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Weather Webcam

In the summer of 2006, I installed a webcam to complete my weather station.  The hardest part of installation was finding a PCI-x video capture card that would fit into my Linux server.  After months of looking, I finally found that a PowerColor Real Angel 330 purchased from Newegg worked.  The card is not directly supported under Linux, but it uses the Conexant CX2388X for the video capture section, which is generically supported.  Unfortunately, the TV and FM tuner chips do not (yet) work under Linux.  However, these features are not needed for this application.

Outdoors, I now use a Defender Security #82-11466, weatherproof bullet color camera purchased on-sale at MCM.  This unit has a 170° fisheye view and is fairly sensitive to light.  To prevent rain and snow buildup, the lens is coated with two layers of Rain-X.

Once per minute, a snapshot of the camera is overlaid with the current weather conditions and stored on my server.  Copies of each picture are used on my local web server weather page and are also uploaded to Weather Underground as well as to my live weather page.

Just after midnight, each of the previous days 1440 webcam images are merged into a time-lapsed one minute DivX "weather movie."  (You will need a compatible DivX codec or video player to view this file.)

The above sample video was captured during the worst straight-line wind (80+ MPH) storm that I have ever experienced.  The storm started just before 06:00 and lasted until around 08:00.  It caused massive property damage throughout the area.  If your video player supports it, viewing the storm section in slow motion is quite interesting.

All of the scripting software used to capture the webcam output and generate the time-lapsed movie is freely available on the repository page.  Links to the Open Source video encoder and conversion programs are also contained within the archive.