Haffa14
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:52 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:08 pm

Hi.

When i et my hands on a board my first project is going to be a remote weather station to have at our familys cabin.

Some of the features im am looking to acheive is:

- Sensor reading, temperature, humidity etc.
- Camera to take pictures of the surroundings.
- SMS trigger to take a picture and read temperature etc, and upload this to a web server   and  to the person sending the sms.

I am not yet sure if im going to have the computer running 24/7, or making it turn on when it recives a SMS.

I am pretty new to the game, so i dont have any idea how to achieve this atm, but hoping more ppl would be interested in a project like this, and that we could use eachothers knowledge.

fespa
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:49 am

Haffa14

I have had an idea in the same line. Check out this short video from TEDx their USD 10 rain sensor, and their very interesting project.

I have already mentioned the PI to them because it would be a nice match.

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video.....p012312%22

sidtupper
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:57 am

Haffa14 said:


Hi.

When i et my hands on a board my first project is going to be a remote weather station to have at our familys cabin.


I've had a weather data collection system in an environment (49°22'10"N 123°28'35"W) like yours for a bit more than a year.  The cellular coverage is not so good there though and my power budget doesn't favour remote connection either, so the data just accumulates on the drive.  If I did it again I'd use a RPi so I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you.  In the meantime for what it's worth you can have a look at http://sidtupper.ca/met%20stat.....%20doc.pdf to see the details of what I did.

darkstar
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:01 am

two questions:

* do you have electricity to the site?

* do you have reasonable mobile coverage to there too?

The RPi uses relatively little current so you may as well leave it on 24/7. Or if power is really tight you would need to use a timer switch. But for UK mains for a 24/7 device it works out as about £1/year per Watt.

If you are off grid then you need about a 1A supply at 5V. Partly to power the RPi and partly to keep your mobile happy. This can be achieved with a caravan battery topped up with wind/water/solar/... .

Using SMS is well documented elsewhere on the net, but basically you get a cheapo PAYG phone and plug it into your computer. The cheaper the better cos it will use less power and string uses even less and is more reliable. Utils like gammu can be used to talk to the phone. For outgoing your RPi constructs a text and pushes it down the wire to the phone, which then sends it. For incoming the RPi polls.

For outgoing texts there is no real security issue, but you have to be careful about incoming. In principle you could get the RPi accept instructions via text, and you wouldn't want a troll to have too much fun. One filter is by obscurity (trolls supposedly won't know it exists). Another is to only action texts from a known phone number. The other is to only action "magic" texts.

Sending controlling texts to your bothy's phone is another issue. You could hand craft them or write an app to do it. Which app will depend on your phone.

Haffa14
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:52 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:40 am

i pleases me to see that more than just me could find this interesting.

@darkstar

There is 3 solar panels connected to a couple of batteries, so i have 12V electricity.
The cellcoverage is decent. I was thinking of placing the unit in a treetop so the coverage there would likely be good.

For the SMS part i was hoping to avoid having a cellphone conected, and just have a gsm modem connected trough usb or somthing like that, with a smsgateway.

I have read some about this, but have not had the opportunity to try this yet.

Thnx for your input. Im looking into all of this.

CloudHopper
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:15 am

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:17 pm

Hi All,

As a way of offering a weather logging project to schools, the first thing I intend to do when I get a unit is to port across some PHP code to provide a weather station as I have done here for a Peet U800 weather unit.

While it's not commerical grade code, it"s been sending data every ten minutes to CWOP for two years, and the systems uses about 500mA at 12V (6W). The latest data is here.

This is using a Linksys NSLU2 unit as the host. The principle would be the same for a RasPI unit. The same PHP code and shell script can be slightly adjusted to other weather units as long as you can find a USB to serial converter as I have done on this example.

At the minute it is hard-wired to an Ethernet connection, but adding a WiFi connection (or GSM) is not that much harder (GSM data just being just being out a differing serial port).

You could consider using a bluetooth USB dongle of the RasPI instead to connect to the GSM phone (if it has bluetooth capability and you can"t get serial access to the phone – new phones tend not to have this).

The power requirement should also fit within a power budget of a 30W solar panel (this assumes efficiency at 20% over a daily period of charging/discharging in an off-grid application).

A useful exercise may be for a school project to parse the data from the serial port (accessed via a /dev/ttyS0 device), and then chop it up into something useful which can be displayed as a graph or similar.

It does require some basic knowledge of shell scripting and PHP, but I reckon that is within the grasp of a UK GCSE computing science course .

Will update on the RasPI site when I have a unit and it"s operable.

Cheers, CH

vakaloura
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:09 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:23 pm

Hi, this is exactly what I´m expecting from the raspberry. Actually we are using an fpga to control the data in/out from our weather station (you can see it here http://tinyurl.com/7qmgop4) and acts like a web server. Raspberry also can provide an allsky webcam service and much more at a very low cost.

All components for our weather station costs around 120€, it provides sky quality meter, rain meter and sensor, wind speed and direction, cloud sensor based in peltier and you have two relays to do whatever you want (we use it to open and close the observatory roof), all components are homemade reducing costs to an acceptable level.

I hope to see this going forward.

Best regards!

Edit: BTW we use a gprs modem, at very very low speed because the coverage... but working anyway.

prodata
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:53 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:08 pm

Cloud Hopper said:


The power requirement should also fit within a power budget of a 30W solar panel (this assumes efficiency at 20% over a daily period of charging/discharging in an off-grid application).


Don't forget that you've got to budget for year-round operation (assuming that you want a high probability of 24/7 operation even in midwinter - obviously if you're prepared to let the data drop out under 'difficult' conditions then you can get away with a lower specification; but this might well be when at least one set of interesting weather conditions might occur).

So if your 100% panel rating corresponds to 1000W/sqm (ie solar noon in midsummer) global irradiance, which will typically be the case, then in midwinter you're potentially looking at a daily mean of 2-3% max energy capture, very possibly less. And then you've got to decide how many such days in a row you're going to cater for, because certainly in the UK we can get stuck with cloudy conditions for days on end. A typical target time for successive cloudy days for a weather-reporting application is 10 days.

(Not trying to put you off for one second, but you've got to be realistic about panel power budgets in midwinter if you're going to avoid serious disappointment.)

sidtupper
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:22 pm

then in midwinter you"re potentially looking at a daily mean of 2-3% max energy capture, very possibly less.

Too true. Last winter my nominal 45w of pv panels barely kept up with the needs of the little atom mini-itx datalogger that burns 12w on and 0.3w hibernating. Since it"s awake less than 5% of the time, I reckon it needs about 20 watt-hours of power a day to do the job. So this winter I put another 45w on line and it"s happy. I"m at 49N latitude, in the rainforest.

Docteh
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:20 am

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:52 am

Weather station sounds fun, is there anything like CWOP for canadians?

prodata
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:53 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:56 am

Docteh said:


Weather station sounds fun, is there anything like CWOP for canadians?


I"m sure there is, though CWOP is pretty international these days, as is Weather Underground etc of course. Best thing would be to ask on one of the specialist weather enthusiast forums like http://www.wxforum.net 

CookieMonster
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:05 am

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:50 am

Docteh said:


Weather station sounds fun, is there anything like CWOP for canadians?


On a related note, if you only want to record snow & rain, or you want to participate in data collection but can't afford a full weather station, there is also COCORAHS which, having covered all the US states last year or the year before, is now spreading into Canada.

They do not do automated data collection, instead volunteer observers enter rain/snow on a quick web form. But the daily rainfall maps from 6,000-7,000 sites each day are really cool.

http://www.cocorahs.org/

thassler
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:54 pm

Re: Weather station. With gprs updates and 12V

Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:46 pm

fespa said:


Haffa14

I have had an idea in the same line. Check out this short video from TEDx their USD 10 rain sensor, and their very interesting project.

I have already mentioned the PI to them because it would be a nice match.

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video.....p012312%22


I have the same idea. In my case I want to be able to control my sprinkler system and a camera from an R-Pi and communicate data from sensors through SMS. I also want to be able to send SMS to my R-Pi in order to take pictures or make adjustments to the sprinkler system.

I am considering using the R-Pi and an arduino. I will use some "Grove" sensors from http://www.seeedstudio.com and a solar panel with an lipo rider pro (also from Seeedstudio) as a backup for energy outages.

I am also considering the use of a GSM modem.

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