[aprssig] Weather station update

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Mon Nov 9 13:20:27 EST 2009

A quick update on my weather station project... it's coming along well, 
and I should have the first units shipping in time for Christmas.  The 
pictures here show what should be pretty much the final hardware version:


The wind/rain sensor installation is temporary in this picture and I 
haven't secured the cables yet.  The kit comes with cable ties for that.

The box contains temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity sensors. 
  There's a 1/2" port on the left side, covered with a stainless steel 
mesh, that you can't see in the picture.

This board revision includes 2 megabytes of flash memory.  At the moment 
it's only used for voice sample storage (it has a vocabulary of a little 
over 200 words for reading weather conditions over the air) but 
eventually it'll be usable for data logging, too.

It's got a solid state relay rated at 8 amps for controlling radio 
power.  In the pictured setup it's powering an old Alinco DJ-F1T and 
it's working great.  It's drawing about 18 mA, but I should be able to 
cut that by 50% or more as I get some software power save options going.

At this point there's mostly just software work and component sourcing 
to be done.  Those 3.5mm pluggable terminal blocks cost $16 each at 
Digi-Key and they've been the biggest headache so far, but I've found a 
source at a fraction of that and they'll be on the way here tomorrow.  A 
bunch of the voice samples have to be re-recorded (thankfully it's not 
my voice in the production version) but that shouldn't take long.

Retail price should be around $150 (assembled except for the wind/rain 
mast) with all of the sensors.

I'll be documenting a demo installation in the coming week, with a 
complete solar powered station in an ammo can.


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