Author Topic: How I adapted Davis 24h fan shield to a WH3080 station  (Read 229 times)

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Offline Bassmo

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How I adapted Davis 24h fan shield to a WH3080 station
« on: September 07, 2017, 08:06:27 AM »
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the forum, this is my first post!
I've recently introduced myself to the world of personal weather stations, and I would like here to share what I did, it may be useful for other "hands on" weather enthusiast.
I've choosen to start buying a cheap weather station, a WH3080 SE with solar and UV sensors (the chinese one that you can find virtually everywhere under Aercus/FineOffset/Excelvan/WeatherWise/PCE/froggit/whatever  brand :lol:)

Put it toghether on the balcony just to test, I discovered that it's own shield is really crap  #-o (to be honest another weather station owner already warned me)

So this is why I got from ebay a used Davis Instruments 24h Fan Aspirated Shield to play with:


Apart from the fact that the item needed some work to get it work properly, I found out that the FARS does not have a large chamber like the passive one, it has a sort of cylindric space in the center, and the sensor needs to be fitted in there:


The temp/hum sensor (which is also the radio transmitter to the console ) is much much larger, It couldn't possibly fit in there, so I opened it up:


Two good news here:
1-the pcb inside is much more little and can fit in the Davis shield chamber
2-Unlike other versions of the same chinese station that I found on the internet, this has a real antenna, not just a couple of inches of track on the pcb. This improvement I immagine is part of the "SE" (2016's second edition) version of the station. I must say that radio transmission is good, it never looses a bit and the console is quite far from the transmitter. Good.

At this point I had to think about how to put it in there, how to protect the nude pcb from humidity and how to put there the batteries too.

1-I cut a square of prototyping board the exact size of the real davis sensor pcb, to make use of the original slot inside the shield sensor
2-I covered the pcb of the sensor/transimitter with bicomponent silicone gel, a specific product to protect circuits and wirings from moisture and so on. I used this product from etelec http://www.etelec.cloud/en/products/low-voltage/gel-fillers/mpgel-plus/ just because it was easy for me to get that from the local store, there are many brands out thewre and I think they are all the same  :D
However I don't know if I would reccommend this solution, I found out that the gel, even when reticulated, is really...jelly  #-o
It was difficult to manage, if I had to do it again I would try harder and find some kind of conformal coating
3-I soldered the batteries in series and protected them into thermo-shrinkable tube
 
4-Put this all components toghether like this and soldered battery wires to the transmitter pcb:

5-Put the packet in the slot into the Davis 24h fan shield (I had also to destroy the unuseful original shield to free the cable coming from the UV/solar panel):
 

6-Reassembled everything like this and put it on top of a pole which is a few feet  higher than the top of the roof
 

The results in my opinion are very good, i have an airport within 10 miles and the temperatures reported by my station are quite the same of the METAR data from there.
If anyone is interested my ID on wunderground is ICASSINA21 
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=ICASSINA21
I got the "gold star" from wunderground almost immediately (about 12 hours after starting data upload), which is enthusiastic but...shouldn't it be a 5-day evaluation??  :lol:

I hope anyone can find my DIY homework interesting or useful  :D
Bye
Luca (from Italy)

Offline Skywatch

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Re: How I adapted Davis 24h fan shield to a WH3080 station
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 05:44:56 PM »
Nice! Might consider doing that with mine at my other weather station. I have the Excelvan WH-2310 at my other site and the temperature and humidity suffers in light winds.

I only wish Fine Offset made their solar unit a separate component like the rain gauge instead of attached to the included radiation shield.
HARDWARE
Davis VP2+ with leaf/soil, Universal Anemometer Interface to NRG wind speed & direction sensors.
SOFTWARE
WD 10.37S53

Excelvan WH2310 WD 10.37S53

 

anything