UK Heatwave – July 2022

The UK heatwave set new records in all countries of the UK

Picture copyright of the BBC

My own station recorded a new high of 37.6C which then dropped some 13.6C the following day.

Posted by jmfwxadmin in Uncategorised

NitroPack Plugin – Does what it says…

I was testing this blog site for performance on https://gtmetrix.com/ and it was getting poor results:

  • Grade C; Performance 65%; Structure 85%

This is not good. Almost two seconds for the first content to be visible. So I did a bit of googling and found out about NitroPack https://nitropack.io/ which is supposed to sort out performance issues etc.

Signed up for a free account and let it do its thing on my blog. The change was dramatic:

Yup. Every metric that matters is in the green. That’ll do.

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog

Giving up on GRAV

After much back’n’forth with FastHosts and the issues with the various levels of PHP support within GRAV I’ve opted to go back to WordPress as my CMS. This will take a while to re-build all the old entries but I was never a prolific blogger anyway.

Update: It actually took only about three hours to build the site and re-create all the blog posts from the GRAV backup. Whilst there is a WP to Grav tool there is no Grav to WP. It all had to be done manually.

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog
AQI Updated

AQI Updated

Another AQI update: This now incorporates data from the Davis Airlink to capture conservatory temperatures

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

iPhone Mini 12 Time

After three years with my iPhone X I decided to upgrade. I’m still paying £15 for unlimited data so I still planned to buy the phone upfront.

So…why the Mini version? Because having considered all aspects the Pro and Pro Max are really for people who need the photograpy/videograpy capabilites, and the RAW format, that those phones have to offer. You are of course paying a premium for those features. That leaves the 12 or 12 Mini.

Having thoroughly reviewed the phones and what I do with mine on a daily basis, and the convenience of a smaller handset, the iPhone 12 Mini was the choice for me. It was also a lot cheaper than the others (in comparative Apple terms; you can get very decent Android phones for a quarter of the price of any iPhone) even after I’d opted for 128GB of storage.

Yes, like almost everyone else, I bought the blue version.

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog

AQI Update

I added another sensor via the Raspberry Pi. A SGP30 CO2 & VOC sensor. The updated page now looks like the above.

It does take some time to get the sensor to reach a baseline and start reporting. I think the CO2 baseline is still too high and it doesn’t move off 400ppm.

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

Air Quality Index

I decided to add Air Quality to my weather setup. The ideal is a Purple Air sensor but that costs $250 and even more to ship to the UK.

A bit of research shows that I can do the same using a Nova SDS011 and my Raspberry Pi. It’s a very straightofward setup and the code to run and collect the data is readily available.

The challenge I had was to add code to upload the data to my website and then get the website to use the data and display it.

After about half a day of coding, and a few tweaks in subsequent days, I ended up with the page above.

You can also see the data uploaded to the AQICN.ORG website for worldwide AQI coverage

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

Weather Station Update and Meteobridge

In March, and before then, my old weather station started doing some annoying things. Firstly it would not record rainfall consistently. Secondly the temperature readings were add odds with expectations (+/- 5C!).

It was time for an upgrade. However I wanted a weather station that still allowed me to upload to more than just Weather Underground. My old station had been customised to write to my own website and from there forward on to Wunderground and Met Office WOW.

After much research and a revelation about something called a Meteobridge I settled on the following:

  • Davis Vantage Vue – https://www.davisinstruments.com/solution/vantage-vue/
  • Meteobridge NanoSD – https://www.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Meteobridge_NANO_SD

The first was purchased off Amazon as I had gift vouchers to spend from my 50th Birthday and the second was purchased from weatherspares.co.uk.

The NanoSD plugs into the back of the Vue Console, much the same as the very expensive but very limited Davis WeatherLink adapter does, and then allows you to configure all kinds of different uploads. It also has built in options for triggering regular activities and alarms.

As a result, I now have my weather data being uploaded to many more services than just WU and WOW. I have eight different weather sites being uploaded and I also hourly status tweets of the current weather.

With the old jasonmfarrow.com/weather template being out of support I was very pleased to learn that Brian at Weather34.com had updated the template to use the exact same Meteobridge & Davis setup that I have. This is probably the best weather data display out there. See the latest incarnation here: jmfweather.com

TLDR: A great upgrade with more functionality than I can use. Result!

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

Met Office WOW

Having seen the Wunderground having been taken over by IBM and the slow depreceiation of the API and other capabilities it will only be a matter of time before this dies!

I decided to find another place to post my observations and a quick google showed WOW “Weather Observations Website” from the Met Office. Considering that this was my first employer and that I’m still a weather nerd I signed up for an account.

The next challenge was to delve deep into the PHP code of my site to work out where and how to add the code to write the observations to WOW. After about four hours of trial and error I got it working.

JMFweather @ WoW

Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather