Class Update

Next Class

Well, I got busy with some issues at work, and haven't been able to work on the communications or the wind anemometer.  I'm going to try and get some time on it next week, but I'm going to go ahead and schedule the next class.

We'll have our next class on March 18th, and I'll add it to the calendar.  We'll work on the communication between the station and the PI, and also the Anemometers.

Last Class

We had a great class, aside from the people who were out sick, but we worked on the communication from the weather station to the inside console.  I had some problems getting the radios to work in the weather station software and I'm working on getting that fixed now.  We did go through doing the Raspberry PI initial install (and finally got Van's display working) and discussed the anemometer.

I'll be redesigning the one we decided on to make it a little more weather friendly, and then I'll be printing them for the next class.  The other parts I all have except for the hall sensors which are about $6 a piece, and I'll order a bunch and everyone that wants one can pay me at the next class.

I'm hoping to have the fixed software for the NRF24 radios integrated into the weather station code and working by the end of next week and then I'll publish it on the github repository.  Those of you who are familiar with GIT and would like to contribute to the code just request access and I'll grant it for you.

I'll also schedule the next class next week, and right now I am shooting for the first or second Saturday in March.

Class Saturday

Well we are all set for our class for Saturday.

In working on getting the Raspberry PI working with the NRF2401 I ran into some issues, so instead of connecting directly to the weather station like I originally planned instead we'll use the second Arduino that we were going to originally use with the LCD as a bridge to the Raspberry PI.  The Arduino inside will have the NRF2401 module and will talk with the weather station which I've already proven out, and then it will talk over serial to the Raspberry PI.   We will need logic level shifters to convert the 5v on the Arduino to the 3v GPIO pins on the Raspberry PI and I have 15 of them we can use.

I've also found a nice case we can print for the Raspberry PI, and then we can start designing the case for the external weather station, and I also have picked out an Anemometer that we can print and build for our weather station.  I haven't found a tipping rain gauge I like yet, so I'll keep searching or we may have to design one ourselves.

We will meet at 9 am at my work, 635 Vine Street in Winston Salem, and if anyone arrives late just give me a call at 336-289-9262 and I'll come up or send someone to let you in.  Again you can park in front of the building, there should be enough spaces there, and we'll order pizza again from Burke street if everyone is good with that, or as an alternative we can order subway which is right up on 4th street if someone is willing to run out and pick it up.

Rough itinerary for Saturday:

  • Test the NRF24 on our Arduinos and make sure they are all working
  • Setup everyones Raspberry PI
  • Setup the second Arduino that will talk to our weather station, and we'll set up unique ID's for everyone so we can all test at the same time.
  • Setup the Arduino to Raspberry PI connection.
  • Discuss the next steps for the cases, anemometer and rain gauge.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Saturday!!!

Releases for the Barometer and Moisture sensor

The code for the Barometer and Moisture sensor has been released on GitHub.

I'll finish the RTC code, the UV Sensor and the light sensor.

The communications between the Arduino and the Raspberry PI at first we will test with another Arduino as I have that code already debugged and working, and I'll add that to the weather station.

Then we will be working on the Raspberry PI section of the code which should not require any changes to the Arduino code.

Saturday I'm hoping to get all the Arduino code loaded and working, and then start discussing the Raspberry PI and go through the initial setup of a Raspberry PI.  The final version of the software for the Raspberry PI will be available in a package you can download and just flash onto an SD card without having to make any code changes so it'll be easy to deploy.  The advantage of doing it like this is you'll always have a way to restore the Raspberry PI to the default setup that works with the weather station so you can experiment and if something gets messed up you can just restore it from the package and it will start working again.

First release of the weather station code

The first version of the newly refactored code we'll be working with next weekend has been updated on Github.  

This is the new format we'll be coding in, and it includes the code for the temperature sensor.  

I'll be working on the code for the other modules that will build on this and posting it to Github as I complete them.

I also have a surprise for everyone for the class next weekend, but you have to be there to receive it :)

Parts List Updated

I just updated the parts list with the new UV sensor and all the links have been verified to work.  I also added a link to a Raspberry PI kit that is sold on amazon that is very nice.  It comes with the SD card pre-loaded with NOOBS (the operating system for Raspberry PI) power supply, video cable, a nice little case, basically everything you need to get started in one place.

