Weather Printer


The weather printer collects local weather data, and prints it on thermal receipt printer. It will print the weather at 8 in the morning, so you know what the weather will be for the next 24 hours (unless you loose the printout, and/or have a bad memory)

How it works

An electric imp polls an ec2 instance to get the latest weather, this is returned as a bitmapped image which is then sent to the serial input on the thermal printer.

The ec2 instance internally loads an x server, fires up firefox, loads a weather page that I created and turns that into an image. I then use imagemagick to convert that to a 2 bit black and white image, and return it in bmp format.

The weather page connects to the open weather map api, and returns a 5 day forecast for cambridge, MA. I look through the first 8 results (3 hours per result) resulting in 24hours of forecasting.

I used bootstrap for the formatting, and a weather icon font for the weather symbols.


The printer outputs when power is applied, but does not yet work on a regular schedule. I have attached a button to one of the electric imp pins, so will probably use that to trigger prints.



For the weather images I used the Climacons weather font - Climacons To grab the page as an image I used wkhtmltopdf - wkhtmltopdf


I used aws to spin up an ec2 instance, using Ubuntu 12.04

To Install wkhtmltopdf

cd /tmp
tar xvjf ./wkhtmltoimage-0.10.0_rc2-static-amd64.tar.bz2
chown www-data:www-data ./wkhtmltoimage-amd64
chmod +x ./wkhtmltoimage-amd64
mv wkhtmltoimage-amd64 /usr/bin/wkhtmltoimage-amd64
cd ~

Install lamp, imagemagick, x11, fonts

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php5-mysql php5-gd imagemagick xvfb a2ps libx11-dev

Generate Image

Code to this can be found on the weather-printer github page - Weather printer

Sending to the printer

The electric imp grabs the generated image, and sends it to the printer. This was modified from electric imp example code.

To do

Last edited by Richard at 11:18pm on 10th of June 2014