Various Maps
Web Cam
Solar Power Stats
Power Monitor
Temperature Mon
Live Temperature

Rasp Pi 1

Rasp Pi 3

Rasp Pi 4





Ashingdon, Essex

Southend Tides 02:35 - High Tide (6.26m)
09:03 - Low Tide (0.57m)
15:05 - High Tide (5.98m)
21:41 - Low Tide (0.20m)

Sunrise 04:39 BST
Sunset 21:22 BST

Mon 26 Jun 2017
01:14:11 BST


Southend Stansted Bergen25 2250Z
25 2350Z
25 2350Z

10 (KT)
16 (KT)


Site history

This site is slowly being built. It started with 'Various Maps', but now has a bit more...

July 2011 - Added web cam page - uploads an image every (little while). Usually 10 minutes but the camera may be moved or the update period changed.
Occasionally the camera may be off. Pot luck for the moment.

August 2011 - added Sunrise and Sunset times, PHP5 gives you these without any external interactions. Me being me, I decided to check the accuracy against some authoritive web sources. That was probably my second mistake.... It seems the authoritive web sources don't actually agree with each other either (if you want minute perfect), so I don't know how accurate the PHP5 results are. They all seem to be within a few minutes of each other and for my purposes that close enough.
Found a quirk which I haven't ironed out yet, Mdt - 1am BST still gives the previous days Sunrise/set times. Just a coding issue but something I will sort out shortly.

August 2011 - added METARs for local airport and two others near by. They seem to stop providing updates sometime in the evening but may be the source site doesn't collect them that late. Haven't seen gusts yet so that cause the formatting to blow away.

September 2011 - Got site added to Google, also some background stuff with page counters. Therein lies a worrying quirk. While checking the page counters (by visiting the web pages), I noticed on the first two pages someone else accessing my page a few seconds afterwards. Another page, another visit from this particular visitor. By the 4th page, I had decided that my pc had something on it that was transmitting the pages I visit to someone else who then followed almost on my heels. After a couple of hours, I learnt about TalkTalk's activities. It appears that TalkTalk sends a webbot of some sort to visit every page you visit. It also includes everything on the URL that you type so could include usernames and passwords that sometimes gets included on the URL (like accessing a web cam). Panic not if your worrying about banking type logins, they don't use the url to achieve the login so the TalkTalk bot can't 'capture' that. My page counters seem to suggest the TalkTalk bot visit occurs between 29 and 34 seconds after you visit. Also, it doesn't visit everytime you do, just the first time and then odd occasions afterwards.

October 2011 - Added a few pages showing the results of a power monitor I've had in the house for a while. Its not complete but there until I provide tidier pages.

February 2012 - Amended the METARs to show minus temperatures. My string work was ignoring whether the temperature was minus so was always reporting a positive value.

April 2012 - Added a Weather Station page. Presently using Cumulus v1.9.2 which is written for Windows and is free, but will eventually be using a Raspberry Pi to interface it to the web, just have to wait until they're available.

June 2012 - Strawberry Pie. OK - so I meant Raspberry Pi. I first heard about it in March and was a little disappointed that I hadn't heard about it much earlier. Interest in the Raspberry Pi was through the roof and the only two companies planning to sell it (at about 30 inc VAT and P&P) were RS Components and Premier Farnell which had promptly got swapped with orders. By the time I tried to order one (beginning of March) all you could do was register an interest, which I did. So mid June and I finally get to order one. Shipping expected in 5 weeks.

If you haven't heard about it then follow the link. Its potential is massive. For those of you wanting a permanently on computer, the purchase cost and power costs wins hands down compared to a laptop/pc. You have to be a bit of a techie and it runs Debian so you need to know a little Unix - or learn it, which by the way sums up what the Raspberry Pi is all about.

As you can see on this web site, I have a weather station which puts updates on this site every 5 minutes. To achieve this at the moment, I use a notebook, which is a bit of a waste and draws about 40mA (based on 2.42KWh over 262 hours), whereas the RPi runs at a maximum of about 15mA. Being effectively a low budget unix box, it will be able to do most things a unix box can do, just not as powerfully, including running a home intranet.

April 2013 - Web Site additions.
Not many updates recently, but the important one is that I got my Raspberry Pi. Lots of tinkering and having to learn Unix/Linux followed by lots of configuration and more tinkering. Finally got it to capture my Power Monitor data, and did have it FTP'ing daily result to this site. It stopped shortly afterwards but didn't actually get round to sorting it until last month, then spent a WHOLE day trying to work out why the main partition (rootfs) was full. After speaking with Mr Google, and deleting all my data in the various 'home' drives eventually found the cause and deleted some multi 100Mb files, eventually giving me over 2Gb of free space (again).

