Weather Station

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 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


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.


Next Arduino/Pi class is confirmed for 10/17

We are confirmed at the Red Cross for 10/17 for the next class. 

I'm going to try and get out the updates from the last two classes on the weather station with the instructions and code early next week.

The next step will be working on the wind weather vane and wind speed sensor and getting some boxes made for the final installation. 

The rest of the time between then and the class I'll be working on the Python code for retrieving the data and displaying it.

Next Arduino/Pi class 10/17

Pending verification that the Red Cross is available the next class will be held on 10/17.  

It appears that there have been some significant changes to the raspbian system since the last time I installed it, so I'm going to do some testing on configuring the wifi and remote access, then I'll get the instructions out to everyone so we can ge as much done ahead of time as we can.  

I am also building the weather vane and anemometer and will have an idea of the costs next week and I'll get reservations for the parts needed. Right now it looks like it will be no more than $25 for the parts for both.  

I am also going to put the code up both on the class site and on GitHub to make it easier for me to track the changes we are making and keep everything up to date.  


Update on the weather station

I've been testing it and it seems to be working quite well.  I'll be posting the files this weekend with the code and the instructions on the assembly of the weather station and the base unit.

While working with it I've decided that I am going to be building the console for the weather station using a Raspberry Pi instead of an arduino.  This will make it much easier to display the weather information wherever I want to, and upload it to the various weather web sites that I'm a member of.

If there is enough interest we can do the build of the Raspberry Pi console as a part 2 for the weather station, and we can do that at the next class.  This will give people who are interested in expanding what you can do with an arduino the ability to use another inexpensive controller board to expand your projects even more.  Using the wireless module we've chosen and a Raspberry Pi potentially gives us an opportunity to even create a home automation system controlled by the Raspberry Pi and use Arduino nano boards to control and sense various things around the house.

We will discuss this at the class.


Update to the weather station parts list

Sorry to do this but in doing the prototype I discovered that using a nano wasn't going to provide enough power for the station display so I switched to using another Uno.

The difference in the price is negligible, but the power from the Uno is enough to run the display without any external power work arounds.

I should have enough extra boards in case anyone has already purchased them and I'll exchange any nano's that people have bought with an Uno as an even swap.

Also if you haven't attended the prior classes and are just starting with this class these are the additional components from the prior classes that you'll need:

  • Breadboard jumper cables (I would get a set of male to male, male to female and female to female and then you'll be all set going forward)
  • Two breadboards either the 400 point or the 800 point ones will work, I will have some extras with me.  You can make do with just a single breadboard, but it's nice to have the display on the breadboard
  • Power supplies to run the Weather Station or the console without having to have it hooked up to your laptop.  When you go to install it permanently you can use a battery for the weather station sensor side and it should work just fine.
  • USB cables for the UNO's