Getting Started Qfax Wefax Explorer

Transcription

Getting Started Qfax Wefax Explorer
Getting Started
with
Qfax
and the
Wefax Explorer
Copyright 1995 Quorum Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. No part of this document may
be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any
purpose, without the express written consent of Quorum Communications, Inc.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines
MS DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation
Cover artwork by Graham French (Masterfile)
Revision 1.00
October 20, 1995
Copyright 1995
All Rights Reserved
Quorum Communications, Inc.
8304 Esters Blvd
Suite 850
Irving, Texas 75063 USA
(214) 915-0256
(800) 982-9614 in USA and Canada
Fax (214) 915-0270
Bulletin Board (214) 915-0346
Internet email - [email protected]
Internet FTP - ftp.qcom.com
World Wide Web - http://www.qcom.com
ii
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Voyager
1-1
How to use this reference guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
A reminder to new computer users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
Conventions used in this manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
Qfax / Wefax Voyager Description
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-2
Wefax Voyager Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What can you receive with the Wefax Voyager?
Polar Satellite Images . . . . . . . . . .
Geostationary Satellite Images . . . . . .
NAFAX Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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1-3
1-3
1-3
1-4
1-5
Computer Host System Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-5
Radio Frequency Interference Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-6
Government Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-7
QFAX Software License and Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-7
Warranties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-8
Software Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-8
Hardware Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-8
Wefax Voyager Specifications .
Receiver . . . . . . . . .
Power Supply . . . . . .
Audio . . . . . . . . . . .
Signal Format Parameters
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1-10
1-10
1-10
1-10
1-10
Installation
2-1
Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wefax Voyager Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wefax Voyager Handling Precautions . . . . . . . . . .
Connect the Wefax Voyager to an available serial port . .
Connections to the Wefax Voyager . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Polar Orbiter Antenna Connections . . . . . . . . . . .
Geostationary Antenna and Downconverter Connections
Connecting the Voyager Power Supply . . . . . . . . . .
NAFAX Audio Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
General Connection Recommendations . . . . . . . . .
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2-1
2-1
2-1
2-1
2-1
2-2
2-3
2-5
2-5
2-5
Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Software Installation . . . . . . . . . . .
Installing Sample Images . . . . . . . .
Starting the Qfax Program . . . . . . . .
Starting Qfax for the first time . . .
Review your memory configuration .
Initializing Local Station Information
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2-6
2-6
2-7
2-7
2-8
2-10
2-10
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
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iii
Table of Contents
Operation
Qfax Introduction . . . . . . . .
Function Overview . . . .
Capture Screen . . . .
View Screen . . . . .
Predict Screen . . . .
Animate Screen . . .
Moving Between Functions
Keyboard Hot Keys . . . .
3-1
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3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-2
Testing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-3
Capturing Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Manually Capturing Images . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Capturing from Goes or Meteosat . . . . . . .
Capturing NAFAX Images . . . . . . . . . . .
Capturing from NOAA or Russian Polar Orbiters
Automatically Capturing Polar Images Using Predict
Using the Predict Function . . . . . . . . . . .
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3-4
3-5
3-5
3-6
3-6
3-7
3-7
Viewing Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-9
Appendix
4-1
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Obtaining The Look Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Aligning the Dish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-2
iv
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
How to use this reference guide
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
How to use this reference guide
This guide describes installation of the Wefax Explorer, Qfax software (required for operation of
the Wefax Explorer) and instructions for copying your first weather fax images. A more extensive
overview of Qfax software operations can be found in the Qfax Reference Guide.
A reminder to new computer users
If you are a novice computer user, you may find some of the terminology and procedures
described in this manual to be unfamiliar. If you are not an experienced computer user, we highly
recommend that you spend time reviewing your computer and operating system documentation
before attempting to install the Wefax Explorer or Qfax software. In particular, you should have
a thorough understanding of directories and paths. You may also find “how to” books at your local
library or book store to provide additional help in understanding and using your computer.
Conventions used in this manual
Qfax uses a “windows like” GUI (Graphical User Interface) for most user input. A general list of
terms and conventions used in this manual follow:
• A “button” is a small, usually gray rectangular display element that has a 3D look. Buttons are
“pressed” or “clicked” to produce an action.
• “Point” means to position the mouse cursor over whatever you want to point to on the screen.
• “Click” means to quickly press and release the mouse button without moving the mouse.
• “Double Click” means to quickly press and release the mouse button twice without moving the
mouse.
• “Drag” means to point, then hold down the mouse button as you move the mouse. Releasing
the mouse button completes the action.
• Qfax uses both buttons of a 2 button mouse and the left and right buttons of a 3 button mouse.
The left button is usually the action button while the right button is usually the “backup” or
“escape” button.
• Some commands or procedures require you to press more than one key either together or in
succession. Alt+U means to hold down the Alt key while pressing U. Alt, U means to press
the Alt key then release it before pressing U.
• Information that you should type on your keyboard is shown in a typewriter style font. Special
labeled keys are enclosed in angle brackets. For example:
qfax<Enter>
means to press the keys q, f, a, x then the Enter key.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
1-1
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Qfax / Wefax Explorer Description
Qfax / Wefax Explorer Description
The Quorum Wefax Explorer and Qfax software provide a “plug and play” solution to reception
of weather facsimile signals provided by various polar orbiting and geostationary weather
satellites. Once the Explorer and Qfax software are installed, connection to an appropriate
antenna, downconverter, or audio signal is all that is needed to begin reception.
Figure 1-1
The Wefax Explorer PC Adapter
The Wefax Explorer is a complete system on a single IBM compatible full-length ISA(Industry
Standard Architecture) card. There are no wires to switch around or complicated level adjustments to make. All functions are capable of automatic operation and are controlled by an
on-board microcomputer and the Qfax software. Optimum image quality is assured by digital
automatic gain lock operating in all reception modes.
The Qfax software supplied with the Wefax Explorer provides the most comprehensive and
sophisticated functionality found in any product at this price range, while providing an easy to
learn and use intuitive interface. Even novices can be up and running in minutes with just a few
mouse clicks.
Qfax incorporates the Quorum Qtrack satellite tracking program as a fully integrated function
which allows you to effortlessly predict, track, and capture data from up to 8 polar satellites
simultaneously. Qfax is the only product to simultaneously display the satellite position in both
tabular and graphical form alongside the incoming image. Images captured in this way are
automatically tagged with satellite time and ephemeris data for direct use by advanced navigation
functions. The user can capture images manualy or automatically through the use of the built-in
seven day programmable scheduler.
Once an image is captured, Qfax provides extensive image processing functions such as zoom,
pan, rotate, mirror, flip, contrast, sharpen, smooth, noise filter, histograms, 3D, enhancement
curves and more. Images can be viewed in video resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 x 256 colors.
Supported image file formats include TIFF, GIF, PCX, BMP, and JPEG. Qfax also supports
printing to HP PCL compatible laser printers and Epson 24-pin printers.
1-2
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Wefax Explorer Uses
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Qfax provides ephemeris-based true vector overlays of geo-political boundaries, latitude / longitude grids, and sea surface temperatures on NOAA APT images. Distance and bearing measurements can also be displayed on NOAA polar orbiter images.
Wefax Explorer Uses
The Wefax Explorer finds use in a number of diverse disciplines including:
• Educational use to aid in teaching elementary and secondary level geography, earth science,
math and physics
• Nautical use, particularly for large, ocean going vessels that require the latest weather information, directly from polar orbiting satellites
• Commercial and sport fishing activities that benefit from up to the minute sea surface temperatures directly from satellite sensors
• Weather forecasting, particularly those uses requiring automated animation of the latest geosync weather image
• Personal experimenter and hobby activities
The Wefax Explorer is put to use worldwide by anyone who has an interest in the weather, or its
effects on our lives, property or crops.
What can you receive with the Wefax Explorer?
The Wefax Explorer is capable of receiving images from the USA NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) TIROS series and Russian Meteor polar orbiting
satellites, USA GOES, and EUMETSAT Meteosat Geosynchronous satellites and HF (High
Frequency) radio NAFAX.
Polar Satellite Images
The Wefax Explorer requires an external antenna to receive the downlink signal from the USA
NOAA and the Russian Meteor series of polar orbiting satellites. These satellites orbit the earth
at an altitude of approximately 850Km (528mi) and travel from the north pole to the south pole
and back again in a period of approximately 102 minutes. The Earth rotates underneath the
satellite’s orbit and as a result, each of these satellites can be received for from 1 to 3 contiguous
orbits at 12 hour intervals. The NOAA satellites are designed to have Sun synchronous orbits so
that you can receive data from them at nearly the same time each day. Also, NOAA attempts to
maintain one satellite as a primary morning satellite and another as a primary afternoon satellite.
