Initial Weather Station Design

Having done a bit of research, I came up with the following rough design and list of equipment. This build involves use of the MeteoBridge opensource project and off the shelf hardware from TP-Link and AcuRite. 

AcuRite Pro 5-in-1 Weather Station (model 1035P)

Description: This is the weather sensor pod and the monitoring downlink station that communicate wirelessly to each other. Sensor pod is battery power with a solar backup.

Cost: $145

12V AGM Battery

Description: Used as primary power source for all equipment. This battery is kept charged by 100W solar panel. A smaller AGM 20 ah battery should work well. It needs to fit in the equipment enclosure.

Cost: $40

100W Solar Panel

Description: A durable polycrystalline 100W solar panel with durable frame and mounting brackets will keep the battery charged.
Cost: $150

20A Solar Charger / Controller

Description: Used to controller charging of the battery and regulation of power feed. Can run 24 hours a day or during daylight hours only. Most controllers come with basic status display and USB ports.
Cost: $20

12V to 5V converter

Description: Used to deliver 5V power based on 12V feed out of the solar controller.
Cost: $10

TP-Link Wireless Router

Description: Wireless router is flashed with the Meteobridge OS. This OS has basic networking functionality, takes the weather data in from the weather station equipment, and then uploads the weather data to a weather network like WunderGround.
Cost: $35

3G LTE Rocket USB Rocket Modem

Description: Small low power USB modem that will take a Verizon or T-Mobile SIM card and provide access to a 3G data network.
Cost: $35

Weather proof enclosure

Description: Durable plastic or fiberglass box with a swing door and a lockable hasp. Cable pass-through grommets can be used to feed cables in and out of the box and keep it nice and dry.
Cost: $70

Optional Gear:

Wireless Surveillance Camera

Description: Wireless camera that can periodically upload still images to the web (via the Meteobridge OS). It should provide good day/night performance and ideally have a surveillance motion-sensor capability.
Cost: $130


OK – those are the major components. In the next article in this series I’ll go over how everything is wired up.