Sunday, August 31, 2014

Personal Weather Station V2 - Revamping an old project

After more than 4 years working reliably, I decided to retire my weather station... No, I did not, I decided it was time for an upgrade!!!

Inside the weather station controller enclosure - 4 years after. You have served me well!

The weather station project was one of the most interesting projects I ever did and I miss all the excitement that went along with it at the time. Even now it's one of the most visited projects on my site (right after the wifi speakers project).

I have recently come across a good use for the data that the weather station collects: I now live near the sea and being the outdoors man that I am, I like to be out as much as I can and the current is very important to know before going out. Yeah, I can just look out the window but what's the fun in that? Actually there's another think the weather data is important for and that is all my friends that do not live near but that still come over frequently to enjoy the beauties of the sea. It would be great to provide an updated current weather view along with a camera feed on the current sea or beach conditions.

As such, the main project goals of the this project are:

1. Use as much of the existing weather station hardware as possible (might be a challenge as a lot of the equipment is already 4 years old and it shows!)
The weather station sensors as they stand after 4 years of reliable data gathering (note the wind speed sensor with a broken segment...). A little more rust then when I got it but everything still works well.
2. Eliminate the need for a dedicated network (I currently have a separate network for the weather station. I would like to install a wireless bridge to connect the weather station to a single network.
A refurbished and quite old Buffalo wifi router will be our wireless bridge.

3. Move data storage to my own cloud server instead of on my computer or thinkspeak.
4. Provide a connection page to all users with the current weather data, historical weather data and a camera feed.
5. Collect, store and display the following data:
  • Temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Wind direction (will not be perfect because of installation restrictions)
  • Wind speed (will not be perfect because of installation restrictions)
  • Luminosity
  • Dust/ Particles sensor
  • Provide camera feed of current conditions
6. Technically, I will use the following equipment, software and tools:
The Sharp GP2Y10 particle sensor.
  • [hardware] Old buffalo router as network bridge, model WZR2-G300N, where I intend to replace the stock firmware by 
  • [software] DD-WRT to allow for more advanced features. Apparently this router is not supported by the open-source firmware, but there's some files that were made available that have seen users report successful firmware changes. I will make the files available soon as I had to so some digging around to get them. The instructions for what needs to be done are here - look for the post dated Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:14 by REPASSAC.
I will use this blog as data collection tool for me and for other users that may require the information that I collect as I go (like software I will use and all code that I develop or equipment datasheets).

I will usually work on this on Sundays, so don't expect posts more frequent