Author Topic: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station  (Read 20299 times)

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2015, 10:16:03 AM »
Felix,

Had we not already had the BME280 I would have considered it.  Since the BME280 already gives me temp, humidity and pressure in a smaller package I'm not sure if I see the advantage of switching.  Since I changed the drivers to Adafruit it has become much more reliable in terms of the measurements.  And since it's I2C, it connects from the heat shield to the outdoor unit with a simple 4-wire cable.  If the BME280 lived far away it would have made sense to use your board and connect to a LIPO battery.

If I'm missing or not considering something please let me know.  I'm all for supporting your efforts.

Felix

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2015, 11:09:16 AM »
I don't think you're missing anything and there's no issue at all with you using another board or sensor, whatever works best and is easiest should be the way to go in any project.

It was just out of curiosity, I always like to see my own products used in various situations or pushed to more extremes and see how they handle it and this project looked like a nice candidate for that.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2015, 12:23:20 PM »
I agree completely.

And if I were you I would certainly want my products to be tested and verified under all conditions.  I know I've seen the Moteino take many days of 100+ heat and now it's taking lots of days at 45 degrees.  Soon it will be getting really cold and probably snow for the outdoor unit.  On my indoor unit it's been connected to the Particle and sending all of the weather data to the Internet for many, many months without fail.

I'm getting ready to order some LoRa Moteino's so maybe I'll throw in a WeatherShield and swap out the BME280.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2015, 12:04:06 PM »
Felix,

As promised, I placed the order this morning.  As soon as the WeatherShield arrives we'll get it installed outdoors.  Just in time for the coldest part of the year.  Should be a good test.

Felix

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2015, 08:08:22 PM »
Awesome, be sure to follow up here as you make progress  ;)

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2015, 10:31:09 PM »
Will do.

I'll be anxious to check out any possible differences in accuracy and battery usage.

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2015, 03:07:33 AM »
@syrinxtech: Nice project!  I'm wondering where in the cloud you're pushing the data to and how your organizing the data that your accumulating there.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2015, 07:16:50 AM »
We've done a couple of different things since we started.  For awhile I used a second Moteino to capture data to a serial port.  I then read in the CSV file into Excel and did all kinds of different graphs.  Since the inside weather unit has both a Moteino and a Particle Core, I use the Moteino to push data to the cloud via the Core.  I use Freeboard to graph various bits of weather and electrical measurement data.  I also use the Google app named Postman to view data via JSON calls.  If you're interested in seeing what Freeboard displays, I created this URL which gives you a read-only view:

https://freeboard.io/board/MCsvrV

At some point down the road when I'm finished adding onto the system I will probably get more serious about long-term data storage and start uploading to the cloud into some type of database.  I have a lightning sensor that I want to add at some point.  Besides the code issues that seem to follow this board we also don't get a lot of lightning where I live so installing and tuning is very much of a hit-and-miss proposition.

So, at the moment we're not accumulating any data, just watching it in real time.  It's a great sandbox to play in because it allows us to try so many different forms of h/w and s/w.  One other big goal of ours is to replace the anemometer we currently use with one built from reed switches so we don't need the power boost from 5v->7v.  This is the only real major source of battery drain we have left to remove.

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2015, 01:58:53 PM »

At some point down the road when I'm finished adding onto the system I will probably get more serious about long-term data storage and start uploading to the cloud into some type of database. 

I would have recommended plot.ly, except that it suddenly broke just recently for the second time in less than a year, and each time it's a hassle to figure out what needs to be changed in my code to get it working again.  I need to move on to something more stable.  Some people use mySQL, maybe for that reason.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2015, 02:21:17 PM »
I've used Oracle and mySQL in my "real" job...but not with MCU's.

Probably won't need something for a good while, having too much fun playing with add-on's and tweaks to code over time.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2015, 12:09:17 PM »
Converted yesterday to ATC on the indoor and outdoor units.  As Felix mentioned there were few changes required.  I had been using just send() with no ACK but the change was trivial.  I set my threshold to -85 and watched the RSSI drop from -27 to -85 in about 6 transmissions.

Hopefully in the next few days I'll have a chance to take some measurements and see how much current/battery life I'm saving.


Felix

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2015, 01:01:25 PM »
Converted yesterday to ATC on the indoor and outdoor units.  As Felix mentioned there were few changes required.  I had been using just send() with no ACK but the change was trivial.  I set my threshold to -85 and watched the RSSI drop from -27 to -85 in about 6 transmissions.

Hopefully in the next few days I'll have a chance to take some measurements and see how much current/battery life I'm saving.

Hey! So you're using the new ATC extension, cool!
Please share how your ATC is impacting the battery life when you have more info.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2015, 08:45:53 AM »
The new WeatherShield arrived and is now running with a Moteino and a PowerShield.  For a week or so I'm going to let the WeatherShield gather THP data beside the currently running BME280.  Which ever device provides the most accurate (to the best of my knowledge) information will be the winner.

I have been considering making the THP module a standalone device using a Moteino to send the data to the outdoor collection unit instead of having it hardwired to the outdoor unit.  This would allow me the flexibility of having multiple devices that I could install around the yard and have the outdoor unit act as a collection point.

Going to also consider moving the anemometer to a standalone device for the same reason as above.

syrinxtech

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Re: Moteino + Spark Core gateway instead of Pi - Solar Powered Weather Station
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2016, 03:06:27 AM »
Getting ready to add the Sparkfun UV sensor to the project.

Also swapped out the anemometer from Adafruit with the WeatherRack unit from SwitchDoc Labs.  This allowed us to remove the power booster which was required to up the voltage to 7v for the anemometer.  It also added wind direction and a rain bucket.  Just finished the integration and now the outdoor unit is gathering temp, humidity, pressure, wind direction, wind speed and rain amount.  Can't sleep the radio and MCU as much since we get interrupts for the wind speed and rain bucket.

Once I gather this info I also calculate the dewpoint, wind chill and heat index.

Still need to add the Lightning Sensor.  Problem is around here that we don't get a lot of lightning storms and there appears to be a fair amount of tweaking.

If you want to see what it looks like on Freeboard, check out this URL:

https://freeboard.io/board/MCsvrV


syrinxtech

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MASSIVE CHANGES.....completely reworked the entire outside weather station.

Added anenometer, wind direction and rain gauge.  Everything sits on a 4"x4"x8' pole.  Clamp is temporarily holding everything together.

Inside the white heat shield are temp/humidity/pressure sensors.  Also included is an INA3221 current monitor which collects V/I readings from the LIPO, solar panel and load.  All of the data is transmitted indoors by a Moteino which is sleeping 8 seconds between transmissions.  The anenometer and the wind speed sensors interrupt as needed.  On top of the gray box is a 6"x6" solar panel which keeps everything charged.

Once the data arrives indoors it is pushed to freeboard by a serial connected Moteino-Particle Photon.  The data is also displayed locally on a 16x2 LCD.  The data is also pushed out to Felix's gateway for local viewing over a web browser.  All of the major stats reset automatically at midnight using an RTC attached to the indoor unit collecting the data.  I'm getting ready to add an micro SD card reader for long-term storage.