The original station was built originally from a scrapped Davis Weather Monitor II, which I was given in 2006. The Console and Data logger were in working order, however the Rain Gauge was missing, the cables were all cut and required to be re-joined. The Wind speed unit was missing a cup, which was glued back on.
The original Davis station was believed to have been originally from http://www.bridford.metsite.com , which quotes that it was first deployed in 1992. Following the work needed to make the system usable, the station was connected to a server using Weather Display and was commissioned on April 1st 2006.
In September 2007, the Server was virtualised into the main server using VMware. This increased the reliability of the service and provided more processing power on-tap. This server hardware consisted of an Intel Core Duo E6550 Processor on an MSI mobo. 4 Gig of RAM is required to enable the use of VMWare Server 2 to virtualise the Weather server. 2 x 500Gb SATA drives, Mirrored (RAID 1) to provide storage. The previous server hardware (April 2006 - Feb 2007) was a Dual Pentium II 233Mhz with 512Mb RAM, and then (Feb 2007 - Oct 2007) a Pentium III 655Mhz with 256Mb RAM.
In February 2009, this was changed to a Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Processor, 64-bit Ubuntu Linux based Server, with 4Gb RAM, and 2 x 500Gb SATA drives, Mirrored (RAID 1), to provide more processing power, and allow application platform changes. We have moved to 64-bit Linux to support higher levels of RAM needed for future expansion of the systems used to forecast, and record weather data.
Over October 2010 the station suffered a number of issues from the 1-wire and finally the Davis Weather Monitor II. Sensor drop out on the 1-wire and a faulty wind speed sensor on the WMII therefore forced a decision on a station upgrade. A Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus with Daytime FARS was purchased to replace the old station equipment. 1-Wire is used to supplement the Davis station by recording temperatures at -12 inches (Sub-Soil), -2 inches (Root) and +2 inches (Grass) depths ,Wet Leaf sensor and Lightning Detector.
In January 2011, the introduction of the VP2 required a move back to dedicated hardware due to the processing requirements of the new compiler version of Weather Display and the requirement to run both weather-link and WD at the same time. Hardware used is Intel Core Duo E6550 Processor on an MSI mobo with 4 Gig of RAM.
In May 2011, The supporting infrastructure was migrated to VMWare ESXi. This consists of a Intel Core i7 hexacore processor and 12GB DDR RAM, QNAP iSCSI storage array and Gigabit network. The weather server remains a separate physical device due to the issues with USB and virtualisation we experienced over the years.
In December 2011, The station moved from Ottery St Mary to it's new location in Combe Raleigh due to a house move. The sensors deployed at Ottery were all removed and will be added to the new location as soon as is practical and additional sensors such as the Vaisala Celiometer and airQ deployed.
Over 2012, the station was slowly re-deployed with radiation monitoring and power monitoring resuming. Soil temps and leaf wetness to follow later due to cabling requirements.
In August 2012, Due to a server hardware failure of the Intel Core Duo machine hosting Weather Display, a replacement HP Microserver was used to virtualise the weather server using VMWare ESXi 5, and has a reduced power requirement. The Host processor is a AMD Turion II 1.5Ghz and 8Gb RAM.
In December 2012, the webcam service resumed, utilising Yawcam for capture and a custom image processing script to overlay weather data. Camera is a Microsoft Lifecam Studio HD, USB connected to the ESXi host.
In October 2013, the backend systems were moved onto a single Intel i5 ESXi Host and the weather server onto a stand alone HP Microserver to support USB, as VM passthrough of USB is still problematic.
In January 2020, the website moved to currently supported platforms of Windows 10, updated Joomla and reviewed content. The Hardware is also updated to Intel i7 Gen3 from Dell.
The Weather Station is totally automated, by design. Scheduling tools and scripting is used to collect data, interpret and model, and create web content.
Internet Services are provided by Zen Internet - www.zen.co.uk
1-wire equipment using Hobby Boards pre-made circuits and home designed sensors are used for supplementary data points.
Forecasting software used is WXSIM, which has been configured for the location by the software's author. Forecasting data is taken from local METAR and actual Weather Station data.
This site is published using the Joomla CMS framework, which enables the site to be easily updated and provide a searchable and configurable platform that is easy to maintain, leaving more time to develop the statistical aspects of the site, instead of the actual display of data.
