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FacilTempo - weather station

Saving the planet from global warming requires monitoring the weather, so having a weather station is the least we all can do to help

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The Weather Station in live! on ThingSpeak (inside my dorm room): https://thingspeak.com/channels/25357

The plan here is to design, assemble, test and validade an inexpensive open-source weather station; this idea has been in the back of my mind for years, and now I have decided to put it into practice in order to help monitor, understand and (ultimately) save our planet. It features the below listed sensors:

- Temperature (DHT11 and BMP180)
- Humidity (DHT11)
- Atmospheric pressure (BMP180)
- Light level (LDR)
- Rain sensing (raindrops sensor module)
- Possibility to hook-up wind speed and direction sensors (that amazing sparkfun kit)

It also features:

- micro SD card for saving data
- 0.5 .. 5Vcc input, to be power by solar panel or any suitable power supply
- wireless communication slot (for either Bluetooth, wifi, Serial USB or 433MHz)
- LED´s for status and general use.

The objective of this weather station is to monitor the environment around it, while saving data to a micro SD card and (optionally) send it to over the internet (via either bluetooth, wi-fi or those 433MHz radio links).

Define ´weather station´: according to wikipedia, A weather station is a facility, either on land or sea, with instruments and equipment for measuring atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate.

And why does it matter?: in the matter of taking care of our resources (and our planet), humans must first observe and learn, in order to only then take actions to prevent and correct; this is where a weather station comes to the figure, making it possible to effectively make science and help our big home become a better place to live.

Of course it is always good (and perfectly feasible) to connect science with learning, because at the end of the day what matters the most is educating the future generations; this is the reason why this weather station is designed only with through hole components; it is also the reason why we have used Arduino on the controller side. All we want is to make this project something that matters for the world.


So here is a brief description of the systems and component utilized:

Control system: Arduino UNO (microcontroller Atmel ATMEGA328P)

Energy supply: As it will be sit under weather, it can harvest its energy from either Solar or Wind energy. That energy will be stored on Lithium-Polymer batteries and conditioned to use (@5V) by a boost converter made by Pololu. There will also exist a battery level monitoring.

Sensors: this minimalist weather station will feature a bunch of different environment sensors:

- Air temperature and atmospheric pressure using a Bosch BMP180 breakout board.

- Air humidity using a DHT11.

- Light level using a LDR (light dependent resistor) - the curve fitting for this sensor is not implemented yet, so data from it will be raw.

- Rain sensing: a simple and easy-to-use PCB featuring exposed copper lines, positioned one by the side of the other.

Communications: this is the fun part of playing with microcontrollers (and ioT): you can hook up virtually any sort of wired and wireless network layer to your hardware. I am preparing firmware to use Bluetooth (through HC-0x Bluetooth 2.0), wi-fi (that amazing ESP8266 !!) and RF (the very convenient 433MHz breakouts).

As the time goes by (and my parts arrive from China), I will update the project and this page. Hope you guys like what you see, and I am open to suggestions and tips!.

Want to reach me on twitter? @embedded_clovis

#2015hackadayprize , 2015hackadayprize

  • 1 × ATMEGA328P Microcontroller w/ Arduino bootloader
  • 1 × DHT11 temperature/humidity sensor
  • 1 × BMP180 Pressure/temperature sensor
  • 1 × Rain Sensor a breakout board + a bare pcb with some exposed copper traces
  • 1 × Pololu U1V11F5 Boost converter, input 0.5V to 5.5V, output 5V
  • 1 × LDR Visible light level sensor
  • 1 × Cristal oscillator 16MHz, for Arduino
  • 2 × 22pF capacitor For filtering the Arduino cristal oscillator
  • 1 × Micro SD card module Breakout board for micro SD card

  • Made it work using Teensy LC + ESP8266

    Clovis Fritzen07/22/2015 at 00:09 0 comments

    Hello guys! it's being a long time since my last update hahahha, because I've been busy at school (Engineering).

    This time I come back bringing good news: I made the WEATHER STATION WORK using a Teensy LC (32-bit uC) and an ESP8266 (wifi) instead of Arduino!. The schematics can be seen below, and also along with the sketch on my GitHub (in the upper left side of this project page):

    And this is how it works: it reads all the sensors periodically (LM35, DHT11, KTY81, LDR, NTC 5k ohms) and sends everything up to the internet (ThingSpeak) every 20 seconds, using the well-known ESP8266-01 .

