Weather Station Design Criteria


In my first post in this series, I talked about the birth of this project (why the heck I’m doing it) and in this post I’m going to talk about the design criteria that I’m using as a basis for this project.

Every good project needs some good criteria to set the who/what/when/how. It’s also important to set some project guardrails to limit the scope of the project. I set out to create some realistic criteria that would lock down the project and keep me focused on the end goal.

Major Wx Station Criteria:
  • Self-contained (can run off the grid and in any location)
  • Solar Powered (no AC power required)
  • Cellular uploads (all data uplink via mobile data network)
  • Data can be uploaded to club specific website or to a WunderGround PWS
  • Station needs to withstand the ugly Oregon weather and not get filled with water during every rainstorm
  • Station needs to be online 24/7 during summer and fall month. During dark days of Winter and Spring, station can be online during daylight hours only.
Minor Criteria:
  • Simple design with off-the-shelf components
  • Minimum of custom fabrication
  • No fussy, ultra-geeky components or programming required
  • Easy maintenance and upkeep
  • Minimal upkeep required
  • Lowest cost (but don’t use low quality components)
Nice-to-have criteria:
  • Webcam that takes static image every 5 mins and uploads to web
  • Lowlight capability with webcam
  • Motion detection and upload to web (for security purposes)
Weather Data Required every 5 minutes:
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Wind speed
  • Wind direction
  • Highest wind gust most recent hour
OK – all of the above sounds pretty simple and straight-forward, doesn’t it? In the next post, I’ll review some of the project components and sample designs that I reviewed. I rejected many of them and finally settled on a project design. 
And let’s just say that I’m geeking out on this project!