Just before Christmas I decided I needed to make my weather data collection system more energy efficient, since we first got started in weather satellites and taking garden readings via a wireless weather station we had used a variety of computer systems starting from an old 400MHz Pentium Desktop to Laptops.

The collection system at the house has two parts

  • Weather Satellite Images (Eumetcast Service)
  • Weather Data from Wireless weather station

Since getting the Eumetcast system setup I had been running it on its own dedicated computer in this case it was a Sony Vaio laptop which I used to use for University work but it was struggling with the task  and often crashed, So a better solution was needed in the end I decided to take a jump in the dark and ordered Intel Atom 1.6GHZ Dual core, 2GB Ram and a 250gb hard drive system from Novatech for around £250.

At first I was a bit nervous the system wouldn’t cope with the large amounts of data which is sent over the eumetcast system, but after installing Windows XP Pro and the software suite required to make it all function its worked fantastically for over 2 months without being turned off bar one powercut for 5 hours.

You can see the images at http://wx.magicbug.co.uk

Overall power usage is minimal over the course of the month, and its been the most stable system I’ve used for such a purpose. Over the coming months I’d like to move it all across to Linux (Ubuntu/Debian) instead of Windows but this will need some investigation.