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APRS & Weather stations

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  • 27 Oct 2017 9:59 PM
    Message # 5403325

    looking to set up and deploy a WX Station 

    It would be quite remote from my QTH so would love to be able to use ham radio APRS to monitor conditions in rural area.

    Any one able to point me to some information on how to accomplish this

    • Thanks VE6EO VE6JZZ VA6DJH VE6QLT for the tips.

    UPDATE November 30 >  APRS Transceiver ordered

    Last modified: 17 Apr 2018 5:56 PM | Patrick Spencer (Administrator)
  • 06 Nov 2017 7:41 PM
    Reply # 5568602 on 5403325

    I have been wanting to spec a similar project also. The basic parts are the WX gear, battery, solar panel, and HT radio. This can all be housed in a water tight container. My plan is to test drive it from my backyard for an extended period. Once remote located, security becomes an issue (you many have several $$$$ sitting out).

    A good place to start is Jerry Clement's blog. Take a look at the WX on his mobile. I hope Jerry does not mind posting his link

     http://www.jerryclement.ca/MachineShop/Antenna-Werks/i-Jf2m2xh/

    George VE6JZZ

  • 09 Nov 2017 11:00 PM
    Reply # 5579822 on 5568602

    The basic parts are the WX gear, battery, solar panel, and  radio.

    I am looking at several sites for weather station kit. they are ranging from a few hundred to over 1000 dollars

    Some have built in solar and battery but may need something more custom as we are wanting to USE APRS system to monitor status of the location like Jerry VE6AB is doing. Reading his blog was helpful.  VE6EN also has a WX station on APRS and I have also been emailing him and getting some tips.

    Will have a look at the Kenwood D710A

    https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/0309.html

    Not sure I want to bye new.  perhaps an older used vhf Mobile would be more appropriate.


    Last modified: 30 Nov 2017 10:46 AM | Robert
  • 10 Nov 2017 9:57 AM
    Reply # 5580293 on 5403325

    Unless you have another use in mind for the radio, or your location/application mandates the 50W Tx power  -    consider a TNC with a handheld, or a TNC that has a transceiver already in it.

    Such as the Microsat PLXTracker TRX1W,  which has a 1 Watt transceiver in it and claims some level of weather station support.  The manual lists some specific weather stations they support.

    http://microsat.com.pl/product_info.php?products_id=161


    Byonics has a firmware update for one of their products to process weather information.  (the TinyTrak3 is just a TNC, you still need to provide radio)

    https://www.byonics.com/wxtrak/


    I can't personally speak to much of this equipment because I'm not running and haven't run it -  but actual working installations could be an indication about what works: 


    VE6RYC is running a Microsat WX3in1with a Peet Bros ULTIMETER 800 weather station and an IC-F121S.  I know these are there, I don't know specifics on how they were configured.

    http://www.peetbros.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=3

    http://microsat.com.pl/product_info.php?products_id=100


    If you see some APRS based weather stations on aprs.fi - you will sometimes be able to get a little bit more information, at least about what TNC is being used. (aprs.fi will be guessing this from the TO:  field on the APRS packets.  It won't always be 100%).     The raw packet comments should include a callsign if it was transmitted, and often they will have other information.

    https://aprs.fi/info/PIGEON

    Device: Microsat: WX3in1

    https://aprs.fi/info/a/CEF4

    https://aprs.fi/info/a/VE6KEE-13

    https://aprs.fi/info/KMASWX

    A couple of OpenTrackers, and one KPC-3.

    The KMASWX has a url in their packet comments -  www.kmasrc.ca.    Their website shows their weather station gear - a Peet Bros model weather station, and some model of a VHF handheld.



    If you are feeling more hands on and are up for modifying some source code and doing some soldering,  you can look into how to adopt something based on Trackuino or Tracksoar to handle a weather station.  This might be an avenue to minimize your battery requirements.

    http://www.trackuino.org/

    https://www.tracksoar.com/shop/


  • 10 Nov 2017 1:48 PM
    Reply # 5580755 on 5403325

    Dana pretty well summed up everything I was going to say,

    I have built up a number of APRS weather stations and will say they are a fun project.  If you are planning a portable radio for you project let me know,

    I have a number of ICOM H18s that are perfect for this application and they are free for the project.