Station Updates :
||-||Collected Equipment, and configured server / tested results.|
|Apr 2006||-||Station Commissioned.|
|Mar 2007||-||Repaired Wind Speed Indicator|
|May 2007||-||Purchased 1-wire modules from hobby-boards, including Solar / Temp / Hum / Lightning / UV and Leaf Wetness sensors.|
|Jun 2007||-||Added Dynamic Graphing using JPGraph. Scripts written by the author using PHP and SQL.|
||-||10.37F - Server Virtualised into VMware server and Weather Blog started.|
|Oct 2007||-||Apache2 Memory Leak issue fixed.|
|Nov 2007||-||Added Dual Layer DVD-RW drive for backups and 2Gb extra RAM, Tested 1-wire solar, lightening and leaf wetness sensors and packaged in IP box.|
|Nov 2007||-||Web and Email Service hosting moved to new system.|
||-||Solar Sensor and Leaf Wetness Sensor mounted in IP rated enclosure|
||-||DS18S20+ Sample Sensor built for Soil Temperature|
|Jan 2008||-||10.37H - Added Solar, Leaf Wetness and 10cm Soil Temp to Production Station. WXSIM Added to Test Weather Server, and local forecasting data started.|
|Feb 2008||-||New WXSIM Server added to Production Station. Auitomated Forecasts added to website. Forecast Email Subscription script operational. On-line subscriptions system live. Added Stevenson Screen for Temp and Humidity Sensors. Repaired External Hum/Temp Sensor and calibrated.|
|Mar 2008||-||Added 1-Wire Cloud Sensor and 1-Wire Lightning Sensors to test. IR webcam built and tested for Cloud Spectroscopy experiment. Replaced Soil 18S20 sensor after failiure, and added ground temperature sensor.|
|Aprl 2008||-||Added 10cm Soil, Ground and Air Temp graphing, and annual temp comparison graphs.|
|May 2008||-||Added cloud Sensor to Test Station.|
|June 2008||-||Server connection changed from Wi-Fi to Devolo 200 PLT|
|July 2008||-||Nabaztag Scripts Created on Live to announce WXSIM Forecast, Apache Server Performance Tuned.|
|Oct 2008||-||Added Earthquake data and more historical graphs for rainfall and WXSIM data graphics.|
|Nov 2008||-||Replaced 1-Wire Host adapter after lightning strike. Re-wired 1-wire bus, to waterproof. Tidy data and db.|
|Nov 2008||-||Data Quality Analysis completed and Baro offset added. CWOP data uploaded started.|
|Jan 2009||-||Upgraded to Weather Display 10.37N, Archived Forecasts started for forecast tuning. - Tipping Bucket Raingauge moved to best location and calibrated.|
|Feb 2009||-||Lightning Sensor returned to service. Platform refresh for all application servers, and databases. Cables re-tied, and 1-wire sensor outrigger mounted on mast. Added WXSim vs WU forcast Comparison script. WE ARE ON TWITTER !!!|
|Mar 2009||-||Quake Catcher Accelerometer added for Quake Analysis, and trigger collection script completed. Power Monitoring project started, using HYP-10.|
Full Station restart due to VMWare Issue - Previous uptime 165 days, 18:32, 2 users, load average: 2.70, 3.19, 2.20- Installed WXSIM 12.6.1 and run the correction factoring against data from March - November 2009.
|Dec 2009||-||Added Vasiala CT12K Celiometer to the station. The unit will be used with a custom perl script to save cloud data to a MySQL db in real time, with output via a custom jpgraph and php screen. This is under development at the moment and will be live in Jan 2010.|
|-||Envi CC128 Current Cost meter purchased and infrastructure designed. Hope to bring house power consumption data to the website in 2010.|
Content moved to latest Joomla platform from the Joomla 1.5 beta CMS previously used. Added functionality from Phocamaps and PhocaGallery. Content also organised for archiving purposes, and graphs re-formatted to be visually consistent.
Configured power consumption using CurrentCost clamp meters, and a Envi connected to a Ubuntu Server. Data published to Twitter, and logged to mysql.
Upgraded to Weather Display 10.37P, Added iphone WDL, UV Sensor support and fixed some of the graphing functions. Long term temperatures now display, even if there is a loss of data.
Rain gauge reed switch replaced, and weather-proofed. Gauge now mounted in a permanent position, re-calibrated using Met Office technique. 1-wire bus replaced and serviced. Solar Sensor found to be faulty, replacement ordered. Water issue with Soil Sensors, replacement in early September.
Davis VP2 Pro Plus purchased from Pro-data Weather Systems - See Diary under Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus in side menu.
||-||Power supply issues on main server, requires replacement. More work on the station upgrade and 1-wire refurbishment. WD issues required hardware swap.|
New physical server deployed due to CPU and Virtualisation issues. Weather station now hosted on separate hardware. 1-wire soil and leaf wetness now available.
||-||Upgraded to Weather Display 10.37Q Build 32 due to memory leak issue.|
||-||Blitzortung system installed and commissioned.|
||-||Supporting infrastructure moved to VMWare ESXi.|
Geiger counter added and scripting completed. Started build of air quality sensors.
Station move to Combe Raleigh.
||-||HD webcam installed for testing, looking North West to Dunkerswell. 1-wire sensors being refurbished for deployment into garden.|
||-||Hardware failure of Core Duo E6550 Machine|
||-||Replacement of failed hardware with HP Microserver - 10.37R Build 36|
||-||Implementation of custom PHP script for Webcam display|
||-||Install of Sourcerer Plugin to support Joomla PHP interpretation, and WXSIM Risk module|
||-||Addition of Leaf Wetness and Soil Temperature Sensors|
||-||Migration to Virtual Hosting (ESXi working) - 10.37S Build 13|
||-||Anemometer move to Chimney Stack for Improved readings|
||-||CR123 Battery Replacement in all ISS modules|
||-||Added New AeroCone Rain Hopper|
||-||Replaced Temp/Hum Sensor due to error Humidity Readings. (Previous sensor replaced in 2014)|
||-||Replaced SuperCap in Soil Temp Sensor Transmitter Unit|
|Feb 2020||-||Move to new dedicated server hardware and software upgrade to 10.37S Build 108|