Whether you're an agriculturalist, a professional meteorologist or a weather hobbyist, building your own weather station can be a really rewarding project. When you're measuring weather, however, you need some pretty specialized sensors. This kit represents the three core components of weather measurement: wind speed, wind direction and rainfall.
None of the sensors in this kit contain active electronics, instead they use sealed magnetic reed switches and magnets so you'll need to source a voltage to take any measurements. The positive side of this is that the sensors are easy to interpret:
The rain gauge is a self-emptying bucket-type rain gauge which activates a momentary button closure for each 0.011" of rain that are collected. The anemometer (wind speed meter) encodes the wind speed by simply closing a switch which each rotation. A wind speed of 1.492 MPH produces a switch closure once per second. Finally, the wind vane reports wind direction as a voltage which is produced by the combination of resistors inside the sensor. The vane’s magnet may close two switches at once, allowing up to 16 different positions to be indicated. For more information on how this works, as well as a table of voltage and resistance values for each position, refer to the manual below.
All of the included sensors are supplied with RJ11 terminated cables, for information on the pin-out of the cable, check out the datasheet.
Note: Some basic assembly is required.
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Based on 26 ratings:
8 of 8 found this helpful:
This is a great kit. Easy to assemble. I used it with the photon weather shield https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13630, and sent the results to ThingSpeak. Just plug it in and go!
My basic code is on GitHub: https://github.com/rpurser47/weatherstation.
A few observations:
The sample code for the weather shield seems to read the weather vane 180 degrees off. I have two kits, and they both read the same, so I'm suspecting the code.
The data sheet says that you get a pulse every rotation from the wind speed, but you get 2. The 1.492MPH == 1Hz seems correct.
You have to make sure the rain gauge is VERY level, or it gets stuck. You probably shouldn't mount it on the pole, since it'll give spurious results on a windy day. These aren't flaws in the design -- it's a sensitive instrument, and is sensitive to how it is installed.
Great weekend project!
10 of 10 found this helpful:
I've always wanted to build a weather station. Well, I bought this unit and began my journey. Before it arrived, I had 2 Temp sensors and 2 humidity sensors working with Python programming. The weather meter arrived in a little box? Yes, it is about 2 ft tall and easily put together. Use the available pigpiod daemon (free download) and then sample that wind meter, or rain gauge up to 5000 times a second with a Rpi 2. I'll catch wind speed well over 150 mph easy or until it blows away. LoL.. Awesome. Sensors are now running at 150 ft from the house using Cat5e. Running sensors are Wind speed, Rain gauge, 3 (DS18B20) sensors, 2 humidity (DHT11 & DHT22), and a BMP180. With 11 sensors inputs running and displaying graphics on a HD TV, the Rpi is running 15-26% CPU.. What fun and a great challenge. I will be sharing this adventure with a Electronics 101 summer camp Next week June 15, 2015. Python coding comes by various vendors and code enthusiasts. Make it work together and use purdy graphics!...You can do it... Programming can take a couple of weeks to come up to speed. I think this kit will last for some time. Being a fairly small unit, it will have a small wind load. Make sure you mount the rain gauge securely. You can get false readings it it rattles.
7 of 7 found this helpful:
anemometer - The data sheet is incorrect about one trigger per revolution, mine outputs two. I finally got working code together. Now will get direction working. http://arduinotronics.blogspot.com/2015/08/measuring-wind-speed-with-arduino.html
3 of 3 found this helpful:
About 7 years ago, I posted my working Arduino code for this fun project. In the meantime, Comcast dropped support for those personal web pages. So I've re-posted it here (Note the that URL is case sensitive.):
Others have improved on it since then, but it does have a lot of documentation that didn't come with the unit. I put that together from simple trial-and-error. It doesn't use the rain gauge, but that's simple to do, once you see how the wind-speed process works.
I think it will be still be useful as documentation (which is in the code itself), and the code does work just fine as well, so I thought I'd repost it. The code was from the Arduino IDE 7 years ago, so you will probably want to start your own new project, and just paste in the code (WeatherStation.pde).
Enjoy. This is a fun project! Steve
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I was very happy with this product. All components are working correct. the most important the deadline was confirmed
3 of 4 found this helpful:
I had an existing Weather Shield on an Arduino uploading data to the Xively service. After soldering on two RJ11 connectors and fixing the weather meters outside, I added wind and rain to the data. I was most interested in rain (for horticultural reasons) and it now reports 'rain in last hour', 'rain in last 24 hours' and 'rain to date'. Really handy.
It works, only thing that my wind speed meter make 8 pulses per revolution, not 1 or 2! we need to measure and caliberate it carefully.
It's now almost exactly 2 years ago I put my weatherstation up and over the last month it's been getting less and less windy... the anemometer is now stuck. It'll spin for a turn or so, and then hard lock up. I tried to take it apart but it doesn't seem easy to get in to the bearings to see what's wrong.
It's obviously spun many revolutions during its two-year life span but I'd hope a weather station would hold up longer than that...
