Steve Technical Journal
This new page will detail the technical encounters with maintaining our weather site. I will try to be as technical as possible here. In addition, the strategic mission of this website will be discussed here.
Main Weather Server Specs:
Compaq AMD-64 3.2GHz processor
Weather Stations Specs:
LaCrosse 2315 (Anemometer, Hygrometer (2), thermometer (2), barometer, rain gauge).
Dallas 1-Wire (Solar Sensor, Lightning detector, Anemometer, Leaf Wetness, Power Injector).
Main Weather Server software:
Weather Display -- All the weather data processing
Apache/PHP -- Backup/testing web server
GRLevel3 -- Radar Image Processing Software
AT&T Truevoices / MP3 encoding - Voicecasted weather
IVM Answering Attendant - Weather Voice over IP Hotline
Main Web Server Software:
Weather Display Live
Many other assorted scripts in PHP
Nikon 950 (2)
Custom application software
Web Server Specs (hosted):
Intel Xeon Dual Core/Processor VPS
Apache / PHP / MySQL
Overall, this is a rather complex setup that is all meshed together to bring the public a weather site that has many features and is updated in essentially real-time without human intervention. Many man-hours were spent developing this site and the work does not end -- new features are added. I have documented most of this site in my head, but the above gives a framework of how the site operates. Basically, we utilize a bunch of cron jobs to automate much of the tasks. This is important because nobody wants to read old weather data that doesn't update and I made it a point to have the site automate itself as much as possible. We largely focus on Hawaii's weather but there's some overlap with the Pacific region as well. There's also some overlap with Hawaii's cultural influence, for instance, without our photo album showcasing Hawaii's site visits.
|New backend server move|
I've moved the weather software and such over to a new dual-core system. I'm happy to say that the system flys as far as speed (dual core systems really are that much better), where in the past we had some hiccups when processing loads were getting heavy with all the things that we do on here (weather display software, webcam video stuff, text to speech conversion, four cases of GRlevel3 operating, streaming, etc).
Anyways, the downside is that the new system didn't have any rs-232 serial port so I had to buy a PCI one which is having issues of its own. Lockups and BSOD errors popped up early this morning. Hopefully I'll be able to fine tune as to the problems.
|Moisture Meter, Leaf Wetness, and Power injector|
The new weather 1-wire parts arrived and will be installed when I have time.
Here is the new power injector, which will provide power for the entire weather assembly on the 1-wire side:
And here the Moisture meter, which will gather the data from the leaf wetness sensor to calculate small amounts of moisture:
And finally, the leaf wetness sensor, which essentially simulates a leaf, of which in the morning (usually) will have dew on it, small ammounts of moisture that a rain gauge cannot measure:
All of these items will help provide new weather data when it's installed.
|New wind speed purchased|
Just purchased a new AAG wind directional and speed indicator that uses the 1-wire interface. Will look into installation possibly next weekend. The benefit will be enhanced speed measurement and much more frequent wind updates -- 2 seconds to the local computer. On the internet, we upload data to the Live weather center about 12 seconds I believe. I'll try to get that lower if possible so everyone can benefit!
Future planned upgrades are as follows:
1) Transition in full to Dallas 1-Wire station
a) First step will be a Dallas 1-wire wind meter, which is more accurate than the existing LaCrosse and has a 2-second resolution capability, compared to the 8 second resolution of the Lacrosse (which is sometimes actually 12 seconds due to extra cycles). 2 second updates will provide an enormous drain in cpu cycles but our dedicated 2GHz Celeron system should be more than adequate.
b) Moisture meter. In Hawaii we have a high amount of dew in the morning, which causes moisture to be registered but it's not enough for a rain gauge trigger. The moisture meter will be very beneficial in determing those damp mornings.
c) 1-wire power injector; Provides external DC power to the 1-wire devices. necessary to prevent possible 'brownouts' during spikes on the 1-wire. Also, is required for the Moisture meter.
d) UV-Sensor. Currently there are no Dallas 1-wire UV sensors.
e) Ozone sensor - Not existant yet but apparently HobbyBoards is in design stage of one?
f) New rain gauge. Existing gauge has been flakey and only has .02" resolution. We are eyeing ourselves a new bucket that has .01" resolution and should run better overall.
g) Additional Temp/Hygro sensors (probably last stage).
As you can see, there are a lot of planned upgrades. It's of course, very expensive to add all these features so it will be done in stages.
|Welcome to the new tech section. In this area will be discussed technical attributes of our weather site.|