Author Topic: Weather Station that reports to an URL  (Read 590 times)

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Offline pj56556

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Weather Station that reports to an URL
« on: December 02, 2019, 12:44:24 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm new here as you can tell.

I'm looking for advice on a Weather Station that can report back temp, humidity, rainfall (without having to go on roof to maintain it), snow (if not cost prohibitive), barometric pressure, wind speed. I'd also like a camera to see the sky but it's not a big deal if it doesn't have one.

For connectivity Ethernet is preferred however I could get by with Wifi. I do not want to have to change batteries so a hardwired system is best.

I would also like this station to periodically report back (maybe every 5 seconds) to an URL on my web server which I'll setup to record the data. This data will be recorded alongside environmental data captured inside the building. The purpose of this station is to record the outside environment and how it impacts the inside of the building. I'm open to any other variables you think I should track.

Thanks everyone
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 01:37:18 PM by pj56556 »

Offline galfert

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 05:36:49 PM »
Even if you get a cabled version of a weather station so that you don't need to change out batteries you would be neglecting needed service. You don't just mount a weather station and ignore it. A weather station has to be cared for regularly to ensure that it continues to provide good data. Maintenance includes cleaning out debris from the rain gauge. I was amazed that even without trees nearby and grass everywhere (no dust) dirt still gets in there. Then you have insects and spider webs to deal with and bees and wasp nests in the rain gauge and radiation shield. Then it is also a good idea to also check out the anemometer.

Therefore since you need to visit the station anyway for regular maintenance that should be done every 3 to 6 months minimally...you can see where being wireless and using batteries is a non-issue as you'll be there anyway. Most batteries last at least 2 to 3 years. Some people like to proactively change out batteries every year or every 2.

Weather stations work with a battery as a backup. They predominantly operate with solar power. During the day the solar panel is also charging a super capacitor. Then at night the station runs off the charged super capacitor. It is only at times where the super capacitor is insufficient (long periods of extended cloudiness) that the battery is actually used. That is why the battery can last so long.

Many wireless systems can have separate components. This allows flexibility to put the parts in different places.

The next part of your list includes two items that are usually not included in a typical weather station, a snow depth sensor and web camera. These are not included because it is something anyone can add to any station. The camera or snow depth sensor just become separate systems to provided these functions. So you can get any snow depth sensor and any web camera that you want. There is no concern for compatibility.

Hopefully that will dissolve some of your questions and take out some of the mysteries of a weather station.

For the community to further help you it would be beneficial to know what your budget is for a weather station. There are many parts. So lets just talk about the base system and hardware and not include the extras like snow depth and web camera. So what is your budget for a weather station that will provide wind speed, direction, rain, temperature, humidity, and barometer and any hardware/software to connect to the Internet? It is possible to build this weather station with several brands that will work without a computer to do all this....and in some cases when a computer is required a Raspberry Pi can be used to keep things neat, tidy, and cost effective...yet very capable.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 08:36:14 PM by galfert »
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Offline Dyacon.com

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 06:28:46 PM »
galfert has some great advice. Install and forget is a poor plan, unless you want poor data. Periodic rain gauge cleaning is necessary. Some rain gauges are more temperamental than others. Insect intrusion is a significant problem with some gauges as well.

Web cameras can be configured to upload to the FTP sites of weather station webportals, such as Weather Underground or DyaconLive. So, like galfert recommended, start your search with the weather instruments that meet your technical requirements.

Dyacon weather stations have multiple connectivity options (cell phone, wifi, cable) and are used in industrial applications like you describe.

The data request rate you mention (5 s) can be supported using the Modbus RTU port on the Dyacon weather station.

Typically, a 10 min record rate is adequate for most weather parameters, with wind being the exception. A "dumb" wind sensor requires a higher sample rate in order to compute averages and capture wind gust. A smart sensor will capture averages and gusts autonomously, resulting in a lower record rate while still achieving good data quality. This reduces system power and minimizes the amount of data collected.

Good luck with your search.

Eugene
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Offline CW2274

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 07:06:01 PM »
Eugene,
 I've noticed your products for some time now and am wondering how you justify your insanely high prices. I'm sure the workmanship is top notch, but your sensors and other options, frankly, are nothing to write home about, especially at this price point. This is absolutely not meant as a bash on your product, merely fact finding.
Thank you.

Offline Dyacon.com

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 07:17:35 PM »
CW2774,

Dyacon products are mid-range, fully autonomous weather stations targeted to commercial users. There are many systems that cost much more, such as what you might see on the sides of freeways. The price may be "insane" when compared to consumer stations, but they fill an important role for our users.

We have autonomous stations operating from Alaska to Ethiopia in service of aviation, agriculture, research, and industrial clients. We offer embedded cell phone or WiFi, text messaging reporting and control, Modbus connectivity, PC applications, access-controlled web portal, onboard data logging, aspirator, and more. Unlike expensive systems based on programmable data loggers, Dyacon weather stations are relatively easy to use and lower cost.

In the end, it comes down to selecting the right tool for the job. Sometimes a plastic integrated solution is adequate. Other times data connectivity and service needs demand something different.

Thanks for the feedback.
Eugene
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Dyacon.com

Offline CW2274

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 07:22:18 PM »
Thank you sir for your time and comprehensive reply.

Offline galfert

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 09:16:23 PM »
Eugene,
Welcome to the forum and nice of a company like Dyacon to make time for this hobbyists forum. Hopefully we may see more from you and learn more.

Thank you,
George
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Windy: pws-f075acbe
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Offline K5GHS

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Re: Weather Station that reports to an URL
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 09:41:11 PM »
One thing to note about a web camera is you need one that can stream to a website or something similar.  There are a lot of wireless products out there that store to an app or to a central server somewhere.  You need a IP camera that you can allow people to remotely access to have live video, or some kind of solution that takes stills and places them on your site and similar.  Not any old camera will do this, you'll need something that has this capability, so make sure you know what you are looking for.  There are security systems for example that might have a DVR, but you'd still have to either allow access somehow, or have it somehow stream.  All of those options have security concerns in todays internet environment as well and you need to be sure you're not leaving your home network open to attack by just randomly opening it up so they can see your camera, too.  There are some that are packaged with stations, but you have to beware there too.  Some charge monthly fees, or require advanced configuration.

I check my station at a minimum every 3 months for outside sensors, and usually more often than that, especially during springtime thunderstorm season when we get hail and similar.  I don't know where you are, but if you're in snow country, you'll have to take precautions to protect the station too.  If it requires batteries you'll have to use lithium probably so it preforms well under cold conditions, as an example.  During the fall even though I'm fairly far away from trees I check weekly for leaves, they will float a lot farther than you think too.

Of course it depends on the purpose of what all you're doing as well, but if you're sending data to the NWS then you need to take it seriously for sure.  Even if you're just presenting it to Weather Underground you're going to want some semblance of accuracy. 

Good luck in your search, there is a lot of good information here and all over the internet.  Research a bit before you leap.
Joshua
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