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Troubleshooting GlobeWeather

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GlobeWeather moduleTROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
GlobeWeather for Joomla! 1.6 / 1.7 / 2.5 / 3.x

 

 

Preamble:
This information is to be considered a basic guideline and is provided 'as is', without any form of warranty or guarantee.
This troubleshooting guide applies to the current GlobeWeather editions and versions.
Your Joomla! installation and setup may be different from the basis for these instructions.

PROBLEM INSTALLING GLOBEWEATHER
Occasionally, a problem with the installation of GlobeWeather with Joomla! 1.6 has been reported. Disabling the Joomla! FTP layer may help. See our forum topic.
There may also be an upload file size limit for your website (may be as low as 2M). If so, you may need to contact your ISP to increase this limit.

The remainder of this Trouble Shooting Guide assumes that the installation went OK.

CHECKS YOU MUST ALWAYS DO FIRST
The most commonly made mistakes are in the following basic parameters entered in the module's setup (backend Module Manager, Basic Options). So check these first!

- Have you entered the correct station ICAO codes? They should be four characters each.

- Look at the NUMBER of station codes that you have entered. They must be comma-separated.

- There must be an equal NUMBER of entries for the following options:

  • Station descriptions;
  • Station time zones;
  • AutoCalc options (where the "Y"s are). Premium and Business edition only;
  • Local sunrise and sunset hours.

- Also check your local time offset. This setting does not impact performance, but is used for the weather details list. 

OTHER PROBLEMS
You have taken care of the above and the module is still not working.
If you see error messages related to the metar cache, see the instructions in the documentation that comes with the downloaded package.

1. The weather module is not being displayed.

Possible cause: The module has not been properly published.
Possible solution: Back-end. Check the module status (should be 'Published') and whether template position, access and module assignment have been set correctly.

 

2. The module's layout is 'messed up'.

Possible cause: Default module CSS styling of your website is faulty, incomplete or missing.
Possible solution: Enter '_globeweather' (without the quotes) as the Module Class Suffix in the back-end Module Parameter list. If this does not help, you can use '_globeweather' as the Module Class Suffix and modify the CSS styling (file /modules/mod_globeweather/mod_globeweather/css/globeweather.css). There is plenty of information on the internet about CSS styling.

 

3. A weather icon overlayed by disconnected plugs.

disconnectedMeaning: No weather data could be retrieved
Possible causes and solutions:

In GlobeWeather Premium and Business, you can activate the Diagnostics function (Advanced Options) to better trace the problem.

a. The data retrieval mode (HTTP or FTP) has been set incorrectly. If this is the cause of the problem, you should see the disconnected icon with every station that you have configured. Change the data retrieval mode and try again after 5 minutes when the data file cache has expired. GlobeWeather Premium and Business editions include the Auto Detect-SmartMetar function and will attempt an alternative retrieval mode automatically; For Premium and Business, "Auto Detect" is the recommended retrieval mode.

b. The HTTP or FTP timeout may be set too tight for your website (Advanced Options). Set to higher value.

c. The station does not exist. Check the station's four-character ICAO code that you have entered. You can use the NOAA website http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtml to see if the station exists.

d. The station does not transmit weather data in the right (metar) format. You can use the NOAA website http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtml to find out if metar data exist for this station. See also under 9.

e. There is a temporary problem with the station's data transmission. Try again later.

f. If you have tried all the above options and none are working, your ISP has probably blocked both the HTTP and FTP access to external websites. If this is the case, there is nothing you can do except asking your ISP to enable either HTTP or FTP access. Upgrading to GlobeWeather Premium or Business edition will NOT solve the problem.

 

4. A weather icon overlayed by a broken calendar.

broken calendar overlayedMeaning: Weather data have been transmitted, but were recorded more than 6 hours ago.
Possible causes and solutions:

a. The station has not updated its data yet, or is not transmitting data on a regular basis (standard is approximately every 30 minutes). There is nothing you can do except be patient and hope for a more recent update of the weather data.

b. The station has meanwhile stopped transmitting weather data but its last transmission is still made available. Configure a different station nearby.

