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View of the overall display Closer view of display panel Using FocalPoint in larger display Using FocalPoint in larger display Smaller display on granite and rocks


The High Moorland Visitor Centre, in Princetown is a vital source of information for visitors to Dartmoor and to Princetown. It is run by the Dartmoor National Park Authority and is the hub of their National Park Network.

Princetown is in the centre of Dartmoor and at 1400 feet above sea level, Princetown is the highest town on Dartmoor. Dartmoor's granite moors rise above the surrounding countryside. This makes the climate and day to day weather in Princetown different from the rest of Devon. The contrast between Princetown and Exeter, for example, well to the East, and at sea-level, is significant. This is because the south-westerly air flow is forced up over the hills, it cools and creates the more cloudy conditions which in turn give rise to higher levels of rainfall.

Xor Systems's Puppeteer collects information about the weather in Princetown and displays it on an exciting interactive display.

The display shown above is part of the display housed within the High Moorland Visitor Centre. It contrasts the temperature and the rainfall between Princetown and Exeter. On the left of the display are six small LCD readouts. These provide live data for visitors, from a weather station which is mounted on the roof of the Centre.

Xor Systems were asked to provide the electronics and control system. The values are read from the external weather station over a wireless link to a small receiver indoors. The Puppeteer unit then interrogates the receiver and collates the data. Some of the information has to be converted to metric units and then the information is displayed on the six individual LCD units. These are attractive 4 digit LCDs with a clear display. They show

It would be possible to do more with the data, such as offering a choice of units (for example, inches or centimetres of rain); store the data and provide it from a web site; record daily and weekly averages. These are being considered for future developments.


We also provided displays to the Centre, based on our FocalPoint design. These are integrated into larger display panels, providing a mix of text, images and the electronic interface provided by the touchscreen. One major design feature was to make the display surround from Corian, in a material that looked remarkably like stone. One unit was mounted on a large slab of granite, the last piece of granite removed from the local quarry before it closed. The overall impression from a visit to Dartmoor is the solidness of the moor, with large scattering of stone. So we felt that it was fitting to blend the display into a stone-like surround.

Xor Systems Ltd 01285 582998
High Moorland Visitor Centre, Princetown 01822 890414, or visit their web site at http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk