Hacklet 48 – Weather Sensing Projects

Throughout history, mankind has been at the mercy of the weather. Planning a major outdoor event like a wedding or a naval battle? Better hope for clear skies! Man doesn’t have the ability to change mother nature at will quite yet, but hackers are working on it! Until then, we can measure  the current conditions and predict the weather in the near future. A bit of help from cloud based computer models and global sensing even allows us to model and predict weather patterns days in advance. It’s no surprise that makers, engineers, and hackers love weather projects. We’ve found there are two basic project groups (with a some overlap between them): Sensing projects and display projects. This week’s hacklet focuses on some of the best weather sensing projects on Hackaday.io!

aneWe start with [diysciborg] and Modular Weather Station. This 2014 Hackaday Prize entrant is a DIY outdoor weather station. [diysciborg] went with easily available PVC pipe and sheet metal for most of his mechanical build. His anemometer alone is a work of art. Mounting 8 magnetic reed switches in slots cut in a PCB allows for a thin device which can easily sense the speed of the wind. Other sensors include a TLS230R light to frequency converter for sunlight measurement, CO, wind direction, and more. An Arduino Pro Mini is at the center of it all.

facil[Clovis Fritzen] is saving the planet from global warming with his project FacilTempo. FacilTempo is a weather station, and an entry in the 2015 Hackaday Prize. The idea is to make a simple and low-cost setup which can be built in bulk and placed anywhere on the Earth. [Clovis] plans to measure temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, sunlight, and rain. He also hopes to add a Sparkfun sensor to monitor wind speed and direction. All the data will be transmitted via a radio link. [Clovis] is adding the ability for FacilTemp to communicate via 433 MHz, WiFi, or Bluetooth. The entire sensor suite and its on-board ATmega328 will be powered by a LiPo battery. The battery will be charged by solar or wind power, depending upon what is available on site. With 8 project logs already in the can, FacilTempo is well on its way to beating back global warming!

lcw[Ulf Winberg] is building the Low Cost Weather Station, his entry in the 2015 Hackaday Prize. Low Cost Weather Station aims to be a $50 sensor suite for local weather conditions. [Ulf] plans to power the entire device using wind and solar energy. He’s hoping to avoid batteries by storing his power in a supercapacitor. Power calculations have been taking up quite a bit of his design time so far. The $50 bill of materials limit is one that [Ulf] is serious about. He’s keeping careful eye on his component selections to keep that goal attainable. The system will transmit wind speed, wind direction, sun, and other data through a Laird BL600 Bluetooth low energy transceiver.

zetaFinally we have [Greg Miller] taking it back to basics with Weather Station Zeta. Zeta is [Greg’s] first big project. He’s only just recently learned to solder, but he’s already squeezing a lot of performance out of a little Arduino. The idea is to create a two station system. The outdoor station will monitor the weather, including temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Data will be transmitted to an indoor station with a similar set of sensors. The indoor station will also include a 20 line x 4 column character LCD to display the data.  [Greg] has the indoor section of the system just about done, and he’s working on learning the ins and outs of XBee data radios. He’s also going to include an Adafriut CC3000 breakout board to Web enable the weather station. We love seeing ambitious early projects like this one!

If you want to see more projects like these, check the Weather Sensing Projects list on Hackaday.io. 

That’s it for this week’s Hacklet, As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of Hackaday.io!

21 thoughts on “Hacklet 48 – Weather Sensing Projects

      1. Objection: Current warming is anthromorphic.

        Answer: While it is undoubtedly true that there are anthropomorphic influences and variations in global climate, those who insist that current warming is purely anthropomorphic — or even mostly anthropomorphic — have two challenges.

        First, they need to identify the mechanism behind this alleged anthropomorphic influence. Absent a forcing of some sort, there will be no change in global energy balance. The balance is changing, so anthropomorphic or otherwise, we need to find this mysterious cause.

        Niobe your idiot argument can easily be turned around the other direction. Of all causes for warming CO2 is about 54 on the list and makes up about .01% of the observed natural climate change. Please educate yourself on solar cycles. Stop blaming the sparrow for the breeze.

