Posts Tagged ‘WebProp’

WebProp is broken

Many of you will have seen these propagation banners on many ham web sites. They are generated by a script on the G4ILO’s Shack website.

WebProp propagation banner

It appears that NOAA changed the format of the wwv.txt solar data file with effect from I January . When I turned on the computer I was greeted by a pile of “bad data” messages from the PHP script that processes wwv.txt and turns it into an intermediate data file which is used by WebProp (and also VOAProp) to display the current solar data.

Unfortumately I cannot fix iy. My vision is too confused to read  type very well and my brain is too befuddled to deal with technical compouter stuffany more. Even typing a blog post is a trial for me at the moment. I have hade to make dozens of corrections even to get this far (one reason for the dearth if blog postings recently.

Is there anyone who knows PHP who would be willing to take a look at the script and fix it so tyhat it will work with the current bersion if the wwvntxt file?

I foolishly thought that if I just left erything as it is then it would juat carry on running without any work from me. Unfortunately things get updated and require changes to be made. Maintaining this website has become  burden I could do without right now It causes me a lot of stress and upset that I can’t manage to do things i could easily do before. The easiest solution might be just shut down g4ilo.com for good.

Sunspots!

With  smoothed sunspot number of  282 nd a solar flux of 177 we are continuing to enjoy great conditions on the higher HF bands. I can’t remember the last time the sunspot number has been that high – though that joins a long list of other things I can’t remember either. I’m surprised that more bloggers haven’t commented on it – they were happy to spread gloom and despondency when the predictions said that this solar cycle ws going to be a dud.

I’ve spent most of my operating time on my favourite mode – PSK31. Truth is, I’ve always felt more comfortable at the keyboard than in front of the mic. But I really should try to get some time in on phone while conditions are this good. Who knows how long it will last?

WebProp– my solar weather web widget is proving to be a bit of an embarrassment with its prediction that HF band propagation will be poor. The algorithm clear places too much emphasis on the effect of high A and K index values.It would be better for users to use the condx=no option which will show only the raw ininterpreted data.

WebProp hiatus

Some time on the afternoon of 21 May WebProp stopped updating. The first person to notice it (actually the only person to notice it) was Mirek, OK1DUB, who sent me an email.

This is a screenshot not a live instance of the program

I SFTP’d into the web server to check and sure enough the files containing the propagation information extracted from the WWV 3-hourly bulletins had not been updated. They were updated when I ran the script manually so my script was OK. The likely explanation was that cron, the Linux job scheduler, had stopped running. I filed a ticket with Hawk Host‘s support department.

They claimed that cron was still running, though the evidence of my own eyes showed that it wasn’t. It took me a while to convince them that there really was a problem but we got there in the end. This morning when I logged on to my computer the latest propagation information was being displayed again. Hopefully my cron jobs will now stay running.

Poor conditions

Propagation is really poor at the moment. Never has my WebProp propagation widget been quite so accurate. On 10m WSPR I am hearing nothing and no-one is hearing me. On 30m APRS it’s just as bad. I’m not picking up a single packet.

I opened WebProp’s page in Google Chrome and noticed that the small format widget had a vertical scrollbar on the right hand side. I thought I could remove it by adding a few pixels to the iframe height attribute but it didn’t seem to make any difference. I think a bug in Chrome might be causing this. The presence of the scrollbar reduces the width of the table causing several lines to wrap and making the table taller.

I found that the scrollbar was eliminated by adding the attribute scrolling=”no” to the iframe definition. If you are using WebProp on your website I recommend you do the same. If you aren’t sure exactly what to do then go to the WebProp web page. The code examples have all been updated with this extra attribute.

I recommend you to do this even if you don’t see the scrollbar in Google Chrome. That will prevent it from appearing in any web browser.

WebProp update update

I received a response from the web host support desk about the problem that is causing the WebProp update scripts to fail to access the WWV solar data. The reply was:

There is nothing we can do to fix this it’s a configuration error on their end with their dns. This is occurring because of invalid dnssec configurations at noaa.gov. We will not bypass the dnssec configurations implemented within .gov. The only way to have this corrected is by the dns administrators at noaa.gov signing their zones.

20-May-2010 15:26:00.099 validating @0x827fff000: swpc.noaa.gov SOA: got insecure response; parent indicates it should be secure
20-May-2010 15:26:00.116 validating @0x80284f000: swpc.noaa.gov SOA: got insecure response; parent indicates it should be secure
20-May-2010 15:26:00.159 validating @0xadb055000: swpc.noaa.gov SOA: got insecure response; parent indicates it should be secure
20-May-2010 15:26:00.204 validating @0xad9af8000: www.swpc.noaa.gov A: bad cache hit (www.swpc.noaa.gov/DS)

This is way over my head, but I think they are saying this is due to a problem at NOAA’s end not mine.

I will give it a couple more days, but if the problem doesn’t go away then I will have to remove WebProp. I know this will be a pain for those who have included it in their websites but there is nothing I can do about it.

WebProp not updating

The WebProp HF propagation indicator has not been updated since midday today. Since that time the update script has failed with an error saying that it is unable to resolve the host www.swpc.noaa.gov where the WWV solar weather reports come from. Since it can’t get the data, it can’t update WebProp.

I have opened a support ticket with the web host which has replied that there is a “problem with the server DNS.” Hopefully the problem will be resolved shortly.


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