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 –
  • Meteobridge NanoSD –

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

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 template being out of support I was very pleased to learn that Brian at 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:

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


We now have a conservatory on the back of our house. Took just over two weeks to install, wire-up and decorate including an engineered wood flooring installed by my own hands. Here are a couple of pictures showing the conservatory in-situ and the internal view.  Now we have to put things in it.


Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog

New Router. And About Time Too

Image result for BiPAC 8900AX2400

After much suffering from reboots and poor wi-fi performance, most noticeable on my iPhone when watching video or updating apps, with my not-so-old TP-Link VSDL router it was time for a change.

I considered long and hard about which replacement VSDL modem router I should purchase. After reading a lot of reviews I plucked for this one. It’s not the cheapest but it does have a lot of options and many reports of solid reliability and lengthy uptime.

I now have multiple 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wi-fi networks running all secured with time scheduling for each. This gives me ultimate control over child #1’s PS4 activity with his own SSID for his PS4 and iPhone wi-fi and set utilisation periods. Finish the game by “x” o’Clock or the wi-fi cuts-out.

The router also shows a lot of statistics that cheaper routers do not show you. Including the SNR and Attenuation which describe the quality of your broadband. Mine is actually very good verging on excellent. I have PlusNet FTTC broadband. PlusNet are owned by BT. I recently changed from BT to PlusNet due to big bills from BT and no way to get them to price match to other providers. 38.9Mbps up and 7.5Mbps down is the max I can get based on my distance to the cabinet.

Downstream Upstream SNR Margin (dB) 4.0 6.1 Attenuation (dB) 25.1 0.0 Output Power (dBm) 12.7 4.1 Attainable Rate (Kbps) 39794 7686 Current Rate (Kbps) 37437 7686So a good choice and no reboots or slow performance so far.


Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog

PHP Coding: Five hours of work for ten lines of code

It’s taken me 5-hours of effort over the last day or two to get my webcam correctly reporting a picture for my weather station.

Problem:  The Wunderground FTP process has stopped working with no sign of a resolution. I needed to provide a single image that could be referenced by Wunderground rather than FTP to their site. The trouble was that my webcam uses incremental filenames based on date-timestamp. I also needed to use the latest and get rid of any other uploads.

Solution: Use the PHP code that runs my weather page and forwards the weather station page to Wunderground to, in addition, find the latest image file and after 5-minutes rename it to the static name image file and delete all the other potentially uploaded webcam files.

It took a lot of trial and error to get to the code below. All the while reading the online PHP reference and other PHP examples to get to what I needed. It’s not necessarily petty code but it does work.

// list the ARG*.jpg files in the webcam directory. Save to an array
$ARCfiles = glob('../webcam/ARC*.jpg');
// reverse sort the array to get the most recent file by timestamped name
rsort ($ARCfiles);
// grab the first (most recent file)
$fileselected = $ARCfiles[0];
// setup the logging file and write the selected file to the logging file
// $latestfile = '../webcam/latestwebcamfile.txt';
// file_put_contents($latestfile, $fileselected);
// check that the webcam image is 5-minutes old. If so overwrite it with the latest and delete all other ARC*.jpg files.
if(file_exists('../webcam/webcamimage.jpg')&&time()- filectime('../webcam/webcamimage.jpg')>300){&nbsp; &nbsp;
   rename($fileselected , '../webcam/webcamimage.jpg');&nbsp; &nbsp;
   // list then delete every file beginning with ARC*&nbsp; &nbsp;
   $files = glob('../webcam/ARC*.jpg');&nbsp; 
   foreach($files as $file){ 
      }&nbsp; &nbsp;


Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

Cloud – The stuff in the sky

I used to work, it was my first job after leaving school, for the Met Office as an Outstation Observer. This meant that I had to look out at the world every hour and record what was going on. Temperature, Rainfall, Wind speed & direction, Atmospheric Pressure, Cloud etc. This has resulted in a life-long interest in the weather.

I have had for some time my own personal weather station recording all of these things. In March 2016 I upgraded and bought a more capable weather station that uploads to Weather Underground (  My station is identified as IBASINGS39. You can click on that link, or the one in the left hand menu, to see the current data.

Recently I saw an update for my weather station console including a new server interface that presents the data in a different way. This came from courtesy of Brian Underdown. Whilst seemingly quite simple to deploy the process of tweaking my weather console to correctly update to my own website took two days of tweaking and experimenting with support from Brian (Thank you).

The result of these labors can be see here.


Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog, Weather

Service Gap Analysis

ne of my most recent activities has been to help a customer understand where they should be headed from an IT strategy focus. To do this we are using a tool I created which, when used in conjunction with face-to-face interviews, create a clear indication for the customer of where they stand, where they want to be, what priority should be assigned to making this increase in maturity and how long it should take to get there.

I use a standard maturity model based along these pretty much standard levels:

This is then used to assess the current state across a number of service levels. You ask different people across a number of areas both directly and indirectly involved in either IT or the Business Units and summarise the results whilst spotting any results that are wide of the general thinking.

The fun is then about presenting this back and helping the customer take action on the various areas of growth needed. It often shows who is on-board with the CxO message and who needs to rethink their plans.


Posted by Jason Farrow in Blog