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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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oakleygear8 days ago

Thank you for this! I was just starting to piece together my own code to make this work and this is a GREAT help!

FYI, this works absolutely perfect with the NeoPixel stick with 8 LEDs, without the need for the capacitor. Two components for the entire project (IMP breakout & LED strip). Talk about simple! Fantastic job on the code and bootstrap webpage which makes it all easy. Thanks!

Slothfurnace made it!3 months ago

Thank you so much for this instructable! It's exactly what I was looking for when I set out to do a weather indicator backlight array with my neopixels on my new nixie clock I am building. It works great!

Again, thanks so much!

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alfredomova made it!4 months ago

like a block of ice :3

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mariehuynh made it!7 months ago

Excellent tutorial. I appreciate the notes about why the diode is there, the difference in voltages, and alternative solution!

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This is what the rain animation looks like when diffused by fabric.
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Aec2811 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)  Aec2811 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.

veggiemaster11 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)  veggiemaster11 months ago
Haha, yes it's in seconds. Looks like I changed something and didn't update the math! That's 15 minutes.

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) 1 year 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.

jkuben1 year 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)  jkuben1 year 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!
Mex51501 year 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)  Mex51501 year ago

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

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

tombrew (author)  Mex51501 year ago

yep, but they're pretty intuitive.