And the weather today is…

Sitting at my desk in the Chapel it is remarkably easy to look over my shoulder and view the great outside through the two large windows to the rear elevation, even better and due to the fact that we are let into a hill, all I can see is sky so I can get a good feeling for the weather instantly.

So I installed a weather station (Yes, go figure!)

I suspect my interest in weather stations and accordingly the weather came from my Father as their garden always had weather transmitters discreetly located to broadcast the temperature back to a base station and we did the same when we lived in Bedfordshire however I have long hankered for something more precise with the ability to give historical data so earlier this year I started investigating my options.  I had decided I wanted a wired system and something produced in the UK and finally something vaguely sensibly priced which all pointed to one of the Instromet systems so it was ordered.

I opted for the following:

  • Temperature sensing both wet bulb and normal temperature in a  Stevenson screen.
  • Rain fall – this is an infra-red system so no tipping buckets to fail at some point.
  • Anemometer for wind speed and direction.
  • Sun duration meter.
  • Station barometric pressure.

So in theory all bases are covered, or at least the important ones.

The anemometer and sun meter sit at the top of a shiny new 6m aluminium scaffold pole that sits in a bracket to enable it to hinge down, a bit like some flagpoles and here it is in the down position showing the anemometer and sun meter. I machined a cap out of black nylon to tidy things up even though it is not easily visible.

… here is the pole in the up position. The trees and shrubs in the image are further away than they look and the mast is high enough to have unobstructed views to the horizon in all four directions however our village is in a bit of a dip so true sunrise and sunset detection will be out slightly.

The sensors report back to a data-logger which in turn talks to a battery backed machine running Win10 and not a lot more, the battery backup means the system should stay up in the event of a power cut however the data-logger does not have a stand-alone battery supply so I will look into that at some point, it has provision for it so it is just a matter of sourcing one and connecting it up.

The software running is CumulusMX which has a reputation for being solid and trustworthy and gives me a local display and I can connect to the machine anywhere from within the building if needed.

So a functional weather system that is currently uploading data to here: Weather Underground This means I view our weather via an app on my iPhone.

Great however Weather Underground lumps us in with Market Rasen which is our postal town despite being some 8 miles away and WU is not ideal for my needs, or dare I say aspirations so I am also pushing the data to our own site here: Local Weather This can also be accessed via a link in the categories at the top of the page.

As of now the system has been working of a fashion since the 5th August 2018, I say of a fashion as I am still trying to get to grips with the wet bulb reporting which allows me to calculate the humidity. I am not seeing the differential I would expect which is giving me higher than expected humidity readings so something that needs resolving. Also the data upload to the ‘Local Weather’ site is not automated at this stage, I need to upload a file via ftp every 60 seconds and CumulusMX is not working for me in this respect which also certainly means I have an error in my configuration, again something I need to investigate however such jobs are always carried out during spare evenings and we do have a couple of other projects on the go right now (More to follow) I am inclined to use the Win10 ftp client at command line, write a script and task it to run every 60 seconds and be done with it, downside is it is probably 15 years since I used command line ftp so I need to sit down and have a play first.

I am sure there are numerous other things I will come across as the system develops and one thing I would like to do is run an app on my iPhone to view the ‘Local Weather’ site and as such an app does not exist I might even add it to my list of dark evening jobs for the colder months.

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