New slug, new wview

December 9th, 2009

My nslu2 (slug) died at the end of last month. I’m not sure if it was a hardware or a software fault but I have replaced it with a very cold stand-by I had purchased for  just such an occasion. I backed-up the hard-disk used by the first slug; installed Debian Lenny from scratch; and took the opportunity to install wview 5.7.1 using the Debian install script. Everything just about worked fine (couple of minor issues: htmlgen was being killed by the process monitor before it had apparently got a chance to get going; the Archive and NOAA directories had to be manually created before wview could write any data to them). I have also registered with the AWEKAS weather service and installed the iPhone template.

Clock change corruption

March 29th, 2009

The clocks moved forward an hour at 0100 this morning (British Summertime, though you’d not know it from the temperature). Unfortunately, this appears (in summary after various tests etc) to have resulted in a corrupt entry being written into the wview .wlk archive file for March 2009, which in turn meant wview was not generating the graphs and stats every 15mins. The quickest solution seemed to be to delete sensorstore.bin and 2009-03.wlk (in fact I renamed the latter in case I needed to restore). I thought I would lose a couple of days from March since the VP2 console is only meant to store 26 days worth of archive when set to archive at 15 minute intervals. Luckily, when I restarted wview all my March data was restored and the missing hour, due to the clock change, is represented, as expected, by a break in today’s graphs. It took me longer than an hour to work out what my options for fixing it was though…

(PS until today wview had been running for 24 days without a restart — especially good since previously I was restarting every day due to a break in (USB) communications between wview and the VP2 console).

wunderground feed

August 22nd, 2008

I should also have mentioned in my last post that I took the opportunity to compile wview with wunderground support. So now Begbroke weather data is now contributing to probably the biggest, freest and longest established Internet weather data service.



August 19th, 2008

Just to prove that this blog is not dead… Last month I updated wview to version 4.0.1 (including an update to radlib) with very little pain. I also put a simple backup script into the crontab (which writes to a second disk I have attached to the slug; ideally it should be rsyncing offsite but…). I then went on holiday and had the pleasure of viewing my wview site on an iPod Touch in the New York Apple Store (I was also able to login to the slug from an entirely different location abroad to restart lighttpd which had, for reasons unlogged, decided to fall over).

Linksys have officially discontinued the NSLU2. Amazon et alia still have them in stock so I bought a second one. Really, for just in case ‘cold’ standby (it’s still in its box) but actually when time is permitting I will probably deploy it as a home file server or similar.

From console to envoy to crisis (resolved)

May 24th, 2008

On Wednesday I installed Weatherlink and connected it to the Vantage Pro2 console. Actually, this didn’t accomplish much except allow me to see what functionality Weatherlink provided. I think I hoped to download and export the historical data which sits on the console (e.g. high/low totals since Feb 2007) but I couldn’t see a way to accomplish this. I’ll probably experiment with afedit and do this manually.

My next task was to configure the Weather Envoy so that I could restore the console to its rightful place in the living room. This was easily done via Weatherlink (and could equally have been configured via wview). I opted for an archive interval of 15 minutes.

Initially, I had configured wview to put archive data into a mysql database. However, I am not convinced that, in the longer term, the slug will cope with wview+lighttp+mysql so I reconfigured wview without the mysql option (actually, this was probably unnecessary since I could simply have switched off mysql via the wviewconfig utility — I did want to upgrade wview to the latest version at the same time but this also failed, probably because I needed to reconfigure radlib without mysql too; it was getting late…).

Restarting wview with the new envoy worked very smoothly. However, a new, more serious problem developed. Having followed the instructions for unplugging the data logger from the console in order to connect it to the envoy, I discovered, on replacing the batteries, that a full quarter of the console screen was blank! There was nothing where there should have been a wind gauge, outside/indoor temperature, and there was also character corruption in the ticker area. My first fear was that in disconnecting the data logger (especially prising out the batteries, which is not easy) I had accidentally damaged the screen.

I sent an email to Davis Instruments and Tom replied next day with some very helpful advice: remove the batteries and any other power source; leave the console without power overnight to fully discharge the screen; and then power it up again. It worked!

Next tasks are to deal with historical data and look at customising the html templates.

Slug update

May 19th, 2008

Clearly I’m not a blogger at heart. I actually installed Debian on my NSLU2 on 30 March (using the cookbook at Connected to a 500gb MyBook everything worked fine. I installed wview and configured it to use the in-built simulator (for testing). That worked fine too (with Apache serving up the results). Well, it worked ok for four days and then I started to get broken pipe errors from one of the radlib message queues. No matter, the concept had been proven.

Then both the Davis data logger and the wireless envoy arrived. Thus I spent yesterday updating Debian (especially openssl); replacing apache with lighttpd; and reinstalling wview to work with the Vantage Pro weather station rather than a simulator.  In the first instance I’ve connected the VP2 console to the Slug. This also seemed to work as it should and I even managed to set the archive interval rate on the console via the slug command line.

So the basic setup is complete ( Next steps are to:

  • Retrieve historical graph data from the VP2 (seemingly easiest to do with the WeatherLink software, so must find working Windows system…);
  • Connect wireless envoy and put the console back where it should be.
  • Start customising the wview html templates.

I have a feeling I will have problems with historical data and archive intervals…

Vantage Pro2

March 24th, 2008

The Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station has been in operation for just over a year. Only I can see the console and access the data on rainfall, barometric pressure, temperature, wind etc that it’s been collecting and displaying. Hopefully, that will change soon. My intention is to connect a console to a Linksys NSLU2 with (probably) Unslung and wview installed. All the bits, including the datalogger and NSLU2 are on order.