After a couple of years outdoors, it's certainly likely that some dust may have accumulated in the bearing. It's really a fairly simple fix. The 3-cup vane assembly is just pressure fit onto the bearing, and can be removed by putting pressure under both sides, and sliding it straight up and off of the bearing. Then you can clean out the bearing with some canned air or an air compressor, hit the bearing with some bearing lubricant, and slide the 3-cup vane assembly back on.
All of these parts can be bought from Maplin directly, if you live in the UK/Ireland for much less, but the product does it's job. I'm using this with the arduino Weather Shield and interfacing to a RPi and had no real issue.
I received all the parts for the weather station and followed the great directions. I had it up and running in no time and registered on The Weather Underground. Great parts and a fun project!
Los equipos cumplen su objetivo.
Connected it to a PIC microcontroller and added it to my ZigBee home network. I have not had a chance yet to find a good spot outside, but the Anemometer, Wind Vane and Rain Gauge works well when testing inside.
0 of 2 found this helpful:
I have a davis instruments weather system and wanted to monitor weather in another location so figured I'd build my own. Davis sensors are expensive (rain about $75 and anemometer about $130) so I sprang for this. In spite of being very careful with mounting the rain gauge level, it was wildly inaccurate when compared to my davis weather station. I ended up buying a davis rain gauge to replace it. (Same arduino software only the readings are now accurate.) Recently, the wind speed sensor died. (It still spins). Since it was also quite inaccurate, I replaced it with a davis anemometer.
Bottom line? Start with good sensors and you won't have to buy them twice.
After a full year outdoors in all kinds of wind, rain, snow, and ice in a particularly nasty northeast winter, plus baking summer heat all three gauges have held up nicely and continue to work well.
My only criticism is with the rain gauge which suffers from some non-trivial undercatchment issues, but this is typical of tipping bucket rain gauges. At least that can be compensated with software.
Some people don't like the use of RJ-11 connectors outdoors, but I've had no problems with these.
Programmed this with a Particle Photon on a Sparkfun Weather Shield and I now have my own personal weather station at my house. The online forecasts are rarely accurate! This meters have been mounted on the roof of my apartment, has been through rain, sun, fog, high winds, smoke, and still gives accurate data 24/7. Never been so happy to build a system myself!
Built very well, simple in design, works great!!
Easy to assemble and hook up. Works great.
I have this working with a Photon, with the help of a previous reviewer's code sample on GitHub. As others have suggested, mount the rain gauge on a firm level surface, not on the metal post. In gusty wind the sensor will trip and give false readings due to vibration/shaking. Also, I've read a few people stating the datasheet indicates the anemometer yields 1 pulse per revolution. Not sure why; it says one pulse per second at a given wind speed of 1.492mph. Nothing about pulses per revolution. Anyway, very happy with the performance!
The weather meters were as advertised, easy to assemble and worked with my raspberry pi right out of the box. I choose the default shipping (Fed Ex Smartpost) and it took 13 days to be delivered from colorado to North Carolina, that is pretty slow.
I purchased the SEN-08942 Weather Meter equipment from SparkFun and I’m basically happy with it. My application is to combine it with one of a set of remote monitors that I've been building. These use a 24-bit PIC EP256GP202 to gather data from a wide variety of environmental sensors such as this product, high accuracy thermometers, humidity meters, light/UV/IR sensors, doppler radar sensors and moisture detectors.
Some good features first. The unit is made from reasonably sturdy gray plastic mounted to an aluminum pole that I installed in a PVC pipe attached to another pipe containing the electronics. I deployed the fixture with weather meter assembly on an outside porch while I test my firmware for convenience. It works well although as soon as I deployed it, the strong winds and rain we had the days before almost completely disappeared! I have been getting an occasional report of wind speeds as low as 2 MPH. Friction probably prevented measurements below that.
On the down-side, the connectors are familiar RJ11 connectors that have bare copper contacts. I cannot say how long they will last, but copper tends to form oxides and sulfates and depending on the degree of gas seal, I would not be surprised if the contacts start becoming intermittent after a few months. The connectors are low cost, so I expect that was the main reason for using them, but its hard for me to believe that they are anything but an indoor connector, but we'll see. They are mounted underneath their respective unit, so they may be protected from rain, but having lived in Florida for many years, corrosion comes fast and furious.
The second issue is not really a surprise and that is contact bounce in the magnetic reed switches. The contact bounce measures about 83 microseconds on my logic analyzer. This seemed awfully fast for mechanical contacts, but reeds have low mass, so maybe that's to be expected. My work around for this is to use a time-gate in the firmware that prevents counting transitions less than the expected pulse rate for hurricane winds. While I would be surprised if the wind gauge survived a say, category 3 hurricane, my logic is this: If it did, I'd sure hate to lose the data due to contact bounce!
So, bottom line: I am happy with this for now. The cost is lower than other units I looked at and if I have corrosion issues with the contacts, they don't look too difficult to replace.
0 of 1 found this helpful:
Works as I spect...
The wind vane and anemometer work perfectly. The rain gauge does tend to send some spurious "button closure" events out. I'm using the particle photon weather board, so perhaps the board is falsely seeing a signal transition the sensor never sent.
As an amateur weather hobbyist and gardner this should work well.