The Russian satellites are in orbits that make the time of their reception more variable.
These satellites transmit a circularly polarized signal in the 137 to 138 MHz frequency range. The
image transmission format is called APT which stands for Automatic Picture Transmission.
Quorum recommends the use of our TS-137 Turnstile or QF-137 Quadrifilar antenna (see Figure
1-2) to receive the signal from these satellites. For marine use, we recommend a special version
of the QF-137, the QF-137/M. The Wefax Explorer is designed to work with these antennas and
provides software capability to turn the built-in preamp power on and off.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
1-3
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Figure 1-2
Wefax Explorer Uses
Quorum QF-137 Quadrifilar (left) and TS-137 APT Antennas
The images received from the NOAA polar satellites are particularly useful because they can be
“navigated”, that is Earth location information can be computed for the image data. This allows
the user to display the latitude and longitude of a location in the image and to measure bearing
and distance between points. Graphical information such as coastlines, geopolitical boundaries
and latitude / longitude grids can also be drawn on the images.
In addition to navigation, the NOAA images can be “temperature calibrated” to display the
temperature of certain image areas such as sea surface and clouds.
Qfax provides a high level of integration of the satellite orbit computation and image analysis that
makes it easy for you to make use of these features of NOAA imagery.
Geostationary Satellite Images
The Wefax Explorer is capable of receiving Wefax (a combination of WEather and FAX) signals
from the USA GOES and EUMETSAT Meteosat series of weather satellites. These satellites orbit
the Earth at an altitude of approximately 36,000 Km (22,000 mi) above the equator. At this
altitude, the satellites appear to stand still in the sky because the Earth is turning under them at
exactly the same speed. Because of this, they are termed Geosynchronous (the prefix Geo means
Earth). Users in the entire western hemisphere and a portion of the eastern hemisphere (from
about 0 to 70 degrees east longitude) can receive from one or more of these satellites.
In addition to the USA and European satellites, the Japan Space Agency operates a GMS series
satellite that covers the entire pacific area. While this satellite is similar to the others, it transmits
a signal that can not be received by the Wefax Explorer. Quorum supplies the Wefax Professional
to users requiring GMS reception.
These satellites transmit signals at a microwave frequency of either 1691 MHz or 1694.5 MHz
(Meteosat only). Reception from these requires the addition of an appropriate antenna and a
frequency downconverter to the basic Wefax Explorer. Typical components required for reception
of geosynchronous satellite signals are shown below.
1-4
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Computer Host System Requirements
Figure 1-3
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Quorum Feed-1691L (top left), SDC-1691C (bottom left) and 6’ dish
The images received from the geosynchronous satellites are particularly useful for “Animation”.
Geosynchronous satellites transmit images of the same portion of the Earth on a regular schedule.
These images can be displayed in a repeating sequence that can show the motion of clouds and
other weather systems, similar to what you might see on your local TV weather report.
Qfax provides extensive and easy to use support for animation.
NAFAX Images
Naval Facsimile stations transmit various charts and images on HF radio frequencies from stations
located worldwide. These images can be received by connecting the audio output of an HF radio
receiver to the Nafax input of the Wefax Explorer.
Computer Host System Requirements
The Wefax Explorer and Qfax software provide advanced features that require a moderate amount
of computing power. In general, more computing power (use of a system with an 80486 rather
than 80386 processor), more RAM, a larger hard disk, and higher resolution video system
hardware will enhance the operation of the system. The following represent the recommended
minimum configuration:
• An IBM PC compatible computer with an 80386SX processor
• A math coprocessor
• 4 MB of RAM
• A 100 MB hard disk drive
• A 3.5 inch 1.44 MB floppy disk drive
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
1-5
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Radio Frequency Interference Statement
• A VESA 1.2 compatible video system capable of operation in 640 x 480 x 256 color mode
(VESA mode 101)
• A Microsoft compatible mouse
• MS DOS version 3.1 or later (version 6.0 or later recommended)
• A free 8 or 16 bit ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) card slot
We recommend the following as the minimum system configuration for a new computer purchased for use with a Wefax Explorer system:
• An IBM PC compatible computer with an 80486DX processor
• 8 MB of RAM
• A 540 MB or larger hard disk drive
• A 3.5 inch 1.44 MB floppy disk drive
• A VESA 1.2 compatible video system capable of operation in 1024 x 768 x 256 color mode
• A Microsoft compatible mouse
• MS DOS version 6.0 or later
• A free 8 or 16 bit ISA or EISA card slot
Some applications of the Wefax Explorer, particularly image animation, may benefit from
additional RAM or hard drive capacity.
In addition to the computer, Wefax Explorer and Qfax Software, you will need at least one of the
following for the reception of weather fax signals:
• A 137 MHz APT antenna, such as the Quorum TS-137 turnstile or QF-137 quadrifilar for
reception of signals from polar orbiting satellites.
• An appropriately sized dish with feed or yagi antenna and downconverter, such as the Quorum
SDC-1691CWP, Feed-1691L, and MiniMax 5.8 dish for reception of signals from geostationary satellites.
• An HF receiver and antenna for reception of NAFAX.
Radio Frequency Interference Statement
NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital
device, pursuant to Part 15, Subpart B, of the FCC Rules. This equipment generates, uses and can
radiate radio frequency energy. This device may cause interference to radio communications if
not installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. These limits are designed
to provide reasonable protection against such interference in a residential situation. However,
there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation.
Operation of this equipment is subject to the following two conditions: 1) this device may not
cause harmful interference, and 2) this device must accept any interference received, including
interference that may cause undesired operation.
1-6
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Government Use
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
If this equipment does cause interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined
by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by
trying one or more of the following measures:
• Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna of the affected radio or television.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and the affected receiver.
• Connect the equipment and the affected receiver to power outlets on separate circuits.
If these suggestions do not help, consult your computer dealer or an experienced radio/TV
technician for more suggestions.
MODIFICATIONS
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by Quorum Communications, Inc. could void
the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
SHIELDED CABLES
Shielded cables must be used with this equipment to maintain compliance with FCC regulations.
FCC ID: JSJ-WFX4
Government Use
Use, duplication, or disclosure by the United States Government is subject to restrictions as set
forth in subdivision (c)(1)(ii) of the Right in Technical Data and Computer Software clause at
252.227-7013.
QFAX Software License and Terms
If you do not agree to the terms of this agreement, promptly return the product to Quorum for a
full refund. Use of this product indicates the purchaser’s agreement to abide by the terms stated
below for this license.
Quorum Communications, Inc. (Quorum) retains ownership of the QFAX program. This program is licensed to the purchaser for use under the following conditions:
You May:
• Use the program on one or more computers, on a network or file server to capture and
manipulate weather fax images captured by you, on a Quorum capture product owned by you,
for your own personal, non-commercial use.
• Use the program in any accredited private or public educational institution on one or more
computers, on a network or file server for any educational and non-profit use.
• Use the program in demonstration mode to evaluate the Quorum product offering.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
1-7
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Warranties
You May Not:
• Duplicate or distribute the program or any program documentation to any third party for any
commercial purpose.
• Use the program to view or manipulate images obtained from a commercial service provider.
• Modify, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or create derivative works based
on the program or its documentation.
• Remove any proprietary notices, labels, or marks within the program, documentation or
program disk.
This license is not a sale. Title and copyrights to the program, documentation and any copies
made by you remain with Quorum. Unauthorized copying of the program or its documentation,
or failure to comply with the above restrictions, will result in automatic termination of the license
and will make available other legal remedies.
In no event will Quorum be liable for any damages, including loss of data, lost profits, cost of
cover or other special, incidental, consequential or indirect damages arising from the use of the
program or accompanying documentation, however caused, and on the theory of liability, this
limitation will apply even if Quorum has been advised of the possibility of such damage. You
acknowledge that the license fee reflects this allocation of risk.
Some states do not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability from incidental or consequential
damages, so the above limitations may not apply.
Warranties
Software Warranty
Quorum Communications, Inc. (Quorum) warrants that, under normal use, for a period of 90 days
from the date of purchase, the program disk will be free from defects in materials and workmanship, and the program will perform without significant errors that make it unusable. Quorum’s
entire liability and your exclusive remedy under this warranty will be, at Quorum’s option, to
attempt to correct or help you around errors with effort which Quorum believes to be suitable to
the problem, or to replace the program or disk with functionally equivalent software or disk, as
applicable.
Except for the above express limited warranties, Quorum makes and you receive no warranties,
expressed, implied, statutory, or in any communication with you, and Quorum specifically
disclaims any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Quorum
does not warrant that the operation of the program will be uninterrupted or error free.
