Introduction: How to Make a DIY Weather Station

Picture of How to Make a DIY Weather Station

The fast pace of modern life greatens the distance between human and nature, making more kids caged in the concrete jungle. However, interacting with nature is an indispensable part in their growth. Weather itself, can be an accessible yet interesting subject for kids to study. Through meteorological observations, recording and analyzing, kids can literally learn and do science that is combined seamlessly with their daily life activities.

From terraces to living rooms, in backyards and in classrooms, this DIY Weather Station Kit can be used in measuring both indoor and outdoor data concerning temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. It comes with a solar panel, which provides auxiliary power supply to the system. This DIY Weather Station Kit is both energy-saving and green, and can help to develop kids's interest in natural science.

Step 1: Preparations

Picture of Preparations

2. Tools:

  • Pan Knief
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • #0, 3mm Slotted screwdriver

3. Description of the Case

The case is made of laser-cut basswood plywood. Thus, there might be some laser-burnt marks. It’s
normal. Just hide the burnt marks when assembling.

4. How to use the blue tack

Blu-tack is a reusable putty-like pressure-sensitive adhesive. Also, it’s harmless and
environment-friendly

How to paste with Blu-tack

Pull & twist the Blu-tack to make it soft and sticky

  1. Roll it into balls with 3-4mm in diameter
  2. Place 3 or 4 Blu-tack balls on one object and then stick it to another object
  3. How to remove the Blu-tack: rub & roll it

Step 2: Installation of Software

Install Arduino IDE:

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software ( The version shall at least be Arduino1.0.5.)

Install related libraries: find libraries from the compressed files downloaded on our website

Unzip the files and then copy and paste it to the file of Sketchbook location within the
Arduino file just as it is shown below

Step 3: Program Loading

Picture of Program Loading

1. Set time for the clock module

1). Hardware connection:

how to connect the clock module with the main control panel. Notice that VCC shall be connected to the ICSP area & VCC(+)located within the R area cannot be used without the program.

2). LilyPad Arduoino USB

Open Arduino IDE & the selection panel shall be LilyPad Arduoino USB

3). open ds3231 adjust sample program

4). Change the parts in red within the adjust code into the current time. dt DateTime dt(2014, 8, 4, 12, 1, 0, 1) shown in the picture below means 12:01:00 on 4 August 2014, Monday. Note: No zero before any number. For instance, 08 is incorrect.

5). Turn the switch on the 4Drawing control panel to “MAKE” as it is shown below

6). Connect your PC with the 4Drawing control with micro-USB cables

7). Check the correspondent serial port within Arduino IDE. If there is no serial port within it, you will have to install a serial port driver. Click here for reference:

http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/Windows#toc4

8). Download the adjust program to the control panel

9). Open the Arduino serial port and you can see the time displayed on the screen. Then remove the RTC module or reset the time.

Step 4: Load the Weather Station Program

Picture of Load the Weather Station Program

1). Open the example program under WeatherStation, which is within the Arduino IDE

2). Download the example program to the main control panel

3). Turn the switch on the 4Drawing control panel to “RUN” as it is shown below

Step 5: Assembling

Picture of Assembling

1.1 Assemble the Front Plate

Fix the Touch Panel & LCD Module on the front plate just as it is shown in the photo below and

slide cables into correspondent connectors of the modules. When assembling the LCD Module, place three or four spacers on the area within the red circle as it’s shown in the photo below to keep the front plate even

Step 6: Assemble the Rear Plate

Picture of Assemble the Rear Plate

1) Paste aluminum paper on one side of the rear plate (aluminum paper with glue on one side) & remove the remaining part as well as the aluminum paper covering the holes in the rear plate. Aluminum paper is used to reduce the influence of sunshine on the internal sensor

2) Stick the solar panel to the side of the rear plate pasted with aluminum paper by applying Blu-tack. Then slide the cables through the oval-shaped holes in the plate. 3) Fix the charge module & lithium battery on the rear plate with Blu-tack just as it’s shown in the map below and then connect the cables properly

Step 7: Assemble the Bottom Plate

Picture of Assemble the Bottom Plate

1)Fix the main control plate & mini breadboard on the bottom plate with Blu-tack. Details are shown in the photo below
2) Slide the clock module ( the side with I2C input) and the barometric pressure sensor into the breadboard. When connecting the cables, you can refer to the map below

Step 8: Assemble the Bar

Picture of Assemble the Bar

Fix the DHT22 temperature & humidity sensor on the bar with screws as it’s shown in the photo below.

Step 9: Assemble the Side Plate

Picture of Assemble the Side Plate

Place nuts into cross-slots at the bottom of the side plate. Two of the nuts will be used to connect it with the rear plate. (Practically, we will only used the two nuts close to the rear plate. Here we slide them all into the slots to make things easy for the overall installation.)

Step 10: Overall Installation

Picture of Overall Installation

1) Follow the map below and connect the modules. Once connected click the touch module on the front plate and check if information is displayed properly on it. If not, check the cable connections.

2) Connect the components in an orderly manner as it’s shown in the photo below and cover it

with the rear plate. Then tighten the two screws. And the installation is done

Step 11: Air Quality Monitor

Picture of Air Quality Monitor

1. Preparation

Sharp GP2Y1010AU0F Compact optical Dust Sensor

Dust Sensor Adapter

2. Load the Weather Station Program

Modify WeatherStation’s example program. Delete “//” within the line starting with a red arrow just as it is shown in the photo below to initiate the air quality sensor. Download this program to the main control panel.

3. Assembling

Refer to the map below and connect the air quality sensor and processing panel.

4. Installation

Refer to basic installation instructions

Step 12: How to Use It

Picture of How to Use It

When using the example program, Weather Station will:

  • Weather monitoring would end at 20:00 each day
  • One data collection per hour with automotive record keeping of the data
  • Data would be stored for two days once collected (the day it’s collected and the next day)
  • Automatically charge the lithium battery when covered with abundant sunshine
  • It offers 15 days’ standby time without abundant sunshine
  • When you tap the touchable area within the front plate, information monitored will be displayed on the LCD screen

We recommend you the following two ways to use it

  • Way One: For students & kids to collect weather data
  • Put the weather station on the balcony. The solar panel shall face where the sun is at soon
  • Print the record_chart.doc
  • Type the weather data collected each day into the weather statistics record sheet
  • Analyze features of the weather conditions each week and draw a curve graph to show the features

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Bio: I'm from DFRobot.com, we will often make some interesting applications and share with you all. If you have any questions, welcome to comment.
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