Spurred on by the completion of my two previous projects, the Compact Camera and Portable Games Console, I wanted to find a new challenge. The natural progression was an outdoor remote system...

I wanted to build a Raspberry Pi weather station that was able to sustain itself off grid and send me the results through a wireless connection, from anywhere! This project really has had its challenges, but luckily powering the Raspberry Pi is one of the main challenges that has been made easy by using the PiJuice as a power supply with it's added solar support (complete with our revolutionary PiAnywhere technology – the best way to take your Pi off the grid!).

My Initial thought was to use the fantastic AirPi module to take readings. This however, had two main drawbacks; it requires a direct internet connection to upload the results and it needs to be connected directly to the GPIO on the Pi which means it can't be exposed to the air without also exposing the Raspberry Pi (not ideal if we want this weather station to last any length of time).

The solution... build my own sensing module! Using much of the AirPi for inspiration I was able to put together a very simple prototype using a few sensor I already had; temperature, humidity, light levels and general gases. And the great thing about this is that it's really easy to add more sensors at anytime.

I decided to use a Raspberry Pi a+ mainly due to its low power consumption. To send me the results I used the EFCom Pro GPRS/GSM module, which can send a text straight to my mobile phone with the results! Pretty neat right?

I'm glad to here of any ideas you have for other great solar or portable projects. Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to create a tutorial!

