Friday, December 26, 2014

Upgrading my weather station

Old WS1090 station
NEW Ambient WS1400 station
In 2010 I was considering installing a small 1 kW wind turbine on the roof of my workshop.  In order to evaluate the site to see if I had sufficient wind, I installed an inexpensive weather station for under $100 (now obsolete).  I upgraded it by adding a server that would send my weather data directly to the Weather Underground.  I also hacked on a small solar panel so I did not need to replace the batteries. The station transmits data wirelessly to a receiver in my office.  I could now access logs of all of my weather data on the web and see it in graphical form like this:
1 year of temperature and wind speed data
After one year I learned that my site was not appropriate for wind power, more about this on this page of my site.  I deliberately installed this weather station 10 feet above the ridge line of my two-story workshop which would be an ideal location both for the weather station and for potential wind turbine in the future.  Weather stations, like wind turbines need to be installed where they are least affected by wind shade.

The original weather station served its purpose and I learned quite a bit about our local weather conditions while also being a responsible source for local weather information for Weather Underground.  Eventually the rain gauge in that weather station failed and I decided to upgrade to a new weather station that incorporates solar power and a simple easy to install web server:
 Weather server

Ambient Weather WS-1400-IP

The big climb
Removing old weather station
It was scary to climb up onto the top of the roof, and take down the pole that holds up the weather station.  My wife, Rebekah was my spotter and photographer for this process.   The 10 foot guyed TV mast is split into two 5 foot lengths so that I can remove the upper section in order to service the weather station.

New instrument installed
I expect this new better designed weather station to provide many years of service.  In addition to all the usual weather statistics, this unit also reports solar radiation in watts per square meter, and a UV index all of which can be viewed in chart or table format by day/week/month etc.  Here is a link to my Weather Underground webpage which also includes a web cam view of my property.   To see live real-time weather conditions click this link for my "rapidfire" page.  

And finally here is a live feed from my weather station: