My very simple weather station

My very simple weather station.

I was using weather binding (Wunderground). I had some forecast on HabPanel and I used current weather status, for example if there is a rain, for few simple rules, which has something to do with pool filtration and garden outlets. The idea was simple – if there is a rain, do not allow to run, or if itůs running, switch off any device on garden due to safety. But sometimes I realized, that current weather status can’t be very accurate, for example when fleeting comes very quickly. The milestone, when I realize to do it better way comes hand by hand with announcement, that Wunderground is not free anymore.

Because I had few ESP8266 in my house already, I decided to use it again. Source code is very simple, there is one digital and one analog from rain sensor and one input is used for Dallas temperature sensor. Communication to my OpenHab is realized thru Wi-Fi and MQTT.

After some time, I realized to use analog output from rain sensor rather than digital. Digital output for rain should be tuned with trimmer (HW based), but it’s more comfortable to read analog output and make a threshold on OpenHab (SW based).

This solution is no “rocket science”, but very simple solution, which can inspire others. And yes, it can be done better. Let’s say, it’s a development prototype :blush: This is why the HW design looks as it looks.

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You made a holder for the rain sensor using silicone caulk? That’s brilliant!

Thanks for sharing!

It’s done by melting glue gun, not a silicone, but you were close enough. And it’s blue, because there was only one blue gun stick left at my box that time :slight_smile:

I figured out that even though my products aren’t perfect, I don’t have to be ashamed to publish them. So tommorow I’d like to share my next prototype.

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nice build.
sadly that rainsensor pad is shit. After couple of days/weeks it will depreciate and will be reporting only rain.

I’ve bought different one, which is working now for month, not yet really tested properly, but looks promissing.
Can give you a link if you want.

But these… they are really terrible, oxidation everywhere :frowning:

This is the first version of my garage door opener controller.

I totally understand. :smiley:

Even now it’s still kind of crappy. eventually I’ll replace it with an ESP8266 or ESP32 in a nice case with screw terminals to attach the wires.

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But I’m sure the code is beautifully written and very structured! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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You are either single or have a very understanding wife. :smiley:

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What rain Sensor are you using?

this pad is holding nicely and not (yet) oxidizing.
Good thing is it’s double sided and really well made.
Rest of it is standard and works like any other.

then I’m having couple of these:

but those are kind of same as OP have, they do oxidize bit slowly, but they do.

Probably best option to measure rain is to avoid those sensors completely and make siphon, which has got non of the electronic parts exposed to water and on top of it it can measure amount of rain.

You can see for yourself. https://github.com/rkoshak/sensorReporter

In truth, I plan on a complete rewrite. Someday I’ll have time…

It works flawlessly and that is what she cares about. What happens in the inside of the garage looks like she doesn’t care about. I don’t have a picture of the current version but it’s an RPi in a case mounted to the wall. All the wires are nicely stapled to the wall. But the camera is supported by an arm hung on the wall and the relays are just mounted out in the open. It’s not ugly but I’d like it to be more self contained.

Most of the DIY weather stations I’ve seen use a tipping bucket.

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yes, but I do like idea of siphon better because of no moving parts at all

After first rain the sensor reports permanent rain. I paint back side and top side of the sensor and now it’s ok. But as you can see from picture, oxidation is here and it’s no way back process. As I can see, the link for other sensor you mentioned is down there, tahnks for it.

Thank you :slight_smile:

yep, shit product…

I experimented with own pad as well. Basically you need just two wires close to each other so water can shorten the circuit. Some wires are made from non oxidizing metal. It kind of worked, but my design was tiny bucket to reach some sort of amount of water (as i wanted to measure bigger rain and not just few drops or morning moisture) so it was quite quickly full of leaves and dirt and reported no rain at all :slight_smile:
But better design, two wires or some mesh and you really dont need any of these pads. Just use that module and voala… :slight_smile:

Do you have any links to a DIY version or affordable sensor. The only thing I can find is a picture of what looks like a DIY one and a $450 one for sale on Alibaba. I can replace a whole bunch of tipping buckets for $450.

I’d like to see how they work. This is the first I’ve heard of this type of sensor.

yup, this guy did it and looks very usable

am going to do it in near future when I get access to 3d printer, sadly its bit complicated now to get something printed when i need to

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Very nice. I was searching for the wrong thing. I may have convinced my wife that we need a 3D printer so this can become an option. But if not, I can always order a print through Thingverse or borrow the printer at the local library.

I’ve always wanted to build a weather station. Thanks for the link! This looks simpler to build than the tipping meters. Now to find an easy way to build a snow gauge. :wink: That’s probably the hardest of the sensors because it needs moving parts and a heater.

Use a heated funnel? :rofl:

wouldnt be better to measure distance with ultrasonic sensor rather than converting it to rain? eg xy mm of snow could be measured quite easily i guess

The heater isn’t to convert it to rain. The heater is to heat the snow bucket so when it tips all the snow dumps out.

I thought about an ultrasonic depth sensor but I don’t know if I have a good place to sense that isn’t affected by the wind. In a blizzard parts of my yard will be blown clear and others will have 2-3 feet of snow drifts with a total snowfall of 6". We get a lot of blizzards and I’m not keen on building a snow sensor that only works half the time. I’m not sure that a bucket snow sensor would work that well either, but I haven’t thought as much about that. I need to put a jar out this winter and see how it captures snow in the wind.