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The Raspberry Pi Weather Station – In Ten Minutes Flat

The weather is a hot topic again in the UK, where we are experiencing something of a heatwave. This is generally referred to as ‘summer’ elsewhere in the world but heat in summer is something of an outlandish concept to the people of this island!

Parts list

Qty Product Part number
1 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ 1373331
1 Raspberry Pi Bridge 1743694
1 XinaBox MD01 for use with Blank Placeholder 1743711
1 AVX BTB Series, Male Edge Connector For use with Xinabox XChips, SMT, 10 Way, 2 Row, 2mm Pitch, 2.5A 1744977
1 XinaBox SW01, Advanced Weather Sensor Module for BME280 1743744
Mark completed his Electronic Engineering degree in 1991 and worked in real-time digital signal processing applications engineering for a number of years, before moving into technical marketing.


August 7, 2018 07:47

A nice addition to this project would be to export the data to a spreadsheet so that temperature could be viewed over time.

0 Votes

August 7, 2018 14:42

@Les_B I have tried to keep this project as simple as possible, but you could write your data directly to Excel (.xlsx) files if you wish, using the openpyxl or xlsxwriter Python packages.

July 25, 2018 08:03

Nice intro project, Mark! Look forward to more with the XinaBox.
Also, from a fellow Fallout fan - cool 'T-51b armor' in the Terminal :)

July 23, 2018 08:14

@davecole, I think the last column of the output is the relative humidity. The code for it in the source code appears to be cut off by the edge of the screen capture window.

While this is a nice example of quickly getting a Raspberry Pi doing some monitoring of its environment, there are quite a few additional considerations for turning it into a station that could read outdoor weather (apart from sensing additional environmental variables).
For example, besides being separated from the influence of the processor's heating, the temperature sensor needs to be protected from direct sunlight, but still have sufficient exposure to the air (not a sealed box). Usually a louvered enclosure is used to do this.
You need to decide where the processor will be - indoors or out? If outdoors, you need check what operating conditions your processor is rated for. Will it handle the range of heat and cold, and possibly very high humidity?
If you keep the processor inside, you need to determine how you will get the signals from the sensors to the processor. Direct cabling? Some interfaces are only designed for short distances. Analog lines will pick up noise. And longer wiring increases the exposure to electrical surges and differences in ground potential between the sensors and processor. (Including nearby lightening strikes, for weather stations.)
These can be challenges, but good opportunities to learn more about real-world engineering.

(I know - I designed a network of weather stations.)

July 25, 2018 15:45

@BradLevy Thanks for laying out the design considerations for a full-blown weather station. We will be looking at how to upload the data produced from such a station to the cloud, to share with the world, in an upcoming article.

July 25, 2018 08:03

Thanks @BradLevy - really useful extra information

July 23, 2018 08:14

Great Project... A weather station is obviously more than just temperature, I'd be interested to also see humidity and maybe rainfall. Will this product allow you to expand to monitor these as well? Can you do a follow up of how you would increase the monitoring and send this data to the IoT cloud?

July 25, 2018 15:44

@davecole Thanks. The Bosch BME280 sensor used here will also measure humidity and pressure, so it is like a digital version of your old wall barometer. There are a large number of other sensors available in the x-chip range for light, VOCs etc, though if you want to measure things like rainfall and wind speed, you will have to go off-piste as far as ready-made x-chips go.

August 1, 2019 08:37

@Redstone Thanks for the excellent article! Do you have any specific suggestions for coding if you are trying to collect humidity and pressure?

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