In addition to that parts list you'll need the general supplies like breadboard wires, breadboard and cable for your Arduino, monitor, keyboard and mouse for the raspberry pi.

By no means feel that you have to get that one, and you can get any raspberry pi board at it will work with our project.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the class next month.


Awesome class

Thanks to everyone who came to the refresher class.  I'm sorry we couldn't cover more, but that was part of the reason I wanted to hold this class.  I needed to get my feet wet again and get comfortable after not doing much with the Arduino's.

I'll be working on the updated parts list and I should have it up by Monday so everyone can get their parts together and make sure they are ready for the class in October.  I'll be including the new light sensor I've picked out, just need to make sure it's still available, and also all the Raspberry PI components we need.  

One point you don't need the latest and greatest Raspberry Pi to use for the weather station, the A, or any of the B models will work just fine so don't feel like you need the latest and greatest for this project. 

Thanks again for everyone who came out, you're enthusiasm and questions were awesome and it all makes it so worth while to me.  

Also thank you to David Mounts and Inmar for lunch and letting us hold the class here at Inmar, it was a very relaxed and nice atmosphere.

Upcoming refresher class

Ok, I've had at least one person respond so that's enough for me to have the refresher class.  Right now I'm shooting to have it on 9/3, but I need to make the arrangements with my work and as soon as I confirm it I'll post the update here and announce it.

Our headquarters is right next to Wake Forest Biotech Place, and is very convenient to both I-40 and 52, along with the restaurants in downtown Winston.

As soon as everything is arranged I'll announce it.


Class update

The next class has been scheduled for October 1st at the Red Cross. We will be working on the weather station with the refactored code and the new light sensor which I will have for everyone. I'll be reposting the updated parts list and the code before the end of the month so everyone can be ready for the class.  

I know that the Shelby Hamfest is on the third of September, but I wanted to see if there was any interest in a refresher class for people who ar eavailable or are starting new. We would go over the basic Arduino environment, and help people get their laptops all setup in preparation for the October 1st class. If you are interested in doing this please email me asap. If we have enough interest I'll announce it here in the next week or so. If we do have that class I'm also planning on holding it at my work as its been graciously offered to provide space for the class.  


Classes starting again

I'm going to be starting the classes again.   Right now we are going to continue with the weather station project, but we will be making some changes to the code.  I just wasn't really happy how it was developing so we'll refactor the code.

Not to mention it's been so long since we've met, it'll be good to start clean and have everyone at the same spot.  I'll be updating the code between now and when the class starts, and right now I'm shooting for the first Saturday in August.  As soon as I get confirmation of the room reservation I'll make an announcement here.

I'm also going to review the parts list for those who are joining us, so you'll have time to order the parts and be ready.

At a high level overview we are still planning to make a weather station that uses an Arduino uno for the sensors in a waterproof box, and it will transmit the information wirelessly to either another Arduino Uno or to a Raspberry PI.  We will do both versions, and at first we'll be using an Arduino to test the wireless communication, then for those that are happy with that they can build that.  But then we'll be moving on to a Raspberry  PI station that will allow you to display the weather information on a webpage.

Thanks for everyones patience as we get going again with the classes.  If anyone has any questions or suggestions please email me at


On hold yet again

Well I slipped on the ice during the snow we had back in February, and I slipped on the ice in the afternoon as I was leaving work and hurt my back.  I had been hoping it would be something that muscle relaxants and aleve would fix but it turns out I have a bulging disk as a result of the fall.  

So for now until I can get back to normal the Arduino class is on hold.  I hate having to do this but until I can sit comfortably and more importantly walk around I have to take care of my back first.


Class update

Unfortunately I've had to cancel the 10/17 class, right now the next class is tentatively scheduled for 11/14 pending confirmation of the room availability.

I'm also not happy with the light sensor so instead of the one we are currently using, we'll be switching to another one that has better range and functionality.  I'll have them for everyone at the next class.

I'm also still working on the Raspberry PI documentation, they've just released an updated version called "Jessie" so I'm going to download it and work through the configuration using this latest version.


Github setup for the class

I've created a Github repository to store and track the code we are writing for the Arduino Class.  We'll go over in the next class what this is and how to use it, but it will be helpful to keep track of our code we are writing, especially now that we are doing more than just the Arduino code.

The link is in the 'Links' section for those of you who do know how to use Git and feel free to clone it and set it up to be used for the class.