FX-Net Users Manual


Tooltips/Menus/Dialog Boxes Status Bar Exporting Images
Printing Images Setting FX-Net Preferences Time Matching

Tooltips/Menus/Dialog Boxes

FX-Net offers many different tools to assist you in navigation. Each is described below, and an example image of each is available to augment the description.

Tooltips - tooltips are to FX-Net what Alt tags are to web pages. When you move your pointer over an item on the toolbar, a tag pops open to tell you the purpose of the button you have selected. Here is an example of a tooltip.

Pull-down menus - pull-down menus are the menus you will see when you select one of the titles on the menu bar. These menus have sub-menus called cascading menus. You can tell which items on pull-down menus are cascading menus by a black arrow on the right of the item in the pull-down menu. See a pull-down menu, then see a cascading menu.

Option menus - option menus are the menus that appear as a rectangle, and when clicked open up into a drop down menu. Examples of this are the map view, frame and density settings on the toolbar. View an option menu here.

Pop-up menus - pop-up menus are available in most situations by right-clicking on an item or the FX-Net primary window. Examples of this are the line contour color editing menu and the map/products legend selection menu. Here is an example of a pop-up menu.

Dialog Boxes - dialog boxes are windows that open via a menu or toolbar selection. Two examples of dialog boxes are the loop properties dialog box and the color image editor dialog box.

Status Bar

The status bar is located along the bottom of the FX-Net window, and tells you, well, the status of FX-Net and the time. If you click on the arrow to the right of the word Status, you get a window with all the status messages from your FX-Net session. Here is an example of a Status Messages window.

Export of Images (v. 3.2.0 beta and higher)

A new feature of FX-Net is the ability of the client to save imagery loaded in the primary window as .gif or .jpeg files. Once you load the images in the primary window, you select the File menu from the Menu Bar, and then select the Export cascading menu. You then have a choice of either saving the frame presently loaded or saving all the frames in the loop. After you make your selection, a dialog box opens and prompts you for a name for the image(s) (FX-Net gives them a default name) and location on your computer. The default location where FX-Net saves them (if FX-Net is installed on your C:\ drive on your machine) is: C:\FX-Net\export. NOTE: At this time, work on export of model images is still in progress, though export of model contours is active.

Printing of Images (v. 4.0 and higher)

A new feature in version 4.0 of FX-Net is the ability to print imagery directly from the FX-Net client. In the File menu on the FX-Net menu bar, you will see a new menu item, Print. You can select Current Frame or All Frames. You will then be presented with a print dialog box, where you may select your printer, and a few other properties. Extensive testing of the print function has not been done yet, but this feature has functioned so far without incident using the print dialog box to select a printer and print to that printer.

Setting FX-Net Preferences (v. 3.2.0 beta and higher)

Another new feature of FX-Net is the Preferences dialog box. You may access this box through the Options menu on the menu bar. The Preferences dialog box does away with the need to hand-edit the client.properties file, as the settings are now made through the FX-Net GUI. There are 3 tabs to select: General, Colors and Help. In General, you can set the viewport size, radar chooser size, cache recycle time, maximum frames, and default frame number. Under the Colors tab, you can choose which colors that FX-Net will use as defaults when loading data, and in what order they are used. Finally, in Help, you choose which web browser to use when accessing this user manual from FX-Net (this is done by default at installation) and the URL of this user manual (also done by default). 

FX-Net Time Matching

FX-Net will attempt to "time-match" different products loaded together into the primary window. After a first product is loaded in the primary window, any requests for subsequent products overlayed on the first product will be time-matched to the first product. If a subsequent product cannot be correctly time-matched to the first product, you will receive an error (see Time Matching Errors below).

When loading different data types in the primary window together, what data you receive from the FX-Net server depends on what you request, and especially in what order you request it. For example, if you first request 8 frames of 5-minute lightning data, then attempt to overlay IR Satellite, you will have several more frames of lightning data, as it's time resolution is higher. Several frames of lightning data will be overlayed on each IR satellite image, and you will be able to see this as you move through the loop and the IR image doesn't change every frame as does the lightning data.

Alternatively, if you first request 8 frames of IR Satellite, then overlay the 5-minute lightning data, FX-Net will get lightning data to match each frame of IR Satellite imagery, so you will have unique matching data in each frame. If you wish to overlay different types of data with different time resolution, it is generally best to FIRST load the data with lower time resolution, then overlay the data with the higher time resolution, if you desire as much time-matched data as possible.

Time Matching Errors

In versions of FX-Net previous to v4.0, when an attempt was made by the FX-Net client/server to time-match a product and this could not be accomplished, it gave an error message similar to "Product unavailable." Of course, when you then attempted to load the failed product by itself, the product would load fine (the error message was, in essence, wrong), as the error was a time-matching error, not a data availability error.

Now, in v4.0, when a product is requested that cannot be time matched with a product already loaded in the FX-Net client, you will see an error message similar to "Product unavailable or time match error", which basically still means that either the server couldn't find the product, or it was unable to time-match the requested product against the user's initially loaded product. The error message is now correct, but it still does not distinguish for the user which is the case. To determine whether it is a time-match error or if the product is really unavailable, you can try loading the product that failed with this error into an empty primary window all by itself. If it loads, then the error was due to time-matching.

Table of Contents | Layout of FX-Net | Basic Controls | Graphic Controls | Baselines/Points | Volume Browser 1 | Volume Browser 2| Text Browser | Surface | NCEP/Hydro | Upper Air | Satellite | Radar | Maps | Procedures | Color Map Editor