Hardware Warranty
Quorum Communications, Inc. (Quorum) warrants to the purchaser of this product that it will be
free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase.
If the product should become defective within the warranty period, Quorum will, at its option,
repair or replace the product, provided that it is delivered at the purchaser’s expense to Quorum
at the following address:
1-8
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Warranties
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Quorum Communications, Inc.
8304 Esters Blvd. - Suite 850
Irving, Texas 75063 USA
(214) 915-0256
This limited warranty does not extend to any product which has been damaged as the result of
accident, misuse, abuse, or as a result of unauthorized service.
This warranty is in lieu of all other express warranties which now or hereafter might otherwise
arise with respect to this product. Implied warranties, including those of merchantability and
fitness for a particular purpose shall 1) have no greater duration than 30 days from the date of
purchase, 2) terminate automatically at the expiration of such period, and 3) to the extent
permitted by law be excluded. In the event this product becomes defective during the warranty
period, the purchaser’s exclusive remedy shall be repair or replacement as provided above.
Incidental or consequential damages arising from breach of any express or implied warranty are
not the responsibility of Quorum, and to the extent permitted by law, are hereby excluded both for
property damage and, to the extent not unconscionable, for personal injury damage.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages and
some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above
limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and
you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
1-9
Introducing Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Wefax Explorer Specifications
Wefax Explorer Specifications
Receiver
RF Input Connectors .
Input Impedance . . .
RF amplifier . . . . .
RF bandpass filter . .
VHF frequency range
UHF frequency range
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VHF sensitivity . . .
IF . . . . . . . . . . .
IF bandwidth . . . . .
Image rejection . . . .
RF gain control . . . .
Signal level range . .
Frequency stepsize . .
Preamp Power . . . .
Downconverter power
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Memories . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Scanning . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dual BNC female for VHF and UHF
50 ohms
Low noise Dual Gate GaAsFet
Multipole filter
136.000 MHz to 138.000 MHz
137.450 MHz to 141.550 MHz
(1690.950 to 1694.550 with downconverter)
0.3 uV
1st IF 10.700 MHz, 2nd IF 455 KHz
50 KHz
60 dB
10 dB (software selectable)
50 dB
5KHz, 25 KHz, 100 KHz, 1 MHz (software selectable)
12 VDC @ 30 mA current limited (software selected)
12-18 VDC @ 500 mA by external supply fused
at 1 A on board (5 x 20 mm fuse)
10 VHF, 2 UHF (via software)
Automatic / manual
Audio
HF audio input impedance
HF audio input level . . .
Speaker . . . . . . . . . .
Volume . . . . . . . . . .
Squelch / Mute . . . . . .
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100 K ohms
100 mV p-p to 5 V p-p
On board transducer
100 step (software controlled)
Smart, signal activated, software controlled
HF Nafax format . . . . . . .
HF Black frequency . . . . .
HF White frequency . . . . .
Start Tone frequency . . . . .
Stop Tone frequency . . . . .
Doppler correction range . . .
Wefax format . . . . . . . . .
NOAA / Meteor APT format .
Edge alignment . . . . . . . .
Video gain . . . . . . . . . .
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120 LPM
1500 Hz
2300 Hz
300 Hz
450 Hz
2400 +/- 0.120 Hz
240 LPM
120 LPM
Automatic in all modes
Automatic in all modes
Signal Format Parameters
Regulatory Compliance
FCC ID JSJ-WFX4 . . . . . . . . Part 15 Receiving device and Class B
digital device approved.
1-10
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Hardware
Installation
Installation
The Wefax Explorer must be installed in a full length ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) or
EISA (Extended Industry Standard) expansion slot. Before you begin Explorer installation, you
should locate the following items.
• Your computer operation manual
• A list of currently installed options and their I/O addresses
• The Wefax Explorer Card
• Tools required to remove the computer’s cover and for the removal and re-installation of
expansion slot cover screws.
You may also need a soldering iron and soldering materials if you intend to connect an external
audio signal or downconverter power to the Wefax Explorer.
Hardware
Wefax Explorer Card Installation
SAFETY
WARNING!
Before attempting to install the Wefax Explorer in your computer, turn off your computer power
and disconnect the power cord from both the rear of the computer and the electrical outlet!
Wefax Explorer Handling Precautions
The Wefax Explorer is designed to withstand normal handling during unpacking and installation.
To assure successful installation, observe the following precautions when unpacking and installing your Wefax Explorer:
• Keep the Wefax Explorer circuit card in its static protective packaging until you are ready to
install the card.
• Avoid unnecessary electrostatic shocks. Before removing the board from its packaging, ground
yourself and the outside of the packaging to the metal frame of the computer. This will help
discharge any electrostatic charges.
• Avoid dropping the circuit card.
• Grasp the Explorer board by the metal cover of the receiver area to avoid damaging any
components on the circuit card.
Checking the Wefax Explorer I/O Address
The Wefax Explorer is shipped from the factory set to I/O address 300 hexadecimal. This address
will work for most computer systems, with the exception of some systems with network adapters
installed. In most cases you should simply install the Explorer using the factory set address and
skip over the next section on changing the Explorer address.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-1
Installation
Hardware
If you do not have a thorough understanding of I/O addressing in an IBM compatible PC, use the
factory default address and skip over the next section on changing the Explorer address. If you
later have problems or Qfax reports that the Wefax adapter can not be located, call Quorum
Technical Support for assistance.
Changing the Wefax Explorer I/O Address
If you have a network adapter installed in your PC, or if during software installation or system
checkout the Qfax software informs you that the Wefax Explorer adapter cannot be located, the
address may need to be changed to avoid conflicts with other boards in your PC.
The Wefax Explorer has a label on the top that shows some typical address settings.
Figure 2-1
The Wefax Explorer Label
Refer to the figure above and the photo below to locate the Address jumpers on the Wefax Explorer
board.
Figure 2-2
The Wefax Explorer Address Jumpers
The Wefax Explorer has eight address jumpers that are labeled A2 through A9 which correspond
to the address lines on the PC I/O bus. Each of these jumpers consist of two adjacent pins and
each set of pins can have a jumper ON or OFF. For example, the factory default address of 300
has jumpers installed on the pins labeled A2, A3, A4, A5, A6 and A7 while the locations labeled
A8 and A9 do not have jumpers installed. You should compare the jumper settings on your Wefax
Explorer to the factory default for reference.
The label on the top of the Wefax Explorer shows the corresponding jumper settings for some
other typical addresses. A filled rectangle indicates that you should have the jumper ON while
2-2
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Hardware
Installation
two small circles indicate that the jumper should be OFF. For example, changing the Explorer
address to 310 would place jumpers on the pins labeled A2, A3, A5, A6 and A7 while removing
jumpers from A4, A8 and A9.
If you need to change the Explorer address from the factory default, you should first choose
address 310. If neither 300 nor 310 are available, choose address 380. Address 380 is not shown
on the Explorer label but it is set by placing jumpers over A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6 and removing
jumpers from A7, A8 and A9.
If none of these addresses are available or seem to operate correctly, please contact Quorum
Technical Support for assistance.
If you have changed the Explorer’s address, write it down because you will need it during software
installation.
Installing the Wefax Explorer in the PC
Follow the directions in your PC operation guide to remove the PC cover. Once the cover is
removed, locate an available ISA/EISA option slot for the Wefax Explorer.
Remove the blank retaining bracket covering the access hole for the chosen slot and save the
retaining screw (Figure 2-3).
Figure 2-3
Access Panel Removal
1. Grasp the Explorer board by the metal cover over the receiver portion to avoid damaging any
components on the board (Observe that the Explorer has a tab on the top rear of the board to
facilitate board insertion and provide adequate clearance for the BNC antenna connectors).
2. Orient the Explorer board as illustrated in Figure 2-4. The notched portion below the tab of
the Explorer should slide into the front card guide.
3. Lower the board into the open card slot until the BNC connectors have cleared the rear access
hole of the computer frame.
4. Once the BNC connectors have cleared the top of the rear access panel, push the Explorer
card towards the rear access hole panel 1/4 inch. The protruding tab on front of the Explorer
should now engage in the computer’s front card guide.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-3
Installation
Hardware
Figure 2-4
Wefax Explorer Card ISA Slot Installation
5. Firmly slide the Explorer into the computer’s ISA/EISA connector. DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE!. Be sure to slide the tab on the back of the Explorer into the card guide in your
computer. Most PC’s have a formed metal or plastic card guide for this purpose. Some PC’s
require that you snap in a plastic card guide supplied with the machine.
