Total rain per year
Highs and lows since December 1st 2014
Weather Station karpa-cuxhaven (INIEDERS390)
In 2014 I started with an Oregon Scientific WMR200 station. The station offered temperature, wind, humidity and a rain gauge. The main unit of the station is driven by a small solar panel but batteries are needed to operate during night. Unfortunately the solar panel was not designed to charge any rechargeble batteries. However, the batteries stayed good from first day until Jan-13th 2018 (so, I never had to replace them). The rain gauge is separated from the other sensors and also battery driven, but does not have any solar panel support. This sensor was in my setup the weakest part. It failed in January 2015 and it took me 4 weeks to get a replacement. After I got the replacement installed, the rain gauge started to fail again in October 2017. Replacing batteries and cleaning the gauge totally didn’t help. I couldn’t get it back to life. In 2016 I also got a UV-sensor added to the station.
So, I decided to buy a different station as priced for these were not much more expensive than buying a new rain gauge. As I couldn’t affort a Davis, I decided to buy a Fine Offset WH2601. The sensor unit of the Fine Offset is similar in look to the Davis and does have only one unit which contains all sensors. Like the Oregon, the unit is supported by a solar panel, but also does not allow any rechargeables.
While the Oregon was operating at a height of approx. 4 meters above the ground, this time I wanted to get higher to avoid any interference from the house when measuring the wind speed. I bought a telescope pole which would allow me to go for approx. 8 meters, but it starts to get too shaky then, so I decided to get to somewhat like 6 meters high. That is already a good step forward.
The Oregon station was USB based while the Fine Offset does hook into the network and send weather data right away to weather underground.
To get the data from the Orgeon published to weather underground and my own weather page I setup an older iMac runnig WeatherCat software. This worked seamlessly since 2014 until January 2018. The application does not support the Fine Offset station and I wanted to replace the iMac by using a Raspberry PI for doing these things anyway, I did this step all together in January.
So, there’s a software package WeeWx that does also support the Fine Offset station but – to me it was – really complex and not intuitive. I decided first to stay with weather underground only.
While looking around during the configuration I digged out a gem called Weather Station for WordPress. I gave it a try and that package is really a burner. It does integrate weather underground data right away into the own blog site. In addition it does also allow for operating with data provided directly via clientraw, realtime or other formats. I asked my son whether he could write a small program to grab the data from the station and prepare it for realtime.txt format. Since Jan-24th I am now operating it with both deliveries: weather undergound direct feed and realtime.txt feed to the WordPress plugin. It works like a charm.
Weather Station Setup
The station itself delivers directly the data to weather underground, only configuration work needs to be applied.
- On the Raspberry a java program runs every minute to grab the weather data from the device’s internal webpage
- Once processed, the application sends the data in realtime.txt format to the hoster’s server
- The WordPress plugin picks the data up and stores them in the database
- The plugin also stores the previous values in the daily table of the WordPress database
- Every night, the plugin clears the daily table but before the data will be aggregated (min, max, avg, med, std-dev) and stored in the historic table
- As I have set the processing of the plugin to fast, I also disabled the WP-CRON automatic process. To start the processing, the Raspberry script does a WGET every minute right after sending the data to start the WP-CRON
- Every 15 minutes the IP-Cam pictures is pulled and send to the hoster’s server