Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another change to Emilys' weather systems blog...

Rather than pushing images up to the blog site three or four times a day, I am dropping in linkbacks to dynamically updated images on one of my servers. These will be embedded in static tabs off the main site.

The same process will also be applied to the daily observations data, and eventually to the live sensor data from the arduino weather project (more on this later!)

Em will then use the main blog area for comments and pictures etc.

Ive embedded a click-able link to the dynamic image over in my sidebar --->

More later :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Auto processing and upload of sat images on Emilys blog site

Unusually I found myself finishing my normal admin tasks an hour or so early, so Ive had a few spare mins to automate processing and upload of the sat images to Emilys blog site - 

To avoid filling the blog with images Ive limited uploads to just those from NOAA15, which typically gives as about 3 good passes a day.

To make life easy Ive used a command-line php script to re-size the images down to 380pix width (about right for the site layout). It also extracts the image data automatically from the filename - ie the satellite name (in case I change it) AOS time in UTC and the type of image processing used. It then pushes the image to wordpress as a media upload and then builds a page dynamically around it and the extracted data. This is done using a standard XML-RPC call.  (The script is called from the crontab at 15 min intervals throughout the day.)

Yes its much easier to just live update data on one of my servers - but this also serves as a proof-of-concept project demonstrating that it is possible to use some simple scripting even on a local desktop to push dynamic data onto what would be normally considered a static blog site.

If there is sufficient interest I will upload a few code examples.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ground post

A couple of people have asked about the titlover ground post on my R7000 so here are a few pix during the concrete pour:

The base post is sunk about 1.2m into the ground, and extends another 1.5m above the ground line. It has a has a pivot bolt at the bottom which goes through the scaffolding pole, and a scaffolding clamp at the top which locks the pole in place when upright.

Here we see the plastic sleeve around the post (to allow it to be drawn out once the concrete has set) and some rubble to help keep it vertical while the postmix concrete was poured.

And thats it with 5 bags of postmix added... oh and a good does of water.

Monday, June 28, 2010

R7000 refurb finished

After about six months of sporadic cleaning and testing the refurbishment project on my R7000 finally came to a close yesterday. The small tiltover mast has been rotated through 90 degrees to allow the antenna to "walk down" into the garden, and the meteo equipment has been moved onto a stand-off bracket about 1m down from the top to keep it clear of the radials.

Aside from testing resonance of the traps (vaguely inconclusive) I have not had chance yet to air test, mainly as I will need to replace or radically extend my primary coax run to reach the antenna - as although the antenna is only about 15m from the house the coax will probably now a total run length of about 65m to avoid cutting across the drive and patio. I plan to run up a few meters of coax later today and check how it loads up on each of the bands.

Still to do: Add some guy lines (its windy here!) and seal up all the joints with self-amalgamating tape once Im sure its resonant in the right parts of the bands.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Well, it seems you read my blogs more closely than I do!

Ive just had a mail from a friend pointing out that telling you to keep an eye on Emilys' weather blog, and then not including the URL does make it unnecessarily hard. I know some of you like a challenge, but I conceed that I perhaps should give it ;)

As for infrequent blogging... Normal service will resume shortly, when work and my current OU commitments return to a more normal level.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hot off the press - NOAA15 pass @ 16:00 UTC today, our first test image off the WX Sat system :)

Keep an eye on Emily's weather blog for lots of further updates.