Netatmo Weather Station and Rain Detector

So I have an RV, trying to automate things. My current project is making it so I can open and close the roof vents on my command as well as have a rain detector so if its starts raining, they automatically close. I searched for rain detectors, and found Netatmo.

Now, I haven’t set anything up yet, like at all. I’m trying to figure out what I can do and the best way to do it. I saw that the weather station can communicate through Z-Wave, so I’d have to add a Z-Wave modules to openHAB. I’m going to be using the newest release of openHABian on a Raspberry Pi. Haven’t figured out how to do that yet exactly, but I’m pretty sure it works.

So for the Netatmo, anyone have any comments on how well they work and how easy they are to setup? I’m pretty sure the rain detector would sense rain, send a signal to the weather station, which would then send something over Z-Wave to openHAB. Then I’d have to have openHAB determine if the vents were open or closed, and if open, shut them.

I’m not sure if I even need the weather station unit though, like maybe there is a way to get the signal directly from the rain detector to openHAB without the weather station in between. The weather station would be a nice addition anyway though, since I was trying to figure out how to determine at least the outside temperature already as well.

I wonder if something like a leak/flood detector might be more straight forward if you don’t want to set up a full weather station.

My first thought was a sprinkler system rain sensor but most of those need a good deal of rain before they trigger the switch.

The best solution would probably to use something like this but that will require some DIY electronics. But I bet you can get this wired straight to your RPi. It looks really easy. If you use the digital pin it should switch to high when drops are present and low when it becomes dry. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. You just need a case to put it in.

I don’t think it will require that much to make it work and it will probably be faster than the Netatmo sensor which I suspect is a tip bucket type sensor so it can measure the amount of rain, not just the presence of rain. That will cause a small delay from when it starts raining until it actually reports the rain.

Yeah, that might work and be far far cheaper.

I’m not too terribly concerned about a case, it’ll be mounted on the roof and not visible from the ground, but obviously needs to be protected somehow. The roof is ugly right now anyway with sealant and wires running around, but no one but me goes up there so I don’t really care.

I could probably figure out a way to mount the sensor though and put the board and Pi inside the RV. I could place it right above the electronics cabinet where I have already drilled a hole to run the wires through. We have this stuff called Dicor that is a sealant specifically made for RV roofs, and that stuff is waterproof and doesn’t come off. If I made something simple so the actual water detector part was at a an angle, I could dicor it to the roof and would never move, as well as sealing the hole for the wires to go inside. Probably put it so it faces the front too to reduce wind resistance.

I’ll have to check on connecting the board to the Pi though and GPIO pins. I’ve never done that before, but I’m not completely inept at connecting pins and soldering. And hell, if I’m gonna add a rain sensor and do that work, I might as well add a temperature gauge as well and connect it to the same Pi and just put it right next to the rain sensor on the roof.

I don’t think that is a requirement. It will dry off faster at an angle since gravity will help get the water off the sensor, but I’ve seen other cases that hold it horizontal.

In all liklihood there won’t even be any soldering required. You can probably do what I did for my garage door sensors. I got some speaker wire to hook up to the sensors and use a lineman’s splice and heat shrink tubing to add a female end to go over the pins on both sides. Then it just slides right over the pin and you are good to go. Though you will probably want to secure the wire a bit so the wires don’t get pulled off the pins. You probabbly can’t use a staple for that like I did though. :wink:

You will probably want to seal where the wires connect to the sensor outside though. Hot glue works pretty well for this and it can be removed later if necessary with a lighter and some paper towels.

A case would be neater though. You would have a place inside it to put the wire joins and such.

Now you are talking, though most of them are not water proof so you will need to deal with weather proofing without destroying the temp sensor’s ability to sens the temp. They do make some water proof ones though.

Putting at a slight angle would probably be easy enough. I could just put something under one end and attach it, then use the Dicor to seal it to roof. Probably would never move unless I wanted to pull it off.

I don’t have access to a 3D printer, so I might forgo the case if I can find a way to water proof the connections on the roof. not sure how to do that on the roof yet, but I’ll figure something out. Put a dab of Dicor by the wires to adhere them to the roof and its good.

Inside, I’ll have to figure out how to connect the sensor board to the Pi. If I go with a Zero just for the weather station, I can get one that has pins already attached, but the cheaper ones come without any pins, just holes to solder them yourself. I might just splurge and get a full board though since they have a full HDMI, ethernet, and more USB ports. That way I could use that same Pi to be our weather display since I want to mount a display above the outside door, have it display the outside and inside temp and anything else I can figure out.

I purposefully linked to that site which has three services that you can order someone else to do the 3D printing for you. :wink: It really isn’t all that expensive in the long run considering the cost of a 3D printer. That case would cost arounbd $25 to get printed from the Print a Thing service.

Well that makes sense! Wish I knew enough CAD to design one myself and make the case and have someone print it, that one looks a bit large for our needs.

I ordered the rain detector you linked though. Got ripped off that, had to pay 80 cents to use paypal be cause I don’t trust aliexpress with my credit card. I had to pay a whole $1.43 for it! Not sure how I’ll figure out how to make that work in my budget.

I will have to find a temperature gauge though. I had found some before, but I can’t seem to remember where I found them. Probably on aliexpress as well though and like $4 for three of them. Might have a link somewhere, but it would be nice if I could remember what the were called exactly because “temperature gauge” brings up a lot of oil and water gauges and not what I need. The ones I had found were basically just a wire attached to a small metal cylinder. I can figure out how to protect one from water if I can find one, maybe find some cover that keeps water from hitting it, but still allows air to pass through and doesn’t act like a lens to make it hotter inside than the ambient temp.

Not sure what else I can make this particular Pi be useful for, but a weather station might be enough. I have no problem buying more Pis and giving them distinct functions either, I’ll likely run out of ethernet ports on my switch before I run out of ideas of things to do with them.

Oh, and I have to find a motor for the vents and figure out a way to control them in openHAB. There is a crank that turns on them now, so if I can just find a simple DC motor that just spins both directions and maybe has a sensor to know when its hitting resistance, that’s really all I need. I think I can make it so it opens a certain amount, maybe a timer setting, but closing them it would have to know if they are closed so it doesn’t over torque the mechanism and break it.

I could either make some sort of proximity sensor so it knows if the vent is open or closed (the complicated way) or I could just set it up so when I hit the command to open them all, they close first, hit resistance, pause for all of them to close, then spin the other way and open up. That might be easier and cheaper.

Found these!

I’m not sure how electric motors work though. I haven’t done any electronics work in a long time, but I assume they spin one way with a charge to one side, then spin the other way with a charge the other direction, and not spin with no charge. I’d probably have to find some sort of smart relay that can do that and has wifi to connect to the network and is also DC powered.

Dht11 and dht22 are the most common. They aren’t expensive and accurate enough but they are not water proof.

I use dht22s and they are really easy to work with and there are tons of libraries and such. There is a thread I can’t find right now with a whole discussion About the accuracy of these and a couple of other temp sensors that are more accurate.

I can’t help with the motor part but from what I do know it will probably be reset and cheaper in the long run to add Reed sensors to the vent than it will be too find a motor that will report resistance.

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