Hello and welcome to the OTronics weather station website.
This weather station was purchased and assembled in various stages throughout September and October 2009 and is in constant development. It is personally financed and maintained by Oliver Head. Feel free to donate using the button at the top-left of each page.
The original server (2nd-hand, Windows XP and purchased for around £20 (!) although with some parts missing) was in use from the first days of the weather station to the end of September 2012. A new server was installed on 1st October 2012.
This website serves as a reference point for local weather affecting the Warminster area of Wiltshire, UK..
The weather station in operation is a La Crosse WS-2350, which is hard-wired (rather than using the wireless technology built into it). This is due to the physical distance between the outdoor instruments and main receiver. If connected wirelessly, the signal would be of a weak nature due to aforementioned distance and also, the amount of internal walls in the path of the signal would cause interference. Connecting all the instruments via permanent cables ensures the entire station is powered by DC without the need for battery replacement(s) and the wired ‘method’ provides more frequent data readings.
The main unit however, does have x3 AA batteries for backup in case of a mains failure. These batteries can continue to provide power for the outdoor weather equipment should the need arise.
The indoor weather receiver is connected to a computer/server, via a serial-USB converter (supplied by La Crosse). This indoor receiver is mounted close to the computer which in turn feeds data to the Internet. The weather station and server are in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The ‘In Detail’ weather data is updated every 5 minutes (refresh the page to obtain the latest information), the ‘Home/Live Data’ page (Weather Display Live data) is updated approximately every 5 seconds and will update without the need to manually refresh.
Diagram showing the basic journey of data from source to destination (not to scale!).
The temperature/hygrometer sensor is fixed, in the shade, in between two walls.
The rain sensor is mounted as high as possible, away from trees and other obstructions. It is fixed to the adjacent roof of the house.
The wind sensor (which measures both speed and direction of the wind) is fixed to a television antenna pole and is approximately the equivalent of a three-story-high building for the best accuracy. The other instruments are roughly at the height of a two-story-high building (measuring from ground level).
Not taking into account the extra height of the instruments listed above, The location of the weather station is 406.8 feet (124 meters) above sea level.
A webcam is also in use, connected via Ethernet (IP camera). This webcam is actually housed in an outdoor light (modified of course!) to protect it from wet weather. Three panes of glass are blacked out to help reduce glare from the sun with only the front pane of glass being clear. However, an old lens from a pair of sunglasses has been placed in front of the camera to further prevent glare after some initial unsatisfactory results. This webcam points to the West.
Operating system: Windows 10.
Processor: Intel Celeron Dual Core 2.50GHz
Main hard disk (HDD): Western Digital 459GB (total size).
Backup hard disk (HDD - backs up a variety of sources including FTP contents): Seagate 465GB (total size) and Seagate 232GB (total size).
Networking: x2 Netgear PL1200-100UKS (up to 1200Mbps) (Ebuyer ‘Extra Value’ Ethernet-over-mains adaptors (up to 85Mbps) were retired 25/06/2016) to connect to the router, x1 HP switch and x1 wireless USB stick for backup.
Power: protected by an Emerson Liebert PowerSure Personal XT 450VA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (270 watt).
Webcam: TP-Link TL-SC3130 IP camera.
USB active extender cables/repeaters: x2 Plexus USB 2.0 (5m each). These are used for an internal webcam and backup wireless USB stick.
Software: Weather Display (plus some included associated software like the FTP uploader) and Weather Display Live. There is lots of other behind-the-scenes software too. Contact me if you are interested in the details. All software is checked and updated regularly.
FTP server: service provided by AMPuk Hosting.