Author Topic: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project  (Read 439 times)

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Offline KK-forest

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Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« on: December 29, 2018, 05:53:07 PM »

Hi everyone.  Seeking some advice.  I need to set up a small weather station in a remote location in a rain forest.  I will not have wi fi all the time, but will be able to connect to wi fi occasionally.  Power is available via a solar setup but a stand alone solar powered unit would be ideal.  My main concern is that the unit should work without wi fi and enough storage for months in case there is nobody at the station to download data.  Any advice or suggestions would be very welcome.  Thank you!

Offline KK-forest

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »

Oh - and it would be nice to occasionally connect to WU so they can add data from this location to their global database.  Perhaps this is impossible without a permanent wi fi connection?

Offline Mattk

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 08:25:13 PM »
With any remote setup Power will be the priority concern above all else, both primary power and backup power to maintain data. if there is already a solar setup with enough capacity then that would be the preference over any stand-alone solar power unit and target the majority of the power system to backup. From an existing solar system and assuming enough capacity then would also install your own battery power and use a DC/DC charger from the existing solar system. Separate external batteries for primary and backup power with the biggest battery capacity providing backup and with multiple Low Voltage Disconnects (LVD's) then you could progressively shutdown non essential equipment (routers, WiFi etc) to extend station run time.

For what appears the main purpose then one would have to assume occasional WU uploads is maybe a luxury you can do without? WiFi maybe a bit of an unknown depending on just how you occasionally connect and to what? Typically there's not a lot of WiFi running around in tropical rainforest? What is the availability of signal/reception for cell based routers or even dial-up? All this is possible but it's a step up from your normal off the shelf type backyard station     

Offline KK-forest

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 09:59:09 PM »

Thank you, Mattk, for your reply.  Appreciate you taking the time.

The field station where the weather station would be placed is powered entirely by solar, with all accommodation and facilities hooked to the solar setup.  Over the past 5 years, the solar power has been reliable.  There is an inverter, so power is available as AC.  A direct DC setup can be arranged but it would complicate matters.  As it stands, hooking up a weather station to the existing solar setup should not be problem as we have plenty of spare capacity.

Wi-fi connectivity is another issue altogether.  I achieve connectivity through hot-spotting off of my cell-phone.  So this is occasional and only as needed.  There is intermittent 4G cell based connectivity, but most of the time it is just 3G.  Cell phone reception is for the most part reliable if you find the right spot, with outages maybe once or twice in 30 days.  In general, for the times when I will not be at the station, wi-fi connectivity will not be a possibility, and a field assistant will be asked to download data once or twice a month depending on his / her availability.  I assume this would be done via a wired hookup to the weather station if that is possible.  If needed - and if there is no way out - wi-fi can be provided but that would complicate matters too.  I understand the field station will be getting wi-fi installed sometime in the next 2 years, but I do not know the specifics of when this will be done (and as with most things out there, no guarantee it will actually happen).

You are correct - uploads to WU are simply a luxury that would be nice to have, but not a necessity.  The need is to collect rainfall data, temperature, with high's and lows being of particular importance, humidity, pressure and wind direction.  Wind speed is not a priority but would be desired.  Hours of sunlight, UV, cloud cover and such would be nice but are not of direct relevance to the work we are doing.

The main requirement is a robust weather station that can survive a tropical storm, hail, rainfall in excess of 3000 mm per year, and, most importantly, can work without wifi and have enough capacity to hold data for at least a month in case the station is shut down.  I do not know much about weather stations, so I am not sure what specs to look for.  I was looking at these AcuRite models: 01540M, 01208M, 01536P, 1512X2, 01078M, 01022M, 02080, 02080DI (https://www.acurite.com/shop-all-acurite/environments/weather-stations/weather-stations.html?ref=nav).

Any thoughts and suggestions would be very welcome.  Thank you.

Offline havtrail

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 09:17:35 AM »
If you want to look at more professional-level stations, I would suggest checking out Rainwise and Onset HOBO. I maintain a HOBO station for our township. They are deployed worldwide and in places like rural India, Africa and Antarctica. Options include fully remote, solar-powered installations with cellular connection, ethernet, wifi or plug-in download to a laptop. If data is uploaded to the Onset server (annual fee) using the first 3 types listed, it is available worldwide. They are pricier, but robust, although baboons may be another thing...

Rich K.
Onset HOBO RX3003 Cellular
https://weather.havtrail.com
WU KPAHAVER17
NEWA pa_have

Offline Jstx

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 10:02:29 AM »
A satellite phone data connection is the ideal and most often used comms link for remote unattended facilities like this.
Still a little pricey, but the costs have come down, especially for a lightly used connection such as polling a weather station periodically.
Look at some of the sat phone plans marketed to marine users.

Offline PaulMy

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Re: Weather Station for Remote Tropical Rainforest Project
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Chris (SLOweather) may give you some thoughts about http://www.weatherelement.com/products that works with Davis.

Enjoy,
Paul
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus 24-FARS Wireless
Envoy/USB DataLogger/Cumulus v.1.9.4   -   Vue Console/WiFiLogger/CumulusMX
Komoka, ON  Canada
www.komokaweather.ca   www.komokaweather.com   www.komokaweather.com/weather28/  
www.komokaweather.com/pws/index.php
Blitzortung Station #1076 www.lightningmaps.org/blitzortung7/america/index.php?bo_page=statistics&bo_show=network&lang=en&bo_station_id=969