Archive for October, 2011

IRLP Weather Scripts

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

:!:New RPM package is available. WxScripts-0.10.1.noarch.rpm (old)

Latest Changes:

A new function/setting  is available for Weather Alert Beacons.  This is used to reduce the amount of alert beacon “noise”.  When WXALERT_BEACON=”C”,  it will only alert on critical alerts based on the Critical_Alerts.txt file. The following is the now available using the WXALERT_BEACON variable:

# Play Weather Alert Beacon
WXALERT_BEACON="Y"                  # Play weather alert message
                                    # "C" = critical alerts only
                                    # "Y" = yes, "N" = no

If you set the value usingC” value,  you will only be alerted with critical alert messages which is based upon the wx_critical_alerts.txt file.

File Changes

The alerts.txt file has been renamed to wx_alert_product.txt  and  two additional files has been added , one called wx_critical_alerts.txt and the other file called wx_normal_alerts.txt.


This file, wx_alert_product.txt, is a list of NWS alert products that the weather scripts use for weather alert checking. You can edit this list to remove alert types. If an item is removed, It will not create a summary or full alert summary for that alert product.


Critical Alerts uses wx_critical_alerts.txt  file, If alert product is matched in weather alert, an alert message will be transmitted. This allows only “critical” alerts from being transmitted and will cut down on alert notification transmissions.  For example, if you are only interested in receiving alerts about tornado, nuclear power plant warning, or winter storm warnings, the wx_critical_alerts.txt file would look like:


You can add or remove from this list.  See the “wx_alert_product.txt” file for the various products that can be included.


Normal alerts use wx_normal_alerts.txt file.  If matched in weather alert, an alert message will be transmitted if beacon yes is selected.  You can modify this file to meet your needs.  If you use wx_critical_alerts.txt, you will still collect alert information for products in this file.  You can send this information out using custom_decode.

If you are upgrading from 0.9.8 or earlier, the follow these instructions:

I have a set of weather scripts that will get weather forecast, current conditions, and weather alerts. These scripts required festival, and wget packages. Download and install the RPM after the rpm dependencies are met. The dependencies are listed below.

Weather Scripts: WxScripts-0.10.1.noarch.rpm ←- :!: Updated

Documentation: **Weather Scripts Online Documentation and FAQ**

Here are the RPM’s needed for installation (versions may vary):

  CentOS 4.4:            wget - wget-1.10.2-0.40E.i386.rpm    
                     festival - festival-1.4.2-25.i386.rpm
            - perl-DateManip-5.42a-3.noarch.rpm

  CentOS 5.5:            wget - wget-1.11.4-2.el5_4.1.i386.rpm
                     festival - festival-1.95-5.2.1.i386.rpm
            - perl-DateManip-

  CentOS 5.6:            wget - wget-1.11.4-2.el5_4.1.i386.rpm
                     festival - festival-1.95-5.2.1.i386.rpm
            - perl-DateManip-5.44-1.2.1.noarch.rpm

Basic RPM Package Installation

If yum is configured correctly, you can automatically download some of the required RPM’s and install the required packages by entering the following command as root:

# yum install festival
# yum install wget
# yum install perl-DateManip

The xmlstarlet-1.0.1 rpm is no longer a dependency with the latest WxScripts.

Note – For FC5, you can install all of the required rpm’s via yum. One final note, you can use Cepstral’s text to speech utilities. I found that the voices are more natural sounding. For more information, see Cepstral’s web site and the WxScript.txt document found in ”/home/irlp/docs”. To install the WxScript rpm, move the rpm file to the irlp system. As root, change directories to the location of where the WxScript rpm is located. Then execute the following command:

# unzip
# rpm -i WxScripts-.noarch.rpm

If you get errors regarding missing dependencies, and you have installed the required packages, then try:

# yum localinstall wxscripts-.noarch.rpm


# rpm -i --nodeps wxscripts-.noarch.rpm

If you are upgrading from a previous version, use the following command:

  # rpm -U wxscripts-.noarch.rpm

Once installed, review and follow the documentation in the next section below:


CCD Imaging with the LX200 8 inch f/5

Friday, October 7th, 2011
You need to upgrade your Flash Player

It’s that time of year where I like to take out the telescope. Bugs are dying off, less humidity, and nights are longer.  I have a pedestal mount that I attached during these months. I hopefully will build a simple enclosure to help expedite the setup time. The scope is remotely controlled and I used a CCD imager as my eyes. Even though this scope is up in age, it works well and guides well.  I’ll upload some of my astronomy projects as time permits.