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77 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 133758 1-Nov-2013 11:51
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I had a look and didn't see any other threads like this so hopefully this isn't a duplicate.

Basically I am wanting to buy a Wireless Weather Station in NZ and connect it up to my Raspberry Pi for uploading to wunderground.  I am also going to get a camera for the Pi but my main concern is setting the weather station first.

I have looked online and found various guides from people overseas but was keen to hear from anyone who has purchased a weather station locally and set it up with their Pi.  I currently have 2 pi's that I use for downloads, XBMC and a vpn so will be using one of them for the job.

Also keen on any feedback on issues, etc... around this too as I want to make sure it is all do-able before I spend $200+ on a weather station.



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  Reply # 925651 1-Nov-2013 13:25
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Yes it is dooable but like all things it comes down to how much you want to pay.

I have a Davis vantago pro 2 wireless version which for many years I had connected to my pc and run weather display software (www.weatherdisplay.com) which sucks the data from the weather station and displays it on your pc as well as upload it to your own/third part websites. ie weather underground etc all. I used it to populate my own website via built in ftp function as well as share with weather underground

My station is a bit expensive but the weather display software is compatible with 40+ different types of station. See the supported weather station section on the website.

There is now a version compatible with the raspberry pi according to the front page.

So the next step is to see what type of weather station you want to buy and then check that it is listed as compatible with weather display software and start from there. I think the rasp pi version is command line based but you should look at the forum for more suggestion.

With weather stations you do get more you money the more you spend. With wired systems you can buy from the US as you dont have to worry about radiofrequency combatibility.

Weather display is written/owned by a guy in auckland.


A.




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  Reply # 926020 1-Nov-2013 21:04
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Thanks for that.

Yep, I think I will have to start researching the weather stations for features/price and take the next step...

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 926200 2-Nov-2013 11:21
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433MHz is getting too crowded now in urban areas to get reliable transmission on since the weather stations are all one way transmission with a send it out and hope for the best approach.

There are several pages online that detail using a cheap RF reciever (RFM-12) and connecting it directly to one of the GPIO pins on the pi. I have done the same into an arduino with some other code and it gets probably about 1 in 10 transmissions with an antenna connected, whereas inside near a sensor and no antenna on it, it will pick up almost every transmission because its not getting everybodys car alarm, wireless house alarm, power meter etc transmissions as well.




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  Reply # 926308 2-Nov-2013 16:56
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Just gave it a google and AirPi is one of the top results. It is a kit some 6th formers have put together. Looks preety good. Not sure if it is what you want.

Otherwise I guess you need a Weather Station that put out 'standard' information in such a way that a script (maybe Python or C++) can sort it out to post up to a web page.

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  Reply # 926318 2-Nov-2013 17:10
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Can anyone give me some recommendations for temperature monitoring? I'd like to stick a few sensors around my place, ideally wireless sensors, so I can monitor temperatures in different rooms, areas, the greenhouse, and outdoors. I'm not really bothered about other types of readings - wind or rainfall.




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  Reply # 934318 15-Nov-2013 11:41
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timmmay: Can anyone give me some recommendations for temperature monitoring? I'd like to stick a few sensors around my place, ideally wireless sensors, so I can monitor temperatures in different rooms, areas, the greenhouse, and outdoors. I'm not really bothered about other types of readings - wind or rainfall.


Sorry timmmay, I haven't looked into separate temperature sensors so not sure on that.

For the Wireless Weather Station though I have narrowed in down to a WS2083 or a WS3083.  The benefit of the WS3083 is that it has a solar power kit and a couple of light/UV sensors also included.  From what I understand though, the solar power is only supplementary to the batteries so if anything it will extend the batteries life by double but not provide any recharging function.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these units in terms of what expected battery life would be?  Keen to not have to get on my roof too often to replace them. 

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  Reply # 948666 10-Dec-2013 13:26
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I am using one of these (http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/silver-usb-wireless-touchscreen-weather-forecaster-n96fy). It was bought in NZ but I am not sure where as it was a gift from my father. You can plug this directly into the Pi using the supplied USB cable and using the pywws (http://jim-easterbrook.github.io/pywws/doc/en/html/index.html) software read the data from the weather station. You can use pywws to send tweets, generate graphs, or update automatically to Wunderground (I am doing this).

I am running pywws on my home server (Ubuntu 12.04) and have modified it slightly so it also posts updates to my home automation software (openHAB) via a REST API. I can then use this weather information to help with climate control in my home as well as irrigation control - i.e. disable irrigation if any rain in the last 24 hours. 

