Browser Setting For Radar Loops

Radar Loop Browser Settings

Radar loops work best when your web browser has correct settings for checking web page timestamps of pages in its web cache.

Use a setting like 'Automatic' if it is available.

When 'Automatic' is available, do not choose Every-visit or Every-time or equivalent - it will generate too much web traffic, and time delays will disturb radar loops.

However, when there is no 'Automatic' setting, it is OK to choose Every-visit or Every-time or equivalent.

Some recipes for correctly setting web browsers are:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Firefox Mozilla
  • click Tools then click Internet Options...
  • In the 'General' tab, there is a heading 'Temporary Internet Files'.
  • Click the 'Settings...' button.
  • Where is says 'Check for newer versions of stored pages:',
    choose 'Automatically' if it exists. If not, choose 'Once per session' or 'Every visit'.
  • click Tools then click Options...
  • select Advanced
  • select the Network tab
  • try reducing the size of the cache
    by entering a value for the Cache
    eg. Use up to 1 MB of space for the cache
  • go to Edit
  • then select Preferences...
  • select the Advanced category
  • click cache
  • See Compare the page in the cache to the page on the network
  • choose 'Once per session'
Safari Konqueror Opera
  • Cache settings cannot be adjusted
  • go to Settings
  • then select Configure Konqueror
  • choose the Cache category
  • ensure that the Use cache option is ticked
  • select the Keep cache in sync policy
  • reduce the Disk cache size to a smaller value
  • go to Tools
  • then Preferences...
  • select the History category
  • In the section labelled "Check if cached page is updated on the server"
  • select some number of hours or days (and avoid choosing 'Always') in the Check Documents and Check images menus

Basically, once the full loop has downloaded and has looped around a couple of times, there should be no further download activity, and the mouse should not show a flashing hour-glass image. If any of these symptoms still occur on your PC, then change your time-check setting back to Once-per-session or equivalent.

Radar Loop Diagnostics

To check your loops, do these steps:

Step 1. Is JavaScript enabled?

Do this Javascript Check.
If Javascript is enabled, then proceed to Step 2 below.

If Javascript will not run in this browser, then you may wish to install another web browser which will run JavaScript. Try Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox or Opera, ...

Step 2. Are the browser cache settings OK?

Look at the browser settings and maybe change your settings.

Now try a simple loop (below).

Step 3. Try running this simple test loop

Simple test loop.

If that loop worked OK, then go to Step 4.

If the above simple loop did not work, then report the problem as instructed within the above Simple Test Loop page.

Step 4. Try running normal radar loops

Try running any of the Capital City radar loops, via the RADAR HOME PAGE link.
After trying these loops, click the BACK button to return here.

If there was no rain showing on the above radars, remember to look at the bottom of the images to see the timestamp increasing by 10 minutes at a time.

If the above loops do not work for you, please use the FEEDBACK link to report the fault and to describe what shows on your web page instead of the working loops.

Radar Loop Troubleshooting

The radar response (rain) animation does not appear but everything else looks the way it usually does — background (typography), location names etc., the user interface (buttons etc.) and in some cases the frame number changes in the radar controls.

If you can see the radar viewer interface and the map background/other map layers (location names, roads, rail etc.) but not the radar response (rain) animation this may be caused by your browser or network security settings or add-blocking software. The images that make up the radar animation are not served from a *.bom.gov.au website. They are currently housed on a special highly available CDN (content delivery network).

This issue can be resolved by adding "*.edgecastcdn.net" as a trusted host to your web browser/add-blocking software or network settings (white-listed). If this issue is occurring on a corporate (work/office) machine you may need your IT Support people to make these changes for you.

The full external host address is http://wac.72DD.edgecastcdn.net.

The radar page loads, but the map background is not visible.
When you press play you can see that the loop Frame number is changing, the date time near the legend is changing with each frame.

Microsoft Windows users only (any browser)

Go to windows "Start" select "Control Panel".

Go into Accessibility Options. You will see a set of tabs in the dialog box "Keyboard", "Sound", "Display", "Mouse" and "General".

Select the "Display" tab.

If the "Use High Contrast" box is ticked, change this setting (un-tick it) and click OK.

Return to your browser, into the radar loop page and refresh.

Internet Explorer users only

In Internet Explorer under the Tools menu - select Internet Options.

