Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A new weather station

Yesterday Olga and I set up a new weather station in the garden. It is a Nevada WH3080 SOLAR. It took a while for me to figure out how to put it together but I got there in the end with a bit of help from Olga (who took the radical step of reading the instructions!)

The sky is always blue in Cumbria!
We had a bit of trouble mounting the weather station in the garden. The manufacturer supplies two large hose clips (you can see them in the picture) which are not the ideal hardware for attaching a pole to another pole. But they did the job, if not very elegantly.

There were no problems receiving the weather station on the control panel sitting on the shack PC 10m away. This Nevada weather station transmits on 868MHz so no interference from or to 70cm amateur transmissions. No problems with the software either, not with EasyWeather nor with Cumulus which is what I will be using.

The software setup went so easily that I couldn't see how it was working. When I plugged the display console into a USB port the PC went "ding dong" to acknowledge a new USB device had been connected but I couldn't find the new device anywhere. I expected it would appear as a serial port in Device Manager but no new ports were added. I didn't have to specify a COM port in either program either. How the console talks to the weather software is a mystery. I'm not planning to write my own software to process the weather data but I'm still curious as to how the software gets the data.

Using the example web pages provided with Cumulus I set up a Cockermouth Weather page very easily. Cumulus creates a wxnow.txt file which APRSIS32 uses to generate an APRS weather object. However I have just noticed that Cumulus can send updates to the APRS network directly. That would be a simpler way of doing it, but that way the weather object would not get transmitted to the local APRS network. I've since discovered an issue when using APRSIS32 to generate a weather object via a converse mode TNC, but hopefully Lynn KJ4ERJ the author of APRSIS32 will come up with a fix for it.
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