Isaac's Blog

January 15, 2007

From the weather dept.  

Anemometer Froze

So it seems when the sleet and freezing rain came around 6am, my anemometer and rain bucket froze in place. Eiother that or the batteries in the units blew up.... guess we'll see when we thaw out. Yet another reason to not get an OS WMR968!

January 5, 2007

From the weather dept.  

Solar powered fan asperated radiation shield

I finally got around to taking pictures of my latest weather modification:

I took a good idea, and made it better. the original plan called for a glued in fan and unprotected sensor. My version allows you to unscrew the fan housing to access the wires to swap out the fan easily, and not ontop of a ladder. Second alteration is the larger extended sensor housing.

My original sensor malfunctioned, which i think may be because of it being exposed to the air without its original housing. In this version I added a wider pvc pipe to allow you to just slip the original sensor housing in. The fan is powered via a 5w 12/24v solar panel, which in turn is wired to a 12AH batter and has a 8w diode to the 12v fan. the fan only fun when there is "radiation exposure" and a bit after until the battery gets spent.

My original setup is explained here. Additions to this shopping list are:
5w 24/12v solar panel
old directv mount
4ft aluminum "L" (to make a bracket for the solar panel)
12AH batter
8v diode
anything to enclose the battery from the element (soda coolers work great)
2" -> 1" reducer
1-2ft 2" pvc
and of course, leave the THGR968 in its casing, but remove the mushroom head.

October 31, 2006

From the weather dept.  

THGR968 replaced

I finally replaced the thermohydrometer for my weather station.

September 25, 2006

From the weather dept.  

THGR968 for WMR968 broken

Apparently last monday (7 days ago) my THGR968 Thermo-Hygrometer Sensor started reading the dew point and humidity erroneously. I'm not sure it this uses the same sensor and just calculates the relative humidity from dew point, but either way, its broken. Its been off by 12 to 21 degrees Fahrenheit with an avg around 14. Will attempt OS customer support, wish me luck.

UPDATE: THGR968 as well as WMR968 is backordered YET AGAIN. They wanted me to send my unit in, and wait for them to send my backordered part back. umm, yea. I told them tp order one for me, and when I got it, i'd send them my unit back. Ugh. time to troll ebay more.

August 12, 2006

From the weather dept.  

WMR968 Fan aspirated temperature sensor

I noticed my temp readings just didn't seem hot enough. I was able to validate this with my MESONET/CWOP data recently. I remembered some fan thingy a while back, AND i ran into the same fan thingy recently while trading some emails on wunderground. So heres the "fan thingy". After reading it, I realized this guy didn't really calculate any measurements. He just threw stuff together to make it work. So, like B.A.S.F.... lets not invent something, lets make it better!

12v for a 80mm fan is about 30-40CFM at around 160-200 milliamp (numbers based on which fan you actually buy). That's a bit much for this application. A 12v 800ma is a bit overkill for a 200ma fan. A full 12v runs about 2500-3000RPM. You could easily half all these numbers and get adequate airflow. Running a similar setup, I used an 80mm 12v fan, at 6v. Comparing the readings to nearby stations showed it to be doing the job perfectly.

My goal for aiming for 6v was to use a solar battery charger to run the fan 24/7. I ordered this Silicon Solar battery charger. Just add some leads from the batteries and I have a solar by day, battery by night.

Parts list:
~3ft 1in sch40 PVC (I chose schedule 40 over the other thin one, so there is less radiation)
1- 2->4 reducer
1- 2->1 reducer
1- 1in elbow
1- 1in elbow w/ 1 side NPT thread
1- 1in threaded male coupling
1- 1in T w/ 3/4" threaded center
1- 3/4" threaded plug
1- 12v 80mm fan (like the one from your old power supply)
1- THGR968, stripped from casing (mushroom sensor from WMR968)
1- 4AA solar battery charger
4- 4AA 2900mHA rechargeable batteries (anything over 1800 should work.... havnt tested this part yet)
~5ft old rj11 cable (2line/4copper cable). Any 2copper cable would work.
2- 3in "L" brackets
2- 1in overhead electrical conduit brackets
spray foam

I'll post pictures and more specific steps once I get the solar unit in and take picts. Thanks go to Garth Olson for giving me something to work off. (Btw garth, the third yellow wire is for getting the fan speed).

