Building a Low Cost Community Weather Station


#1

Folks at Puducherry are interested in building a community powered Weather Station. The idea was born in-order to experiment with Open hardware, if this project is successful, we shall setup similar stations around the locality (especially in rural areas, coastal areas, etc.,) which can help them better understand their region. Also we are trying to build it on a low-cost factor in order for other communities to take up this.

If taken to School children this project can also be used by the kids to learn.

The initial round of discussion happened on 17-6-15 (Wednesday) evening at Pondicherry Science Forum, on which this Etherpad was created in order to collaboratively work on this project.


#2

I really like this project!

Have you looked up http://smartcitizen.me/ ? It would be really nice to have something like that but lower cost so that people are willing to buy it.


#3

Smartcitizen project seems interesting. Should definitely spend sometime reading it. Thanks for the link.


#4

Arduino is convenient for prototyping. But, do consider using just an AVR micrcontroller with code written in just plain AVR C. Atmega8, the microcontroller in some Arduinos, is just 80 rupees or so. Whereas, the cheapest Arduinos are 1000 or 1200 rupees.


#5

updates? Where are we at?


#6

We are using the same etherpad link above to update what’s been happening around the project. The components needed for the project are decided. We are in the fund raising phase, there was a round of discussion about the sources that we could accept funds and sources that we shouldn’t. One of the suggestion that Balu and @welkin gave us was that we could go for Government funding and in-fact Pondicherry Science Forum is ready to help us to get through it, since they have applied and received funds for their past projects.

We have to prepare a proposal with objective and mission statements along with how we would be implementing this project on a scale and submit it to Department of Science, Technology & Environment of Puducherry and I think we should not take more than 2 weeks at the maximum to write this proposal.


#7

I think this project is simple enough to be funded by yourself. Funding agencies will always come with strings attached and spoil the whole learning/hacking experience.

I am unable to access the ethercalc link for the BOM. Is the link provided in the etherpad correct?

One comment about the hardware discussions in etherpad:
Arduinos don’t need heat sinks. They definitely don’t generate heat anywhere enough to have a heat sink. If the microcontroller is heating up too much, then something is wrong with the circuit.


#8

The Ethercalc link is still up and i can access it.

https://ethercalc.org/lcewi9714j

Yeah! Arduino Doesn’t need Heat sink at all.Heat sink mentioned there was only for Voltage Regulator. Since Weather Station is going to run 24 X 7 it would be better if we place a heat sink over Voltage Regulator. It not necessary just a precaution.


#9

How much will it take?


#10

Yeah, heat sink for the voltage regulator is alright. Strictly speaking, even that is not necessary if you are a little cautious about the power consumption and voltage dropped across the regulator. But still, a small heat sink wouldn’t hurt.


#11

It is such an interesting project and I would like to know about the status of it.

I can see that it could be of good help in the coastal areas. What would be the use case of it if such a project is implemented in areas like Coimbatore, Trichy, e.t.c. Weather station might provide a good information about the current weather conditions, but is it possible to predict weather in remote places with the help of cluster of such stations? If we can, it could really be a life changer for many.


#12

Community weather Station has been deployed in Pondicherry Science Forum premises.
Some Pics Here

The whole Project has been written as Instructable which you can find here

The Data stream is currently available in data.sparkfun.com, we will try to move it soon.


#13

Good job! Congratulations! :smiley: :thumbsup:

Please post pics in some freedom and privacy respecting place – not Facebook.


#14

Sure. Sorry for that. Will follow that in the future :slight_smile:


#15

We moved the data stream from sparkfun to opendata.fsftn.org


#16

great… :wink:


#17

Suggestions:

  1. Reorder the data to this:

    Timestamp, windspeed, wind direction, humidity, temperature, pressure

  2. Make sure the units are clear. What’s the wind speed unit? m/s ? Relative humidity is in percentage. Temperature is probably centigrade, pressure in pascals or N/m2 or kg/m2?

  3. The wind speeds are erratic. It’s sometimes NAN or -0.0 which is fine. But here’s a value that made my jaws drop: 2016-08-29T11:19:47.138Z 2682.10 Can we fix it?

  4. Push the weather station code from Anand’s repo to either FSHM repo or FSFTN repo.

  5. Clone the Facebook posts to FSHM site?


#18

Any rationale behind this?

@crakensio @kaathi524 @Kavine

Not Anand’s repo. It’s in @crakensio’s repo. Now forked to FSHM repo.

Seems good idea. Any scripts / workflow already available?


#19

I’m just putting this here: https://github.com/openaq/openaq-data-format

Btw, Reordering data to have related information next to each other is good practice. makes it easier to read.


#20

I think, there wouldn’t be a better reason for why we should be setting up a lot of such community weather stations all over our places.

Before the Flood: A Documentary on Climate Change