 

5. A weather icon, overlayed by a calculator with a red diagonal. Premium and Busines editions only.

calculator overlayedMeaning: AutoCalc not possible
Possible causes and solutions:

a. Most likely: Time zone for the station set wrongly, so that the calculated local sunrise time appears later than sunset time (e.g. sunrise 18:45 and sunset 06:45, the latter is in fact next day).

b. Station position (lat long) out of range, i.e. extremely north or south. Disable AutoCalc for this station (see instructions).

c. Station has endless day or night. See the instructions (SUNRISESET_HOURS) how to configure this.

d. Station coordinates (lat long) unknown. Update the weather station list to its latest version (see SUNRISESET_HOURS). If this does not solve the problem: disable AutoCalc for this station (see instructions).

 

6. The module takes long to (re)load.

Possible cause: The weather data take long to (re)load.
Possible solutions:

In GlobeWeather Premium and Business, you can activate the Diagnostics function (Advanced Options) to better trace the problem.

a. You may have selected a wrong or less suitable metar data retrieval mode. Change it in Advanced Options. For GlobeWeather Premium and Business, the recommended mode is "Auto Detect".

b. Premium and Business edition only: You may have enabled the diagnostics option (the text "Diagnostics ON" appears). Disable it.

c. Unlikely, but could happen: Your ISP has changed HTTP/FTP data transfer permissions. GlobeWeather freeware edition: see above, under a. GlobeWeather Premium and Business: Reset the SmartMetar function as follows: (1) Select either HTTP or FTP as the data retrieval mode (Advanced Options). (2) Save the parameters and refresh the frontend page. (3) Re-select AutoDetect as the data retrieval mode (backend) and save the parameters.

 

7. You changed one or more options in the module's option list, but the weather icon and temperature have not changed accordingly.

Cause: The module is using cached content
Possible solution:

a. Use the station selector to select this (or another) station again. This - more or less - resets the module. You may need to expand the details list to see the station selector.

 

8. The 'clear sky' icon is always show (sun at day time, moon at night), even if it is raining cats and dogs.

Cause: The station is not transmitting weather condition data
Possible solution:

a. Configure a different station nearby.

 

9. How to check whether a station is transmitting weather data?

a. Find the station's ICAO code (four characters). Use for example Greg Thompson's metar list on http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/surface/stations.txt

b. Enter and submit the station's ICAO code in the top form on the NOAA website http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtml

c. If you see a string of characters and digits below the ruler line after "The observation is", the station has transmitted weather data. The first part of the string is the data record date.

 

10. How to recognise valid metar data?

Metar data have a specific and defined format. You can find a lot of information about the subject on the internet.

An example of metar data as retrieved from the NOAA website is the following string:
2011/04/14 09:55 EHAM 140955Z 22004KT 160V300 9999 SCT015 10/07 Q1019 NOSIG

The string starts with date and time (UTC). Next the station code ("EHAM" for Amsterdam Airport). The part "140955Z" is a contraction of day (14th), time (0955) and 'Z' which stands for 'Zulu time' (this is UTC). What follows are the weather data for the station.
The important part of the metar are the station code ("EHAM" in this example, sometimes preceeded by the word "METAR") and what follows. GlobeWeather stores the metar without the first two components of the above string (i.e. without date 2011/04/14 and time 09:55).

 

11. Station selector submit button not visible

Solution: Under Advanced Options, you can configure either "black" or "white" for the station selector button. Select the option that best suits the background colour of your webpage.

 

12. Marquee is not scrolling

Possible cause: Javascript not enabled or not up-to-date.

 

13. System error message like "cannot redeclare..."

Possible cause: Using the freeware edition with multiple instances of the module installed, on the same or different page(s).

Solution: Get yourself the Premium or Business edition, these support multiple instances of the module.
When having two or more instances on the same page, the weather data scrolling marquee of only one instance will be shown. This is the only limitation.


Innato BV
29 Mar 2013

 

MambWeather / GlobeWeather Demo

Weather data OK
Arnhem
4 °C
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