Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weather Station Back Online!






I spent the day before yesterday getting my Davis Vantage Pro2 ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite) installed on the mast my VHF/UHF vertical antenna is on (the mast is plumb; I was leaning around the corner when I took the picture, and I didn't aim the camera squarely!), and running the cable into the house. After I straightened out a wiring SNAFU (Davis uses a straight-through cable, and the one I bought was a cross-over cable), I had the console up and running and reporting real-time weather. Yesterday I cleaned up the rats nest of cables under the GF's computer desk in the living room, added a KVM to switch between her PC and the Weather Server, dusted off my server and a UPS, and got the server back online so I could get the data out to the CWOP (Citizen Weather Observer Program), and out on the Internet.
I started doing this about 5 years ago so I could get real-time weather information while I was out at sea, and had a ball doing it. One of my responsibilities was to keep our C-Band Doppler Weather Radar running, and I got to interact with our Meterologists on a daily basis. I learned quite a bit about weather in the process, and it turned into another hobby of mine.
The server is an older Dell OptiPlex GX270 (Pentium4 with 2GB of DDR memory) I bought cheap on eBay running OpenSUSE Linux and wview software to collect the data from the station console, send it out to the CWOP, and generate webpages to serve up using Apache.
You can visit the station by clicking on the "Live Long Beach Weather" link in my Link-O-Rama, or by clicking here.

4 comments:

  1. Nice! A bit of work, but it looks good!

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  2. When I first installed it at my 'bachelor pad', I had it on a completely different kind of mount, a commercial "Non-Penetrating Roof Mount", a.k.a. "Sled". It was much easier to install. This time I wound up dropping the entire mast so I could work on it. I don't mind working up in the air on a ladder, but the angles were bad, and I kept having to move the ladder, which got real annoying. Plus, I knocked off two of the three wind cups trying to fight the thing while it was up. I about freaked out until I looked at one of the "broken" wind cups, and remembered they just snapped in to the anemometer hub so you can use small ones in high-wind areas, and the large ones where it's not too windy.
    The fiancee thinks it's really neat to be able to check the weather at a glance, and has been learning how to use all the buttons on it.
    Just one more thing installed that makes this "our" home, and not just "her" home.

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