    The only "downside" it that the whole system is 3.3V, so I'm still not able to make the DHT11 work properly (it is not working at all, because it waits for 5V to supply it). Also the ESP8266 is too hungry for current that I had to implement a current source @3.3V specially to it, since the 3.3V supplied by the Teensy was not being enough.

    Despite all that tweats and issues, I got it working! you can (hopefully) check it working at https://thingspeak.com/channels/25357

  • I'm ready for a 3D printed case

    Clovis Fritzen05/19/2015 at 02:04 0 comments

    Hello everyone, how are you doing?

    As I advance in the weather station project, I get myself in need of a couple more parts to make it happen. Three weeks ago I won $50 from #HadPrize to make PCB's on OSHPark; I have now finished the "revision 1" of the PCB's and will soon post pictures of the product's new design.

    Also, as you have seen in the last couple of updates, I have made some crucial live tests on the hardware+firmware in a real-world application. I have also posted some charts of the .CSV data the station saved to the microSD card.

    This week's prize from hackaday is $50 in 3D-printed parts, and I guess it matches my needs for giving a huge final GO to my weather station!. I am also now finishing the 3D case design on "123D design" software.

    All that said, you guys can make sure I will run for the "Best product Design" on the #2015HackadayPrize !! .

  • Serious testing + Teensy LC

    Clovis Fritzen05/12/2015 at 03:09 0 comments

    Hi guys, how are you all doing today?

    I have made some more (real-life) serious testing to the Weather Station: this time was a battery-endurance test, featuring a solar panel to charge the Li-ion cell back. I was able to gather some data (seen in the chart below), showing that the solar radiation available during the day was not enough to recharge the batteries. Or maybe my hardware concept is not working that well.

    As you can see above the battery (400mAh) lasted for 16 hours, having received a little bit of charge (green line) between 12PM and 3-ish PM. This is because today was a rainy day and also because the Southern hemisphere is entering the winter right now.

    Below you can see pictures of my "final" design (still missing the ESP8266 for wifi), inside a re-purposed plastic box (which originally came with my Espruino, from a Kickstarter campaing).

    There are more and more details about the hardware to come, although the schamatics and PCB are in the left-side link area of this project, for you guys to use it.

    What I also want to touch at is the weekly #Had giveaway, which is sending out 125 Teensy LC this week!. That's a small-size-low-power-consumption-Cortex-M0-Arduino-compatible board, that could fit perfectly on my weather station, replacing the current ATMEGA328-based desing. So what you guys thing? does my project deserve a Teensy to go?

  • LightBlue Bean - BLE weather station!

    Clovis Fritzen05/05/2015 at 02:03 0 comments

    Hi makers, hackers!

    This week's hackaday giveaway is about the LightBlue Bean, a [BLE+ Arduino Uno] board; that could surely find a deeply-fitted use on my weather station!! the idea is: I flash my sketch on LightBlue's ATMEGA (just like I would do to my custom board) and instantly gain Bluetooth BLE communication; so I will be able to connect (for example) a cellphone directly to my weather station and gather environment data right in my hands!.

    Of course that has a ton of potential: adding BLE to a standalone Arduino (in this case, a weather station) may bring new possibilities of application to this project, such as alarms (rain-level, sun-radiation level, temperature trigger, etc).

    So I hope I get my hands on one LightBlue Bean an be able to test and validate my ideas :) .

  • I'm in need of new PCB's!

    Clovis Fritzen04/27/2015 at 03:42 0 comments

    Good morning everyone, how are you doing today?

    After receiving my first prototype PCB's, I've come across some small glitches on it (actually, errors I have made on designing it), but nothing that stopped me from testing the weather station and validated the idea.

    So the next step down the road to making this project is making the second revision of the PCB, implementing improvements and correcting bugs. The pictures below show why I need another round of PCB's:


    Another further step (which I'm already working on) is implementing communications between the weather station and the internet; my original idea is to use those cheap 433MHz ask radio modules, sending data over to another Arduino (which then is connected to the internet through wi-fi).

