Recording and collecting weather data personally is fun. I’m sure you would also agree with me.If you want to know how to make your own weather station at home and make weather forecast all by yourself, thank God. You’re at the right place.
Making a weather station can be very easy and simple as well as interesting. Just you need to collect some simple materials which are available in online or offline stores. And then you need to assemble them to foresee the weather conditions like a meteorologist.
In a simple weather station, you can easily measure temperature by thermometer, rainfall by rain gauge, air pressure by barometer, humidity by hygrometer, etc. To build a weather station by assembling those instruments is very easy and simple.
In this article, I’ll the step by step process about how to make a simple weather station at home by which you can easily record and collect weather data yourself.
Step 1: Things You Need
To build a simple personal weather station you need to collect some instruments. These include electronics stuffs, hardware stuffs and some other miscellaneous stuffs. All these instruments are easy to collect from any online or offline store, so don’t panic. Let’s introduce you with the equipment you’ll need.
Arduino Uno: This is a quality microcontroller board that has 14 pins for digital output and input, six analog inputs and 16MHz quartz crystal. It also has USB connection, reset button, power jack and ICSP header. Arduino Uno contains everything which is important to support amicro controller.
Arduino Ethernet Shield W5100: What it does is connect your Arduino Uno to internet. And, this particular model is based on Wiznet’s W5100 chip. This offers a network that is capable of supporting up to four socket connections at a time.
Temperature Sensor: This is mainly used to measure temperature and humidity with the Arduino board. The DHT11 temperature sensor is very popular for personal uses because it is very cheap and provides great performance.
BMP180 Pressure Sensor: Then you’ll need a sensor to measure barometric pressure. I would recommend BMP 180 Sensor from Basch. It is the best low-cost sensing solution and it is easy to use.
Simply connect the sensor with Arduino and download BMP180 Arduino library along with the example code to calculate temperature, pressure and altitude. Then install the library and example diagram. After that you will easily get accurate temperature and pressure data.
IR Module: For controlling the device without human interference, you’ll need a IR (Infrared) Sensor. This normally consists of an IR LED and a photodiode.
Magnetic Sensor: A small chip named HMC5883L will allow you to be able to measure both the direction and the magnitude of the earth’s magnetic field.
Ribbon Cable: To make a weather station you’ll also need to integrate various tiny equipment with one another. And a ribbon cable will allow you to make a lot of connections. A ribbon cable is basically a flat and thin cable that consists of multiple small-grade cables which are placed parallel to each other.
9V DC Adaptor: An adaptor is needed for electricity supply to your Arduino. There are many kinds of adaptor available in the market. You can use any of them as you like. If you want to know my opinion, I would recommend the 9V DC Adaptor.
Some Hardware Stuffs
To make the Stevenson screen you’ll need wooden plank, plywood and an iron tripod for deploying the weather station. You’ll also need PVC pipe, plastic cups to make the anemometer, ball bearing and slip rings, an SMPS enclosure and a long Ethernet cable.
Besides, it is better for you to keep all possible tools for your electronics projects. These miscellaneous tools include screwdriver, utility knife, wrench, wire stripper, magnifying glass, electric drill, paint brush, hammer, measuring tape, flashlight, etc.
Yes, these are the common tools that are necessary for any kind of electronic project. I’m sure you’ve most of them at your disposal.
Step 2: Hardware Part
In this step, we’ll start building different hardware tools for our weather station.
First, you need to build a Stevenson screen. It is the most important structure in a weather station.
Stevenson screen is a specially designed white wooden box that houses some weather instruments like barometer, thermometer and hygrometer, etc.
The Stevenson screen mainly gives shelter the instruments from direct sunlight as well as allow adequate air circulation.
One important thing you should know –build the Stevenson screen with wood to prevent conduction and absorption of heat. And to reflect sunlight it’s better to paint it white.
While installing the Stevenson screen, place it on a surface that is a bad conductor of heat. You can place it on grass and not concrete ground. This will prevent heat conduction from concrete ground. You can also place it 1 meter above the ground.
Anemometer & Wind Vane Mount
At his stage, you’ll need 1.5 meter 2 inch PVC pipe, 2 inch T joint, 2 inch to half inch reducer, half inch PVC pipe, half inch L bend joint and a small half inch L bend.
To support the PVC pipe, you can use an old tripod. If you’ve an old telescope, you can easily use that tripod if you want. Keep in mind that the tripod must be made of steel to hold your station.
To place your Arduino along with its Ethernet shield, you can use an old SMPS. I’m recommending old stuffs to save you some bills.
Inside an SMPS, there is enough space. You can easily add a fan to give it even a better look.
Step 3: Anemometer & Wind Vane
Let’s build our anemometer and wind vane.
Anemometer is a common instrument to measure the speed of airflow. Making an anemometer is very easy and simple.
An anemometer can be built using plastic cups. Attach the cups to a pipe that is connected to the slip ring and plastic ring.
Now, you need to connect an IR sensor to detect and record each rotation. A simple rotator encoder will help you count the rotations.
Wind vane is considered to be the first ever weather instrument to be used. The main job of the instrument is to identify the direction of the wind flow.
You can connect the wind vane to the plastic pipe on which the anemometer is attached. Then you should attach a magnetometer sensor at the tail of the wind vane. It would tell the direction of the wind flow.
Both the anemometer and wind vane are connected to the L bend. And, you can wire them through a PVC pipe to reach the Arduino.
Step 4: Electronics
You should connect the DHT11 sensor and the BMP 180 sensor to the Arduino board. The two sensors are placed inside the Stevenson screen. And, you can wire them outside the box by a ribbon cable.
Anemometer & Wind Vane
It’s time to wire the IR sensor of the anemometer and the magnet to meter sensor, HMC588L. You should use ribbon cable for this purpose.
If you can’t find the IR sensor and magnetometer sensor, look for the IR sensor at the anemometer and the magnetometer sensor at the tail of the wind vane.
And your weather station is ready!
Step 5: Aesthetics
Although we’ve completed building the weather station, we can still do some work at this step. I’ve named this step “Aesthetics”.
Yes, we’ll do some work to make the station look awesome.
Choose the color of your choice and paint the station as you like it. Use your creativity here. I’m not going to dictate you on this issue.
Congratulations! Hopefully, you’ve built the weather station successfully. Isn’t it very simple and interesting? Told you!
However, You can easily install this weather station anywhere you want. Just make sure that all the weather sensors of your station are exposed to their respective weather elements.
Once the installation process is complete, you can start collecting data, and make predictions. Best Of luck!