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Data logging weather station


Weather station

I had a need for a weather station that could log data for an extended period unattended... and I didn't want to fork out thousands for a professional or semi-professional set up  (it's possible to pay $10,000 for one).  Since I enjoy electronics design, and am reasonably handy in the shed, I built my own, including my own rain sensor -- although the unit will interface with some commercially available tipping bucket rain sensors.

The details were published in Silicon Chip magazine in Australia (September and October 2007 issues).  The project has great logging capability.  It will take half hourly readings of temperature and rainfall for a year before the data needs to be collected.  It can also be programmed for other logging frequencies down to one minute (although this requires reprogramming the controller with some specialised equipment).  Better still, it runs on three AA batteries, which will last for years before they need replacing.

Data is downloaded directly via an on-board serial port to a computer or laptop.  The data is sent in a form that can easily be used in spreadsheets.

Depending on demand, I may be able to make these up for people.  Please email me if you want a quote.

I can also provide some parts that will help for construction, for example, please contact me if you'd like:
  •  rare earth magnets for the rain sensor - I can provide them for much lower postage costs than those of the suppliers listed in the article
  • high quality stainless steel M4 machine screws and nuts for assembly of the rain sensor
  • programmed PIC microcontroller - you'll need to let me know what logging frequency you want
If you need the printed circuit boards, they are available from RCS in Sydney (I am told they can also supply programmed PICs).

For those who have read the article...

Here are the links mentioned in part 2 (October 2007)
  • Freeware data logging software from Eltima
  • Commercial rain sensor from Australian distributor (I have checked out the specs for this -- it should work but I haven't tested it)
  • Two suppliers for the rare earth magnets used in the rain sensor:  Oatley Electronics (look under "General items") and Frenergy magnets (if this link doesn't work, they also sell on eBay in Australia) -- but both have fairly high minimum postage.