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Bromsberrow Weather Man PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 14 July 2007 21:13

Bromsberrow Weather StationOn a rare sunny July afternoon I visited the home of Jonno Rann in Bromsberrow Heath to see for myself his all functioning budget weather station.  I must admit I was expecting something Heath Robinson; something banged up in a shed and held together with rubber bands.  But Jonno led me up the garden path and proudly showed me the WS360 Weather Station. He explained how he'd bought the station on eBay from someone in Germany for just £127, while the fibre-glass pole it sat on cost him £18 (also purchased on the Internet).  The instruments on the top of the pole measured wind direction and wind speed; further down the pole humidity and temperature, while there was a rain gauge at the bottom.

The information from the weather station is sent to a computer in his house via a wireless router. The computer, Jonno impressed upon me, was a mere £50 and designed for this one job alone.  The weather station came with its own software package, but Mr Rann said he preferred to use Weather Display software.  The software converts the information to visible measurements you can see on the computer monitor.  He showed me how he could offset the measurements in the control panel to adjust for local variables; how he changed the wind speed from metres per second to miles per hour and how he could change how often the information was uploaded - usually every five to ten minutes.  The computer is continually connected by broadband to the Internet, where the website he designed is regularly updated.

Jonno RannBut why? "Why build it?" I asked the Bromsberrow weather man.  "I did it for a laugh" he smiled "It seemed like a good idea at the time".  That was back in April 2004 and his site has received thousands of hits since.  "It's a free service," Jonno explained, "and the most important part is wind information for flying." Indeed, it is the hang gliders and paragliders who take off from the eastern side of the Malverns that find his station useful for judging flying conditions. "Sometimes I'll get only six people a day, but they'll look thirty times each. The fliers will look at a lot of different weather stations to get an idea."

The whole package cost little more than £200 to put together. I asked how much one could spend on a similar system. "You could easily spend £2000 - the sky's the limit," Jonno smiled with a gleam in his eye.

Jonno has been flying his own paragliders for twelve years now.  He also likes to fly model helicopters.  Click on the link above to see Jonno paragliding.

Web Link to Jonno Rann's Bromsberrow Weather Station - also on Ledbury Portal Web Links - Local Services.

I would like to thank Jonno Rann for giving this interview.

The opinions and accuracy of information in this article are the responsibility of the contributor.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:48