6. Replace the bracket retaining screw to lock the Explorer board in place. Install your PC cover
and reconnect the power cord.
Installation of the Wefax Explorer is now complete.
WARNING
Be certain that the tab at the back of the Wefax Explorer board is firmly captivated by the metal
or plastic rear card guide in your computer. If the rear of the Explorer board is not held in place,
it may flex and contact boards in adjacent slots.
Connections to the Wefax Explorer
The Wefax Explorer is capable of receiving images from NOAA and Meteor polar orbiting
satellites, GOES and Meteosat Geosynchronous satellites and HF (High Frequency) radio NAFAX. Please refer to Figure 2-5 for the following sections.
Polar Orbiter Antenna Connections
The Wefax Explorer requires an external antenna to receive the downlink signal from the USA
NOAA and the Russian Meteor series of polar orbiting satellites.
These satellites transmit a circularly polarized signal in the 137 to 138MHz frequency range.
Quorum recommends the use of our TS-137 Turnstile or QF-137 Quadrifilar antenna to receive
the signal from these satellites. For marine use, we recommend a special version of the QF-137,
the QF-137/M. The Wefax Explorer is designed to work with these antennas and provides
software capability to turn the built-in preamp on and off.
A Note
About APT
Antennas
2-4
There are quite a few APT antennas available from commercial suppliers and many articles
describe the construction of similar antennas. The Wefax Explorer is a high quality product and
contains a state of the art receiver, but no receiver can make up for poor antenna performance.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Hardware
Installation
Quite frankly, with few exceptions (Quorum included), the commercially available APT antennas
do not provide very good performance. In general, home made antennas also perform poorly.
This is generally related to an inability of the antenna to provide good circularity at all or most
satellite elevations, a requirement for good performance.
Circularity is achieved by varying means in different antenna designs but it is difficult to
determine correct circularity without specialized test equipment. Quorum has used state of the
art Hewlett Packard Network Analyzers to guarantee optimal performance for the APT antennas
that it manufacturers. Ultimately, the usefulness of your Wefax Explorer system may be determined by the quality of the images that you receive. As a result, we can only recommend Quorum
APT antennas.
If you have a Quorum TS-137 or QF-137, follow the antenna assembly and installation manual
instructions. The signal cable (Quorum p/n CBL-NB58-100) should be carefully routed from the
antenna to the location of the Wefax Explorer. Connect the larger N-connector end of the cable
to the RF output connector on the antenna. The other end (BNC connector) of the cable connects
to the VHF input of the Wefax Explorer card.
If you are using an antenna other than a Quorum antenna, please consult the manufacturer to verify
that the preamp (if any) is compatible with the Wefax Explorer.
If you are not using an interconnection cable supplied by Quorum, be sure to use a high quality
double shielded RG58 type cable such as Beldon 9311. Use of an inferior cable will allow
electrical noise from your computer to interfere with reception from the polar satellites.
Your APT antenna should be located on a rooftop or other location where it has a clear view of
the horizon. You should avoid placing the antenna where trees or buildings could block the signal
from the satellites. You should also avoid locating the antenna near other metal objects or
transmitting antennas. An APT antenna does not need to be high to perform well, it just needs to
be clear of obstructions. You should also not mount the antenna to the side of a tower.
Care in selecting a location for your APT antenna will provide the best possible images. If you
have any questions about APT antennas please contact Quorum Technical Support for assistance.
Geostationary Antenna, Downconverter and Power Connections
The Wefax Explorer is capable of receiving Wefax (a combination of WEather and FAX) signals
from the USA GOES and EUMETSAT Meteosat series of weather satellites. These satellites
transmit signals at a microwave frequency of either 1691MHz or 1694.5MHz (Meteosat only).
Reception from these requires the addition of an appropriate antenna and a frequency downconverter to the basic Wefax Explorer.
If you purchased a geosync reception system from Quorum, refer to the appropriate installation
manuals to assemble and install the dish antenna, feed, downconverter, cables and downconverter
power supply. Figure 2-5 below has a schematic representation of the required connections.
Connect the downconverter output cable BNC connector to the UHF input connector on the Wefax
Explorer. Plug the connector on the DCPS-12 into the 9 pin D connector on the Wefax Explorer
and plug the DCPS-12 into an appropriate mains supply.
Notes on
Reception
If you are assembling your own equipment for Wefax reception, keep in mind the following
points:
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-5
Installation
Hardware
MiniMax 5.8-PS
Dish Antenna with Patio Stand
QF-137
Quadrifilar
Antenna
Feed-1691L
TS-137
Turnstile Antenna
CBL-NN8-10
3M(10’) 9913 Cable
SDC-1691CWP
GOES - Meteosat
Downconverter
CBL-BB58-100
30M(100’) 9311 Cable
CBL-NB58-100
30M(100’) 9311 Cable
DCPS-12-110
or
DCPS-12-220
HF Receiver and Antenna
(Supplied by user)
2 Conductor Shielded
Audio Cable
Wefax Explorer
Figure 2-5
Wefax Explorer System Configuration and Connection Diagram
No amount of preamp gain, downconverter gain or system noise figure improvement can make
up for not having the correct amount of antenna gain. In fact, careless antenna, preamp,
downconverter combinations can actually destroy performance, even though the “specs” of the
individual components would imply superior operation. Use the following guidelines:
• The new GOES series satellites (GOES 8 and 9) and the Meteosat series transmit relatively
strong signals that can be received with a yagi type antenna having a gain of at least 18dB. You
can also use a 1 - 1.2 meter (3 - 4 ft) dish for these satellites for better reception.
• The older GOES 7 satellite requires an antenna with at least 23 dB gain. A dish is recommended for this.
• Although a good quality signal can be received with small antennas, a larger 1.8 meter (6 ft)
dish is recommended to receive images of high quality with more that 64 gray levels. (GOES
8 is currently transmitting 256 gray level images)
• Do not use a home made feed. Although “coffee can” type feeds are easy to build and there are
numerous articles that describe their construction, these feeds tend to have a narrow bandwidth
and are difficult to make on frequency.
• Use a downconverter such as the Quorum SDC-1691C or integrated feed / downconverter such
as the Quorum IFD-1691.0-137.5-L with a noise figure under 1dB and at least +- 2KHz
frequency stability over temperature. If you are using a downconverter from another manufacturer, please contact Quorum or the downconverter manufacturer to be sure that it is compatible
with the Wefax Explorer. The downconverter should convert the incoming signal at 1691MHz
to 137.5MHz for connection to the Explorer. It is also important that the downconverter be
extremely frequency stable over temperature. Use of an inferior downconverter will make it
impossible to automate the reception of signals from the geosynchronous satellites.
• DO NOT use a preamp between the antenna and the downconverter. Most preamps advertised
with low noise figures (< 0.8 dB) don’t really perform this well and are not unconditionally
2-6
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Hardware
Installation
Connect the cable from the Wefax Downconverter
(Quorum SDC-1691CWP) to the upper BNC connector labeled
UHF Input
Connect the cable from the APT Antenna
(Quorum TS-137 or QF-137) to the lower BNC connector labeled
VHF Input
Connect the downconverter power and NAFAX audio input
HERE on the 9 pin ’D’ connector
Figure 2-6
Wefax Explorer External Connections
stable. This means that when you connect it to an antenna or feed, it tends to oscillate instead
of amplify.
Downconverters require a source of power to operate. Most downconverters, such as the Quorum
SDC-1691CWP are designed to receive power on the cable that connects them to the Explorer.
The Explorer contains a built-in power inserter for downconverters. A standard 1 amp 5 x 20 mm
fuse is located on the Explorer board to protect against short circuits.
If you wish to use your own power supply, you will need to connect it to the mating male DB-9
pin connector supplied with the Explorer card. Any supply used should provide a cleanly
regulated +12 to +14 volt DC output at 500ma.
SAFETY
WARNING!
Connecting an external power supply to the Explorer requires the use of a HOT soldering iron!
If you are not comfortable with soldering operations, please refer this task to a knowledgeable
technician. Observe proper handling and safety procedures during soldering procedures.
Refer to Figure 2-7 for the following instructions.
Figure 2-7
External Power and Nafax Audio Connections
Solder the positive supply lead to pin 1 and the supply ground lead to pin 6 of the DB-9 male
connector. Use heat-shrink tubing on both leads to insure that they do not short to each other or
other signals.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-7
Installation
Software
NAFAX Audio Connection
NAFAX charts and images can be received by the Wefax Explorer system by connecting audio
from a user supplied HF radio to the Explorer. The Wefax Explorer contains a 9 pin ‘D’ connector
at the bottom of the circuit card. All auxiliary signals connect here. A 9 pin mating connector
(DB-9 male type) is provided with the Wefax Explorer adapter for this purpose.
