This post provides an introduction to the software called wview. Wview is weather station software that allows you to read data from a wide variety of weather stations. It produces graphs, can give you an almanac snapshot, and you can also use it to push data to external websites such as weather underground (www.wunderground.com). And it costs nothing; it is available from sourceforge.net or at www.wviewweather.com. This post will look more at using the GUI to set up the workstation, and using the log files to check on the operation of the software.
Assuming that you have a weather station, then you will want to install the software. The home page of www.wviewweather.com sets out the steps to follow, depending on your Linux distribution. Once you are done installing, it is then a matter of configuring the software.
Configuration of the software can be done either by running a script called wviewconfig (you will need to be super user to run this) or by using a web browser. For brevity, this post will show configuration using the web browser only. The CLI option is handy, but it can take some time. The GUI can be started by opening a browser then typing in http:/localhost/wviewmgmt/login.php. The administrator login comes up (as shown in Figure A).
The setup via the browser is a matter of selecting the weather station you have from the drop down list. In this case, the weather station is an Oregon Scientific WMR-100 (as shown in Figure B).
Click images to enlarge.
On this page you can also set the sensor polling interval. Here it is set to every 30 seconds. A note here: the i buttons next to each setting can assist you in deciding what parameters to use. Figure C sets up generation of html files. Usually, you set this to one minute.
You can see from the GUI interface that wview is pretty easy to configure. One word of warning: I find using the script /etc/init.d/wview with stop and start options better to use than the GUI method. The reason for this is time. Starting and stopping from the command line is faster. You can still view the state of the daemons via the GUI. The up state of the wview daemons (for example) is shown in Figure D.
Once you have wview configured, the software will start taking input from the weather station. My preference is to take a look at the log files when starting wview. Wview writes to the log file /var/log/syslog. You can run a tail -f /var/log/syslog to see what is happening. Figure E is an extract of what you see when wview is starting up. From the output of syslog, you can see that the daemon checks for a packet from each sensor. If one of your sensors is not working, then wview will not start up; it needs all sensors to function. If you do have a defective sensor, then it is best not to include it in the list of sensors.
Once start up is complete, wview will produce html charts like Figure F; this shows the current conditions.
Other areas of interest are the almanac, which shows statistics for the day, month and year. You can also produce a text view of the data as shown in Figure G.
That is wview; an example of free software that is every bit as good as commercial software on the market. It is highly configurable, and can provide you with enough weather statistics to keep you busy for quite some time.