Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yet Another Weather Station

During my escapades as a Research Assistant, while I was working towards my Master's degree, I had the privilege of purchasing and setting up a weather station at UNT. The Campbell Scientific Weather Station did everything I wanted it to do, and it was well constructed, but it was also well out of my own personal budget. Thus my goal of this weather station was to keep the components within my budget while achieving good, solid construction and reliable software.

In addition to this, I found that if am to build a custom smart home system, I need to construct a weather station from scratch so that it will be compatible with the rest of my system.

One of my aims for this project is that it should be self powered and self sustaining as much as possible. The weather board listed here has a JST connector for power via a Li-Ion battery, and can also be powered via USB. I decided to go with a Li-Ion for the main power. To keep the battery charged, I will be going solar. The build is comprised of Sparkfun, Adafruit and Amazon components.

Since this weather station can be easily reproduced and since it is comprised of open source hardware, I'll fill you in on the tid-bits.

From Sparkfun Electronics:

From Adafruit Industries:
Since the weather station from Sparkfun doesnt come with a temperature/humidity external sensor, I may have to construct my own, using two sensors:
While the weather board makes the I2C headers from the micro-controller accessible via the expansion header, the Sensiron I2C sensor is out of my current budget, and therefore I will construct my own device out of sensors I already have. 

Finally there were a few things left to get from Amazon, since obviously thats the cheaper route to take for someone with a tight budget. I needed a mounting kit for the weather station so that I could place it somewhere high up, like on a roof, and an extension pigtail cable for the RPSMA connector:
With these items bought, I just have to assemble everything together, upload my own customized code to the weather station board, and set it up for operation outside. I have decided to use a 16x2 LCD screen for local debugging to make sure the sensors are working, and I have a Processing program running to log data on the computer.

No comments:

Post a Comment