SAFETY
WARNING!
Connecting an external audio signal to the Explorer requires the use of a HOT soldering iron! If
you are not comfortable with soldering operations, please refer this task to a knowledgeable
technician. Observe proper handling and safety procedures during soldering procedures.
The audio signal used for the reception of NAFAX Wefax pictures must be connected to the male
DB-9 connector that plugs into the Explorer card.
Refer to Figure 2-7 for the following instructions.
Using shielded audio cable and appropriate connectors for your HF radio, solder the audio signal
lead to pin 3 and the ground lead to pin 8 of the DB-9 connector. Use heat-shrink tubing on both
leads to insure that they do not short to each other or other signals.
The audio signal connected to the Explorer HF Audio Input should come from a LINE OUT level
output of the HF radio. If a line out level audio source is not available from your radio, you can
connect the Explorer HF Audio Input to the speaker audio output of the HF radio. If you connect
the Explorer to a speaker output, keep the volume turned down to avoid overloading the Explorer
input.
SAFETY
WARNING!
Be careful to locate all cables where they will not be damaged or pose a hazard to others!
General Connection Recommendations
All exposed outdoor connections should be appropriately weatherproofed to provide the maximum service life for cables and system components. Local electronic suppliers usually carry
items to assist in weather protection, such as rubberized electrical sealing tape, vinyl electrical
tape, and 3M Scotchkote electrical coating (a liquid sealing compound).
One method of weatherproofing outdoor connectors consists of wrapping them in rubberized
sealing tape. As this type of tape is stretched, it bonds to the cable and other layers of tape to
provide a moisture resistant seal.
A second method is to wrap connections with vinyl plastic electric tape. After taping the
connections, apply a thin layer 3M Scotchkote electrical coating evenly over the tape and onto
the cable insulation for a short distance.
With either method, follow the manufacturers recommendations to attain the best results. Also
note applicable safety precautions when using 3M Scotchkote electrical coating!
Software
NOTE
2-8
If you are installing Qfax while running under Windows or OS/2, perform the following instructions from within a DOS window, or reboot your computer in DOS mode.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Software
Installation
The Qfax program disk supplied with the Wefax Explorer is configured as required to run with
the Quorum product(s) you have purchased. The software installation procedure consists of
copying the necessary files to your hard drive and initializing variables unique to your location
and computer. In most cases, following the simple installation procedures will assure that you
will quickly and easily be receiving weather images.
NOTE
We must assume that the user understands how to use the computer, change directories, and use
basic DOS commands. If you need assistance in basic computer use, please consult your
manuals, knowledgeable individuals, or utilize one or more of the many good books on these
topics. Quorum can not offer support on basic computer use! Some computer stores in your area
may offer services to install hardware and software in the computer at a reasonable rate. Many
stores and community colleges offer excellent basic computer skills courses at reasonable prices.
Qfax is designed to operate in the MS DOS operating system environment. While it may run under
Windows, OS2, or other systems, operation is intended only under MS DOS. Should you
experience any difficulties running Qfax under other systems, return operation of Qfax to MS
DOS.
Software Installation
To install the software on a hard disk, first make a new directory using the DOS make directory
command (MD). A good choice for a directory name is Qfax. To create this directory, place the
Qfax program Disk in the computers floppy drive (assumed to be drive A in this example), and
type the following:
cd \<Enter>
to get to the root ( \ ) directory
md qfax<Enter>
create a new directory named Qfax
cd \qfax<Enter>
to move to Qfax as the current directory
Now copy the Qfax PROGRAM disk from the floppy drive (assumed to be drive A in this
example) to the Qfax directory:
copy a:*.*<Enter>
Installing Sample Images
Sample Images are provided for your use on the Qfax Sample Image Disk. We recommend that
you copy these to your hard drive before viewing them. While still located in the Qfax directory,
do the following to install the sample images:
Insert the Sample Image Disk in your floppy drive (assumed as drive A in this example).
copy a:*.*<Enter>
The images are now in the Qfax directory and are available for viewing using the View function
of the Qfax software.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-9
Installation
Software
Starting the Qfax Program
To start the Qfax program, make sure that you are currently in the Qfax directory by typing:
cd \qfax<Enter>
You may also want to include the Qfax directory in your Path. Refer to your MS DOS
documentation for instructions on how to add Qfax to your path.
To start the Qfax program type:
qfax<Enter>
The program will display “Please wait for a short initialization”. In a few moments the software
should proceed to the Capture Screen (Figure 2-8).
Figure 2-8
Qfax Capture Screen
If Qfax prints an error message without preceding to the Capture screen, refer to the Qfax
Reference Guide for resolution of the error and then return to this section. The most common
errors include:
• Mouse Not Found - check to be sure that your mouse driver is installed and your mouse is
connected
• VESA Driver Not Found - check to be sure that your video adapter supports VESA video
modes, and if so that you have the correct driver program installed or VESA modes are enabled
using the video adapter setup program
• VESA Mode Not Available or Not Compatible - check your video adapter documentation to
see if it supports VESA mode 101 (640 x 480 256 color mode)
2-10
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Software
Installation
• TZ Environment variable not set - ignore this for now, but follow the on screen instructions and
refer to the Qfax Reference Guide to fix this before trying to accurately predict NOAA satellite
positions
Starting Qfax for the first time
The first time that Qfax is started or any time that it starts and it detects a problem with the Wefax
Explorer card setup, the Setup Screen will appear instead of the Capture Screen (Figure 2-9).
Figure 2-9
Qfax Hardware Setup Screen
This may occur because you have changed the Wefax Explorer address from the factory default
or if there is another adapter board in your PC with a conflicting address.
Refer to the the Wefax Explorer Setup Screen below (Figure 2-10) for the following:
To setup Qfax to work with the Wefax Explorer, perform the following:
• Click the left mouse button over the ’+’ or ’-’ buttons to the right of the Wefax PC Adapter Type
window until "Wefax Explorer" is displayed.
• Click the left mouse button over the ’+’ or ’-’ buttons to the right of the Wefax PC Adapter
Address window until the correct I/O address range is displayed.
This will be "300 to 303" if you are using the factory default address or the address that you set
during the Explorer Installation section earlier.
NOTE: none of the other setup options can be adjusted for a Wefax Explorer.
• Click over the "Test" button.
Qfax should print some information about the Wefax Adapter ROM revision and ROM code along
with the message:
- Test Passed -
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-11
Installation
Software
Figure 2-10
Wefax Explorer Setup Screen
If you receive the "Test Failed" message, check the following:
• Click on the "Save" button and then exit Qfax.
• Review the Hardware Installation section "Changing the Wefax Explorer I/O Address".
• If you HAVE NOT changed the Explorer address from the factory default, check the jumper
settings to verify that the jumpers are set correctly for address 300.
• If you HAVE changed the Explorer address, verify that the jumpers are set correctly for the
address you want.
• Verify that there are not any other boards in your PC that are using addresses in the range used
by the Explorer. If necessary, remove other boards from your PC until the Explorer test passes.
Repair any problems and then repeat the above steps from "Starting the Qfax Program" until you
receive the "Test Passed" message.
Always try to change the Explorer address if you have a persistent problem. A good choice is
address 380 as described in "Changing the Wefax Explorer I/O Address".
If you continue to have problems, review the Installation section of the Qfax Reference Guide or
call Quorum Technical support for assistance.
Once the Explorer is communicating (Test Passed is printed) click on the "Save" button. Qfax
will save the current hardware configuration and exit to the Capture Screen as in Figure 2-8.
2-12
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Software
Installation
Review your memory configuration
Before continuing, review the information on memory allocation that appears near the bottom
center of the Capture screen. If this information has cleared from the screen, it can be restored by
clicking the left mouse button over the word QFAX at the top center of the Capture screen.
Figure 2-11
Qfax Available Memory Display
Qfax requires enough memory to save and manipulate images. If you are running a version of
MS DOS of 5.0 or earlier, Qfax should report close to 4MB total of EMS and XMS memory for
proper operation. If you are running version 6.0 or later, EMS and XMS memory are dynamically
allocated from the same physical memory so either the EMS memory OR XMS memory should
be close to 4MB.
If you do not report any EMS or XMS memory available, confirm that you have more than 1MB
of memory in your computer and that you have the extended and / or expanded memory drivers
(HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.SYS in MS DOS) installed properly in your CONFIG.SYS and
AUTOEXEC.BAT startup files. If you are not familiar with these settings, we recommend that
you get a copy of MS DOS 6.0 or later which automates the allocation of extended memory with
the MEMMAKER command.
If you have EMS or XMS memory reported but it is not close to 4MB, use the MEM command
in DOS to review your machine memory allocation. This is almost always because you have
installed Microsoft Windows on your computer which has installed the SMARTDRV disk cache
program which by default allocates 2MB of extended memory for its use. Review your DOS
manual and modify your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to allocate less memory (we recommend 256KB
if you are short on memory) to SMARTDRV.
If Qfax reports less than 150KB of Free Conventional Memory (memory below 1MB) you should
run a recent version of MS DOS (version 6.2 or later recommended) and use the MEMMAKER
command to move device drivers and TSRs to memory above 1MB. Some Qfax functions in
VIEW, when used with large images may not operate if enough free conventional memory is not
available.
Initializing Local Station Information
Qfax uses variables unique to your geographic location to track satellites. These variables are
stored in the file LOCATION.DAT. The Qfax Program Disk is supplied with a default LOCATION.DAT file with variables initialized for Irving, Texas. Prior to using the “Predict” function,
which uses the location data to track satellites, the information should be updated for your
location. The following information is required to update all values:
• Your location Latitude
• Your location Longitude
• Your Height above sea level
• Your Time offset from UTC (Universal Coordinated Time)
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-13
Installation
Software
Figure 2-12
Qfax Predict Setup Location Screen
Your latitude, longitude, and height above sea level can be obtained from a good quality atlas,
local pilots, airports, or municipal government offices. The latitude and longitude values you
enter should be accurate to at least one arc minute or 0.0167 decimal degrees. Height should be
accurate to the nearest 300 meters (1000 feet). Latitude and longitude should be entered in
decimal degrees or degree minute formats, and not in the degrees - minutes - seconds format.
You can update your location information by using the following steps:
Type ’P’ to move to the “Predict” screen.
Type ’S’ to edit the Setup information.
Type ’L’ to select Location information.
Refer to Figure 2-12 for the following discussion.
Once the ’L’ selection has been made, the current location settings will appear in the upper left
hand window. To edit a value, select the appropriate black capitalized letter from the command
buttons located on the bottom line of the screen.
Press ’A’ to set the LATITUDE for your location. The message “Enter new Latitude” appears at
the bottom of the screen. Type in your current latitude in decimal degrees or degree minutes
formats (see example). Latitude north of the equator is positive while south of the equator is
negative. If you are in the southern hemisphere, type a minus sign before the latitude.
Example
If your latitude is 32 degrees 45 minutes north you can type:
32.75<Enter>
or
32 45<Enter>
2-14
(decimal degrees)
(degree minutes)
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Software
Installation
Note that the presence of the decimal point or space determines whether Qfax interprets the input
as decimal degrees or degrees minutes. In any case, Qfax displays your input in both formats so
that you can verify correct input.
Press ’O’ to set the LONGITUDE for your location. The message “Enter new Longitude” appears
at the bottom of the screen. Type your longitude in decimal degrees or degree minutes format.
East longitude, from 0 degrees to 180 degrees, is positive while west longitude is negative. If you
are in the western hemisphere, from 0 degrees to 180 degrees, type a minus sign before the
longitude.
Example
If your longitude is 97.25 degrees west you can type:
(decimal degrees)
-97.25<Enter>
or
-97 15<Enter>
(degree minutes)
Press ’H’ to set the height above sea level for your location. The message “Enter new Height”
appears at the bottom of the screen. Type in the height in feet or meters of your location above
sea level. The default unit of measure is in feet. Append the letter ‘m’ to the height to enter the
measurement in meters.
Example
(for 600 feet)
600<Enter>
or
183m<Enter>
(for 183 meters)
If you are on a marine vessel, enter 0 for your height.
Press ’U’ to set the UTC time offset. The message “Enter new Offset” appears at the bottom of
the screen. Type the difference in hours that your location differs from UTC time. Locations west
of 0 degrees longitude to the International Date Line will enter a positive number, while locations
east of 0 degrees to the International Date Line will enter a negative number. The following table
lists offsets for time zones in the United States. To determine your UTC offset, simply determine
which time zone you are in, and use the offset listed below the zone:
ZONE
AST/EDT
EST/CDT
CST/MDT
MST/PDT
PST
UTC Offset
4
5
6
7
8
ZONE CODES:
AST . . . . . .
EDT . . . . . .
EST . . . . . . .
CDT . . . . . .
CST . . . . . . .
MDT . . . . . .
MST . . . . . .
PDT . . . . . .
PST . . . . . .
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Atlantic Standard Time
. Eastern Daylight Time
. Eastern Standard Time
. Central Daylight Time
. Central Standard Time
Mountain Daylight Time
. Mountain Standard Time
. . Pacific Daylight Time
. . . Pacific Savings Time
The above discussion assumes that your PC clock is set to your local time. If your PC clock is
not on local time, set the UTC offset value here to whatever is required to make the UTC time
display correct.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
2-15
Installation
IMPORTANT
NOTE
Software
If the UTC time offset is not set correctly, SATELLITE TRACKING WILL NOT BE CORRECT!
The Predict function uses the offset to determine when satellites will be within range of the
receiving station. To assure that that orbital predictions are correct, be certain this offset is correct!
If you live in an area of the world that has an offset from UTC that is not an even hour, Qfax will
accept fractional input. For example if you are 10.5 hours ahead of UTC (you are in the eastern
hemisphere on a pacific island paradise) type:
-10.5<Enter>
To save all the values that have been entered or changed, choose the Done option by typing ’D’.
This will save the new values to the LOCATION.DAT file. If you wish to escape without saving
any new values, choose the No change option by typing ’N’.
Once your location data has been entered, PREDICT is fully operational for your location with
the exception of entering specific satellites that you wish to track and from which you want to
capture images.
2-16
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Qfax Introduction
Operation
Operation
Qfax Introduction
Function Overview
All user software functions for the Wefax Explorer are contained within the Qfax program.
Briefly, there are four main functional areas, or screens, which are identified in name by their
major functions:
Capture Screen
The Capture Screen is used to setup and store all satellite configurations (frequency, band, name,
etc...), file save modes, audio settings and is used to manually receive images. It also contains a
scanner function that can be used to search for active frequencies. The Capture screen is also used
to setup, store and retrieve “Configurations” that are used to automate the reception process.
View Screen
All stored satellite images can be loaded, viewed, and manipulated from within this function
(except animations... see Animate Screen for information regarding how to animate images).
NOAA orbiters can be “Navigated,” that is, have map overlays calculated and drawn on them from
this function. Temperature readout, 3-D enhancement, Brightness, Contrast, and NOAA Enhancement Curves are a few of the many image manipulation tools available in View Screen.
Predict Screen
The Predict function automatically tracks, schedules, receives, and stores images from up to eight
user specified satellites. It provides both a graphical and tabular view of the satellite Nadir
(sub-point) on both a world scale map and a local area “zoom” map centered around the user’s
location. During data acquisition, a small image from the acquired data is displayed.
Animate Screen
The Animation function is used to capture and animate images. A schedule can be established to
repetitively capture and save specified views from a geostationary satellite. The software will
continuously “loop” the saved images to effectively form an animation of the images.
Moving Between Functions
Menu Bars are always present to aid the user in switching between the four basic functional
sections of the Qfax Software. Menu selections can be made by using the mouse or keyboard.
The menu bar as shown in Figure 3-1 is present in the Capture and Animation functions. A
slightly modified version is available from the Predict function.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
3-1
Operation
Qfax Introduction
Figure 3-1
Qfax Menu Bar
To move to a different function, simply place the mouse cursor over the desired function, and click
the left mouse button. To move to a different function using the keyboard, simply press the key
for the desired function that is highlighted in a black capital letter. For example, to switch to the
Predict function, click on the Predict button with the left mouse button, or type ’P’ on the
keyboard.
The View function features a “pull-down” menu bar. To move to a different function from within
the View function, click the left mouse button on the Quit option on the menu bar. A pull-down
Figure 3-2
Qfax View Screen Menu Bar
menu will appear below the Quit option (Figure 3-2). Select the function you wish to move to by
clicking on it with the left mouse button.
Keyboard Hot Keys
The following keyboard commands are supported in all Qfax functions except the View function:
alt+u
speaker volume Up, increases volume
alt+d
speaker volume Down, decreases volume
alt+m
toggle speaker Mute, speaker is turned on / off
alt+q
toggle sQuelch on / off
alt+s
toggle autoSave on / off
alt+c
toggle autoCapture on / off.
These commands are particularly useful while receiving images. During image reception the
mouse is not available for use, but these keys remain active. This provides the user the ability to
change the noted functions, even during image reception.
