March 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm #1143
I bought one of your solar powered weather station kits at the Vienna Wireless Winterfest last weekend. I put it together this past Tuesday and it has been on line to ThingSpeak for several days now. Very nice design.
I did find an small bug in your instructions. You direct the user to put the RSSI in Field 7 but in the Sketch Field 7 is marked as UNUSED and RSSI is in Field 8. Either switch the fields in the Sketch or change the instructions to say that Field 7 is unused.
It might also be worth noting in the instructions that while ThingSpeak is a fantastic service it is limited to 3 million transmissions and 1 year before you have to buy an account.
I also have a question. Just to be clear, when the switch SW1 is in the OFF position you can charge the battery directly either from the solar cell or the USB jack on the TP4056. When the switch SW1 is in the ON position the instructions say that the battery is to the D1 Mini. My question is this: in the ON position if the solar cell is in sunlight, will the solar cell charge the battery or run the D1 or does it do both? Thanks for the clarification.
And again, this is a great little kit. It was pretty straightforward to put together (although a couple of other pictures might make it easier for a novice). I am still working on getting the system to use APRS. I’m not quite sure what is wrong yet but am working on it. I was also thinking of adding some code to the Sketch to have it TWEET weather reports to me once or twice per day.
Here is my ThingSpeak URL: https://thingspeak.com/channels/245506 if you want to take a look. Now, the unit is still on my workbench, so it isn’t measuring outside temperature.
Cheers,March 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm #1144
Thank you for taking the time to share your building experience with me and for your positive comments. This is the first time I’ve sold a kit and your feedback is valuable to me to make sure the instructions are correct and understandable.
You are the first to build the kit as far as I know. I will soon send a blind copy email to all builders thanking them for their interest and asking for their feedback. Since you’ve jumped ahead of the crowd that email will look redundant to you.
The way I read the terms of the free ThingSpeak account is that there is an annual cap of 3,000,000 messages but the message count will roll back to zero at the start of the next year so it will remain free indefinitely as long as you stay below the cap. The cap is pretty generous. At a 10 minute interval, the station will send 53K messages per year. so you could have 57 units online!
There are many good tutorials about ThingSpeak and MatLab but it is sometimes difficult to track down a simple answer. The autoscaling on the stock charts works very well most of the time but, for example, your light intensity chart (field 5) is ranging from -500 to 1000 at this moment. Since the value will never drop below zero you can use the edit pencil icon in the upper right of the chart to set the Y-Axis Min to 0.
I intend to post some MatLab analysis programs next week.
About the switches, the ON position connects the LiPo cell to the 5V input of the D1 Mini. The OFF position (which will be labeled in the next production run) disconnects the cell from the D1 Mini but keeps it connected to the charger. This permits charging the cell from either the sun or the micro USB port on the TP4056 without having the weather station active. There is no provision to disconnect the cell from the charger other than to take one of the wires out of the CELL screw terminal.
Feel free to ask for help with APRS. That was a last minute addition to the design and I only learned enough about APRS to get it working. It is NOT a well-documented system.
I recorded some videos of the assembly to post on YouTube but am struggling with the editing. I will add some photos to the instruction manual in the near future.
Please keep me informed of your progress incorporating Twitter.
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