Surf Window | Realtime Sea/Surf Conditions Display Automaton
Surf Window | Realtime Sea/Surf Conditions Display Automaton
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Surf Window | Realtime Sea/Surf Conditions Display Automaton

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**This project is currently a prototype and a final version is not yet ready for sale. If you would like to be kept up to date with progress, as well as news of when I will be launching this (aiming for July 2020!) then please sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of this page)**

I would often miss the best of the surf because I would get distracted with silly things like work and would forget what the conditions were at my local break.

I knew that if I had a view of the surf from my house I would get in the water way more often, but given that I couldn’t afford a beach front property, I decided to try and build my own sea view instead. The result of this project is called the Surf Window. 

 The Surf Window is an internet connected 3D picture made from a variety of laser cut FSC woods, LED's, motors and a micro controller. It moves and lights up to display realtime surf conditions for your local spot, or any break in the world.

Every piece of the picture moves or lights up to represent different aspects of the conditions.

Once you get the hang of how to read it, a quick glance is all that's required to know exactly what is happening right now. It's your own virtual sea view! All the LEDs are hidden behind a thin wooden veneer. This give the whole item a really nice aesthetic when it's turned off, and also gives the LEDs a lovely diffuse glow when they are switched on.

The surf window is run on a microprocessor board called an Arduino mega R3, which has an inbuilt wifi module. This connects to your local wifi network and checks in with magciseaweed every 15 minutes to ensure the latest conditions are being displayed. The updated information is then decoded, and translated into a series of instructions which are sent to the various components to display the information in an easily understandable format.

How the data is displayed:
  •  Wave height - The waves move up and down, and the crest points to a scale etched on background. Options available for both metres and feet. 

  •  Wind speed -Displayed in the lighthouse by the number of pixels which scroll past. Each pixel = 5mph increment so 4 pixels = 20mph). Options for mph or kph. 

  •  Wind direction - Displayed by the direction the seagull is pointing. 

  •  Tide - The beach moves up and down. Just like a real beach when you can see lots of sand the tide is out.

  •  Swell period - represented in the lights on the boat. The scale starts at 10 seconds, each additional light is another 2 second increment. For example 4 lights = 8 seconds,  plus 10 seconds = 18 second swell period.

  •  Weather conditions - Displayed by the sun (yellow = sunny, flashing blue = rain). 

  •  Magic Seaweed star rating - number of starfish which light up is the rating.

  •  To show condition for a different beach just high five the octopus. Currently a maximum of two beaches can be added to the window.  

Here's a few shots of early prototypes: