Many of us think of home weather stations in terms of the big three outside sensors - temperature/humidity, rainfall and wind - supported by air pressure from a barometer in the receiver console.
Some more dedicated owners have included UV recorders and leafwetness recorders, sometimes out of interest, otherwise out ofnecessity.
And a very few wireless weather station enthusiasts have incorporated a video camera in their system, a useful addition for online stations (and for recording snowfall depths).
But very often the quality of the video or still samples is not too good. Sometimes this is because the available view is restricted, sometimes it is because the camera is set up inside to view through a window, but most often it is probably because of the low resolution of affordable digital cameras.
These are the facts of life of a small budget operation, and mostof us learn to live with the deficiencies and make the most of thestrengths of our home weather stations.
But what if your budget was unlimited?
You might then be considering the recently released RoundshotWeathercam from Seitz Phototechnik AG of Switzerland.
This is really state of the art stuff from a leading andinnovative specialist in panoramic cameras. For a startthe resolution is 25 megapixels (about 20 times that of a very good video webcam), with a brilliant color spectrum. It comes with zoom so detail is no problem.
Next it is fully weatherproof and suitable for outside
Thirdly it can transmit in real time, and can easily be combined
with a conventional weather station (at extra cost). The images
can be fully integrated with the physical data.
The key part of this impressive box of tricks is a panoramic
camera which can be set to scan over any angle up to 360°. It
consists of a stationary recorder around which rotates a cover
with a narrow slit, through which successive parts of the
view are exposed onto the digital recorder.
The results are a sequence high quality panoramic views
in full colour, refreshed with each pass of the slotted cover.
The results are impressive, and so is the price - don't
expect too much change out of US$10,000.
Still the camera is not aimed at the average home weather
station owner, and although weather observations at ski
resorts and other tourist destinations are major uses, it
has a much wider application than just weather.
These include airport safety and security, corporate
advertising and promotion, and metropolitan and
But for home? Well, nice work if you can get it!
For more information, visit the
Roundshot information page.
So there's a glimpse of the future at the top end of the market. To return to reality, perhaps you might care to visit the Home Weather Stations page, or even wander back to the Home page.