Cutting The Cord

This past weekend I noticed that my weather Web site was no longer updating with the most recent weather data from my weather station.I check the error logs on the Raspberry Pi running the weather software and saw numerous errors indicating communication problems with the weather station.  Upon closer inspection I discovered that when my son mowed the lawn he somehow managed to sever the cable between the weather server and the weather station hardware.

I promptly shut down the weather station software.  I had to let the station stay offline until I had an opportunity to purchase a new 25 foot long Cat 5 network cable.  In the mean time I made some minor coding modifications to the JavaScript code to better display when there were data errors.  The PHP code displayed the errors how I wanted, but the JavaScript code showed zeroes instead of an error indicator.

Today I had some time to stop by the computer store and purchase a new cable for $14.00.  I removed the severed cable and installed the new one.  Once I restarted the weather software everything came back up fine.  So the weather station is open for business once again.

I’ve been toying with the idea of making the weather station wireless by locating a Raspberry Pi outside with the weather station and use a wireless network to connect to the station.  Right now I have the Pi running from a USB hard drive which I would not want to locate outdoors.  The main reason for the USB hard drive is so that I don’t wear out the SD card from too many writes.  I could split up the software so that the outdoor station reads the hardware and makes the readings available over the network.  This would eliminate many of the writes to the SD card.  An indoor computer could retrieve the raw data and then process it, store it, and update any remote weather services.

The change wouldn’t be difficult to make, and is kind of interesting.  There are a lot of wireless networks in my neighborhood and lots of interference.  Wireless networking isn’t always as reliable in my house as I would like, so I’ve resorted to wired wherever I can.  I may choose to make this change some time, but for now I’m good with the wired connection.