Running along the bottom of the dialog box, you will see 4 buttons "Colors", "Fonts", "Languages" and "Accessibility".

Click the Accessibility button -

  1. if any of the Formatting boxes are ticked, un-tick them
  2. if the user style sheet box is ticked, un-tick it

If you changed your settings, click OK. Otherwise Cancel.

Return to the radar loop page and refresh.

The radar page appears to be loading, there is a message saying "Please wait, radar images are loading", but the radar loop doesn't start running.
Often JavaScript errors occur at the same time.

Firewalls, if not configured correctly, can cause problems correctly displaying certain websites particularly if they display or manipuilate any form of data or media as is the case with the Bureau's radar loops.

In most firewalls the user will need to look at the security Settings for the affected site.

For the Bureau's radar pages this would entail the following

  • adding mirror.bom.gov.au to the list of trusted sites
  • adjusting Mobile Code Control, Cookie Control and Pop-up control in the firewall

If unsure of these settings or how to change them refer to you Firewall instruction manual or the vendors website.

(Although not recommended, briefly disabling the Firewall and reloading the pages may prove that the firewall is the cause of the problem.)

If your security product is the CA Personal Firewall then please refer to
"Pictures do not load on websites since installing CA Personal Firewall" on the Computer Associates website.

When I revisit the radar loop the selected map features from my previous visit are not restored.

At the present time we are limited to using URL rewriting as a means of passing selected map features between radars. The Bureau policy on using cookies can be found online at: Privacy Statement.

You can however, bookmark a particular radar with your preferred map features, so that when you revisit that radar from this bookmark your preferred features will load.

To do this:

  • Go to your favourite radar e.g. http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR193.loop.shtml
  • Select your map features, e.g. roads and locations
  • If you would like the loop to play by default, click the play button
  • Click on the link 128km or 256 km link near the tabs, or wait for the page to reload/refresh
  • Your favourite map features and looping mode will be appended to the URL
  • For the above example, the URL will look like http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR193.loop.shtml#skip
  • In your browser either "Bookmark this page..." or "Add to Favorites"
Radar Loops have never worked on this web browser
  1. Clicking on '128km' in the radar tabs will take you to a loop, the tab should say "Loops" and the page heading may contain "radar loop".

    We have in the past provided pages with the latest "static" radar image, we have removed links to those pages and in future will phase these pages out. However, you may have gone to a bookmarked page like this - if this is the case simply click on the "Loops" tab and this will take you to the loop for that radar.

  2. Loops need JavaScript to work. Some web browsers have scripts turned off. Others may not be able handle radar loops at all. See Radar Loop Diagnostics to check this browser.
My radar loops used to work, but they have stopped working now.

If your radar loops used to work but do not work now, it is probably a problem on your PC. Check:

  • is your disk full? (You need to have several Mb spare space)
  • is there a virus in this PC?,
  • is there a problem with the PC-firewall?.

Perhaps use the Radar Loop Diagnostics to check this browser.

A rare problem might be that you have an old or incorrect bookmark. Perhaps revisit the Australian Weather Watch Radar Network page, select the radar you want, and then set up a fresh bookmark.

Another rare problem might be that if you now only see small broken images instead of radar images, then maybe your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has blocked radar images. Perhaps contact your ISP to see if they can run the radar loops, and whether they see a problem or not.

The loop counter counts from 1-4, but the images do not change.

Look at the time-stamp line at the bottom of the radar images. The times should be increasing by 10 minutes each image. Sometimes when there is no rain, the images all look identical and the only thing changing is the time stamp.

There are only 1 or 2 or 3 images in my loop when there should be 4.

This usually happens with part-time radars after a windfinding session when the radar has been down for one and a half hours, and has only just come back up. Only 1 or 2 or 3 new images are available. It takes a full 40 minutes before all 4 images are available.

I see Blank or Partial or Broken images during loops.
Why is my PC is continually downloading data during loops?
Why is the mouse pointer continually flashing an hour-glass during loops?

When loops are running normally, there should be no further downloading from the internet - the images should all be in the PC cache storage. If your PC seems to be continually downloading new images, or the loop shows partial or blank images, or the hour-glass is flashing, then your web browser cache settings may be wrong, and the browser is accidently rechecking the internet every time around the loop.

