Instructables
Picture of NeoWeather: Ambient Weather Indicator

We can't all have the desk next to the window. In my case, my coworker at the desk across from mine has the window seat. When it comes time to make the trek down the street to get some lunch, I'm never quite sure what I'm going to find in the great out-of-doors. Do I need my jacket? An umbrella?

I've had a theory for a little while that just a dozen (or two) pixels and an internet connection are all you need for a seriously vast number or applications. This seemed as good a place as any to start, so I connected an Adafruit Neopixel Ring to the internet with Electric Imp, cooked up some animations, and set it up to grab the forecast from Weather Underground. It turns out to be a snap to build, and not expensive!

My theory was that the geeks I work with would be unable to resist writing other applications for the shiny new toy, and it turned out I was right. By the end of the day that I built this project, it could already also be used to track packages or tell time. I'm really looking forward to seeing what else it can do.

The weather indicator is really handy - let's build one!

 
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Aec283 months ago

Awesome project, thanks for sharing! I'd like to try this with a bigger ring (maybe http://www.adafruit.com/products/1376) around the circumference of a clock. I'm very new to these gadgets, will I be able to follow your instructions with that type of NeoPixel strip? Thanks!

tombrew (author)  Aec283 months ago

Generally, yes, but you will need to make some changes. The code currently has the number of pixels in your array hard-coded on the device side. You'll need to change the value of "NUMPIXELS".

You'll also need to be very careful about your power supply. The hardware shown here isn't capable of driving more than 1A of load. If you're driving enough Neopixels that you need more power than that, you'll definitely want to drive them at 5V and use a level translator to shift the data signal coming from the imp from 3.3V to 5V.

veggiemaster4 months ago

Question on your agent code - is your UPDATEINTERVAL measured in seconds? Just trying to figure out how 900 = 10 minutes... I might just be very dense. ;)

Awesome instructable, btw. Just put one together with a Adafruit NeoMatrix.

tombrew (author)  veggiemaster4 months ago
Haha, yes it's in seconds. Looks like I changed something and didn't update the math! That's 15 minutes.
DastardlySexy5 months ago

Great flex show of both technical and programming skill- might take a stab at this project in the future! Looks like great fun!

tombrew (author) 5 months ago

Some folks have noted that the agent wasn't correctly fetching the forecast after the first successful call to weather underground. I've just pushed a fix for this, thanks for your patience.

jkuben5 months ago

Great instructable! Ignore the private message I sent you. I've got it running. The problem was operator error :). I did also change line 16 of the agent code to my zip code. You didn't say to do that so don't know if that was correct. Problem is the weather here is similar to yours so I'm not sure I'm getting correct data. Time will tell. But it is severe clear and 72 (22 C) and I have a bright red ring. Mostly green earlier. Thanks for a great instructable and I'm eager to try a couple of your others.

tombrew (author)  jkuben5 months ago
Glad to hear it's working! You don't have to change the zip in the file if you don't want to; the first time you set the location with the web interface, it remembers that location and uses it on every restart. Sounds like it's working properly!
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tombrew (author)  deleted_account5 months ago

Thanks, glad you like it! Your art looks like you've spent a lot of time getting it just right, too! Good luck on your contest.

Mex51506 months ago

Er, probably a really stupid question, but what does it do? My wife is near obsessed with the weather (yes, she is English LOL), and when I saw the name of this project I thought I'd have a look and possibly build it, but I'm still not sure what it actually does.

tombrew (author)  Mex51506 months ago

It shows different animations with the LEDs to indicate the current weather conditions at a location you can choose.

Mex5150 tombrew6 months ago

So you have to learn what animation means what weather? (sorry if I'm being really thick here)

tombrew (author)  Mex51505 months ago

yep, but they're pretty intuitive.