I have finally gotten around to building the little weather station that I have been meaning to. I had originally thought that I would build it using the Raspberry Pi but I decided to go with an Arduino instead. I recently had the opportunity to play with an Arduino at the NERDSummit up at UMass and I found it wicked fun. The board I purchased was a SainSmart Uno that I found on Amazon for $16. At first I was a little concerned that it wouldn't work because I wasn't buying an Arduino branded board. All those concerns went out the window when I powered that thing up and played around with it for a bit. The thing is in excellent shape and I'd go back for that product in the future.
For the sensors, I picked up some DHT11s for temperature and humidity and a Sparkfun MPL1151A barometer/temp sensor. I was able to get the DHT11 to work without a whole lot of trouble and I am getting readings on the serial monitor. Not so much luck on the MPL1151A, though I was able to get temperature readings. For whatever reason I am not able to get the baromentric readings. I get a value that never changes and I wish I had copied it down somewhere so I could reference it here. I will get back to that project soon enough in hopes that a little time away from it will give me fresh eyes to see the issue better.
The plan is to also include a light sensor so the device can track the amount of sunlight hits the location throughout the days over the years (hopefully it will last that long). Also in the plan is using these nifty RF modules I picked up to have the device send data to a Raspberry Pi that I will keep in the house to log all that data and make it pretty enough for viewing. Another cool thing is that, once it's working, I'll be able to send that data it collects to places like Weather Underground or Open Weather Map .
I have never been all that good at keeping up with this site but I continue getting emails informing that IPs are blocked. So many attempts to log in to the blog are made that I decided to take a look at alternatives. I have seen these static site generators around for a few years now and always meant to look into it. After looking around at the myriad options out there I focused on a python projects. I finally decided to take Nikola out for a spin, mainly because I liked the name. Installation was incredibly easy, it's sitting in the repos so an apt-get install was all that was needed. Then a few edits to a configuration file and it's ready to go. I have to learn some of the formatting syntax but whatever I get to write from the terminal and that makes me happy.