See Browser Settings to check your cache settings.

What are the download volumes if I leave my PC on radar loops all day?

One new 20Kb-30Kb radar image comes down every 10 minutes. This means 120Kb-180Kb per hour, or approx 1 Mb every 6-8 hours.

My radar images seem to be old.

If your radar images are obviously very old (e.g. over a day old) and do not change after you press the Refresh/Reload button, then you may have a Web cache problem.

The date-time on the radar image is plainly wrong (e.g. year 2000, 2010, etc)

Occasionally radar machines lose track of the correct time of day, and send in images with bad dates like year 1990 or year 2010 etc. We try to reset radars to the correct dates and times as soon as we can, but some bad date/time stamped images may be displayed for a little while.

The feature layers I selected are not remembered when I return to the radar pages.

This issue has been known to occour in Firefox after a browser update.

Try removing the cookies related to the radar pages then refresh the radar page — the default set of layers should be ticket.

Next: test that the issue has been fixed by ticking the layers you want, then navigate away from the radar page and back again. The layers you selected should now be remembered.

N.B. The selection of layers affects all the radar pages.

When I select the "Weather Observations" map features box, the observations panel on the right is partially obscured.

This issue occour's most commonly in Internet Explorer 7 and less frequently in IE8 and 9.

Sometimes Internet Explorer (7/8/9) arbitrarily decides to render pages in Microsoft's Compatibility View. When this happens on the radar viewer pages they appear with larger then intended text and part of the right-hand side of the page is cropped.

If your IE browser has decided to use Compatibility View you can usually change the setting manually to "Standards View" and the page should render the way it's supposed to. Whilst it can depend on the browser (IE7/8/9) and computer set up (corporations/institutions may deploy IE with specific options enabled/disabled); You can usually toggle Compatibility View by clicking on the button to the right of the web address (URL) on the address bar which has the icon that looks like a piece of (torn) paper.

You can find more about Compatibility View here:

Parts of the Radar Viewer interface, especially text areas, are covered by other parts of the web page.

The most likely cause of this issue is that the browser or operating system settings have been changed to make the font (text) size larger then it is by default. To check if this is the case try the following possible solutions.

If the solutions here are not affective and you are using a recent version of Internet Explorer please view the answer to the previous FAQ (Weather Observations...partially obscured) as IE's compatibility view can also case fonts to enlarge.

Browsers

Most web browsers have the ability to modify how text appears on the screen. Both the style and size of the font can be affected. There are several places in most browsers where the applicable settings can be changed and different browsers' settings are located in different places so we can only cover a few of the more frequently used browsers here, but if you check the help/documentation available for your particular browser or search the Internet you can find where these settings are located.

Firefox (circa version 18)

Open Firefox's options and go to the Content tab. Under 'fonts and colors' and next to the 'Default font' settings, click on the 'Advanced...' button. Then make sure that the check-box next to 'Allow pages to choose their own fonts' is checked.

From the menu bar select 'View' then 'Zoom'. If 'Zoom text only' has a check-mark next to it then click on the 'Reset' option above it (Ctrl+0)

Internet Explorer

For most versions of Internet Explorer setting the text size to "medium" should work best for the Radar Viewer

IE 7/8

Change webpage text size in Internet Explorer

IE 9

Internet Explorer 9 accessibility options

IE 10

Internet Explorer accessibility options

Google Chrome (Chromium)

Chrome does not have (at time of writing) a zoom text only menu function as other browsers do (Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.).

Adjust fonts, languages, and encodings

Operating Systems

Changing text size and font options in your operating system settings can affect the appearance text in your web browser. This is particularly true of Internet Explorer and the Windows operating system as they are tightly integrated at this level.

It is beyond the scope of this document to go into detail about changing the size of text in all operating systems but there are many good articles about this that can be found on the Internet. Here are a few that cover operating systems we have frequently seen this issue on.

Windows Vista

Make the text on your screen larger or smaller

Windows 7

Make the text on your screen larger or smaller

Windows 8

Make the text on your screen larger or smaller

If you have trouble reading the text on the Radar Viewer we suggest using the browsers Zoom feature to zoom the whole page and not just the text.

We are currently investigating ways we can make the Radar Viewer more compatible with vision assistant technologies and will be progressively upgrading the Radar Viewer when appropriate solutions are discovered.