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Collecting local weather data with WS-1090

By Dale Reagan | June 6, 2011

As part of my abode-sensing project (a physical sensor network still in the planning stages) I decided that install a  home, automated weather station (AWS.)  The goal is to collect basic weather data that may be used with the sensor data collected in the house (my main interest is with the temperature related data, i.e.  ‘weather in my yard’  – the ‘official’, local data is relevant, but it is also relative…) After reviewing the many options I purchased the Ambient Weather WS-1090 system, which includes:

I considered other solutions including a 1-Wire network AWS solution (1-Wire networking is planned for use with the abode-sensing project) but it did not have wireless option and the cost was only slightly lower.

The kit arrived in a timely fashion and the assembly process was reasonably simple.  I did find that the sensor-clamp screws required a bit of force to insert (they went in easily when the components were not mated.)  I follow the basic start-up instructions but then note that some relatively basic information is missing/lacking.  If you want ‘good data’ from the sensors then you need to find the best location at your site to place them.  What makes a good location?

I started out with the sensors mounted on a portable basketball goal (the base is a plastic container filled with water.)  The pole is higher than my yard fence and does not require any climbing on the roof…  It also allows me to move the remote station to any yard location desired as well as to a location where the best wireless connection can be maintained.  So, there was some success but many data points were questionable:

Ok, what’s wrong and how do I resolve…. A trek to the Ambient Weather support pages provides a bit of info:

Additional wrinkle – the data in the WS-1090 display console is more or less permanent (until it gets over-written)

Note that the items below apply to any AWS, not just the WS-1090… After a bit of research I locate documents (links below) about collecting good weather data – the quick summary:

Automated Weather Station Siting/Install Resources

Even though WS-1090 is a wireless sensor unit there are still wires connecting the sensors to the transmitter – finding a site placement balance will obviously mean some sort of compromise – I prefer to avoid long cables running about the yard…  Also, the WS-1090 User Manual does provide some guidance on sensor placement, but, overall I find the current guide to be lacking compared to what I have presented above (along with the links to the resources that I used…)

Ok, my porta-pole might work but I need to lower the rain/temp sensors.  At best, my wind sensors will be at ~16 feed (half the suggested height.)  I tried placing the temperature sensor on a fence post but then I ‘lost signal’ to the sensor (the temperature sensor measures temp/humidity and it also contains the radio transmitter for this unit…)  Also, the temperature sensor was mounted ‘up in the air’ close to the wind sensor (with vibrations most likely being the source of the false rain gauge readings…)

And yes, I was considering a roof/chimney solution but, after reviewing the references above I will stick with the porta-pole solution.  My main need is for good temperature data so the temperature sensor placement will override any other concern…

The WS-1090 was packaged with two 12″, connecting polesOk, think about this based on the preceding information:

My Sensor mounting solution – at least what I start with:

Some Mounting solutions to consider:

Other notes about the WS-1090




At some point the internal sensor portion of this project will begin.  I am sure that a number of posts will result and cover other topics like:

As always, you mileage should vary – at least a little…  🙂

**Test Data notes

Notes & Trivia

Topics: Coastal Georgia, Computer Technology, Fun!, Problem Solving, Reviews|Comments|Feedback, Savannah Georgia (USA) | Comments Off on Collecting local weather data with WS-1090

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