Adjustment of Receiving and Displaying Data from the Weather Station

Note: the description is valid for versions 1.7.73 and higher


vantage_pro2.jpgSL NEO platform allows visualizing data received from the weather station. The toolset for work with a station complements the technology of reading off data from external sources: information from the station is sent to the RSS-server of the SL NEO platform, then RSS-data is sent into the graphic compositions and parameterizes text layers and animations.


SL NEO platform supports weather stations made by Davis Instruments (USA). The most universal and popular model is Davis Cabled Vantage Pro2 with USB interface (we don't recommend stations with Wi-Fi interface because of possible problems with the connection channel).


The basic parameters of measurements: current atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity of air, speed and direction of wind, data for a short-term weather forecast.

Connection of the station, configuring SL NEO server software

When you buy the station, you should take into account that a USB module is optional and isn't included into the basic delivery set of the station. You don't need any additional software for integration of the station with the SL NEO platform. For installing you will need only a driver for the interfaces USB-COM, its full name is Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP Driver (you can download a version for Windows by this link).


You can connect the station directly to the SL NEO server, but it's more preferable to use a separate machine with SL NEO server software that has only one active module for interaction with the station.  If you use this scheme, several SL NEO servers can simultaneously get RSS information about the weather.


The procedure of configuring the station and SL NEO server module that receives data and forms the RSS-feed

ws_1.jpgStep 1. Connect and configure the station according to the attached instruction. After turning on, you should press and hold the button DONE at the system block of the station, so that the readings will appear. The speed of data transfer from the station is 19.200 by default. You should set the same value of speed for the COM-port of the machine that is connected to the station (you can see the port number in the Windows Device Manager).


Step 2. Add a module for receiving data from the station to the system. Stop the server components by the command Stop Server from the task bar, then choose the item Configure Server Components. Open the setting window, find the field Available components in the section Data Providers/Meteo Stations/Davis Instruments Corp. and add the element Vantage Pro to the right field: it will receive the data and form the RSS stream. Launch the server software by the command Start Server.


Step 3.Configure the element Vantage Pro. Configuring will be implemented from the web-console - Administrator Control Panel. Login to the console is implemented locally from the server or from any machine in the network by the address http://server_ip:7901. You should login as an administrator.


After entry to the console, choose Manage from the console menu, then choose the item Data Providers. In the window Davis Instruments Corp./Vantage Pro choose Service Enabled. Now configure the connection: in the field Connection Paramerers specify the number of the appropriate COM-port that is connected to the station; in the field Name enter the resource name, for example Meteo_Station, or leave the default value with no changes.


ws_2.jpgThen configure the parameters of measurements: click Add in the field Values. In the opened window Add Value find the field Variable and choose the parameter of measurements. In the field Title specify a random name for the parameter, in the field Prefix type the text that will be displayed before the numeric value. In the field Suffix enter the text that will be displayed after the numbers.


The item Plus sign is responsible for displaying the sign "+" before the value of temperature. The value Precision allows you to set the number of signs after the comma in the displayed value.


You can see at the picture a variant of configuration of the parameter for displaying temperature (an external temperature sensor of the station is chosen), the value will be sent through RSS and will be displayed in the format: "Now +22.50°C".


Then, you should use the similar way to choose and configure all necessary numeric parameters of measurements.


Sending information for parameterization of weather icons


ws_3.jpgExcept the numeric values, the station sends information about the short-term weather forecast. The forecast is sent as a parameter that may contain one of ten values:


Mostly Clear

Partially Cloudy

Mostly Cloudy

Mostly Cloudy, Rain

Mostly Cloudy, Snow

Mostly Cloudy, Rain or Snow

Partly Cloudy, Rain

Partly Cloudy, Snow

Partly Cloudy, Snow or Rain

No Forecast Available

The station also sends the information about the wind direction. You can use the data about the short-term forecast and about the wind direction for parameterization of PIP objects in graphic compositions (static or animated icons).


To configure sending data about the short-term forecast, add a new parameter: in the field Values choose Add. In the opened window Add Value find the field Variable and choose Forecast Icon. Specify a random name for the parameter in the field Title.


ws_4.jpgOpen the fields that display the types of weather conditions and specify the names for the clips - static or animated icons that are placed in the server database and conform to a certain weather condition. 


