DOLRAM Station Update

In the previous post, I described the build and initial setup of the DOLRAM [dirt cheap, off-grid, low maint, realtime, atmospheric, monitoring) station continues to perform well. Just after sunrise the battery voltage is reading about 12.6V. With the current cloudy weather in Portland, the battery is reaching full float charge level of 13.7V by about 9am. Makes me think that the station will remain online overnight!

A few observations and issues:

  • Of course, I have not connected the 3G USB modem yet. That should only draw about 150 mAh, but still it is a bit concerning.
  • I have rapid fire updates going to WunderGround (every 20s) and I’m going to turn that down to every 5 minutes. This will further reduce power.
  • Barometric pressure and temperatures are off (compared to other PWS stations) so I’m going to calibrate tonight.
  • Precipitation accuracy seems pretty bad, but that is something that other AcuRite users seem to observe. I’m not worried about it.
  • Weather sensor pod is about 27 feet off of the ground but only 7 feet above my deck. Wind observations are not very accurate due to turbulence from trees and house. We’ll need to mount the pod at least ’20 in the air in the final deployment.
  • Enclosure has been dry as a bone when I’ve checked it these last couple of days. Still – I want to mount it out of direct weather if I can.
  • In researching a web cam I’v come up with a possible problem. Most stand-alone webcams (ubiquiti, foscam) designed for outdoor use are wifi-based. Once we go to 3G modem, I don’t think we’ll maintain wifi functionality. This is because the TL-MR3020 router, when flashed with Meteobridge loses the router functionality. I will have to evaluate this once we are in 3G mode. More research needed here…

Check that “WX Station” link on the upper right of your screen. That is the WunderGround feed from the station. If you click on it you get to the PWS portal and you can see lots of cool data. Cool, right?

In the next post, I’ll chronicle the graduation from WiFi connectivity to cellular network. Should be fun!


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