Author Topic: Maybe Covid-19 can have a good side  (Read 622 times)

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Offline Yfory

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Maybe Covid-19 can have a good side
« on: July 06, 2020, 04:08:09 AM »
A good time for new thinking - my name is Steve and I have an idea for consideration.


I have had some serious issues with the disarray in weather presentation, by instrumentation companies and their data display, in our time. With the best technology ever developed in the history of the human - we are confused, lost, using old equipment, old displays, old data collection systems and a lot more of "less" as you might think - we are ignorant of the vast and detailed weather (information) around us.

We are not the CIA, not NOAH, we are not even the local TV station and yet we have massive data and methods to present and see almost total data for our weather.

NOW - Stop for a moment, and think about the vast numbers of weather experts in this forum.

Think about the idle time lost each day, by each of us, from covid-19, and/or "retirement time", and under-usage of working weather people with special talent, the massive loss of young people's brain power with hopes and ideas in their heads about this excessively graphic world but they are timid - with very possibly, brilliant ideas for, and contributions to be made some place someday - why not this forum?

We are here
...we are young, old, male, female, just starting our lives, just closing our lives, most in the middle of our lives - but all needing and desperately wanting to contribute to, and understand, weather technology and from the technology we need to know the weather.

We are sitting around, criticizing this and that and doing nothing with our time but hope for a better world...



So...lets consider a a group effort to define what we need and can not get from present weather systems - systems as simple as a thermometer on a window up to 2,3,4 and more weather stations - as I have.


My personal drive is to see, (literally), weather displays deserving of our time - LETS GET REAL - the year 2020 and moving to 2021fast then we would like and then beyond. 2000x1000 pixel monitors are less than $100.

For me - I need to see calibrated sensors readouts measuring air contamination inside and outside the house or work place or auto, I would like to see virtual reality with a head set that will show me a tornado moving at me in Nebraska. Forecasters need this kind of interactive display and they need to use virtual displays everyday.

These are just a few thoughts. I have included a quick and crude screen grab of my own coded weather graphic. It is just a quick sketch - lots of coding errors.  It is for this group's consideration as a seed.

Example: Think about a graphic showing the difference between inside and outside air temps of a house but showing the difference in maybe red and blue for hot and cold difference - and solid fill not just lines. Northern climate people really need this display - just to check their home's insulation effectiveness.

Think about a graphic showing air contamination - and the ammonia I smelled after painting a shelf - when is it time to get out - what about a pregnant woman - what is a danger point for her and her child to be? My graphic for air quality spiked into a danger zone(red on the graph) - should I have left the room?

I have a serious "auto-inflammation" condition diagnosed by UCSF and Stanford and if I contract covid19, I will is that simple - I will die. I strongly believe my mother's DNA was damaged by some air contamination, probably during pregnancy, and my suffering all of my life is from damaged DNA - a known fact of my affliction.


Think about the brain power in this forum.

Brains, most of which, want to help. We want to improve our world and our ability to see and understand weather - and to share.

Think about the brilliant people here, in this forum - imagine what each could do, trying to help design and implement new systems. This would be possible in each brain - each person - each family - with a full high tech view of the world - at a glance of a well designed system displayed in great, modern, graphics on a screen - or multiple screens. Even multiple screens or head gear, that could present the viewer with a 360 view of the weather and the sky - a virtual observer seeing a tornado coming. NOT an orange smudge - a tornado forming and moving at you and your family!


So lets consider - just a bit - LETS IMAGINE, developing a difficult, coding intense, accurate display and instrument system of our time - 2020. Even the year is telling us to get a good look at ourselves. A good look at the world around us - we need, and can see our weather world with modern technology. And not just our world but any world we select - from the arctic to the desserts - all available with a selection of a place and its request of its easily accessible data. This ideas has never been done by a collection of specialist, as are in this forum, and simply outline and the complete a prototype for consideration to VCs - I live just north of "silicone valley and worked my whole career in the valley.

Who is this for?

To be piggishly blunt, we each admit - weather is for me to know. It means I need to know what my world is doing and what it will do for the next two weeks, or 2 months, or for an entire year based on 100 years of records with good AI extrapolations.

Lets consider the need to see the changes we all talk about - fracking as example. What is fracking doing to help us or hurt us.

OK - how can we make this happen?

We find veteran project managers and supply them with our needs.  A single project manager to oversee the entire project.

All of this labor would need to be voluntary - free - it is called doing the work for the joy of the creation of a new concept. It is the only way a democratic process can work. I have been a project manager for Siemens, and Varian. My time was deeply involved in the extreme complexity of medical treatment systems such as linear accelerators used in cancer therapy. I am not suited to this project, other then to offer hope and some parts of an idea.

We ask that the 50 or 100 specific details be simply and quickly displayed on a screen. Already we are in trouble - how? - voice command might call up a screen that works - a screen of 100 or even 500 possible configurations that supplies instantly by self writing HTML code, screen selection by voice command, and the critical data to a viewer in need for display of their live weather.

So...who can develop this stuff? Well - who else - you and I am others smarter than both of us? Davis is bogged down in a 50 year old, simple minded, $2 screen of 1980s technology. But I know them, I love Davis instruments, they simply do not have the massive software, depth of staff, needed to create and present such ethereal ideas in a knock-out form on a flat screen.

