This DIY 'Bicycle Barometer' Lets You Know If You Should Bike to Work or Catch the Bus
If you don't have a car, or just prefer to take public transit to work, you know that an unexpected change in the weather can quickly...er, dampen your day. If you're not expecting it, rain or snow can turn your trip into a long, hellish ordeal—especially if you bike.
Richard Pope wanted a more effective way to decide which way to make his commute each day, so he came up with the Bicycle Barometer, a small device that analyzes current weather and public transit status to determine which one is less likely to mess up his morning.
The device itself is built using a Nanode open-source microcontroller board and the housing from an old clock hooked up to a small servo to control the dial. An Ethernet cable connects it to the web app that Richard designed to compile data on the weather and the current status of London's tube.
Different criteria affect the dial differently. If there's inclement weather the dial will move towards the tube, but if it's delayed, it will move back some. Heavy rain or snow are more important than a light drizzle, but if the tube is shut down, that outweighs everything else.
Right now, the code for the barometer only works with London's weather and transit system, but Richard hopes that others will adapt it for different cities around the world. You can find more details on the project over on his blog, and all the code and build instructions on GitHub.
Don't ride a bike, but still want to know when to take your umbrella? This DIY umbrella stand changes color to let you know what it's like outside.