3-2
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Testing Your System
Operation
Testing Your System
Before you try to capture actual images, make sure that your system appears to be operating
correctly by performing the following quick checks:
• Start Qfax if it is not already running and go to the Capture screen before proceeding.
• Click on the Load button just under the Configuration indicator at the upper left of the Capture
screen.(See the Capture Screen below)
Figure 3-3
Qfax Load Configuration Screen
• Select the Noaa Configuration by clicking on the button labeled Noaa.
• Review the receiver control section of the Capture screen in
Figure 3-4 below. The Band, Dial and Preamp buttons are
pressed IN and the Gain, Step, + and - buttons are OUT.
The Signal indicator shows a very strong signal. The 15
bars that make up the signal level indication increase in size
from left to right and change color from green to yellow to
red.
If you have a
polar orbiter
antenna
connected
• Click on the Band button so that it is OUT and the receiver
frequency display is in yellow. The frequency should read
near 137.500 MHz.
Observe the Signal indicator and click the Preamp button so
that the preamp power is turned on and off. When off, there
should not be any colored bars visible. When the preamp
power is turned on, you should see one or more green bars
visible. If you do not see any signal indication when you
turn the preamp power on, check the connections and installation of your APT antenna.
Figure 3-4
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Receiver
3-3
Operation
If you have a
geosync
system
connected
Capturing Images
• Click the Band button so that it is IN and the receiver frequency display is in green. The
frequency should read near 1691.000 MHz.
Observe the Signal indicator. If your downconverter is operating and powered, you should see
most of the green bars and possibly one or more yellow bars. If there is no signal indication,
check the cable, fuse and power connections to your downconverter.
• Observe the Audio Controls at the lower left corner of the Capture screen. Turn the speaker
audio up by pressing and holding alt+u. You should see the Volume indicator move to the
right.
Toggle the Squelch off by pressing alt+q until the Squelch
button is OUT.
Toggle Mute off by pressing alt+m until the Mute button is
OUT.
Figure 3-5
Audio Control
You should hear noise from the speaker on the Explorer board. Toggle Mute ON to quiet the
speaker.
Note that if your antenna system is fully operating you may hear a real signal instead of noise.
You can also control the Mute and Squelch by clicking the left mouse button over the buttons
on the screen. The volume can be controlled by clicking and holding the left mouse button over
the + and - buttons at the ends of the Volume indicator.
If you have a
NAFAX
receiver
connected
• Click on the Configuration Load button as above and select the button labeled NAFAX.
Turn Mute and Squelch OFF as above and turn the Volume up. You should be able to hear the
audio from you HF radio from the speaker on the Explorer board. If not, check the audio
connection between the Explorer and your HF radio and review the previous section on
Explorer Installation.
If all of your audio and antenna connections seem to be operating correctly, proceed to the next
section to capture images. Resolve any problems with your equipment before attempting to
receive a live image.
Capturing Images
This section is intended to be an introduction to using Qfax to capture images. You should review
the Qfax Reference Guide for more extensive information.
Qfax is capable of receiving images from many different types of signal sources. Rather than
require the user to manually setup Qfax for the type of signal, signal source, signal frequency and
many other setup options, Qfax provides a way to define this information once and then recall it
with a mouse click. These different setups are given names and are called “Configurations”.
Configurations define all of the information necessary to receive or “Capture” images from each
individual satellite. Qfax comes with configurations already defined for all of the active satellites
capable of being received by a Wefax Explorer at the time of shipment. You have already used
these configurations during the system test procedures earlier in this chapter. Certain functions
within Qfax, notably Predict and Animate automatically make use of configurations.
3-4
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Capturing Images
Operation
Manually Capturing Images
To manually capture images:
• Start Qfax and go to the Capture Screen.
• Click on the Configuration Load button.
• Click over the configuration for the satellite that you want to receive; Goes for Goes 8, Meteosat
for Meteosat 6, NOAA 14 for Noaa 14 etc.
• Click over the Capture button (or press ‘C’) and wait.
Qfax will wait for the appropriate signal to begin and automatically capture the image data.
• If you want Qfax to automatically save your images to disk, click over the AutoSave button
until it reads AutoSave On.
• If you want Qfax to automatically wait for more than one image, click over the AutoCap button
until it reads AutoCap On.
• If you want to stop capturing and return to the main menu bar, press the <Esc> key or click
the Right mouse button.
Capturing from Goes or Meteosat
Follow the instructions above to select the appropriate satellite configuration. Goes and Meteosat
usually transmit continuously so you should be able to hear the signal. Turn on the Explorer
speaker by clicking Mute OFF and turn the volume up. If you don’t hear the satellite signal,
review the previous sections on system connections and system test.
If you haven’t aligned your satellite dish, review the appendix on setting up your geosync antenna
before continuing.
The geosync satellites transmit a fax signal that modulates a 2400 Hz carrier at 240 lines / minute.
If you’re not familiar with how this signal sounds, you should hear a medium frequency tone that
is interrupted about 4 times / second, giving it a ‘tic-tic’ characteristic.
When Qfax recognizes the satellite signal, it illuminates a Carrier indicator located near the
bottom center of the Capture screen. The black box to the left of the word Carrier will contain a
yellow indicator if a signal is being received from the satellite.
To capture the incoming image, click over
the Capture button.
A typical GOES image during manual capture is shown below in Figure 3-7.
Figure 3-6
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Signal Carrier Detect Indicator
3-5
Operation
Capturing Images
Figure 3-7
Capturing a GOES Wefax Image
Capturing NAFAX Images
Follow the instructions above to select the NAFAX configuration. Tune your HF radio to a
NAFAX transmission using the UPPER sideband setting. You should refer to a local frequency
guide to locate frequencies that are used to transmit NAFAX in your area. In many parts of the
world, NAFAX can be received on 8.080 MHz. While listening to the NAFAX transmission, tune
your radio slowly until the Signal Carrier indicator comes on.
Press ’C’ to begin capture and then press <Enter> a few times until the message “Capturing
Image” appears at the bottom of the screen. As the image is displayed on the screen, slowly tune
your HF radio until the image appears to have the correct range of contrast between black and
white portions of the image. Once your radio is tuned correctly, image capture can continue
automatically.
Capturing from NOAA or Russian Polar Orbiters
The Polar orbiter satellites can only be received when they are within radio range of your receiving
station. This will occur from 2 to 6 times per day for each satellite if your station is located
between about 50 N and 50 S Latitude. As you move closer to the north or south pole, reception
will be almost continuous.
You can capture polar images manually in a manner similar to that described above for Goes or
Meteosat by selecting the appropriate satellite configuration from the Capture Screen, but you
might have to wait quite awhile for one to be near enough to receive.
Qfax incorporates a satellite prediction function that computes the time of reception from polar
satellites and uses configurations to automatically tune the Explorer receiver and capture the
images. This is the recommended method to capture polar images since it automatically tags the
image with information necessary to later navigate it in the Qfax View function.
3-6
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Capturing Images
Operation
Automatically Capturing Polar Images Using Predict
The Predict function automatically tracks, schedules, receives, and stores images from up to eight
user specified satellites. Before using this function, the Qfax software must be installed and local
variables must be initialized for your location. If this has not been done, stop and follow
instructions contained in the Software Installation section of this manual before preceding. In
addition, a current set of ephemeris data must be present in the Qfax directory.
The Qfax program Predict function requires current orbital information on all satellites it tracks.
This orbital information is called “NASA Two Line Elements”, just “Elements” or “Satellite
Ephemeris” data. For the technically inclined, this data is simply a set of numbers that when used
in a specific formula called “The SGP4 Prediction Algorithm” will output the current location of
a low Earth orbiting satellite in an Earth centered (or geocentric) coordinate system at a specific
time. The SGP4 algorithm does not account for all possible forces acting on a satellite so any
particular set of Two Line Elements will provide accurate predictions for about 30 days before
new elements are required.
Using the Predict Function
If Qfax is not already running, start it and go to the Predict screen by clicking over the Predict
button or typing ’P’ on the keyboard. Refer to the Predict screen image below.
Figure 3-8
Qfax Predict Screen
The large right window of the Predict screen contains eight smaller windows which display
information for active satellites that Predict is tracking. Active satellites can be added into empty
information windows using the Add button.
Notice the message near the bottom of the screen that says “The Oldest Satellite Ephemeris Data
is 20 Days Old!”. This indicates that accurate predictions can be made. If the message on your
screen indicates that the data is more that 30 days old, predictions may be off by a few seconds.
