Please note: The Weathermuffin app has been sunset as of November 2023 and is no longer available.
Weathermuffin is streamlined to get you the most important marine weather information fastest.
As a result, this makes Weathermuffin ideally suited for use with the bandwidth-challenged Iridium GO! satellite communications service.*
In this article, we’ll begin with a step-by-step how-to for using Weathermuffin with the Iridium GO! We’ll conclude with some tips for getting the most from your offshore marine weather data system.
To turn on the Iridium GO!, plug it in to a power source and raise its antenna 90 degrees. It will take a minute or two for it to power on and be ready.
On our mobile device, we’re going to go into Settings and turn ON Airplane Mode. Then we’re going to turn ON Wi-Fi. This ensures that internet traffic is routed through the Iridium GO! and nowhere else.
Select your Iridium GO! from the list of available Wi-Fi connections.
Allow it to connect. It’s recommended to enable Low Data mode.
Go to the Weathermuffin app. Then go to the Download tab, indicated by the down-arrow icon. The default setting is “Online,” which is the default way of retrieving weather data through the regular internet.
We’re going to switch the Connection setting to “Iridium GO!” It will take a moment for Weathermuffin to interface with the device.
We can now go ahead and tap the download button. Note that the download button will be disabled unless there’s full signal strength. So sometimes you may have to wait for the right signal strength before beginning the download.
Now wait a moment for the Iridium GO! to establish a connection through a satellite.
When connection has been established, Weathermuffin begins the process of retrieving the most current marine weather data. In just a few seconds, the WxHeadsUp™ alerts will have come down.
You can continue using the app while downloading is in progress. So You can look at the alerts even before their associated chart images have downloaded. You will see that after just moments there’s already quite a bit of useful information about the next 72 hours of your passage.
Each alert indicates the time and location of the forecast event. You can tap on an alert to see it on the map. Note that if that particular chart image hasn’t finished downloading yet, it’ll show a frame with the download icon.
The weather data are downloaded in an intelligent, priority-driven order. Momentarily you should start to see the data for the top alert appear.
Once all data has been received, Weathermuffin will automatically disconnect.
It’s that simple!
Further down on the Download tab is where you choose which data you’d like to download. Because of the Iridium GO!’s limited data transmission rate, it’s useful to select only the items you want, in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to receive marine weather data.
You can choose whether or not to download WxHeadsUp alerts and their associated chart images. You can also choose which families of synoptic charts to download.
At the bottom, there are some advanced settings, including username and password for the Iridium GO!, and IP addresses for the Iridium GO! device as well as the Weathermuffin service. Normally you should leave these blank, but it’s good to know about these options in case you should need them.
Tips for Best Offshore Marine Weather Experience
- Set up on fast internet. When you first download, install, and run the Weathermuffin app, do so when you have access to good internet connectivity before you head offshore.
- Test before departing. Be sure to test your marine weather data system before leaving, so you know it works and how to do everything you need to do with it.
- Use the external antenna. You’ll get the best data speeds and most reliable connections using the Iridium GO!’s external antenna.
- Unlimited data plan. Timely weather data is one of the most important uses for offshore connectivity. To ensure continual access to the data you need for informed decisions, consider investing in Iridium GO!’s unlimited data plan.
- Check subscriptions. Before heading offshore, make sure your subscriptions to both Weathermuffin and Iridium GO! are current and will remain so for the anticipated duration of your passage. It may be advantageous to designate someone on shore who can help deal with this if needed.
- Avoid changing Iridium GO! settings. You’ll have a much easier time using the Iridium GO! if you avoid changing settings unnecessarily, like the device’s user name, password, and IP address.
- Plug in mobile device. Since downloading over the Iridium GO! can take some time, consider keeping your mobile device plugged in to a power source while marine weather data is downloading.
- Keep app in foreground while downloading. Switching to a different app or locking the mobile device screen will interrupt the download.
- Use Weathermuffin while downloading. You can, however, continue using the Weathermuffin app as normal while downloading is in progress
- Cancel when needed. Files are downloaded in an intelligent order, most important first. If needed, you can cancel the download after the most important things have finished downloading and you have what you need.
That’s all for today. I hope this helps you get the most out of your Iridium GO!
* Iridium GO! connectivity requires a Weathermuffin Premium subscription. Additionally, separate hardware and an active data plan from Iridium are required.
The Weathermuffin app is compatible with the Iridium GO! Compatibility with the next-generation Iridium GO! exec is unknown.
“Iridium GO!” and “Iridium GO! exec” are trademarks of Iridium Satellite LLC, which has not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with Weathermuffin LLC.