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6A. Assemble Single Board Solar-Powered Weather Station

Hardware Assembly

  1. Start by placing screws and spacers in all four corners of the board. The spacers should be on the underside (non-component) side of the board.
  2. Assemble the board starting with the lowest components and work up. Solder each one-by-one. Carefully inspect your solder joints before moving to the next component. It is good practice to solder just one pin, then inspect the placement of the component to make sure it is flat and square on the PCB. Adjust the component if needed, then solder the other pins:
    • Resistor
    • Slide switches (2)
    • Small white socket for the PANEL. The notched side faces away from the PCB.
    • Place the headers for CELL (2-pins), I2C (4-pins), LOCAL (2pins) with the short end of the pin through the PCB.
    • Cut four individual header pins for the TP4056. Place the long end of the pins through the PCB and loosely place the TP4056 on the pins. Solder the TP4056 to the pins.
    • (4 x 1pin), female sockets for the D1 Mini (2 by 8), BH-1750 (5-pin), and BME280(4-pin).
  3. Solder the headers to the underside of the BME280. The pins should be on the opposite side of the board with the sensor (a small silver can).end of the pin through the PCB. Solder the TP4056 to the pins then solder the other ends of the to the PCB. Cut the excess length on the underside of the PCB.
  4. Plug the 5-pin header included in the package with the BH1750 into the 5-pin socket previously installed. Solder the BH1750 to the header. IMPORTANT: The pins should be on the opposite side of the board with the text BH1750. In other words, the sensor should be facing up.
  5. Plug both 8-pin headers into the 8-pin sockets included in the package with the D1 Mini. Loosely place the pin/socket assemblies into the PCB. Place the D1 Mini on top of the short header pins. IMPORTANT: The small rectangular silver object (the actual ESP8266) should be facing up. Solder the D1 Mini to the headers. Turn the board over and solder the socket pins to the PCB.
  6. Place the shorting shunt on the LOCAL pins.
  7. Set switch SW1 to OFF, SW2 to PROG.
  8. Solder the leads from the XH-2P connector to the back of the solar panel. NOTE WELL!!! OBSERVE THE POLARITY: RED to +, BLACK to —.
  9. Insert the LiPo cell connector onto the CELL pins. NOTE WELL!!! OBSERVE THE POLARITY!!! Red is positive (+), black is negative (unmarked).
  10. Connect a Micro USB cable from your computer to the TP4056 socket. The LiPo cell can be charged ONLY through the TP4056 connector. The orange LED should light to indicate the cell is being charged. The blue LED will light when charged. Turn switch SW1 to ON.
  11. Remove the Micro USB cable after the cell is charged. Set SW1 to OFF. Connect it to the D1 Mini socket. The D1 Mini can be programmed only through the D1 Mini connector. Always set SW1 to OFF when you have a USB cable connected to the D1 Mini. Otherwise, the LiPo cell may be damaged.
  12. Configure the firmware as described in Section 7. Configure Firmware
  13. Open the D1M-WX1 weather station firmware in the Arduino IDE. Set switch SW2 to PROG. Upload the firmware to the D1 Mini. Set SW2 to RUN.
  14. Open the Serial Monitor. You should see information flowing from the weather station. It is now ready for use.
Single Board Weather Station
Single Board Weather Station