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Mar 01, 2017, 03:57 PM
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mondofresh's Avatar
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R/C Flying Field Weather Stations


Hey everyone.

I'm helping my club (Fly-a-Ways RC, North Plains, Oregon) design and deploy a weather station for our field. I've done quite a lot of google searching and found some excellent projects. I'm wondering if anyone is willing to share their favorite design or project. Or event better, what did you build for your club?

Basic design criteria:
1. Station needs to report every 5 or 10 minutes: temps, baro pressure, wind spd, wind direction, gusts
2. Weather data needs to be uploaded to the web (I like the idea of a Wunderground PWS)
3. We don't have power at our field, so the station needs to be completely stand-alone (solar is what we're thinking)
4. We have fabricators in the club, so the mast and housing shouldn't be a big challenge.

This is what we're looking to do: http://jeffcoaeromodlers.com/weather/
[a big bravo to JeffCo - you guys have an amazing weather station!]

Major components would be:
-Solar array
-Battery bank
-Mifi mobile internet device
-An Acurite or Ambient weather station (with wifi hub)
-A secure weatherproof housing for everything but the sensors.

Key challenges:
1. This is OR and the sun doesn't always shine, so selection of solar panel and battery combo could be tricky
2. Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects are all over the web, but we don't want to have anything high-maintenance
3. We want to keep the costs down. Weather stations can go for upwards of $3K

So - what do you think? Have you built or seen a clever design that you'd like to share?

Thanks so much!
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Mar 26, 2017, 03:53 AM
youtube.com/ShadowVFX
Suko's Avatar
I am bummed that nobody has replied to this. I have recently joined a club and it is about 25 minutes from where I live by car. The wind conditions at my house versus the field very dramatically. I am the youngest of the club members and probably the most adept with technology. They have shown interest in setting up a weather station that could be accessed via a website or other means. However, I'm not sure how to start this process.

I'd love to buy one of the units off Amazon get up, but my biggest issue will be getting a wireless signal or using cellular to broadcast it. I'm pretty sure wireless is a no-go, but I'd like to get more opinions on other methods of broadcasting.
Mar 28, 2017, 09:00 PM
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Interesting solution for stand-alone weather station


Suko,

Here is a pretty slick way to transfer data over 3G/4G from a weather station: http://www.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Home

Very inexpensive to put one of the meteobridge-flashed TP-Link micro-routers in place with a 3G USB modem.

The real challenge is pull this off with only solar power. I've come up with a design that uses an AcuRite setup and the TP-link based meteobridge device. Then a big battery and a 50W solar panel.

I'm hoping to have things up and running in the next 3 weeks or so. I'll share the design once things are validated.
Mar 29, 2017, 10:15 AM
youtube.com/ShadowVFX
Suko's Avatar
Thanks for the link. The more I investigate, the larger the scope of this endeavor becomes. It's something I need to pass by the rest of the club and gage interest and willingness to pay/invest in the setup.
Mar 29, 2017, 12:20 PM
Right Rudder
PittSpecial's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suko View Post
I am bummed that nobody has replied to this. I have recently joined a club and it is about 25 minutes from where I live by car. The wind conditions at my house versus the field very dramatically. I am the youngest of the club members and probably the most adept with technology. They have shown interest in setting up a weather station that could be accessed via a website or other means. However, I'm not sure how to start this process.

I'd love to buy one of the units off Amazon get up, but my biggest issue will be getting a wireless signal or using cellular to broadcast it. I'm pretty sure wireless is a no-go, but I'd like to get more opinions on other methods of broadcasting.
It is no surprise that you are NOT seeing any replies.

These systems (of good quality) has features that are NOT cheap for a not-for-profit organization such as a typical RC Club.

If you like, please consider reading up on this even though it is a little dated.

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=11433.0

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I use this Weather Forecasting Service on the Web:
http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/laun...e.cgi?state=WA

Just pull down the required menus and locate your area!
Mar 29, 2017, 12:31 PM
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I've got my design cost down under $700 USD. The AcuRite systems with a meteobridge device seem like the best low-power option. And I like the idea of running a WunderGround PWS to host the data and the (future) 5 min field cam photos.

We would use other nearby weather stations, however our field always seems to have slightly different conditions.
Mar 29, 2017, 12:34 PM
Right Rudder
PittSpecial's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mondofresh View Post
I've got my design cost down under $700 USD. The AcuRite systems with a meteobridge device seem like the best low-power option. And I like the idea of running a WunderGround PWS to host the data and the (future) 5 min field cam photos.

We would use other nearby weather stations, however our field always seems to have slightly different conditions.
Well, cool....it seems like you got it squared.

That USAIRNET web site is pretty good for many Florida RC Clubs that I belong and it is very accurate, especially two days before the target date!
Apr 11, 2017, 11:07 AM
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Hello everyone - I'm documenting the build on my personal blog if you are interested in hearing how things are going please check out series of posts, starting here - http://tristantodd.com/i-built-my-fi...ather-station/ Enjoy!
Apr 11, 2017, 12:36 PM
youtube.com/ShadowVFX
Suko's Avatar
Neato. Also, I have a buddy I visit who lives in Hillsboro. Every time I visit I get envious of all that beautiful open space you guys have down there. All we've got in Washington is trees everywhere! =D


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