In case, if you need to form a few variants of compositions with different design, each of which uses different sets of icons, you should configure several parameters that send to the RSS the Forecast Icon values, with different sets of icons names. There is also a variant, when you fill the fields Prefix and Suffix with the text that will be added to the names of clips that are sent to RSS.


Use the same way to configure sending parameters (of icons names) for displaying the wind direction.


Check of the RSS-server functioning


Checking is implemented by means of the web browser (it's desirable to use Mozilla Firefox). You should enter the address in the format http://server_ip:7901/rss and press Enter. Now, the list of active RSS resources should be displayed at the monitor. Choose a certain resource (in our example it's "Meteo_Station"), and make sure that it contains all necessary text information.

Settings in the graphic composition for receiving data from the RSS module

ws_5.jpgLet's consider an example, in which the server module Vintage Pro forms the RSS stream that contains six parameters of the weather condition (see the picture).


Let's define the duration of a composition that is responsible for displaying the weather, as twenty seconds: during this time, text objects with information about the temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction (text with an icon) should be displayed, changing each other. The icon with a short-term forecast will being displayed during the whole composition.  


Find the field Duration and enter 00:00:20:00. The parameter Lead Out should be set as 00:00:00:00. 


You should specify a source of RSS data for the composition: open the item General and find the field Data Feeds. Here you should enter the address of a resource in the format http://server_ip:7901/rss/RSS_name, where "RSS_name" is the name of the service that has been set up when configuring the module Vantage Pro (in our example it's "Meteo_Station").   


Text objects


Objects that have the type Text Area will be used for displaying RSS-text. You can set up the parameters for every Text Area object in the item Elements.


Let's configure the parameters of the first text object that displays the information about the temperature. The value in the field "Sh" (Show) is equal 00:00:00:00 /In, the value in the field "Hd" (Hide) is equal 00:00:05:00 /In. It means that the text will appear right after the start (the initial point In) and will disappear five seconds after the start. You can choose the default type of scrolling in the field Scrolling: choose Still.


ws_6.jpgYou should configure parameterization of text in the field ParametrisationType is a type of text parameterization:


Disable means that parameterization is turned off, the server will display the text from the window Preview text. External is the type of text parameterization from the playlist lines. RSS is the mode of parameterization from an RSS-feed, you should choose this one.


In the field Type: Feed: you should choose Feed_1 (in our example this type forms RSS with information about the weather) as a source of data. Choose Feed in the field Channel: Selector:; choose Index with the value "0" in the field Item: Selector:. It means that the very first value from the field will be read off for the indications of temperature - the module for displaying temperature was set the first one in the settings of the RSS-module (see the picture at the beginning of the section). The counting of positions starts from zero, so you should choose "1" for displaying the pressure, choose "2" for displaying humidity, etc on the list.


Use the same way for configuring the text objects that display pressure, humidity and other parameters. If needed, you may set the effects for the objects by using key points, or mix/wipe conversions.


PIP Objects


To create a new PIP (picture in picture) object, you may drag a chosen clip with a weather icon from the window Media Browser directly to the editing window. Thus, a new object will be automatically created, the clip name will be read off from the database and entered into the first field Url, the values In and Out for the clip will be also read off from the database. Plus, the original sizes of the clip will be saved.

Adjusting parameterization of PIP objects is similar to the algorithm of configuring parameterization for text objects. RSS gets the information that contains names of icons (clips) that will be displayed. You should make sure that all the icons with the names specified in the server RSS-module are present in the server database. It is desirable for all the icons that are responsible for displaying one parameter to have identical geometrical sizes. After the end of editing, you can view the clip in the window File Monitor and check the propagation of RSS information.


ws_7.jpgYou can download an example of a composition that displays the weather condition, by this link. You can also download a collection of static and animated symbols that display information about the weather: use this link. After downloading, you should import the files to the server database.


It's worth mentioning, that SL NEO platform uses only a certain part of functions that are implemented in the weather station Davis Instruments. The main reason is the specific character of broadcasting on most TV channels, when the main displayed parameters are the temperature, humidity and pressure: it's not customary to display detailed statistics and forecasts. In case if your TV-channel needs using the advanced set of weather parameters, connect us for discussing details.

Test Station Vantage Pro2 in Saint-Petersburg

The test weather station Davis Cabled Vantage Pro2 is functioning in Saint-Petersburg. Connect us to get the access to the demo-server and RSS-feed.