Ok, here is my question. I want basically whay you've done but a few more sensors and ability to bluetooth or hotspot/connect my phone to it to pull readings and propagate certain programs. Can you point in the right direction?
<p>Wow! It looks very useful to gather the weather data!! Thanks you.</p>
<p>hello Sir. just wanna know if this project will work out. You're inspiring me to make this project. </p>
<p>Great project! I was wondering if it was possible to make a simple weather vane for RasPi B and log the data over months and maybe an emailed monthly summary?</p>
<p>Hi! Great instructable. I&acute;m looking for a solution that can monitor my local surf break. It has to be self sustained with solar power and be able to publish a low-res picture to an internet server via 3G GSM. Any ideas on this?</p><p>Such a solution I guess could be used for a number of different applications.</p>
<p>Hi Jonas, that's a great idea, and something I've been looking at doing myself. I think the solution would be to use a 3G or 2G module, such as the sparqee cell, or the Adafruit FONA. then once a ppp connection has been established it would be either be a case of uploading photos straight to the web or using FTP to transfer to a remote computer. As I say, I'm looking to do something very similar and I plan to put a guide soon.</p>
Hi again,<br><br>I&acute;m curious if you did try this out?<br>
<p>That sounds awesome! The Adafruit FONA looks promising. Combine that with the Raspberry Camera Module. OR maybe an external USB camera for more control of the pictures (zoom). Power the PiJuice Solar. And then finally write a software that takes a picture every 5 minutes and pushes it all to a Dropbox account or web server. </p><p>What a fantastic solution this would be! As I am a total newbie, I&acute;m looking forward to see this guide.</p>
<p>Hello<br><br>I liked your post and the points for not using airpi. The last thing I want on my network is yet another iot device which connects out to its C&amp;C somewhere like chinese cameras. <br><br>I wonder if it's possible to add an anemometer to your setup like:<br><br>http://www.adafruit.com/products/1733<br><br>Hooking it up to that ADC converter shouldnt be a problem. The datasheet says its going from 0.4 - 2V DC but it also needs some standby voltage. The page doesnt say how many mA does this consume but do you think I would need a bigger pijuice battery than the default?<br><br>Also I would like to know if I order the pijuice solar kit, does the solar panel waterproof so I can mount the whole thing up on a pole at the middle of the garden?<br><br>Where is the best way to put this weather station anyway? I guess putting it close to your heated homes wall is not the ideal place to get accurate readings.<br><br>Thank you!</p>
<p>Hi Iced2! Sorry for the late reply, been really busy! Anyway, adding a camera is certainly a possibility and easy to implement. </p><p>And anemometer would also be a great addition too, and the adafruit one with an ADC looks good. I think a bigger battery is sensible but not particularly for the anemometer but rather because of the nature of solar power; you'de want max capacity to store max energy during sunny periods so that when it becomes cloudy or night time you should have enough juice to last!</p><p>The solar panel provided is waterproof and yes I think putting it next to your house is not ideal. I would suggest a region that's exposed to sunlight, but not too exposed to driving rain, as although this &quot;weatherproof&quot; I wouldn't go as far as to say waterproof! </p><p>If you give it a go be sure to post an instructables! </p>
is there a schematic of the sensing circuit available?
<p>Hey, yeah the picture in step 2 should do the trick!</p>
<p>great work!</p>
<p>Thanks! </p>
<p>Hi! PiJuice...Is there a way to make this project with Arduino...if there is???..Please make an instructable on it...</p><p>Thanks a lot!!! </p>
<p>Hi Ritik,</p><p>I'm sure there's a a way to do something similar with arduino, and in some ways may be a little simpler. Unfortunately, you might find powering the arduino to be the trickiest part, since the PiJuice is designed for the Raspberry Pi only. </p>
Hi PiJuice,<br>Great article! Nice tidy solution! One small question, why do you take the temperature from the LM35 instead of the DHT22? I see you read the temperature from in in your code but dont use it.<br><br>Thanks!
<p>Hi. Glad you liked it. I believe the DHT22 is unable to measure temperatures below 0.</p>
<p>I think the datasheet states the DHT22 will measure between -40 and +80 deg C.</p><p>Not sure if that's any use for you :-)</p><p>Either way, great project! Thanks for replying to me.</p>
<p>Thanks, I'll look into it. </p>
Very nice, there is any possibility to download a compete PDF project? Tks ciao Roberto
<p>Thanks! I believe there's a link at the top of the page to get the tutorial as a PDF. Let me know if you can't see it. </p>
Add a anemometer and a wind vane to it!
<p>These would certainly be cool! </p>
Hi! it would be awesome to add a camera to this and be able to trigger mms with pictures. Great stuff!
<p>Hi Razool. Yes this is a great idea. I have a remote camera system and CCTV camera in the pipeline! </p>
<p>About how much did everything cost all together?</p>
<p>Hi Maxenvironment. I estimate the costs to be about &pound;120. That's including everything. Obviously it would depend on where you are ordering the parts from though. </p>
<p>You MUST enter this in the Pi/e Contest! Truly stellar work and documentation here. Wow! </p><p>www.instructables.com/contest/piedaycontest/</p>
<p>So glad you liked it! Thanks for the hint.:) </p>
<p>I really like what you've done here, and because of this post I went and pre-ordered a PiJuice. Though what is the point of putting an air quality sensor, inside an airtight container? Unless it's going to be monitoring internally for water leaks? Beyond this I find this REALLY great and can't wait to build something similar!</p>
