Weather Station - Watts Bridge

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including aviation events in S.E. Q'ld, Airfields, Flying Stories and general interest.
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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:49 pm

Steady forward progress on the Watts Bridge Weather Station.

The Davis Vantage Pro 2 has arrived and was put together and placed outside at home the evening before cyclone Debbie passed through :o
Not every day we will record that much rainfall within a 24 hour period (228mm at Fernvale).

All things begin with the first step. The pole upon which the station sensors will be mounted has been cemented into place today. Cameras are in transit with an expected arrival in the next week or so. The website server side scripting largely complete.

Aiming to have the whole installation commissioned by the end of June, which means it will be fully operational for the Gathering of Eagles 2017.

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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge - Cameras

Postby Richard Faint » Wed May 03, 2017 10:38 am

Another piece of the puzzle dropped into place yesterday with the arrival of 4 cameras and an ethernet router/switch.
Time to start work on the 9 metre pole to get the cameras and wind sensors above roof top height.

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Bec
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Bec » Thu May 04, 2017 6:29 pm

Well done that's fantastic news, something positive for Watts Bridge!

James Crockett
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby James Crockett » Thu May 04, 2017 8:39 pm

Great stuff Richard, should have some online results from this setup in the coming weeks I'm guessing. Any news on the pressure sensor?

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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Thu May 04, 2017 10:58 pm

The problem was with the Barometric Pressure being reported as being 1100hPA. That's impossible!
The station had been working correctly for about a month prior to this. I was asked to try a variety of diagnostics without any success. Without hesitation Instrument Choice and Davis Instruments organised to have the unit returned to them (at no expense to us) for appraisal and repair if/as required under warranty. I removed the batteries for transportation.

When the unit was powered up at Davis, everything worked correctly. Hate that :cry: Intermittent faults are the hardest to fix. The best diagnosis is that the internal processor in the console glitched and the pressure was then reported incorrectly. Removing the batteries forced the console to reset/reboot and that fixed the problem. Not unheard of in microprocessor based products. I will be contacting Instrument Choice tomorrow and expect that the console will be shipped back next week. I think we probably just got unlucky.

So unfortunately - right at the moment no online sample screens are available.

Peter Freeman and I are working on the physical side of the installation which involves getting the wind speed, wind direction and cameras 9 metres into the air. The goal is to have the weather station running by the end of June, well in time for the Gathering of Eagles.

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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Tue May 16, 2017 12:03 am

Hello Everyone,

Happy to report steady progress with the weather station.
First up: Peter Freeman has been busy in his workshop doing what he does best: Creating things out of steel, metal and weld. He has designed and fabricated the camera and wind instrument mounting hardware that will live on top of the 9 metre pole.

We have also finally purchased the laptop that will be the weather server to interface the Davis Station to the Watts Website. For the nerdy amongst us, it is a Hewlett Packard sporting 4GB RAM & 128GB SSD, and a genuine Intel I5 Quad Core processor. Nice ;)

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Richard Faint
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Software & Web Pages: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Fri May 19, 2017 9:58 pm

Hello Everyone,

The scripting and web pages for the weather station are now in final testing stages on the website.
The station is still in the office here at home, but will relocate to the airfield in the next few weeks.
Not linked onto the menus yet, but viewable at http://www.wattsbridge.com.au/weatherstation/gauges.php

Likewise for the cameras. Right now they are pointing across our lounge room.
The mounting hardware is pretty much done. Time to get onto the flag pole.
The cameras prototype page is at http://www.wattsbridge.com.au/weathercams/weathercams.php

Below is the weather gauges page showing the current station data. The station may not be running 24/7 at the moment.
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DougStott
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby DougStott » Sat May 20, 2017 8:57 am

Good one Richard, it is shaping up well.

Two questions:
What is the field of view of the camera's? 90deg or a big more? ie: Will there be a bit of overlap?
And will there be a battery back-up to ensure power surges or short interruptions will be covered? (the sort you can buy at a computer shop that runs a PC for 30-60 minutes)

For those interested, AirServices Australia have just this week gone live with their first six weather camera sites. The sites may be viewed at: http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/weathercam/default.html
Archerfield should be of interest.

cheers

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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Sat May 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Hello Everyone,

To answer DougStott questions.........

The manufacturer of the camera states the Visual Horizontal Angle as 106 Degrees which will give a slight overlap.
Please see below for full specifications on the Foscam FI9900EP. Most of this class of camera are 76 Degrees, so this was one of the reasons we chose the FI9900.

In theory, the only item that needs to stay awake for a graceful restart after a complete blackout is the Weather Server Laptop. That is one of the reasons I specified a machine with a SSD (Solid State Hard Drive) because they consume significantly less power than a conventional HD. Also, an SSD should be more reliable because there are no moving parts, and this becomes important for a machine that will run 365/24. So running the laptop on batteries, I have tested it here to hold up for in excess of 10 hours. If we have a 10 hour blackout - I am betting there will be more to worry about than a weather station :roll:

Having said that, I am hoping to stretch the budget to include a reasonable UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) large enough to keep the Davis Station, Laptop, Camera Ethernet Switch, NBN Router and NBN Modem alive for 30 minutes or so - longer if we can afford it. Also, UPS's generally are good mains filters which is always helpful around this type of equipment.



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Richard Faint
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Re: Weather Station - Watts Bridge

Postby Richard Faint » Wed May 31, 2017 12:25 am

Hello Everyone,

Steady but sure progress on the Watts Weather Station.

Relocated the equipment to the airfield. Peter, Liz and I mounted the instruments onto the post, hopefully for good :D
The wind sensors are also (temporarily) mounted to the post. This means that the station is now providing valid information for Watts Bridge, with the proviso that the wind readings will not be entirely accurate till the sensors are clear of the buildings.

Expect that the (currently unlinked) weather pages on the website should now be available 24/7, viewable at ......
http://www.wattsbridge.com.au/weatherstation/gauges.php

The 9 metre flag pole and cameras are next.
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