The Starter Kit: Weather Station is a fully-fledged open source weather station. It measures temperature, humidity, air pressure and illuminance with high precision.
It can be controlled by an (Embedded-) PC. Control via Wi-Fi is possible if a WIFI Extension is added. As alternative the weather station can be controlled over your local network when adding an Ethernet Extension. To use it standalone you can add a RED Brick or another embedded board such as a Raspberry Pi which can be mounted in the case. Thus Internet of Things applications are a possible with this kit (e.g. see Xively Example).
There are several example projects available, e.g. the measurements can be displayed on the 20x4 character LCD, they can be shown on a website or uploaded to Xively (Cosm). With the four buttons of the LCD 20x4 Bricklet it is possible to control different modes.
A demo application, available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, implements some of these example projects and can be used to test the station.
The kit allows to modify soft- and hardware. The casing consists of tinker-friendly PMMA which can be easily modified (e.g. drill new holes with simple wood drill). Additionally mounting holes for Analog In and IO-4 Bricklets are provided, this gives the possibility to add more sensors (anemometer, pluviometer etc).
A small video that shows the construction and some applications is available on Youtube:
|Air Pressure||10mbar - 1200mbar in 0.012mbar steps|
|Illumination||0lux - 900lux in 0.1lux steps|
|Relative Humidity||0% RH - 100% RH in 0.1% RH steps|
|Temperature||-40°C - 85°C in 0.01°C steps|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||240 x 46 x 100mm (9.45 x 1.81 x 3.94")|
As a very first step you should try out and update your Bricks and Bricklets.
For that you need to install the Brick Daemon and the Brick Viewer. Connect all Bricklets to the Master Brick and connect it via USB to your PC. Afterwards use Brick Viewer to check if all of the firmwares up to date (Updates / Flashing button). If not, you can update the Bricks and update the Bricklets with the Brick Viewer, too:
As next step click through the tabs of the Brick Viewer to see if all of the sensors are working correctly. Now you can be sure that the Bricks and Bricklets have versions that work together and that everything will work if it is screwed together in the weather station enclosure.
If the hardware is running correctly you can also try the demo application for this Starter Kit: Weather Station. It implements three of the presented projects for demonstration purposes:
Each project can be selected with its own tab. The first project only displays the measured values. The second project is more complex and displays min, max and average values as well as graphs for these measurements. The display mode can be changed by pressing the buttons at the LCD 20x4 Bricklet or in the application. In some modes the buttons can be pressed multiple times, such that other measurements will be shows.
Finally the Xively projects lets you upload your measurements. At first you have to register on xively.com. Next you have to create a Feed ID, API key and four channels to Upload the values (AirPressure, AmbientLight, Humidity and Temperature). Feed ID, API Key and the upload interval have to be configured in the demo application. Please take a look at the project description for further information
The download link is in the resources.
There is no singular way to build the Weather Station. In the following we will show one way to build different variants. The idea of the Weather Station Starter Kit is, that it is easily extensible and modifiable.
For example: You can put the Bricks and Bricklets on spacers (as is mostly shown below), but you can also screw them directly to the case to save space. There are several holes that allow to mount addition Analog In, Temperature or IO-4 Bricklets to read out more sensors.
The utilized PMMA plastic is easy to work with, so you will be able to add new holes or slots or similar if needed.
We could also control the Weather Station with the RS485 or Ethernet Extension. The setup in this case is the same as with the "Wi-Fi Weather Station" described above, we just have to exchange the WIFI Extension with the RS485 or Ethernet Extension.
If the Ethernet Extension with PoE is used, the stack can also be powered by PoE. in this case the Step-Down Power Supply and the DC Jack Adapter are not needed.
There are several applications for the Weather Station:
The most obvious application for the Weather Station Starter Kit is to display the measurements of the environment on the LCD 20x4 Bricklet. This can be done through four different paths:
All four possible solutions can use the same source code.
Xively is a service that provides the possibility to analyze and visualize the "Internet of Things". They can store a history of our Weather Station data and we get pretty graphs:
An example implementation with step-by-step instructions that shares the weather data with Xively is available in Python.
The Weather Station in our laboratory has the Xively feed 125881.
Another application for the Weather Station, is to embed the weather data on a website:
An example implementation is available in PHP.