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Old Nov 7, 2008, 09:57 AM   #1
mbcracken
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Home Weather Station

Looking to buy a home weather station that I can do data logging and posting to wunderground.com. Anyone using a home weather station that is hooked up to their Mac?

Cheers,
Mike
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 10:22 AM   #2
ChrisA
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Originally Posted by mbcracken View Post
Looking to buy a home weather station that I can do data logging and posting to wunderground.com. Anyone using a home weather station that is hooked up to their Mac?

Cheers,
Mike
I just followed some links from the wunderground.com and found at least 7 or 8 possable answers to your question. Thanks. I might get into this.

What I'd do is look at the software first. the site lists three software solutions for the Mac and many, many more for Linux. I assume that all of the free open source Linux software will run just fine on Mac OS X. There are also a number of Perl scripts. Perl wil run on anything including Mac OS X

So it looks like there are at least a half dozen software solutions. I'll be downloading some of these and trying them out Next, each of the software only support only a few weather stations. I'm thinking of making a list and then norrowing it down to only the hardware that has wide software sopport. After that I'll look at price and how well it is made..


One other thing: Is Mac OS X really the best OS to host this? I'm thinking not. First off a weather station needs to run 24x7 year after year and a mac is a pretty expensive machine to tie up that way. I think I'll use a very, very old Pentium notebook computer. I have an 120Mhz machine that has 80MB of RAM. This is enough to run a stripped down Linux or BSD system and a simple Perl script. A notebook with the display turned off uses very little power. Well I guess a Mac might work too it it were an old "clam shell" iBook or something like that.

Thanks for pointing this out. Maybe we can add to this thread as we figure stuff out.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 10:45 AM   #3
mbcracken
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I missed the links on wunderground the first time to the software & hardware lists. Thanks for encouraging me to go look again. I have 4 machines at home right now.
1. Newer Alu iMac
2. iBook G4 1.2
3. original G4 Power with the yikes board.
4. POS Dell laptop.

My daughters still use the G4 box for school projects but mostly sits there all day long. My iMac is used mostly for functional stuff (financial, photo, & website projects). My iBook probably sees the most daily use for email & web use. I hate the Dell laptop as it has given me trouble from day one, but may be the best candidate for dedicated weather station. The old G4 mostly sits and may also make a good candidate.

My main interest is just to be a weather geek. I've always had a fascination with the difference in weather reporting from actual at my house. For instance, a local weather station to my house has received over 2 inches in the last two days, but Seattle (~25 miles away) has received only 1.5 inches.

I would be interested in any opinions of weather station differences and price points you find. I'll see where I land for pricing and such as well. The lower the price point the better for our household budget though.

Cheers,
Mike
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 11:00 AM   #4
Le Big Mac
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Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post

What I'd do is look at the software first. the site lists three software solutions for the Mac and many, many more for Linux.
When I looked at this a while back, the Mac software all seemed to be pretty lacking (one package I think was OS9). The other problem, although it can be overcome, is that a lot of the stations use an RS-232 interface, which is antiquated even on PCs. My research wasn't very thorough, but it struck me that pretty much any mac-based solution was going to be kludgy.

I'd be delighted to be found wrong, though, because I'm interested in this stuff too, even if I'm not posting date to wunderground.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 11:42 AM   #5
Consultant
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Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post

One other thing: Is Mac OS X really the best OS to host this? I'm thinking not. First off a weather station needs to run 24x7 year after year and a mac is a pretty expensive machine to tie up that way. I think I'll use a very, very old Pentium notebook computer. I have an 120Mhz machine that has 80MB of RAM. This is enough to run a stripped down Linux or BSD system and a simple Perl script. A notebook with the display turned off uses very little power. Well I guess a Mac might work too it it were an old "clam shell" iBook or something like that.

Um, many old Macs can be bought for a good price more stable than PC and easier than Linux. The weather station will likely cost more than an old Mac.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 02:49 PM   #6
mbcracken
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My 350 G4 yikes has been pretty much running nonstop since I bought it so long ago. The only thing that has died was the massive 10 gb hard drive it came with.

My folks always ask what they want to get me for Christmas so I am doing research now. 2 years ago they got me (i'm 41 now) the Ferrari F1 Lego car. That was so cool...

Cheers,
Mike
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