          1. Still haven’t said anything, or proven anything, yes the earth is warming and yes those sun cycles still look to be the cause from those graphs in the links provided. It’s either that or dark matter in the accretion disk that the earth passes through every 40-50 million years.

            No telling where it will go either, warming is better than cooling so I would expect we are headed in the right direction go sell your fear somewhere else.

        1. Unless you’re talking about the human tendency to name storms and talk about ‘mother nature’ you mean anthropogenic not anthropomorphic.
          You want to blame dark matter, which barely interacts with regular matter except through gravity. A cyclical phenomena which happens every 30-50 Ma. Yet we see no such cycles in the climate record. The data is all out there publicly available, go find it. There’s a peer reviewed article in it for you.
          Solar cycles? Every 15 years, cycles that have been known for 300 years. Again people who regularly look at all the data are aware of them too. It’s accounted for in the models, there are 465k papers with “climate change” and “solar cycles” in their key words.

        2. I agree. One wonders what man made activity made the icecap over europe disappear some 50.000 years ago.
          About a 1000 years ago, Greenland was warmer than it is now

          1. Arduino, are you trolling? If you don’t seen the gaping hole in your logic, you should maybe stop and reassess your confidence in these matters. There isn’t a single person, anywhere, ever, who claims that the climate is solely controlled by human activity. That is the only way where your statement would be a good counter.

            The very scientists you think are lying about AGW are the same scientists who generated the historical climate data you are citing. They are aware of it. That you think it is a “gotcha” that proves them wrong means you must think they are either unaware of the data they collected, or they are very very stupid and are ignoring it.

            The fact is the climate is modeled as hundreds of PDEs along with some forcing functions. That is, there are many reasons why the climate could change. Climate science says the huge influx of CO2 in the past century is a new driver, which then gets amplified by various positive feedback mechanisms (change of albedo from ice loss, increased release of methane from thawing permafrost, increased release of methane from frozen deposits, etc).

            Your claim is like someone denying that a car crash killed its occupants. “We know people died 1000 years ago. But no cars existed then. Therefore the people in this car crash didn’t die because of the car crash.”

    1. Ah, great. People have been arguing about climate change for years. Let’s ignore the scientists who spend decades studying it and settle it right here in the hack a day comment boards because, of course, hackers are ‘leet.

        1. Johnny, of course experts can be wrong. But to pretend that J. Random Dumbass’s opinion (say, yours) carries equal weight is laughable. “Appeal to authority” doesn’t mean that authorities must be wrong, or are even frequently wrong, just they can be wrong. Care to make fool of yourself again?

        2. Fallacy fallacy. Just because there is a logical fallacy doesn’t mean the conclusion is wrong.
          Furthermore, don’t trust the scientists! That’s the whole point of the scientific method. Look at the evidence not the person. All the evidence is freely available go look at it.

  1. I’ve been wondering for some time, wouldn’t it be possible to measure wind speed & direction with a pole that has (say) a large ball on its top to provide wind resistance and X/Y force measurement at the bottom of the pole? Or would it be too expensive to be viable? Too much effort to make in precise?

    1. I would think you could just put a 2 axis accelerometer in the ball itself. If the ball has a radius large enough (compared to the diameter of the pole), then the oscillation frequency should correspond to the wind speed. It would be a omnidirectional wind speed indicator.

    2. What you’re proposing is a version of a deflection anemometer. They have their uses (specifically, in situations where traditional vanes/cups break under high velocities).

    3. I once came across a large quantity of matched infrared LEDs and photodiodes, and pondered using them to build an anemometer. You could have the vanes spin a plate with holes in it and configure a pair of diodes as a rotary encoder. Might be fewer/cheaper parts than all those reed switches. (As it turns out there are already a number of builds out there already: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=19317.0)

  2. He’s not gonna get any CO in his readings unless this thing is in a parking garage or next to a major freeway. The sensor goes 20-2000ppm and the national average has been <5ppm for the past decade.

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