Weather Alert Lamp Keeps An Eye On What’s Brewing

Whether you’re getting ready for work in the morning, or heading out on a camping trip in the woods, it’s nice to know what to expect when the weather rolls over the horizon. To keep abreast of things, [natethecoder] built a lamp system to stay across weather alerts.

A Raspberry Pi 3 acts as the heart of the system, with Node Red responsible for running the show. Querying the web every 5 minutes for updated weather data, it keeps track of weather alerts, as well as incoming snowfall. For a basic weather watch, a yellow lamp is lit, while there’s a red lamp for more serious warnings. A Christmas decoration serves as the indicator for snow. The lamps are all controlled by mains-rated solid state relays, making it easy to swap out the lamps for other devices if so desired down the track. There’s also a lamp test subroutine that fires on startup to ensure everything is working correctly.

It’s a handy way to get your weather info at a glance, and would prove useful to anyone living in a storm-prone area. For something more portable, consider this umbrella that tells you the weather.

Decoding NOAA Weather Radio With An Arduino

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is responsible for broadcasting the signals used in weather radios. They use a protocol called Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) and [Ray Dees] recently published an Arduino library that lets you decode the SAME message packets.

He doesn’t provide a method of tuning the radio signal, but at first you can use the audio samples he points to. The actual broadcasts happen on one of seven frequencies between 162.400 MHz and 162.550 MHz but the tones are also broadcast on TV and Radio alerts. Once you have the audio it is fed into a pair of XR-2211 Tone decoders. This provides just three interface pins for the Arduino to watch.

The annoying noise that grabs your attention at the beginning of a weather alert, or test of the alert system is actually what the SAME data packets sound like. From those tones this system will be able to decode what type of alert is being issued, and the geographic locations it affects. If you interested in more info about SAME head over to the Wikipedia article on the topic.