The trusty old netbook that had been working to upload weather data for the last 5 years has just been replaced. It’s amazing it’s survived being switched on solid for about 5 years!
Earlier in the year I upgraded the camera from a basic off the shelf web camera, to a full PTZ IP Cam with full HD sensor and optical zoom. I had hoped to set a routine to auto pan and then auto-stitch the pictures together to get a great quality image, but this proved too hard. With cost always being a factor, it was still on the cheap end of cameras and I’d say the firmware on the camera is terrible. It sometimes doesn’t auto-focus correctly and sometimes randomly changes position. I’m always on the lookout for better solutions. The trouble is getting a webcam with a decent sensor size and optical zoom.
I’m currently looking to see if I can create a live stream of the webcam rather than the still images uploaded. With a good frame rate, you should be able to see the effect of the wind on the waves (and maybe see a trampoline roll down the street every now and again).
Other stations in the area is something I’ve been thinking about for some time. However, with the Barassie station, I have the luxury of an existing weather station and sitting the webcam indoors. To put in other stations, I need to get some cheaper weather sensors and find a home with internet connection to sit the webcam in. There are a couple of options that have just surfaced and I’m looking in to them now.
Better weather charts
The current weather charts are pretty basic images generated by the weather station software. It’d be great to live feed the weather data in to a database and have the charts on the website read that live data – dynamically updating with new readings. There are plenty of BI tools out there but with the hilarious re-branded internet services aka ‘the cloud’, things all come with a cost. If I can find or develop something simple – it’ll be a good addition to the site.