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Sensing and Control for hobbyists and schools: Weather

     Section about sensors for Wind
     Section about sensors for Rain
     Section about sensors for Snow
     Section about sensors for Temperature
     Section about sensors for Other Phenomena, non 1-Wire
     Section about the 1-Wire (aka MicroLan) LAN, including weather sensing devices.

AAG TAI-8570 for sale

For the one person on the planet interested: I'm trying to find a home for an AAG pressure sensor available. Contact me for details.

Some general considerations:

Your sensors are going to be out in all weathers. The mast they are on and the sensors themselves need to be well built. Do it right now, and save yourself the annoyance of re-doing it quarterly.

In many parts of the world, lightning is a problem you'll need to consider. If your mast is struck by lightning, the bolt may well follow the wires into the house. Even if your mast is not struck, as we mostly know modern electronics are sensitive to the EMPs that occur around lightning.

Leaves, etc, and the activities of arthropods are other problems to deal with.

I wish I could tell you "The answers to the above are..."... but I can't. Do some reading on the net, and remember that nothing is 100% "safe".

Your equipment WILL break down, wear out, need upgrading. Try to design it with this in mind. I have tried to put as little as possible up at the top of my mast. For example, the counter that keeps track of how many times my anemometer has turned is in a small box at the base of the mast. Two wires run up the mast to the reed switch in the anemometer. I also include opto-isolators in my circuits at strategic points.

If you site your temperature sensors unshielded in the middle of a big black parking lot, expect readings which are higher than someone would consider the "true" reading for that place. For many less obvious considerations, and for the "official" answer to the "right" answer, Britain's Royal Metrological Office has a guide to setting up a weather station. (PDF document.)

Website and Book:

An "ad" for another source of information on sensing the weather: Weathertoys is not only a website, but also of a book. Both discuss lots of fun things about building your own weather station. There is good coverage of using 1-Wire devices, but both the book and the site look at other answers, too. In May 2007, it was quite recently launched, but the site is not "under construction". There's lots of good stuff there.


Do you have an "always on" internet connection, e.g. DSL or broadband? (Even a basic home user account is fine. You don't need a fixed IP address.) Want to set something up that lets you check all is well at your home or business.... from any internet terminal in the world? (The terminal needs nothing more than a standard browser.) You don't have to spend anything on software, everything you need is free. You might want to dedicate an old Win98 "box" (Or let it run "on the corner" of a Win10 box.) to doing the work, but you don't have to. You'll probably want to spend a little money to attach one or more 1-Wire temperature sensors to the system, but there are ways around even that expense. (As you can see from the "Win98" comment, this product has been available for some time!)

Sound interesting? See the pages about my FarWatch system.

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