Questions on the best way to create a weather station with video for a second home.
November 13, 2010 11:40 AM   Subscribe

We want to see what is going on at our second home when we aren't around through streaming video, and also be able to check the weather (rainfall, wind, current temperature) over the internet. Where do I start?

My dad owns some property in the Texas hill country and we just recently hooked up DSL out there. He lives and works in Austin and would love to find a way to check the weather out there and see what is going on around the house during the times when he can't make it out there. I was wondering what would be the best group of products to buy achieve this goal. We have an old computer that we would put out there to presumably act as a server for the video and weather reporting. From a hardware and software standpoint what do we need to make this idea a reality?
posted by alextprice to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've been running a Davis Vantage Pro2 for years at my home. I use theirWeatherLink software to get the data onto my Windows XP netbook. From there, I upload to weather underground. When I'm feeling especially geeky I'll VNC to the system.

There are likely cheaper weather stations out there, but the Vantage Pro is highly respected, works tremendously well and is autonomous in this setup.

I'm not knowledgeable on the video side, but I imagine there are lots of options.
posted by jz at 12:01 PM on November 13, 2010

Here's a link to WeatherUnderground's instructions for getting your WeatherLink software updating to their servers.
posted by jz at 12:03 PM on November 13, 2010

How hacky do you want this to be? You can buy turnkey solutions that do more or less what you want, or you can build something out of free software and off-the-shelf webcams that will do exactly what you want but with more work and fiddling about.
posted by hattifattener at 12:04 PM on November 13, 2010

If you just want a live stream, you only need to grab a couple of IP cameras and string them up where you need them.
They can range anywhere from fully PTZ low-light models to cheap fixed jobs.

You can catch static images with numerous software packages (depending on your OS) or go more advanced with something like Zoneminder.
posted by madajb at 12:05 PM on November 13, 2010

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