UPDATE: So the solar charger I got wasn't the one I ordered. Turns out the one I want is discontinued. Plus their "replacement" for the one I ordered only gets up to 4.73v in the bright light from the heat of a texas summer day. Lame. Once I get my RMA in and my money back, I'm going to try for this one: Flexible Solar Battery Charger (SolLite-4AAE). After googling/ebaying similar ones, this one ends up being lowest cost, AND is flexible for that nice hail we get in TX.

June 12, 2006

From the weather dept.  

Alberto, the beginging to a fun season

The first named storm of the year is upon florida.

NHC/NOAA Alberto page

Its gonna be a fun packed season!

May 30, 2006

From the weather dept.  

Live current weather!

So I think I'm finally done with AJAX-ifing my current weather page. Every variable is now live, and humidity and heat index are calculated on the fly now. METAR, NWS alerts, UV, and indoor temps are now added and ajaxed in as well. I cant realyl think fo anything else... maybe lake levels, but I cant find a place that keeps those at least hourly... oh well. now to see why it doesnt work in IE....grrrrr.

May 22, 2006

From the weather dept.  

WMR968 rain issues

So the RMA finally came in, slapped in the batteries, waiting for it to aquire everything, and proceeded to spray water towards my gauge. replacement unit acts the same way. I did stumble upon this though: guess i'll try that after some ferrite

May 9, 2006

From the weather dept.  

still waiting on my RMA, and AJAX!

Still waiting on the wmr968 console RMA. Someone brought this link to my attention, seems like it might be part or all of the issue. maybe i need some ferrite on the cables between the xmitter and sensors eh? we'll see w/ new console.

Check out my current weather page for some AJAX goodness. Stay tuned while I mix in some METAR data :)

May 1, 2006

From the weather dept.  

weather station update

I got the RMA in for the rain gauge. It seems to work exactly like the old one. Doing some online searching I found a forum with people that have had similar issues. Of course they never post their fix because they don't care about other people. In my opinion however, I think the unit should be smart enough to zero itself out when it stops raining. I called OS up again and I'm getting an RMA for the main console unit. I really hope thats the issue, because this is kinda lame.

April 28, 2006

From the weather dept.  

Hail damage costs are in

The same night it hailed, I called my two cars in for a claim. I was called back the two days later to setup an inspection. and heres the tally: '02 Mazda Tribute, previously flawless... $2700, '02 Mercury Sable w/ one door ding from an inconsiderate ass at walmart... $2100.

April 20, 2006

From the weather dept.  

ugh, weather station errors

So it seems like my rain gauge likes to stay at its last rate above zero. the last thing it reported was 0.59in/h, its since been dry for a couple hrs. I know its not rained 0.59inches the last hour. wtf gives? I call OS customer service. The tech tells me to reset the base unit and the gauge. I tell him its on a 2 story roof and we are in a tornado watch. he said just do the base unit. sure enough, its still reporting 0.59. I call back, this tech says the lightning in the area might have effected the sensor. I ask how common this is, because I don't want to have to climb a 2story house to reset a sensor, after unscrewing 8 tiny screws from a ladder. I got something like "after you reset the rain unit, monitor it if it still has problems, we will send you a replacement"

crap, maybe I should've dropped a little more and got that Davis Vantage Pro 2, ugh!

Guess I'll try and reset the rain gauge tomorrow morning before it gets stormy again!

2in diameter hail!

So not 4 days after I mount the weather station on the roof, we get a wicked storm with 2in diameter hail. mind you, thats the majority of the sizes, there was some 2.25in easy. So while this is happening, I'm watching my weather station graphs and software praying one doesn't nail the weather station. Amazingly enough, it lived through its first hail storm.

Thats not the funny part. ...

I mounted it up on 4/15. logged into wunderground and pulled up the google map. I noticed all my wind directions were the opposite! damn, I mounted my anemometer backwards! Its winds FROM the south, not TO the south. duh, stupid mistake. 4/16 I climb back up and rotate the pole 180 degrees and re-angle the solar panels. While I'm up there, I take pictures. For more info on that and pictures, check out my weather page

So thats not the crappy part... Both of our cars are outside? ever wonder how big hail has to be to cause car damage? golf ball sized causes little dings, hen egg (ie 2in) causes bigger crater-like dings. Thank god my deductible is only $250. The trees god pruned by nature, the gutters didn't get a dent, and the roof looks clean.

There's 3 more days of this forecasted, oye vey.

UPDATE: The gutters did end up w/ 3 dings from the inside out.