  • Further hardware testing

    Clovis Fritzen04/17/2015 at 01:53 0 comments

    Hello guys, how are you doing today?

    I have taken some time to test two of my board's features: DHT11 (temperature and humidity sensor) and SDcard slot.

    I soldered the DHT11 straight to the PCB; the microSD card is in a Catalex Breakout board, connected to by PCB through a pin header.To "debug" these test I am using an Arduino UNO as ISP. This test has worked nicely, even saving DHT11 data to the microSD card.

    Next step will be testing the BMP180 (pressure sensor) on my board; it will happen as soon as I receive this component from China by mail.

  • Blink test for the PCB

    Clovis Fritzen04/10/2015 at 23:26 0 comments

    As for today, I successfully tested the BlinkWithoutDelay on my standalone board (custom designed by me). This video can be found below:

    Next step will be uploading my custom sketch to it and actually testing how it works in the wild (outside home, supplied by solar panels, etc).

  • How long it takes for things to arrive in Brazil

    Clovis Fritzen04/09/2015 at 19:13 1 comment

    Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to keep you updated on the progress of my project: it has been waiting for components from China for almost 60 days now!. I live here in Brazil (South America), where things from eBay, AliExpress, etc take forever to arrive (due to our horribly slow state-run mail system!!).

    Anyway, as thing slowly arrive to me, I make some progress: I have everything shown in the picture below, but still miss the following:

    A) DIL16 socket for ATMEGA328 (Arduino),

    B) BMP180 pressure/temperature sensor.

    When I receive at least the DIL socket on the mail I will be able to start testing my neat little weather station, so stay tuned :)

  • from idea to prototype

    Clovis Fritzen03/09/2015 at 12:06 0 comments

    What I have done so far is:

    - Had the idea

    - Wrote Arduino sketch

    - Captured the schematic

    - Assembled and tested a prototype in the breadboard (supplied by solar panels)

    - Ardered a prototype PCB, and started assembling components on it.

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Discussions

Marco Tulio wrote 01/11/2016 at 07:27 point

Nice done, dude. i live in Brazil too. And I know how get some electronic stuff here can be difficult and expensive. Good Job with this project, I'm doing something near to this using the ESP-12 (NodeMCU) as main processor. Your DHT11 is getting good values for humidity? Mine sometimes is getting very wrong values.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dylan Bleier wrote 05/04/2015 at 23:58 point

add CO2 and CH4 sensors pls 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Clovis Fritzen wrote 05/05/2015 at 00:58 point

Hi Dylan, thank you for the tip!

I have not thought about those sensors so far (my bad), but it is definitely something to consider. I will have a look at those and maybe reserve some pins to it on the design :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

JustAwarning wrote 04/27/2015 at 18:16 point

I would love to get my hands on a few PCB's from the next run. Can I help out in any$$$way?

I love your idea here and I have been working on something like this for my house for awhile (mentally). I plan to serve this up to a web server and tie into the rest of my home automation and information system.

If you are going to do another run after making adjustments, let me know please

  Are you sure? yes | no

Clovis Fritzen wrote 03/12/2015 at 19:10 point

@O. Alan Jones thank you for the feedback, and for believing. The pictures you see in the project are of a still unfinished prototype, I am still waiting for the rest of the components to arrive from China. I have already tested my prototype in real conditions (40 hours outside the house logging data..), and I´m very confident the final product will be great. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

O. Alan Jones wrote 03/12/2015 at 06:57 point

I would like to incorporate your project into another project I am working on! I look forward to seeing your project take shape. I also have always had the idea of a personal weather station in the back of my mind. Now is the chance. Thanks.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Clovis Fritzen wrote 03/09/2015 at 23:52 point

Hi @zakqwy , how are you? Thank you, I appreciate your early feedback :) . 

Regarding the instrumentation, I will use only off-the-shelve arduino-compatible sensors; the rain gauge is something yet undecided, but I will probably try to make it from scratch!.

  Are you sure? yes | no

zakqwy wrote 03/09/2015 at 21:24 point

I'd love to build a weather station someday. Any plans for the instruments? Planning to use commercially available stuff, or will you build your own rain gauge/etc?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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