Video: The first real Thunderstorm


After running some tests, today for the first time there was an actual thunderstorm in the paludarium!



How the paludarium figures there should be a thunderstorm

I could have made the weather inside the paludarium choosen by random, but that wouldn’t have been any fun. Instead, the paludarium fetches live data from the La Selva Biological station in Costa Rica.

Using a 1,5 day delay this meteorological data is “replayed” inside the paludarium. Why 1,5 day? Well, one day to

cope with any downtime of the LA Selva database, and half a day to make sure that the sunrise and sunset are at times convenient for my timezone 🙂

So how is determined if a thunderstorm should occur? Simple: As soon as the Canopy (which is the smart lighting hood on the paludarium) detect there was over 5mm of rainfall within half an hour, it deducts that should have been a thunderstorm. This initiated the thunder.py script.


thunder.py: Python script that simulates a thunderstorm

The thunder.py script was made especially to simulate a thunderstorm. It controls timing, lighting, sounds and rainfall. The script will actually make the thunderstorm get close, drop rain and leave again like this:

1) Ten flashes that get brighter every time, sound played with less and less delay through the right speaker;
2) Ten flashes that are at maximum brightness, sound played with zero delay through both speakers;
3) Ten flashes that get less bright every time, sound played with more and more delay through the left speaker.

On top of that there are also bird sounds that stop as the thunder gets to the maximum, and frogs singing in the background.


What the end result looks like

This is a youtube video what the end result looks like:

Cool right?!?!

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