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StormPredator Help


This is the online help file supplement for version 2.5

It is still under construction- but you can check our:

Check the Software Status: See our list of bugs, bug fixes and known issues with SP

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Wondering about something? Chances are the problem has been addressed before.
See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) to see if your question is answered there.

Version 2.5 Feature details:

How to use a third party emailer program to replace the one supplied, or call an external program on alert.

New in version 2.56

To use an external mail program:
Add a command-line option -mailer <program_path> where program_path is a fully-qualified path (enclosed in quotes if it contains embedded spaces) to any executable program.
That program may be a mailer program, a batch file, a perl script, or any executable file.
StormPredator will call that program when an alert condition occurs.
StormPredator will pass the following arguments to the program:
(I've used the batch file parameter calling convention for this list, but the user will use whatever is appropriate for the executable file)
%1 -- The sender address
%2 -- The recipient address
%3 -- The subject line enclosed in quotes.
%4 -- The SMTP server address
%5 -- The SMTP server port
%6 -- The SMTP server user name
%7 -- The SMTP server password
%8 -- The path to the image to be sent
The user may use any and/or all of these variables to call any mail program.
All of these variables are taken from values the user has entered in the address dialog in StormPredator.
Please note that these are space-delimited, so if any of these are empty, then the argument number will change accordingly.
This only affects the optional variables: server user name, server password, and image.
The other variables are required and will never be empty.
That means that if the server user name and password are empty, the sixth argument will be the image, if it is supplied.
The body of the message is left to the user's discretion, you may customize it as you wish.
The file is executed with a SW_NORMAL window style, the command window will appear as the file is being executed. This allows the user to put a pause statement (or equivalent) in the program and view the output for testing.
We may change this in the future if the feature is incorporated into the product permanently, so that the window is optionally shown.

--- Custom markers ---

Feature description
The program allows the user to select a marker icon for each marker. Just as with the marker text, the program remembers what icon is used for each marker and will display that icon when the program is started.
To select a marker icon, right-click on the marker well icon at the top of the options pane. A dialog will appear that contains all of the available marker icons. The current marker icon will be highlighted (and usually centered) in the icon display. Scroll left and right to view all of the available icons. The user may select one of the icons by highlighting it with the left mouse button, then pressing the Ok button, or by double-clicking on the icon with the left mouse button.
Once an icon has been selected, any marker that is created will be created with that icon. The user may change the current marker icon at any time.

Adding Marker Icons
The user may add marker icons by simply adding them to the marker icon storage directory. That directory is a subdirectory of the StormPredator installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\StormPredator) and it is named data\markers.
The user may create or edit marker icons with any icon editor. Please note that marker icons are larger than the standard Windows icons. Marker icons are 48 pixels wide and 48 pixels tall (standard Windows icons are 23 x 32 pixels). Save icons in TrueColor (24-bit) color depth, with an extension of ".ico".
Notes for advanced icon editors: masks are not necessary and are ignored, each icon must be placed in a separate file, and transparency is fully supported.

Viewing Marker Text
View marker text by clicking the left mouse button down when the pointer is over a marker. The text will appear in the selected marker text color.

Changing The Marker Text Color
Select the marker text color by pressing the Settings button, then selecting Color Options. Double-click the left mouse button while the pointer is over the color box labeled "Marker Text Color" to select a color. The marker text color applies to all markers.

Changing Marker Text
Edit the marker text for any marker by right-clicking when the pointer is over a marker icon. A dialog appears that allows the user to edit the marker text and/or delete the marker.

Moving A Marker
A marker may be moved by holding down the Alt key then click-and-drag the marker with the left mouse button. Release the mouse button to place the marker at the new location

Deleting A Marker
Delete a marker by pressing and holding the Alt key and right-clicking when the pointer is over a marker icon. A dialog appears that allows the user to delete the marker. As noted above, the user may also delete a marker by using the Change Marker Text dialog.

--- Autosave images ---

Feature description
This is for exporting images processed by SP to a website using an FTP program such as TinyUploader see:

Up to 24 images are automatically saved. The images are saved after processing by StormPredator (including any overlays, markers, and scan zones). These images are useful for publishing to web pages and are the images that are mailed to email addresses or cell phones if that feature is enabled.
The file names have a number appended to the name, from 01 to 24. The first file in that list is always the most recent file, and the highest number file is always the oldest file. When a new image is saved, it becomes the first file in the list and all of the others are moved to the next highest number. If there are more than 24 images in the list, the highest numbered one is deleted, so that there is always a maximum of 24 images in the list.

