viewing Ranch cams and weather and air quality

Hello neighbors.  You can see two Ranch cams in high quality (through VLC) and in poorer quality (through an ordinary web browser). You can see the weather on the Ranch. And you can see the air quality on the Ranch.

Ranch cams. To see the Ranch cams through an ordinary web browser, click on either of these URLs:

The resolution through these “https” links is 704 pixels by 480 pixels.  You may find it helpful to create a browser bookmark for each of these URLs.

To see the Ranch cams in much better video quality, you need to use a particular kind of software called an RTSP player to play a special URL called (oddly enough) an RTSP URL.  Most computers and tablets and smart phones lack an RTSP player.  So to see the Ranch cams in much better video quality, you will probably need to download and install an RTSP media player onto your computer or tablet or smart phone.  The most popular RTSP media player is VLC ( ) which is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player available for Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Launch VLC (or whatever RTSP player you selected).  In VLC, click on “Media” and “Open network stream”.   Enter one of these URLs into the network URL field:

Click “play” in VLC.

The URLs given above are designed to provide a user ID and password automatically.  Your RTSP player might ask for a user ID and password.  If so, enter a user ID of “guest” and a password of “guestguest3!”.  You might find it necessary to use a simpler URL such as:

On a second or subsequent visit, you can see if VLC has remembered the network URL.  In VLC, click on “Media” and “Open recent media”.  If you are lucky, VLC will have remembered the network URL.  Select the “5531” URL or the “5533” URL.

As a bonus, the cameras each have a microphone.  You get to hear the audio from the microphone.  VLC has a way to put the display into “full screen” mode which can look very nice on your device.  Many readers will be eager to know the resolution and streaming rate.  It is 2592 by 1952 pixels, or approximately 5 megapixels, at 30 frames per second.  It will be appreciated that this is much better resolution than the “https” streams discussed above (704 pixels by 480 pixels.)

Weather on the Ranch.  To see the weather on the Ranch, visit either of these URLs:

You may find it helpful to create a browser bookmark for each of these URLs.

This sensing platform measures wind speed (anemometer), wind direction (weather vane), air pressure (barometer), precipitation rate (rain gauge), temperature (thermometer), humidity, solar radiation (visible light) and ultraviolet radiation.   It also provides derived values such as dew point, wind gust, wind chill, air pressure trend and accumulated precipitation.

You can view present conditions, but you can also generate historical reports by day or week or month or year.

UV index?  The UV index is a linear scale of photon flux for short-wave ultraviolet wavelengths that cause sunburn (Wikipedia article).   An index of 10 corresponds to midday summer sunlight in the tropics with a clear sky.  Since we are at 9000 feet elevation, there is less atmosphere above us to absorb or reflect UV, so the measured UV index number might sometimes be higher than 10.

Air quality on the Ranch. To see the real-time air quality on the Ranch, visit this URL:

Click on the circle with a number inside to get details including historical air quality information.  You may find it helpful to make a browser bookmark to this URL.

This uses a Purple Air monitor.  It has two sensors called A and B.  The reason for the two sensors is so that you can see if they agree with each other.  (If they disagree, then this suggests that at least one sensor is inaccurate.)

This monitor measures PM2.5, which means particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller in size.  It renders its findings in an index.  On this index, smaller values are better.  Ideally the index value would be zero.