<p>Hi _neckbeard. Glad you liked it, and thanks for pre-ordering! Actually the sensing unit is not sealed, there's a hole in the bottom which allows air to circulate. In contrast the computing unit is completely air tight, for obvious reasons. That's the point of the two seperate units. </p>
<p>Looks like a great project. How hard would it be to use a wifi connection to a website (or tweet) instead of using GSM?</p>
<p>Hey, thanks! I don't think it would be very hard. Perhaps look at using SFTP to transfer straight to your computer. I'm not sure of the best way to upload straight to a website using code, but I'm sure it's been done, so shouldn't be too hard to find a tutorial somewhere online. </p>
<p>I wondered how you'd managed to get the PiJuice to power the Weather Station... You are PiJuice! :)<br>Just backed it on <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1895460425/pijuice-a-portable-project-platform-for-every-rasp" rel="nofollow">Kickstarter</a> With 2 hours to go! :)<br>I will be building one of these, Thanks!<br><br></p>
<p>wow, I missed it by like a night, so can't back it with kickstarter anymore :(</p>
<p>I am PiJuice! haha. Thanks for the backing Peter</p>
<p>You know it's a good tutorial when the only criticism is your grammar ;-)</p>
<p>Likewise, if they say you used the wrong typeface!!</p>
<p>Nice instructable thank you.</p><p>But you can get a ESP8266 off ebay for less than $3.00 to handle your WiFi with AT commands.</p><p>And then you can use LUA to use the onboard micro in place of the Pi to attach your sensors.</p><p>https://www.google.com/search?q=ESP8266&amp;rlz=1C1CHTX_enUS512US513&amp;oq=ESP8266&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3j69i65l2.5487j0j7&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;es_sm=122&amp;ie=UTF-8</p>
<p>If I don't have (read, can't afford) the EFCom Pro GPRS/GSM Module right now, how much work is involved in using simple wifi to email or ftp a report to xyz.TLD at regular intervals?<br><br>Any sites you know of that would have this type of code already made up (read, I cant code for toffee)?<br></p>
<p>There's a good article on the Adafruit site at https://learn.adafruit.com/dht-humidity-sensing-on-raspberry-pi-with-gdocs-logging which shows how to log results to Google Drive, which might help</p>
<p>hello,</p><p>Good work, I buy a pijuice for this project.</p><p>By cons, is that it is possible to store or otherwise disseminate data in a simple way? I would use it near a rj45 or wifi conexion</p>
<p>I was tempted to make these myself! Although I think I would add a webcam and use motion to send pictures.. given that would use a bit more power!</p>
<p>Hi there. Interested to hear a bit more about why the AirPi idea didn't progress. Was planning to combine that with PiJuice Solar and a camera in a DIY Stevenson screen box thing as a weather station/security camera combo. Would put the Pi/PiJuice in case with only the AirPi exposed within the box. Would a wifi dongle and a GPIO extension cable have solved the problem.</p>
<p>Hi handsomefish. The AirPi is a cool piece of kit, and I wouldn't advice you against using it. A wifi dongle and extension cable would solve the problem, but I didn't go that route for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted this weather station to be really remote. I.e. with the capability of transmitting results from areas without wifi, hence the use of the GSM cellular network. Secondly, to use the AirPi software without any manipulation, you need a &quot;Xively&quot; online account, from here you can access your results. Unfortunately there's a pretty long waiting list to get an account with Xively. It is possible to use the AirPi without Xively and there's a few tutorials on how to do it either with MySQL or straight to a .txt file I believe, but I thought that for the trouble it might be worth, it would be more fun the build my own circuit. </p>
It's great to know that there's no fundamental issue with the AirPi. I wouldn't have know where to start without my kit. I already have it up an running connected to another Pi, so am looking forward to getting my front-door online!<br><br>FYI for other budding weather stationeers, this project (https://github.com/haydnw/AirPi) has branched the AirPi software and provides several features over and above the original, including more output options, over and above xively.
<p>Quite a good tutorial indeed. But for my <br> taste I would have liked to see a Rain gauge (self emptying) , wind-speed and wind direction sensors <br> as well. But I suppose adding them myself would not be a problem.</p><p>I <br> wonder if can buy the above sensors that will not involve a <br> re-morgage - over here in Germany they seem to be quite expensive but are of high quality.</p><p> Maplin has one but will not ship to Germany. Post from the US is too high.</p><p>Anyone got any tips for me. I really like my own weather station!</p>
<p>Hi Bonzadog. Glad you liked it! Yes those would really be great additions. That's the idea of this project; it's pretty rough and ready and so could easily be adapted to your own needs. </p><p>I really like the idea of putting a pressure sensor on too. </p><p>I'm not sure how best to get the sensors in Germany, but you don't specifically need the ones that I've used. </p><p>If you wanted to get really adventurous you could try building your own rain gauge with some scales and a mechanical emptying mechanism, the wind speed sensor would probably be a little harder because I imagine you'd have to purchase a more expensive sensor in order to calibrate your home-made one anyway but perhaps something worth considering. </p><p>I'll keep an eye out for cheaper sensors that you might be able to get in Germany.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: PiJuice is a product from the company, Pi Supply. Pi Supply is a Maker emporium located in the UK that ships maker products worldwide!
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