Weather Station

With the arrival of some solar panels and an ADC in the post today, its back to the weather station to getting it fully working by January. I have worked out where its going to live, now i just have to put the door on the front, some bug screen over the vents and paint it white so that it stays as cool as possible in the harsh unforgiving Australian Summer.

The panels apparently put out 1amp each at 5v. Yeah right, but 1 is putting out enough current to turn on the charge circuit and so thats a win. 2 Panels should in theory keep the batteries fully charged in the daytime and run everything, just fine. 2 might even be overkill, but I do not want to run out of battery because its been cold and overcast for 5 days. But hey I think my math is ok and it should survive 5 days without sun.

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QRP Labs Phasing Receiver Part 2.

Well i have it all built, now i need to dig out a DDS LO and give her some power and see if it is a skookum choocher or if the pixies turn to smoke and leave the building just like Elvis. I did not enjoy building this all that much, the form factor is tiny and everything is stuffed in there as tight as it can be. But, if all goes well, tonight we might hear something coming out of a speaker.

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QRP Labs Phasing Receiver

While QRP Labs makes some wonderful kits, they really could do with adding 20% more board area so that old sausage fingers can got in there and do some Da Finger Poken. I get that some things really need to be packed in tight, but others do not and I think the filter boards can be much bigger and contain a 2nd set of holes for the wires rather than trying to solder them to the tops of the header pins. Anyway that’s enough moaning from me. The kit is going together well  all tests have been successful and I am confident that it will eventually power on and work.

I got reading glasses a few months back, but I can tell you I am really noticing how hard some things are to do, to solder that one smd park i had to use both my glasses and the huge magnifying glass to get the job done 🙂

I love it when a plan comes together, needed 3.1uh on the 2 inductors, and guess what I got, 3.1uh HAHAHA.

 

I still have the polyphase board to build. Then i need to start working out what bits i am going to add to it to make it complete. Arduino and SI5351A obviously and some kind of AF amp should do the trick. More on this to come.

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Bottom Of The Cycle DX

So we are heading to the bottom of the solar cycle they said, the bands will be dead they said. So I fired up the big black box on 15m tonight and worked some DX. A bit of Italy but while tuning about I came across EY7AD Rakhim in Tajikistan, that’s a new country for me. So we can only hope we get a few more days like this over summer so i can work some more new dx.

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Portable In VKFF-1623

So i got excited today and tossed the BITx 40 and a 7ah sla onto the back seat of the ute and headed off to play a little radio. To be honest its been a really long time since i have gotten out and about in vk and did some park activation. The BITx is a bunch of fun to operate with its huge 7w and a lack of all creature comforts, but it does the job even if you have to ride the volume knob for when someone big gives you a real signal.

So I spent about an hour in the park and made 21 contacts. Not to shabby all things considered as its a work day and the band conditions were poor. The only non vk2 and 4 contact made was with Paul vk5pas and thats because he lives on top of a mountain and has pretty good antenna, but even with his superior location the best he could give me was 33 to his 56.

Anyway, i had fun and look forward to getting out and doing some more parks soon, it has really been a long time since i have done any, other than an an activation in the teams even with 4aac i have not really done a park since Easter. Bring on more wwff and more activations.

Oh and its time i fixed the displayed frequency, im actually on 7.149 irrespective of what display says HAHA.

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Arduino Weather Station Update

Its been a while since i have posted anything to do with electronicals and as i have been tinkering with the its been taking forever weather station i thought i would post an update.

The major change has been to the power system. I found these rather cool Wemos 18650 boards that take care of charge, voltage boost etc etc for a couple of bucks. The specs are perfect for all sorts of projects and will match up perfectly with the 6V solar panel i have to go with this and will charge at a max of 0.5amps. The cheep lipos have a combine capacity of 3.5amp hours, and the project atm draws about 0.1 amp hours, so good for say 30 hours without sun, which in Brisbane should be more than enough, if not I will buy some real lipos and use them instead, but, once i start dropping the micro into standby, that current draw will drop dramatically.

I have the code all working for the modules installed, humidity, temp, pressure, rain, I still have Lux and UV sensors to install. The code will poll the sensors every 15mins, save the data to SD card and push a copy of the data to my home server where I am still working on a web interface and graphing to display the data. High and Low data for the day is saved at midnight and pushed to the home server also.

And not to be outdone, I have even done some woodwork and 1/2 built a house for this which will then get installed in the garden. Also I have coming from china a rain gauge and depth module for measuring how much rainfall there has been, the rain sensor i have in the above image just detects rain, not how much or how intense it is.

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