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Solar powered weather station

A spinoff of heroineclock II from the days before 3D printing

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It just measures temperature.  The humidity & barometric pressure are constant.  Being a tiny apartment, there's no place for a rain gauge & the only temperature measurements are from a balcony.  The temperature readings are bad, but better than wunderground.com.  Whenever a lion wants to open a window or go outside, the estimated outside temperature is always right there on the LED panel next to the indoor temperature.  

The most expensive part of measuring temperature is the enclosure.  Unlike most weather stations which have elaborate stacked air vents & cost a lot, this one used coroplastic, packing tape, & zip ties with a reasonable shot at good airflow with protection from the elements. 

It took some doing to isolate the thermistor from the heating of the enclosure.

Instead of a standards based IOT solution, the transmitter is just a PIC with SI4421 radio.  It burns 200uA in idle & pulses 30mA every 30 seconds to transmit.

Instead of a lipo with charging circuit, the solar panel goes directly into a NiMH through a diode.  No over charging worries.

Coroplastic & zip ties are arranged in such a way as to ensure airflow while protecting from rain.  This also provided a space for solar panels.

The mane problem is making the weather station last.  After 6 months, the packing tape all disintegrated.  A more permanent solution was needed.  Fortunately, 3D printing had arrived.  The internet tends to use lots of hot glue in weather stations, but this all melts.

  • 1st major heat wave

    lion mclionhead6 days ago 0 comments

    The 1st major heat wave since the weather station's introduction in 2020 came to pass.  Although it was functioning for the great heat wave of 2020, it wasn't fully debugged.  The idea was knowing outdoor & indoor temperatures would allow better timing for moving air into the room & thereby keep it coolor.

    What lions noticed is the indoor temperature rises when cooler outside air is moved in in the morning.  The indoor temperature falls when hotter outside air is moved in in the evening.  Wunderground data shows the weather station is 3-5 degrees hotter in the evening & 3-5 degrees cooler in the morning than the air.  It's affected by the heat of the building.  The building lags the air by a few hours.

    A lion can mentally compensate for the lag, but it's too tempting to move air in when the outside temperature is reported as cooler, even though the inside temperature is clearly rising. 

  • Solar panel farstening

    lion mclionhead05/12/2021 at 06:28 0 comments

    There was a design for something which allowed the solar panels to be removable, but the problem was farstening the enclosure to the coroplastic without puncturing it.  The enclosure would have to be farstened with silicone, so the solar panel might as well just be farstened with silicone & not be removable.

    There's also the problem of packing tape being used to seal the roof.  It got fried, so another layer was added to buy another year.  Another roof could be made out of 1 piece, but it would entail throwing away a lot of coroplastic.

    The coroplastic held up well, compared to all the tape.  Silicone bonds well with coroplastic, but is weak itself.  It might be effective at waterproofing punctures in the coroplastic, which might allow bolts to be used to mount the solar panels.

    The only other remotely useful data point would be dew point.  Lions would know when to moisturize their paws.  

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