wxtoimg Raspberry Pi Professional Version – Some Useful Information!

So I noted yesterday that the MCIR with Precipitation image enhancement was not “with precipitation” as there was no colour. It was imply MCIR enhancement. Now wxtoimg comes in three flavours: Standard, Standard registered and Professional. Back in the day I had paid for a Professional key and I had entered that into my PC version and all was fine. Incidentally Standard and Professional keys are freely available on https://wxtoimgrestored.xyz/downloads/. Seems like the author of wxtoimg has lost interest in it and abandoned the project and is happy for the keys to be in the public domain.

Now the MCIR with precipitation enhancement is only available in the professional version. So how to enter the unlock key into my command line Raspberry Pi wxtoimg version?

I have not seen the following information reported before. To get the professional version running on the Pi here are the steps.

Firstly you need to log into the Pi via a graphical interface. I use VNC Viewer on the PC. If you are running your Pi headless like me (i.e. normally using a terminal to log in, putty in my case) you will get the message “Can not display desktop”. The solution is to either plug a hdml cable into the Pi (doesn’t have to be connected to a monitor) or, more elegantly, to use raspi-config to change the default low resolution to the highest you are offered.

Once you are logged in you have to launch wxtoimg in graphical mode by either running “wxtoimg -G” or xwxtoimg. You can then click “help/enter upgrade key” and your standard unregistered copy become a professional version with all enhancements unlocked. But…………………………………… After you log out and close the program down when you restart it the registration details have disappeared and it has reverted back to the unregistered standard version. The answer is to run “sudo wxtoming -G” and enter the relevant credentials. But there is another but………………….Subsequently you always have to use sudo to launch the program or else you are running the unregistered version…………wtf!

So in the scripts which launch wxtomimg to decode the passes on the Pi I have prefaced the wxtoing calls with sudo, e.g.

sudo /usr/local/bin/wxtoimg -m ${3}-map.png -c -e MCIR-precip $3.wav $3.MCIR-precip.png

And finally you really can get the MCIR with precipitation enhancement!!! See below for a couple from this morning:

NOAA 15 southbound 08.53z 11-Feb-2021 MCIR with Precipitation enhancement

NOAA 18 southbound 09.19z 11-Feb-2021 MCIR with Precipitation enhancement

Well what a faf de klerk! Still we got there in the end.

With regard to the Pi images seeming cleaner I think this may be to do with the Pi recording the pass at 60 kHz bandwidth (the value in the script I copied) whereas on the PC I was setting bandwidth to 34 kHz.