Archive for category Work

Weather Underground

I had a bit of a win today at work that I’m quite excited about. We sell the (very impressive) Davis weather stations and I’ve configured a few for uploading to the internet. So far it’s been to owner’s websites. For example, the ‘Weather’ page on the Les Cooke Instrument Co website¬†shows all sorts of data from our demo Vantage Pro Plus weather station.

Today I got ours uploading data to Weather Underground. Stupid name I know – what’s the weather like underground? Perhaps cool, damp and dirty with a strong chance of nothing changing? Anyway, now Les Cook Instrument Co shows up among the personal stations listed for Perth. Want to know what the weather is doing in Rivervale? Then check out station IWARIVER3 at

You can even get a Vista Sidebar Gadget for Weather Underground. It will even show data from the personal stations (not just the major ones like ‘Perth’).

I think I’m half magpie.

What is it that makes me want nice shiny things? A big part of my new job is selling pressure gauges. I have absolutely no need for a pressure gauge myself, but I want one. I really want one. They’re weighty and made from stainless steel. You can see and feel the quality. Did I mention they’re shiny. Hmmm shiny.

Maybe I could use it to measure Kristy’s blood pressure when she sees me come home with another expensive thing that we really don’t need……

Light Tent

For a while now Kristy and I have enjoyed dabbling with photography. The sheer number of photos taken and the law of averages means we’ve managed a few impressive shots. Some of the best however have been the macro shots. Closeup photography outdoors is not too difficult where there’s plenty of light, but indoors has always been tricky.

A little bit of research revealed that a light tent will solve the problem and allow you to take shots like the pros use to advertise products. I found this site (among others) which shows you how to build your own for a fraction of the cost of a professional light tent.

While I didn’t pay much attention to the dimensions, I did use a similar method. I cut the pvc to suit the dimensions of the card I bought from Spotlight. Rather than draping cloth over the top (seemed a bit messy to me) I sewed up a cover for the tent that fitted the frame fairly closely. To keep it all taught I put a button hole at the bottom of each corner that is pulled over a small screw in each pvc leg. (I did have to call mum for a reminder on using the button hole setting). The top rear rail has screws positioned to use holes from a standard ’2 hole punch’.

So far I’ve used a ‘UFO’ led light for my light source (purchased from eBay). Incidentally this light also works well as a macro light ring for when the tent is not available. I just held this light by hand either outside the tent using the fabric as a diffuser or inside the tent using the fabric as a reflector. I have white, gold and silver card at this stage. Different colours seem to suit different subjects better, it’s fun playing with the different cards and lighting angles. Next I’ll use a couple of desk lamps to make life easier and hopefully produce better results.

Some of the photos have been pretty ordinary, while others I’m pretty chuffed with (law of averages again). I plan to make another one of these to take to work where it’ll make it that much easier to take professional looking photos of some of our products.

My second attempt

Well, this is my second attempt at a blog. The first one was at and was on my previous web host. I was having trouble installing software with my previous hosting account, the control panel was limited and file permisions were a major pain in the a%*e. Read the rest of this entry »