    I would also suggest the Byonics WXTrax, unless you already have a TNC.

  • 13 Nov 2017 8:09 AM
    Reply # 5583851 on 5403325

    The Icom H18 would will as a APRS tracker, or a beacon and yes as as Digi, but please, the Calgary area does not require any more digis.

  • 30 Nov 2017 11:06 AM
    Reply # 5607947 on 5580293
    Thanks VE6EN, VA6DJH, VE6JZZ and VE6QLT for input

    Dana Harding wrote:

    Unless you have another use in mind for the radio, or your location/application mandates the 50W Tx power  -    consider a TNC with a handheld, or a TNC that has a transceiver already in it.

    Such as the Microsat PLXTracker TRX1W,  which has a 1 Watt transceiver in it and claims some level of weather station support.  The manual lists some specific weather stations they support.

    http://microsat.com.pl/product_info.php?products_id=161

    After looking at the  other options I have now ordered

    1 x APRS Voyager - APRS Tracker/TNC with 7W transceiver

    NEXT tasks.
    •  Design select components for a solar/battery supply for the transceiver as a minimum. Keeping in mind future expansion and possibly needing to power for the WX Station.
    • do some propagation/path testing and select an antenna between Carmangay and nearest digi or I gate.
    • select weather station
    • design build a structure to support everything.  The proposed location is in the Chinook zone of southern Alberta
    • test everything before deployment


  • 03 Jan 2018 1:00 PM
    Reply # 5658157 on 5403325

    Hi Robert.  I put together a wx station this summer.  I wanted to do it cheaply and learn something along the way so I used a combination of purchased equipment and home made stuff.

    The project was located east of Calgary in a field.  I needed to measure wind speed for the flying of quads and helicopters.  No WiFi and did not want to pay for cell service.

    With 5 watts I was being picked up by RYC (30 km) and PIGEON MTN (approx 130km away).

    The unit ran well all summer but i did have some issues with the solar panel and battery.  The battery was old and not in good shape and it burned out the charge controller so then when the solar panel voltage rose the Arduino on board voltage regulator fried.  The OpenTrackerUSB was fine.

    The design philosophy was to be able to interface with anyone's, including homemade, wx measuring hardware, and keep the rest of the system as open, upgradeable, and repairable as possible.

    I have a pdf describing the project I could email to you if you'd like.

    Email me at paulbarn@icloud.com if your interested.


    I used the following:

    OpenTrackerUSB - Argent Data Systems

    Baofeng UV82 - 5W handheld

    Veritcal VHF/UHF high gain antenna

    Wind Anemometer from Argent Data Systems - $15 USD

    Arduino Nano - 5V microcontroller as the brains of the system.  It reads the pulses from the anemometer and temp sensor and relays the data in packet form to the OpenTrackerUSB in KISS protocol.

    40 Watt Solar Panel - Canadian tire.  This was overkill - really only needed a 10 to 20 Watt one.

    Approx 80 Ah car battery.


    Paul

    VA6TTX

  • 06 Jan 2018 7:12 AM
    Reply # 5664666 on 5658157
    Thanks Paul for paper copy.
    It Will be very useful as I go through the stages of my own project.
    Rob

    Paul Barnett wrote:

    Hi Robert.  I put together a wx station this summering.  

    ...

    I have a pdf describing the project I could email to you if you'd like.

    Email me at paulbarn@icloud.com if your interested.

    ....

    Paul

    VA6TTX


  • 15 Jan 2018 11:16 AM
    Reply # 5683946 on 5607947

    http://microsat.com.pl/product_info.php?products_id=161

    Finally beginning tests using

     APRS Voyager - APRS Tracker/TNC  transceiver I ordered before Christmas. I am using the  VE6DWX Call sign I acquired for the project. 

    Will be ON THE AIR  intermittently with different settings while we develop the rest of the weather station.

    ROB VE6CCL


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