The Final Steps to Build Your Personal Weather Station
Weather Station Finder has already taught you the first steps for building your personal station and join the thousands of Americans contributing to accurate forecasts of the weather across the US. You’ve learned how to measure temperature, humidity and pressure. Let’s learn some more.
For this, you should buy a standalone rain gauge. Rain will be collected in a self-tipping tray that automatically empties when filled with 0.01 inch of water. Each time it empties, the sensor of the gauge will send a signal to the motherboard inside the container. By the time the tray has tipped 100 times, you’ll have measured an inch of precipitation.
Bolt it to the side of the pole opposite the ventilated housing. Run the cable along the gauge and the plastic housing and into the motherboard.
Wind speed and direction
In order to measure wind speed and direction you’ll need an anemometer. You have three types available: the three-cup, propeller and sonic anemometers. With the cups or propeller types, the wind spins them as a way to measure speed. It also turns a vane to figure wind direction. Specialists tend to agree that the propeller anemometer is slightly more accurate than the three-cup version.
The sonic ones have a huge advantage and a huge disadvantage. They are much less likely to freeze or break since they have no moving parts, but they usually cost more than $1,000. You can build your entire station for less than half the price. Whichever type you buy, you must attach it to the top of the pole.
Much of the equipment from the three top brands, Arduino, Particle Photon and Raspberry Pi, comes with integrated Wi-Fi. You won’t have to spend money on wireless modules. Hook it up to practically any device, including your smartphone, laptop, tablet or a monitor. You’ll only have to connect the weather station to your home internet once. For that, you have all the instructions in the package.
You should place your personal weather station over a natural surface, such as grass, and at least 100 feet away from pavements. You must also make sure that no trees or walls block the sun, the wind and the rain. The station’s ventilated plastic housing must be at least five feet above the surface. The anemometer should be the tallest part and there should be nothing else within five feet of the gauge for rain measuring.
A solar panel is the easiest and most efficient way to power your weather station. The minimum requirements are 3 watts and a battery of 2,000 mAh. Ideally, the panel must be installed separately to prevent blocking any of the station’s equipment. Just run its power cable to the motherboard. It’s finally up and running. You should start receiving data online at your home.
Lastly, you can do what you’re probably most excited about. You can connect your personal weather station to a sharing service. Weather Underground is widely known for providing incredibly localized accurate data on the US weather. Now you can be one of the agents to help improve the forecast in your location for all of your neighbors.