My current weather computer is Windows XP. With the end of support just a few months away, I decided I should update the computer. I had another old computer that would support Windows 7. The OS installation went fine. I did a Google search and found an article on how to move the WeatherLink station files. This went fine and things looked okay. However, I had changed the hard drive configuration so the folder paths needed to be changed. I found all the places and then everything seemed to be working. I did notice one slight issue. I thought the files weren’t upgrading since the file dates didn’t change but they were newer files when I looked on the website. Not sure if that was some Windows 7 issue but technically nothing wrong.
WeatherLink is required to download the data from a Vantage Vue. It has a number of options to display weather data both live on a computer screen and to update to a web page.
Virtual Weather Station requires WeatherLink to access data from a Vantage Vue. It also has a number of options to display weather data on a computer screen. However, you have to upgrade the version to enable Internet features.
Comparing the two products, there is nothing wrong with Virtual Weather Station except that it is an added cost for the different versions. I decided not to go with it for this reason. The Saratoga-Weather.org templates provided much of the same benefits for a donation. Maybe if weather observations was going to be my main goal, I would have investigated Virtual Weather Station more. But, my main goal is astronomy so the weather information is a means to an end.
Willing WebCam has a feature that will add text from a file to the web camera image.
I created a new HTX template file for WeatherLink and included the date, time, temperature, wind speed and daily rain weather tags along with a title. Then I created another Data Upload Profile but one that updated every 1 minute to match the daily time-lapse settings. I changed the file extension to be TXT. I also had to enable Local Transfer so the file would be stored on the hard drive.
In Willing WebCam, I went to the Text Caption and enabled the Text to File and linked to the camera.txt file. I also had to turn off the Time Caption feature since it was overwriting.
I tested and everything was working fine. Check out the results at Woicik Weather Camera.
The first change I wanted to add was the date and time of the weather data. I looked at the Help file and found the list of WeatherLink HTML tags. I found the Date and Time tags – <!—date—> and <!—time—>. I added them at the top along with some break tags (<br />). I added them to the HTX files and allowed the 5 minute upload to occur. I then noticed that I should update the title tag for SEO reasons along with adding a description and keyword tags.
I next wanted to add some moon info. I found the weather tags and also noticed there was a forecast tag. So, I added both to a new HTX file and tested it. It uploaded fine to the web site. I integrated the information into an existing web page.
WeatherLink provides a number of sample HTML templates to post current and historical weather data.
The first step is to configure the Internet Settings in WeatherLink. Go to the Setup menu and then Internet Settings.
- Check – Connect through a local server if using a always-on broadband Internet connection.
- Enter appropriate FTP information. I created a subfolder called \conditions.
- My webhosting company needed to have Use Passive Mode checked.
- Proxy Settings – Direct
- Set a local path. I choose a dedicated folder like F:\templates\
The sample HMTL templates are located in the C:\WeatherLink\Sample Templates folder. Though I have a Vantage VUE, I selected the “Vantage” folders since the other folders were matched to different models of Davis weather stations. In the folder is a RTF file which explains how to use the sample template files. I wanted to use both the current and history template folders. Here are the steps I went through:
- I copied the sample files to the sample templates folder in the station Templates folder. I created two subfolders called “conditions” and “history”.
- I renamed “Current_Vantage.htx” to “currentweather.htx” and “History_Vantage_Pro.htx” to “historyweather.htx”
- Set Local Transfer Enabled to On for testing purposes
- I next followed the instructions on the Template Descriptions.rtf file to configure the Data Upload Profile to upload the appropriate Template files, Current Data images and Historical Data image.
- I set the Plot Span to 1 week.
- I found out I had to manually copy the Davis Logo.jpb and davisticker.class files to the local folder. They were not possible to select as a Template File to Upload.
- I selected to Upload every 1 minute and checked to Download Weather Station First.
I clicked OK and a few seconds later the Upload Progress screen appeared. I went to F:\templates\ folder to see the results. I double-clicked on the HTM files and everything looked good.
I set Local Copy Enabled to Off and set the Internet Transfer Enabled to On. I copied the two files that didn’t copy locally to the FTP server manually. I entered the URLs and both web pages loaded. I added links on my website to the new web pages.
The last change I made was to set the Upload Interval to 5 minutes.