WXTide32
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Last updated 03/25/2005.

Try looking here first for answers to your questions. I have included the most often asked ones and everything here is now also included in the help file. But if you don't find an answer, try sending me an email.

What does WXTide32 stand for and how do you pronouce it?
Why is WXTide32 showing me the wrong time?
What happened to the England (and Ireland and Scotland) tide data?
How do I set up a custom subordinate station?
How do I set up a program shortcut for a custom station?
Can I set up a custom reference station?
Why do the currents for some stations show units as Knots^2 or Kt^2?
Is this Dave Flater's program or yours?
Why don't you charge for the program?
Did you know the Galapagos are owned by Ecuador?
Is there any other information about the UNIX version XTide?
Is there a version for the Mac?
Why does WXTide32 keep asking if I want to save options when I exit?


What does WXTide32 stand for and how do you pronouce it?
The "W" is for Windows, "Xtide" is the name of the UNIX program it is based on, and 32 stands for 32 bit Windows versions only. Back when I began programming WXTide32, 16-bit Windows and DOS were still common so the 32 was supposed to indicate Windows 95/NT+. As for how to say WXTide32, I say it like Wicks - Tide - 32, all run together.


Why is WXTide32 showing me the wrong time?
WXTide32 uses the time maintained by your PC for all tide computations. To work properly, your computer's time and date and timezone must be set correctly. To check the timezone, right click on the clock in the tool tray (usually in the bottom right of your screen), select Adjust Date/Time, then select the Timezone tab.


What happened to the England (and Ireland and Scotland) tide data?
With the release of version 4.0, there are now harmonic constituent data for 44 stations in U.K., Ireland and Scotland. While not as extensive as was previously available, at least there are now some ports for that area. For what happened to the prior data set please read the following:

In 2001, I was notified by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) that the Crown claimed copyright ownership of all tidal products for Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland. My options were to stop distributing tidal data for those areas or purchase a license (with a recurring fee) for use of the official UKHO data. WXTide32 has never been a commercial endeavor so I declined their offer of buying a license. It appears that when the International Hydrographic Office (IHO) disbanded in 1999, tidal data ownership reverted to individual countries and the blanket approval IHO gave for non-commercial use of world-wide tidal data was rescinded. Since Great Britain has now claimed copyright ownership, other countries may follow suit. This means that only tidal data for countries that have explicitly released their data to public domain may be used free of risk of copyright infringement. Data for the U.S. is not a problem. That data was gathered using public (taxpayer) funds so no copyright is or can be attached to NOS or NOA tidal data. Likewise, tidal data gathered by the U.S. in other countries and published by them is free of copyright restrictions. But that still leaves lots of world and the database distributed with WXTide32 starting with version 2.7 shows that new greatly reduced area of coverage.


How do I set up a custom subordinate station?
To set up a custom subordinate station, you must have the name of a reference station and a set of adjustment values that define the tide differences at the subordinate station. Reference stations are shown in the station location list with a (T) or (C) at the end of the name. To this reference station, a set of time and level offset adjustments are applied. With this information, you can set up a custom station by doing the following:
1: Select the reference station from the location menu.
2: Select "Custom Station" from the main menu and fill in the blanks.
3: Save a station configuration file with a name that describes that station.

Details on what the Custom Station menu does
If you insist on doing it yourself, here are the variables used in defining a custom subordinate station:
-location "Name of reference station"
-htoff Sets the high tide offset (+- feet) and/or ratio (*x.x).
-ltoff Sets the low tide offset (+- feet) and/or ratio (*x.x).
-httoff Sets the high tide time offset (+-HH:MM).
-lttoff Sets the low tide time offset (+-HH:MM).
-custname Sets the name for the custom station.
For example, the command line switches for Gandy Bridge Marina might be:
-location "St. Petersburg, Florida" -htoff *1.3 -ltoff *1.1 -httoff +1:32 -lttoff +1:34 -custname "Gandy Bridge Marina"

See the next topic for how these settings can be incorporated into a single click shortcut.


How do I set up a program shortcut for a custom station?
1. Generate a new desktop shortcut by finding WXTide32.exe in Explorer then dragging the file onto the desktop. Change the name of the new shortcut to something meaningful for the station you are about to set up.
2. Right click on the shortcut and select "Properties" from the pop-up list.
3. Click on the Shortcut tab.
4. The line marked "Target:" will be highlighted.
5. On this line, after "...\WXTide32.exe" add any custom settings you want set when you double click that shortcut. For example, one of my shortcut command lines reads:
C:\Program Files\WXTide32\WXTide32.exe -location "Safety Harbor" -keepindex -nowarn -hairy -skinny
or, instead of command line switches, just enter the name of a configuration file that has the options you want, either one you made or one you saved from within the program.
C:\Program Files\WXTide32\WXTide32.exe "my config file.wxt"
6. Click "OK" to save the settings.


Can I set up a custom reference station?
Sorry, but you really can't do that.


Why do the currents for some stations show units as Knots^2 or Kt^2?
Knots squared is the result in computing hydraulic currents. Note that only the current is squared, not the datum, so you can't just take the square root to get the actual current speed in knots. WXTide32 has an option to automatically convert knots^2 to knots.


Is this Dave Flater's program or yours?
WXTide32 is a windows port of Dave Flater's UNIX program XTide version 1.6.2. Whereas Dave has spent years making XTide work the way he wanted, I only have a few thousand hours into WXTide32 (groan :). My most satisfying contribution has been the station location logic with the clickable and zooming station locator map. That is in addition to all of the work needed to convert the base version of XTide to run under Windows 9x/NT. I took on this project because my wife and I are sailing cruisers and I didn't want to pay $1000 for worldwide tidal data for the Windows tide programs that are available now. While the DOS tide program we used while cruising (the excellent Tides 2.4 by Hans Pieper) worked fine, I wanted a more visual and hopefully more friendly interface, not to mention an extremely attractive price.


Why don't you charge for the program?
Since the source code for XTide has been made available for free, I have decided to continue that tradition. Besides, I figured that not all cruisers or other outdoors people may be able to spend the money for one of the fancy commercial packages. None of this means that I would return money if someone wanted to send us some, however :)


Did you know the Galapagos are owned by Ecuador?
Yes, I knew that but decided to make all detached islands autonomous rather than trying to determine ownership for all islands. In fact, I wanted to just make "North Cold" and "South Cold" regions for all those areas that were outside of about 60 degrees but my wife vetoed that since she felt some people who actually like cold weather might be offended.


Is there any other information about the UNIX version XTide?
Sure, try Dave Flater's XTide web site. He has totally rewritten XTide in C++ since the base version I used for WXTide32. His new version is packed with new features and works great on UNIX web servers in case you want that function.


Is there a version for the Mac?
No, and I don't plan on doing one. Feel free to browse through my list of Tide programs on my Tools&Toys page and you might find something.


Why does WXTide32 keep asking if I want to save options when I exit?
Set the "Auto-save" option on exit" option on the Preferences menu and WXTide32 will always start the next session the way it was when last run.