Supersized Weather Station Uses Antique Analog Meters

For most of us, getting weather information is as trivial as unlocking a smartphone or turning on a computer and pointing an app or browser at one’s weather site of choice. This is all well and good, but it lacks a certain panache that old weather stations had with their analog dials and stained wood cases. The weather station that [BuildComics] created marries both this antique aesthetic with modern weather data availability, and then dials it up a notch for this enormous analog weather station build.

The weather station uses 16 discrete dials, each modified with a different label for the specific type of data displayed. Some of them needed new glass, and others also needed coils to be modified to be driven with a lower current than they were designed as well, since each would be driven by one of two Arduinos in this project. Each are tied to a microcontroller output via a potentiometer which controls the needle’s position for the wildly different designs of meter. The microcontrollers themselves get weather information from a combination of real-world sensors outside the home of [BuildComics] and from the internet, which allows for about as up-to-date information about the weather as one could gather first-hand.

The amount of customization of these old meters is impressive, and what’s even more impressive is the project’s final weight. [BuildComics] reports that it took two people just to lift it onto the wall mount, which is not surprising given the amount of iron in some of these old analog meters. And, although not as common in the real world anymore, these old antique meters have plenty of repurposed uses beyond weather stations as well.

13 thoughts on “Supersized Weather Station Uses Antique Analog Meters

  1. It´s a nice work interfacing all those analog meters, but unfortunately it just looks like “threw a bunch of meters on a rectangular wooden frame” and would look way better if it was more organized and labelled like those old panels.

    1. Brushed aluminum with red, blue and black dymo. :-D

      Or alternatively, not a frame with a confusing mess of meters, but a simulacrum of an aircraft cockpit with a confusing mess off meters.

  2. The opening sentence is incomplete. “For most of us, getting weather information is as trivial as unlocking a smartphone or turning on a computer and pointing an app or browser at one’s weather site of choice. “… or looking at the display of your home weather station. There are many affordable stations that are easy to install and use. The weather information you would see is from your location and not some area miles away.

  3. I wonder if this was inspired by a significant other statement, “Why don’t you get rid of that old box of junk? When are you ever going to use all this stuff? You’re never going to use it! Get rid of it!” Resulting in a “I’ll show her/him!”

  4. I never met an analog meter movement that “needed it’s coil rewound”. Shudder to think what might have happened to beget that statement. These things usually moved for single mA or even less. If you have an ammeter that takes 10A full scale, and you want 0.1A for full scale, you change the *shunt* not the coil.

    1. No such luck with most of these meters unfortunately. Most of them are “moving iron” instead of the kind you encountered (which are moving coil). Some of these moving iron meters used 8 windings to measure 50+ Amperes. No shunts involved. Have a look at the pictures to see these massive windings!

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