We - IN THIS FORUM - have some of the smartest people in the room - so to speak. An example - one of many - We have Dekay - a brilliant and driven "specialist" in his or her own way. Someone like Dekay would not contribute coding time but he or she might have a few suggestions. What about a 14 year old gamer someplace in Oregon, interested in weather. This person might have time available to code some of the graphics needed. We have Adafruit as a resource (  ) and possible helper - they are very good people. "LadyAda" (owner and managing director of Adafruit) is an MIT graduate with a master's degree in computer engineering - she is a socially conscious, and quite generous person - dedicated to this kind of proposal. we also have "Sparkfun" as a resource.

We have galfert - here in this forum - with a massive of knowledge of weather instrumentation and what works and what does not work and galfert has the dedication and courage to express his thoughts.

The point is we have the people needed to solve all of the issues I have raised. People to solve the problems of a project are 90% of the needs of a successful project as I am describing in this weather display and data to be displayed project.

I am - in no way - suggesting me in any role in this process. But I would help, code if i could, and contribute money if a safe, reliable foundation were to be setup.


I also know all of this is sadly unlikely - but somehow, bits and pieces of this will appear here and there and the entire cloud of ideas will coalesce into a critical mass and we will have a whole new world of weather presentation.

This project needs deep pockets, and without money to buy equipment and pay travel costs, this project will fail before I even make this presentation to this group. But maybe - just maybe, a glowing spark(fun) in the mind a of a great thinker in this forum, will burst into flame and the project will start. It could become a non-profit (.org) structure and it could, at the very least supply, the next generation of weather systems to break out of a 75 year old shell of the 80s and 90s and enter a new, bright, modern world with such data driven graphics, as to make us all smile and be glad of the good-old new days.

Steve (wtronics)


Online galfert

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Re: Maybe Covid-19 can have a good side
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2020, 08:57:53 AM »
Thank you for the accolades.

I agree that it would be nice to see some better way to see our weather data. It is because I am not impressed with many of the available online options that I upload to as many as I can. Each online service has their particular aspect that gives value to what they offer. Then there is the 3rd party software (and mobile apps) which also provide even more options, and again here I run several of these. Then there are the website templates that really do stand out with the highest level of design and limitless opportunities. Take all of them into consideration and there is something for everyone. Or if you are like me, then you need them all as they each provide something different.

It seems to me like you want to build yet one more opportunity to those existing ones I mentioned. But what is the base? Is it a PC software application? A web template? Or a mobile app that would work on a dedicated cheap Android tablet? You mentioned voice command. To me this means one Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant app skill for a display version of these devices. That isn't cheap. I think it will get to a point where someday these will be cheap and ubiquitous like microwave ovens. But this is a big limiting factor today. I feel that because of this, voice control is a limiting factor in realizing this new display. I would therefore recommend looking back at the other platforms; software, mobile app, or web template. In the end therefore it would just be your vision of how you want to see your data. I don't want to be cynical, but do you think you (or a group of us) can design/build something that can satisfy everyone? Or would it just not end up being yet one more option to what is already available? I'm not saying it isn't worth doing.

I'd also like to draw some attention to Da9L's project as an example of new people constantly doing just this and coming up with new ways to see the data.

I think you have a great mock up there. I don't know if it is enough to put up on Github, but it seems to me like you'd be a good project manager and you could recruit some help.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 02:41:00 PM by galfert »
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Offline Yfory

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Re: Maybe Covid-19 can have a good side
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2020, 07:32:33 PM »

I just finished a great, long thank you and agreement on the site you listed. But in a single unknown accident, I hit a key by mistake and lost my entire message.

I will get back and try again.


My point to be made is I would like to see a DIY website (as an example of a solution) with all that is needed to assemble a great set of sensors dedicated to the specific needs of the observer. The code is critical. The code would integrate this collection of sensors and present details, such as graphs, as needed by the creator of the system.

Wireless would be complex and internet/phone access would need to be coded by talented specialists in that area of communication if it happens at all. I like the Xbee concepts - they talk in miles for a range not 300 feet, line of sight.

All of this would be fitted on a modest 1000 x 2000 pixel screen with a simple processor. Old, used, government PCs are available for a few hundred dollars for someone who would need a dedicated PC or apple processor.

All of this information would be free - no attempt to profit ever - just a open source of information to allow the weather instrument builder to buy the sensors, where the builder chooses, and then assemble blocks of code to fit the builder's system and need to see variables of the builders choice.

My screen example is a simple demo of what might work for someone. Even now my code and new instruments are well beyond my example screen.


System language(s), sensor count, and a possible need for a multiplexer would all need to be determined by the builder.

I am not volunteering for this project, I am simply "blue sky thinking" on the subject of the needs of the modern earth science observer who can not afford a pre-built, $1200 weather station. This is especially true with the use of air quality readouts inside and outside a home.

More later - but thank you for your thoughtful comments and excellent reference to Da9L's excellent screen ideas. I am hoping to present, in some way, a very wide choice of measurements even including seismic systems which I have built.