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  1. #1

    Default Weather Monitoring for the "Poor Man"

    Hi all, I wanted to share with you a little project I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. It's called "The Poor Man's Weather Monitor".

    As probably with every other astronomer who has been researching weather stations over the last month or so and haven't made up their mind...it's a harder decision than I originally thought....Do I really want to drop almost $2k on a Boltwood? Not really....what about Davis....all of those add-ons add up....ugggg....

    So, in the interim, I wrote a program that is definitely better than nothing. Actually, it is working out a lot better than expected. Over the last couple of weeks we've had a wide range of weather -- clear skies, high winds, partly cloudy, winter storm warnings, etc.

    What it does is evaluate up to 10 Weather Underground weather stations (airport and personal) sky conditions XML. From there, I assign a score to the sky condition and if it meets my "Safe" parameter, ACP will see it as "SAFE". If the conditions are not optimal, "UNSAFE". I also built in an expiration to the COM, so if the weather data is old, "UNSAFE".

    The downside of using the Weather Underground API is that you are limited to 500 calls a night...unless you pay a monthly fee. So, my little program makes calls about every 15-20 minutes or so when it is nighttime and only once every couple of hours during the day.

    What I did is chose weather stations that surround my observatory. So, anything coming in from any direction is caught.


    poorman.jpg

    Just wanted to show you what I did for an interim weather solution....if you can call it that...

    As I said, it is better than nothing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,051

    Default

    Matt, this is really clever!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!
    -- Bob

  3. #3

    Default

    Yea, it has been a fun little project. I've since added a wind rating as well, so if the average winds are too high it plays a factor in my "UNSAFE" conclusion. Obviously not as high as a factor as the sky condition, but still.... A good example of today....we just had a blizzard yesterday. Sky conditions are completely clear right now, but winds in excess of 20mph. Unsafe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,051

    Default

    You earned the title "Wizard"!!
    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sun Lakes, AZ
    Posts
    39

    Default

    HI Matt,
    Hi Matt,

    Are you willing to share your Weather Monitoring for the "Poor Man"?

    I would like to try this until I get the whole solutions for weather. Today we had almost 6 inches of rain in the Phoenix area. (WOW)

    Leo

  6. #6

    Default

    This is really excellent! Are you going to share or offer...?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ramdenee View Post
    This is really excellent! Are you going to share or offer...?
    Hi, did this ever work out...??? am between a rock and a hard place with cloud sensors.... new observatory.

 

 

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