As the age of the data increases, prediction accuracy will continue to degrade. If the age is greater
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
3-7
Operation
Capturing Images
than 60 days, refer to the Qfax Reference Guide to update your Two Line Elements before
attempting to capture from polar satellites using the Predict function.
Figure 3-9 shows a typical Predict Satellite Information Window. Below the satellite name, two
lines of data show the current satellite nadir (the point on the Earth directly below the satellite)
latitude (LAT)and longitude (LON) and the Azimuth (AZ) and Elevation (EL) that points towards
it in space. While the satellite is not visible to your location, the elevation shows a number less
than 0 degrees. When the satellite is visible to your location, this number varies from 0 degrees
to a maximum of 90 degrees.
Figure 3-9
Predict Satellite Information Window
Below the latitude data are two lines that display one of the following:
• If the satellite is not currently visible, or out of receiving range: The next Acquisition of Signal
(AOS) time (AOS at), that is, the next time the satellite is visible to the receiving station and
the length of time until AOS occurs (AOS in).
• If the satellite is currently visible and within radio range: The time of Loss of Signal (LOS)
(LOS at) and the length of time remaining until LOS occurs (LOS in).
Note that all times used and displayed in Predict are UTC times.
As shown in Figure 3-10, once a satellite becomes visible, Predict locates a configuration with a
matching satellite name, the receiver is tuned to the correct frequency, and a “quick look” image
Figure 3-10
3-8
Predict Screen during capture of a NOAA satellite
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Viewing Images
Operation
display window is opened on the right side of the screen. At the bottom left side of the screen,
under the ZOOM MAP, the current satellite location data is displayed.
If at any time during the reception of a satellite image, a higher priority (PR in the Satellite
Information Window) satellite becomes visible, PREDICT closes the current image data file,
aborts the current capture, and awaits the higher priority satellite before re-entering the capture
mode for the new satellite.
Once the elevation of the satellite drops below the specified minimum elevation, the data will
automatically be saved, and PREDICT will display and continue tracking all active satellites until
the next one becomes visible.
Viewing Images
Once an image is captured, the View functions are used to load and manipulate the image. If Qfax
is already running, press ’V’ to go to the View mode.
A complete description of View functions is found in the Qfax Reference Guide, only a brief
introduction is given here.
Once in View mode, click the left mouse button over the word File. A drop down menu appears.
Choose Load by again clicking over the word. A File Load menu appears as shown below.
Figure 3-11
View Mode File Load
To Load a file, click over the name of the file you want to load and then click over OK. You can
also double-click over the file name.
To change directories, double-click over the directory name you want to go to or double-click over
the double dot (..) to go to the next higher directory.
To change drives, double-click over the drive you want to load from.
If more choices are available than can fit in the display, click over the up and down arrows to scroll
the choices.
Once an image is loaded, you can use the other menu functions to Pan, Zoom and contrast enhance
the image.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
3-9
Operation
3-10
Viewing Images
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception
Appendix
Appendix
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception
This section applies to stations using a satellite dish with downconverter to receive weather
satellite images from Geostationary satellites. If this does not apply to your installation, you can
skip this section.
NOTE
To properly align the dish you will need a Compass and an Inclinometer. These items are
available at most large hardware stores or satellite TV distributors.
Obtaining The Look Angle
To receive a Geostationary satellite signal, the dish antenna must be properly aimed at the desired
satellite. The Qfax Predict function can be used to determine the proper direction to be used to
aim the dish. This information is referred to as the Look Angle and is supplied as two angles:
azimuth, the angle in a plane tangent to the earth at the receiving location, measured clockwise
from north from 0 to 360 degrees and elevation, the angle in degrees above the tangent plane,
measured from 0 to 90 degrees. Preparation for obtaining this information from the program
requires:
• Installation of Qfax software (see Software Installation Section)
• Initializing station location information (see Initializing Local Station Information Section)
• Copying a current ephemeris weather satellite data file to the Qfax directory (see Capturing
Orbiters Section). NOTE: In most cases, the elements.dat file supplied on the Qfax Program
disk can be used. If a long time delay has occurred, or the specified satellite has been moved
(which happens infrequently), an updated elements.dat file may need to be obtained.
Once these items have been installed and initialized, the Qfax Predict function will compute
accurate azimuth and elevation angles for the desired satellite. To find the azimuth and elevation
for a satellite:
• Change to the Qfax directory
• From the MS DOS prompt, type:
qfax<enter>
to start Qfax.
• An initialization screen will appear. After the initialization screen is cleared, the main “Capture” screen will be displayed. Type ‘P’ to move to the “Predict” screen.
• If the desired satellite is not displayed in the large, right window, use the ADD button to add
the satellite to the window. If eight satellites are currently being displayed, you will need to
delete one to make room for the new satellite you wish to add. If you have difficulty adding
the satellite, additional details can be found in the Qfax Reference Guide.
• When the satellite has been added and displayed, write down the readings to the right of the
Azimuth (AZ) and Elevation (EL) labels. This is the Look Angle for the selected satellite from
your geographic location.
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
4-1
Appendix
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception
Aligning the Dish
The Look Angle for a particular satellite is the Azimuth and Elevation angle given in degrees.
North is 0 or 360 degrees Azimuth. South is 180 degrees Azimuth. Likewise, East is 90 degrees
and West is 270 degrees. If the dish is aimed at the horizon, the Elevation angle is 0 degrees. If
the dish is aimed straight up, the Elevation angle is 90 degrees.
Using a compass, find magnetic north. Align the outside dial of the compass until the North
needle of the compass is aligned to the 0 degree mark. Without moving the compass housing, use
the dial scale as a reference for determining which direction the dish should be pointed. Use the
Azimuth computed by the Predict program and find this reading on the scale. The line from the
center of the compass dial to the indicated Azimuth reading is the direction the dish should be
pointing. This is an approximate setting and will be peaked using the signal strength meter of the
Qfax software once the Elevation angle is set.
Place the inclinometer on the center hub of the dish so it reads zero degrees when the dish is
pointed at the horizon and ninety degrees when pointed straight up. Now adjust the Elevation
adjust bolt until the calculated Elevation Angle is achieved.
Now that the dish is roughly aligned, use the Qfax software to fine tune the position of the dish
Azimuth and Elevation Angles.
Start Qfax if it is not already running and go to the Capture Screen. Select the UHF band on the
receiver controls and tune to 1691.000 MHz. You can also load a predefined configuration for
the satellite you want to receive.
Be certain that power is supplied to the downconverter. If the volume is not already on, turn the
receive audio on by clicking both the Mute and Squelch buttons, if they are not in the Out
position. Set the audio to a comfortable level by clicking the left mouse button on the ‘+’ or ‘-’ of
the volume control. Some satellites transmit continuously and some only intermittently. You may
have to wait for a signal to be transmitted. If a satellite signal is not heard after some time (10 to
15 minutes typically on GOES), loosen the azimuth locking bolts and swing the dish azimuth from
side to side until the signal is found.
Note: Sometimes the Polarization may be so far out of alignment that no signal can be found while
adjusting the Azimuth. If this occurs, try rotating the Feed Horn Assembly ninety degrees and
repeat the Azimuth sweep.
CAUTION: DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF THE DISH WHILE MEASURING THE SIGNAL
STRENGTH. STAND TO THE SIDE OF THE DISH TO MAKE THIS MEASUREMENT,
SINCE THE PRESENCE OF ANY OBSTRUCTION, EVEN A PERSON’S HAND CAN
CHANGE OR BLOCK THE INCOMING SIGNAL.
Once the satellite signal is heard, the dish should be fine tuned for maximum signal reception.
There are three adjustments that must be done to maximize the received signal strength: Azimuth,
Elevation, and Polarization. All should be adjusted for maximum signal strength.
With the Azimuth locking bolts still loosened, move the dish from side to side until the point of
maximum signal strength is found. Temporarily tighten the bolts. Now loosen the Elevation
Locking Nuts, and move the dish up and down until the position for maximum signal strength is
determined.
4-2
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception
Appendix
REPEAT THESE TWO ADJUSTMENTS SEVERAL TIMES, UNTIL NO FURTHER
IMPROVEMENT IN SIGNAL STRENGTH CAN BE MADE.
Polarization is adjusted by loosening the fasteners that hold the feed in position and rotating the
feed within the clamp or ring assembly (according to which model you have, either feed horn or
Integrated Feed Downconverter), until maximum signal strength is attained.
Once all adjustments have been completed, and the signal strength is optimized, tighten all
hardware. Make sure that the antenna dish assembly is securely anchored in place!
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer
4-3
Appendix
4-4
Dish Alignment for Geostationary Satellite Reception
Getting Started with Qfax and the Wefax Explorer

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