About the Station

The station was set up on 1st September 2004 and is a Davis Vantage Pro station. As it is permanently connected to one of my computers, I opted for the wireless model without the console, using the Weather Envoy instead.

Station Location

The station is located about 2/3rds of the way down my back garden which backs onto the Canterbury-Ramsgate railway line. It is a relatively sheltered spot, being surrounded by large trees. However, the nearest large trees are around 10m from my garden. The anemometer is currently not ideally sited, being mounted as high up the tripod as possible (about 2m above the ground) and is sheltered to the east by leylandii. The site is especially sheltered from the north by Tyler Hill.

Station Latitude: 51° 17' 38" N
Station Longitude: 1° 05' 29" E
OS Grid Reference: TR 156595
Altitude: 8m above mean sea level

My Interest in Weather

I have been interested in weather since I was about 10 years old and even back then had a strange urge to record the weather. I built my first temperature sensor which plugged into my computer (an Acorn Electron) using a circuit design published in the magazine Electron User. It wasn't accurate, though, and even though I made an attempt to build a primitive radiation shield (which I got the window-cleaner to mount under my window) I still got bad readings. This didn't stop me though and over two or three years I had recorded a graph of the weather that nearly stretched the length of my bedroom!

Since then I have followed the weather avidly - a pasttime which is always interesting in England! I have contributed to the uk.sci.weather newsgroup over the past two years or so which is very good community of people ranging from amateurs to professionals.

My favourite weather is a still, frosty, sunny morning. However, as I am a student, I very rarely see any morning frost!

About This Site

Some people have asked how I created this site - it is actually quite complicated! The data is read from the Vantage Pro using my own custom C++ program which uses the serial port protocol published by Davis. The program downloads the data and parses it before creating an SQL query so that it can be uploaded to a mySQL database on my webserver. Once the data is in the database it can be used wherever - either on the website or locally. I have written an IRC bot which is used by people at the University of Kent to query the current weather conditions.

The website is created using PHP. All the data is dynamically retrieved from the database each time a page is requested, meaning that the most up-to-date information is always available. Using SQL makes it fairly simple to extract relevant data from the database.

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