The directory also contains a file named "current" that is always the most recently saved image. It is a copy of the first file in the list.
The files are saved in PNG or JPG format at the user's discretion. These are web friendly formats.
The files are saved in a folder named AutoSave in the StormPredator installation directory.

Selecting a file format
Choose either PNG (Portable Network Graphics) or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) formats. These are very common image formats and are accepted by virtually all Internet devices and cell phones.

--- Custom caption text for saved images ---

Feature description
The user may enter up to 80 characters that will be displayed along the bottom edge of saved and emailed images.

Entering caption text
Press the Settings button and select the Email Options button. Enter the text in the Caption Text field.
The user may enter up to 80 characters in that field. If the user attempts to enter more than 80 characters, the program will beep a warning.

--- Emailing images ---

Feature description
The user may elect to send StormPredator images via email to any computer, cell phone, or PDA that is capable of receiving HTML mail.
When the selected device is a cell phone or PDA, a portion of the image that surrounds the center of the user's scan zone is mailed to the device.

Enabling HTML mail
Press the Settings button and select Email Options. Enable HTML mail for email or pager/cell phone notifications. For the latter, also choose a screen size that is closest to the screen size of your device.

Testing HTML mail
These messages are tested the same way that text messages are tested, enter all of the desired options and press the Email or Pager Test button.

--- Image Smoothing ---

Feature description
The user may choose to smooth the radar image. The smoothing algorithm is a simple histogram matrix blurring function similar to the "Soften" tool that is employed by many common image and photo editors. This provides a presentation that is similar to TV news radars in that pixelated areas at the edge of the radar range are smoothed to give a consistent look.

Changing the smoothing amount
Press the Settings button, then select Display Options. Change the Image Smoothing slider bar to change the amount of smoothing. At the minimum setting, no smoothing is applied to the image.

--- Verbose mode ---

Feature description
Verbose mode is a troubleshooting tool to be used only when the user wants to isolate file transfer problems. When Verbose Mode is enabled, the program will display error messages if any trouble is encountered during an Internet File Transfer operation.
The program should not be left running unattended while in Verbose Mode, because if an error message appears and it is not acknowledged and dismissed, the program may crash.

Enabling Verbose Mode
Right-click on the desktop icon or Start Menu entry for StormPredator, and choose Properties from the menu. In the dialog box that appears, left-click in the text field labeled "Target". Press the right arrow key until the blinking caret (the blinking vertical bar) is all the way at the right end of the text, outside the quotation marks. Then press the space bar to add a space after the quotation marks and type '-verbose' (without the quote marks). Now click the Ok button.
Start StormPredator by double-clicking on that same icon or Start Menu item and the program will start in Verbose Mode. Watch for error messages. If you do see an error message, perform a screen capture (hold down the ALT key and press Print Screen, then open Microsoft Paint and press CTRL-V). Send the image and a description of the error to

--- SMTP Port ---

Feature description
This allows the user to select a port other than the standard port (25) for SMTP server connections.

Using the feature:
Do not change the SMTP port unless your server explicitly states that another port is required. Your SMTP server documentation will tell you what port to use.

-- Full Screen Display ---

Feature Description
This will cause the program to display a full-screen window containing the radar image. The images may be commanded to loop through the available history images or display the beam sweep.

Using Full-Screen Mode
Press F4 to enter full-screen mode. Click the mouse to exit this mode (or press F4 or ESC).
The display will continue to update with the latest available images.
While in Full-Screen Mode, press ALT-L to toggle looping, or press ALT-B to toggle the beam.
The user may elect to display or hide the DBZ/VIP color key bar by making a selection in Settings->Display Options dialog.
User can also choose to maintain the aspect ratio in fullscreen mode or to allow SP to fill the screen.

-- Options panel in Mini-window Mode ---

Feature description
The options panel may be collapsed or expanded in Mini-window Mode.
Collapsing the panel leaves an aesthetically pleasing circle display in the lower right corner of the screen.

Using the options panel in Mini-window Mode
Just as in the full-sized window mode, press the Space bar to expand or collapse the options panel when the program is in Mini-window mode.