TECHNOLOGY – webcam, weather station, computers, remote desktop… ugh

new weather station

We want to be able to keep an eye on things while we are not here – check temp in greenhouse, see if it is getting dry,  etc.  in general we thought logging the weather conditions up here might give us a bit more insight into what is happening with our crops.

i chose this setup from oregon scientific (wmr100) that hooks up to a computer via USB. Originally i just wanted a thermometer, but we decided  wind logging (windmills) and rainfall measurement might be useful.  we chose a system we could grow with – or that could just be a waste of money.  i am currently testing the weather display software.  So far i have it posting to a flash widget and website – temperature only for now.  It is cross platform software and has lots of features – it was easy to setup, but unfortunately the flash interface really does poorly on my mac.

the guys at work donated a 10 year old rebuilt PC.  I bought a webcam for 20 bucks off ebay – thanks 2girlsdad for the prompt shipping.  After having gotten evocam working in 5 minutes on my mac last weekend it took several hours of slogging thru retarded searches, several softwares, and microsoft stupidity to finally get TinCam configured and doing everything i needed.  i was seriously questioning whether a free pc was worth it. once i started searching on my mac again i started getting answers and real downloads.  now the pc is sitting under the grow table to recycle its heat to help get the seeds to germination temperature. When it starts up it automatically logs in and starts all the weather logging and webcam software.  i am able to login and control the PC using remote desktop from my mac.

pretty tricked out weather software

I am going to play with this setup a little – thinking about a wireless card for the PC so i can move it to the north side of the house and turn the webcam on the garden once we move outside. i will continue to refine the weather tracking and once the snow melts get the rest of the sensors setup outside.

I am thinking about doing something more simple by writing a perl script and ftp a webpage of the basic logging software that came with the hardware.  a pain since i have not written perl code in years, but would  display on my blackberry, etc.  I just turned on that logging software and will see how it performs.