The Raspberry Pi was also locking up on a regular basis which was annoying, so eventually worked out a method of (fairly) quickly seeing when this happens, hence the graphics on the left. Green means 'OK'. Red means the FTP file hasn't been received, most likely because it has locked up again, and amber for its working but the rootfs is 70% full.

As you will have seen on my 'maps', I have an interest in Earthquakes, so I have a graphic for the alert state of El Hierro which has had some fun in the last 2 years. The Spanish equivalent of the BGS have a page dedicated to it, and now has a 'traffic light' status. I've captured that staus, so if the background to the map is red, yellow or green, then that is the status, if its black, then the status hasn't been captured. Finally if the background is 'white', then the status has been captured, but not the colour.

May 2013 - Solar Panel Installation.
Well the deed is done. I now have a Solar PV installation on my roof - 4KWp. Already seen the Supply meter running backwards (at 7 in the morning), most satisfying. Just waiting for my Enlighten log in to see everything online.
I'm hoping to be able to use the online site to populate this web site, but if it isn't possible, I've found I can access from home my Envoy device, so might be able to pull data from there. Its a case of waiting to see what's available where, before I start coding.
So far, 1KW produced from 17:30 to dark on the 1st, and 2.5KW by 9am on the next day.

Aug 2014 - General Update.
Earlier this year I created a page to capture stats from my Solar PV installation. It updates automatically by accessing the Enphase Envoy at home.
The Raspberry Pi kept hanging after a few days (even hours), so is off for the time being while I decide where to go with it next.
The next project is the Blitzortung Lightning Detector project - just waiting for the kits to become available for Europe.

Dec 2014 - General Update.
The weather station has started playing up and finally packed up. This is my second weather station that has failed, so I'm not going to replace it immediately just yet.

Jan 2015 - Adding a Rasp Pi/Temperature monitoring project
Eventually got this project off the ground. Added some pages and doing some testing. Early days on this one.

Oct 2015 - Temperature Monitoring
Finally got this project to a position where its doing something useful and doesn't require my intervention for up loading data to this Web Site.

Nov 2015 - Weather station
Decided my house is best located for wind speed and direction, rain was problematic, so finally decided not to replace the Weather Station with a purpose purchased device although I may re-consider if a suitably priced IP enabled device becomes available.
In the meantime, I intend to use the Raspberry Pi's for more Home Monitoring

Sept 2016 - General Update
Been a somewhat lacking time in terms of projects and web site. It seems that whenever you do something, something else comes along and undoes it, or complicates it, or just plain throws a spanner in the works. In the last few days, my pages are displaying a black diamond with a questionmark in it. Don't know why this has happened but now all my pound signs, degrees (as in degrees centigrade) and possibly other symbols are corrupt. I shall be looking into it in the near future.

Got some new web pages on the go doing live capture of some info, this is personal and financial, so links are not configured to access them through the web site. Not sure how many pages are in this state now, might have to keep a separate record of them at some point. On the subject of vagueness of my web site, it's got quite messy, a bit like my home office (and loft and garage and....). The trouble is that it needs to be tidied in more or less one attempt, otherwise it will be messier where I've half done some tidying and left more stuff hanging around. Almost becoming a full time job.

And the number of CRON jobs I now have running during the day is getting out of hand. Where I've created one CRON job to do one thing, then a second to do something very similar - but different, I think I really need to apply some grey matter and write them more logically. I could be doing that, rather than writing this, but this takes a few minutes and no brain power, basically lazy.

19 CRON jobs, three of which are test ones that really should have been deleted, and the rest do live update stuff, 1 changes the banner picture, 9 for my Solar Power pages (there are a few hidden), 2 for an annual event, and a few to tidy some of the file store but needs enhancing.

And as for my projects, I've recently purchased an IR RaspPi Camera, thought it could operate in both modes, but I'm sure I can find a use for it. Also purchased a touch screen for the Pi, haven't had time to look at that yet. And finally some Current modules, was planning on some proper tests on AA batteries, especially the re-chargable ones that seem to now last about as long as I can blink (might be just one or two duff ones in a set - but how to find them). And again, no time yet to get these on the go...

Dec 2016 - PHP update
Well, wouldn't you know it.
A few months ago I noticed that some special characters weren't displaying properly, namely the degree sign for angles and temperatures. I did some googling but never got to the bottom of it, but have had another stab at it tonight. Having tried a number of 'suggestions' now and in the past, all to no avail, something caught my eye regarding the php version. My Web Provider is providing 5.6.25, and I remembered that the php version was changable, so have down graded to 5.5, and would you believe it, the degree signs are now displaying properly.

I'm sure there is a way to do it in PHP 5.6, but I haven't found it yet, but I can survive on 5.5 for the moment (5.5.38 according to the php version check). PHP 5.6.25 was released around Aug 2016, which sort of ties in when I started having the problem, but initially I thought it was my coding. Just goes to show, it's not always me!! (this time).