It has been quiet over Christmas, so I have taken the opportunity to move our online weather station. Although it has been up and running since January, it has been in the back garden of our house in the village rather than down on the farm. However, now we have a broadband connection and power, it seemed like a good idea to move it.
I am still not quite sure of its final resting place, but for now I have put it at the far end of the sunken garden. Longer term, it is likely to be placed in the back field. I have put power and an ethernet connection there, so this is easily doable. However, that connection is currently being used to power the builder’s cabin, so it might need to wait until they leave site (probably in 3-4 weeks time). For now, the edge of the sunken garden will have to do!
The weather station is a Weathereye WA-22 bought from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Weathereye-Outdoor-Electronic-Weather-Station/dp/B001FXICF6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388403071&sr=8-2&keywords=weathereye). At under £100, it seems like a really good buy. It was also easy to set up too! The weatherstation connects wirelessly to a console unit. The console connects via a USB cable to a PC. The PC then uploads the data (via customised web pages) to an internet location of your choice. To be honest, I gave up with the software that was included with the package and use Cumulus software which works a treat and is free. You can download it from here: http://sandaysoft.com/downloads
My customised webpages will be found here: www.haggleysfarm.co.uk/weather. You can also use the “live weather” button at the top of this page. The data is updated every 15 minutes. The wind speed and wind direction data on the gauges page are updated every 60 seconds. Obviously you need an internet connection to be able to do this, but the data that it is uploading is very small, so don’t worry about bandwidth limits.
The cumuls software also allows me to upload data to the Met Office. This is done via the WOW (Weather Observations Website) site. This allows you to access the weather data from other personal weatherstation. You can find the Hagg Leys Farm site on WOW here: http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/sitehandlerservlet?requestedAction=READ&siteID=388746002
I am using a small format PC based on a mini-ITX board to upload the data. It has no screen or keyboard, but I can log into it via Remote Desktop. This means that I can log into it from a remote location. This allows me to reset the weatherstation on reboot the PC without physically having to be onsite. One of my frustrations is Windows Update – it updates the PC and then reboots it in the middle of the night. I have now set up Cumulus to autostart on reboot, but it still occasionally needs a nudge. It is running on an Intel Atom processor and although a bit on the slow side, it works perfectly for uploading the weather information. It also uses only about 70W and is very quiet.