Tuesday, August 29, 2017

GRLevel3 Version 1.xx (radar link fix/patch)

For many of us when when the NWS changed their server address, it caused GRLevel3 version 1 users left with a useless program. Thanks to "radar27" on the WXForum.com, we have a solution that works. Just follow the directions listed below and you should regain use of GRLevel3. It worked for me. When I got to the step to enter "httpd.exe", I would get what looks like an error but everything still worked after I opened GRLevel3

Information on the NWS server change:
"The current public NWS server is changing to a different URL. Here's a link to the SCN:
According to that SCN, the current public NWS server URL will stop working on June 15, 2016. Unless NOAA implements some sort of redirect on the current URL then the results will be catastrophic for GRLevel3 1.xx users and GRLevel3 2.40 or earlier users.
Impact on specific GR programs:
1. GRLevel3 1.xx
Complete loss of radar data. There is no recourse except to upgrade to GRLevel3 2.50 or higher. See the FAQ: For GRlevel3 1.xx Users post for information on upgrading to GR3 2.xx: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=7160
2. GRLevel3 2.40 and earlier
Complete loss of radar and live LSR data. Must update installations to GRLevel3 2.50 or higher.
3. GR2Analyst 2.41 and earlier
Loss of live LSR data. Must update to GR2Analyst 2.50 or higher.
NOTE: people using a private L3 server, like AllisonHouse.com, will continue to receive live L3 data."

All information was posted on - http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=29429.0

Hi All, I had been using GRLevel3 version 1.41 for some time and recently discovered the radar feed was no longer working. Though a Google search, I found this thread which helped explain what was wrong.  I decided to dive into the issue to see if there was something that could be done to restore the radar feed without the need to upgrade.  Fortunately, all the needed data is still there, we just needed a URL translation to get to it.  The following has been tested on Windows 10 64 bit, but should work on Windows 7, 8/8.1 and probably Server 2008/2012/2016.

After running GRLevel3 through a local proxy server, it was discovered that it is trying to pull radar data from http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/, which is now decommissioned.  Following the notice posted took me to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notification/scn16-16wngccb.htm that included the URLs which superseded the http://weather.noaa.govsite.  It turns out that the feed we need is now available at http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/.  This means all we have to do is translate what is destined to http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/ to http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/.  Fortunately, this capability is well within range when using the open source Apache webserver (http://httpd.apache.org).  This, coupled with a local hosts file edit can restore the maps.  Here are the steps to do so.

1)   Download a compiled version of Apache version 2.4 for Windows from http://www.apachelounge.com/download/.  Be sure to select the correct version for your Operating system (32bit versus 64bit).
2)   Download the Visual Studio Redistributable from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53840.
3)   Unpack the Apache zip file to some convenient location, this can use native Windows unzip or other utilities like 7-zip.  Enter the unpacked folder (httpd-2.4.23-win64-VC14 for the 64 bit version at the time of this writing).  Within that folder there will be a folder labeled Apache24.
4)   Move the Apache24 folder to the root of the C:\ drive.  You may be prompted if you have UAC enabled on your system.
5)   Navigate to C:\Apache24\conf folder and open up httpd.conf, if prompted, you will probably want to use Notepad.  Clear out all of it’s contents and paste in the following:

ServerRoot "c:/Apache24"
LoadModule access_compat_module modules/mod_access_compat.so
LoadModule actions_module modules/mod_actions.so
LoadModule authz_core_module modules/mod_authz_core.so
LoadModule autoindex_module modules/mod_autoindex.so
LoadModule env_module modules/mod_env.so
LoadModule include_module modules/mod_include.so
LoadModule isapi_module modules/mod_isapi.so
LoadModule negotiation_module modules/mod_negotiation.so
LoadModule proxy_module modules/mod_proxy.so
LoadModule proxy_http_module modules/mod_proxy_http.so

    AllowOverride none
    Require all denied

DocumentRoot "c:/Apache24/htdocs"

    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Require all granted

    Require all denied

ProxyPass "/pub" "http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/"
ProxyPassReverse "/pub" "http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/"
ProxyRequests On
ProxyVia On

6)   Save the http.conf, if UAC is enabled, you may need to save this to a Documents folder and copy (and overwrite) the contents in C:\Apache24\conf\httpd.conf
7)   Run the Visual Studio Redistributable (vc_redist.exe) and accept all defaults
8)   Open up notepad as an administrator
9)   Go to File -> Open
In the file name box, paste in:
10)   Hit Open
11)   This will present you with the systems hosts file, we want to add the following in one line, at the bottom:   weather.noaa.gov

12)   Go to File -> Exit, when asked to save, say yes.
13)   Open up a command prompt as an administrator
14)   Type:

cd \Apache24\bin


15)   At this point the proxy should be active, open up GRLevel3 and go to your home site (or navigate around to a site that may have activity).   You should see radar imaging populate.
16)   If everything works ok, you can install Apache to execute as a system service automatically.  At the command prompt (run as administrator), hit CTRL+C to stop the httpd.exe process.  Once it exits and you get the C:\ prompt, type the following:

httpd.exe -k install

17)   Lastly, you can start the apache service by typing:

sc start Apache2.4

18)   The apache service is now started and will automatically start with the system and GRLevel3 version 1.41 should work as it had previously."

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