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Ambient Pi Rapsberry Indicator L - 1

Using a broken Raspberry Pi to monitor its environment and give weather metrics interactively by touch

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After playing with Raspberry Pi's since they first came out 5 years ago, I have a number of them that have damaged io lines. As many of these are now old friends it always seamed a shame to throw them away. So for some time I have been looking for a use for these damaged SBCs

It occurred to me that the ARM1176JZF-S could be made into a fully weather station with a little ingenuity. Even better is that the processor would not need to be powered to work in this way.

I set up a quick test using a rather battered PiZero (I2C struck by a large van de Graaff) in my garden.

With a very small amount of configuration I found that I could easily gain weather metrics from the processor and it even functioned as a crude touch interface. I found that as suspected the processor still functioned in this application with no power connected.

For the test a PIZero v2 was hung in a south facing tree in a relatively protected part of my garden.

It was left for a couple of hours to acclimatise to its surroundings.

After a couple of hours an monitoring the changing weather in the back garden I proved that many weather related variables could be measured by touch. These include

Temperature
Precipitation
Wind Speed and Direction

Using combinations of the above measurements other variables can also be deduced.

Readings from the PI were taken starting at midnight. details in the log.

Not bad for a broken PI with no power source :)

  • 1 × Raspberry PI Zero V2 - broken
  • 1 × String

  • Rain Detection

    Extreme Electronics03/31/2017 at 22:27 0 comments

    On checking the Raspberry pi I noticed that the processor had become wet. A sure sign that it was raining.

  • Wind Speed and direction

    Extreme Electronics03/31/2017 at 22:23 0 comments

    The wind had increased by the time of the third measurement. It was obvious that the RPI was angled on its string about 45 degrees.

    From this displacement from hanging directly down the direction of the wind can easily be obtained using the following table

    Direction Pi pointingDirection the wind is coming from
    NorthSouth
    EastWest
    WestEast
    SouthNorth

    By interpolating these directions a more accurate bearing may be deduced.

    As the wind intensity changed, the angle that the raspberry pi hung also changed. By plotting and measuring the wind speed against this angle the Raspberry Pi's sensitivity to wind speed can be calibrated.

  • 2nd Measurements - Light and temperature

    Extreme Electronics03/31/2017 at 22:08 0 comments

    This time I took a torch...

    PI processor glows brighter in torch light than it did in the dark, so its is responding to ambient light by reflecting some back.

    On touching the processor I found it to be quite cold. This accurately relays the temperature currently in the garden,

  • First Measurement

    Extreme Electronics03/31/2017 at 21:00 0 comments

    First measurement at Midnight..

    Couldn't find the PI in the garden. It was very dark....

    Pi must have been indicating the ambient light level as I couldn't see it.

View all 4 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Attach String to Pi, Pi2, Pi Zero, or if you really want to be posh PI3.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Hang in Garden.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Monitor using processor as a touch sensor - see log....

View all 3 instructions

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