Timmay - if you want temperature sensors around your home one alternative is to get one of the RFXCOM transceivers from the UK. I imported mine from here (http://www.uk-automation.co.uk/products/RFXCOM-RFXtrx433.html). They are not all that cheap but once you have it you can buy cheap Oregon temp/humidity sensors for about $30-35 and scatter them around your home. Using openHAB and the RFXCOM binding you can then read these values and generate graphs and alerts. For example I have a temp sensor in my master bedroom and a temp/humidity sensor in the bathroom. Both of these are monitored for high temps (> 45oC) and if triggered turn on all lights in the house, send notifications, and sound a loud warning that there is possibly a fire! The humidity sensor is used to turn on the extractor fan automatically when someone is having a shower.

Many Z-Wave sensors also have temperature sensors built in - e.g. the Fibaro Flood Sensor, the Fibaro Door/Window and Universal Sensors (by adding cheap DS18B20 sensors (<$1 each)), and the Aeon Labs 4-1 MultiSensor. So it is quite easy to build up a very comprehensive set of temperature readings throughout your house once you start automating various bits and pieces.

It all depends on how far you want to go I guess...

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  Reply # 948667 10-Dec-2013 13:27
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  Reply # 948675 10-Dec-2013 13:33
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Lots of interesting info there :) But woah GBP77 for a temperature sensor???!!!

I think this home automation thing is still a bit immature for me. Once it's cheaper and easier maybe I'll give it a go. Doing things like turning on extractors, lights, etc based on environmental conditions does sound useful.




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  Reply # 948680 10-Dec-2013 13:37
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It is the RFXCOM transceiver that is GBP77, that doesn't actually give you any sensors unfortunately! It is a device you plug into your PC enabling it to read a large number of wireless devices (both sensors and actuators) that use 433MHZ. For example Oregon temp/humidity/weather sensors and Owl energy monitors (both of which I am using). There is a long list of supported devices on the RFXCOM web site.

So the idea is, you pay a bit for the transceiver, but after that the sensors are relatively cheap (the Oregon ones anyway).

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  Reply # 948685 10-Dec-2013 13:42
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Oh ok, that's not as bad. Got a link to the sensors? Just curious as it seems like a lot of hassle, though I would quite like temperature monitoring I probably wouldn't automate anything based on the information, at least not initially.




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  Reply # 948687 10-Dec-2013 13:46
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On the side, I have the Acerus WS3083 you mention. http://www.scientificsales.co.nz/ws3083-professional-wireless-weather-station-with-usb-upload-plus-uv-index-and-light-meter.html
It comes with rechargable alkalines (you heard right!) that the solar kit trickles. But it also reports radiation and UV readings.

The trick is to out bid the TM try hards who put 1-2$ on the auctions. Jump up in lots of 30 or so, blow them out of the water but don't go too far past 250. When the auction is won, he offers the next 2 bidders a buy now of the same. I did this on 3 auctions till it was low enough to jump on ;)

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  Reply # 948689 10-Dec-2013 13:50
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I have bought one from Fishpond (http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Sports_Outdoors/Oregon-Scientific-Thn-132N-Temperature-Sensor/0734811405678). Alternatively EBay has plenty, if you can find someone to ship them cheap enough.

However, thinking about your case, I would almost be tempted to recommend you go the ZWave route. For $120 you can buy a USB Z-Stick which will turn your PC into a ZWave controller.

You can then buy a single Fibaro Universal Binary Sensor for $95 which allows you to connect up to 4 DS18B20 temp sensors in a 1-wire configuration. These will each report individual temperature readings via the one Fibaro sensor. They do need to be hard wired together however (probably not suitable/possible for you?).

But using this config, and assuming you can run the wires, you could have 4 different temperature sensors throughout your home for a little over $200. Whilst at the same time having the initial building blocks of a ZWave network.

The Universal Binary sensor can also read 2 binary inputs for monitoring alarm PIRs or door reed switches for example - they are quite a lot of bang-for-your-buck.

Food for thought...

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  Reply # 948690 10-Dec-2013 13:50
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timmmay: Can anyone give me some recommendations for temperature monitoring? I'd like to stick a few sensors around my place, ideally wireless sensors, so I can monitor temperatures in different rooms, areas, the greenhouse, and outdoors. I'm not really bothered about other types of readings - wind or rainfall.


I use www.agocontrol.com with temp sensors from http://www.hobby-boards.com/store/categories/Weather/ works nicely with graphs and list of temps. I plan to put one in each room around the house since the cost is pretty minimal (can get the sensor http://www.hobby-boards.com/store/products/DS18S20.html).

I will expand the system over time, currently just temp and rain8 for irrigation but will get moisture meter and rain sensor next from hobby boards.



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  Reply # 948695 10-Dec-2013 13:57
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That link goes to a small electronic component. I was expecting something ready made, nice case, batteries, that communicates wirelessly back to the base station. Does such a thing exist for a reasonable price?




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