar tool
Mobile Threat Net by baron services lets you have an entire national composite that can be smoothed, panned, and zoomed, and many other data overlays put on the map

Might want to look into it

It's by far the most advanced radar system available to the public - no ands, if, or buts about it
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