Weather Station: From Breadboard to Perfboard

solderingweather

I used this recent holiday break to solder the weather station and battery charging circuits onto two breadboards. My inspiration came from the Arduino shields, which use male and female headers to join two boards together. The entire process took close to 5 hours, but I was quite happy with the result.

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The switches that the weather station uses for wind direction and speed require a resistor from the contact to ground. I forgot about this in the planning stage, and had to improvise later on.

The circuit is essentially connecting the individual components (like the radio, sensors) to the atmega328… except for one thing. The rain sensor requires a latched signal (because it is only checked every 8 seconds) so there is a small discrete circuit in the bottom right.

top layer

Now that the weather station is operational and can send out signals, a receiver must be made in order to turn those signals into usable data.

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The receiver/transmitter combo I am using is the 433Mhz Superheterodyne 3400 RF Kit, which costs about $7 from eBay. It is far more superior than the $2 MX-05V and MX-FS-03V which in my experience, only has a range of ~5 meters (even though they advertise up to 200 meters).

I’ll be using the atmega328 chip to interpret the signals from the receiver into usable serial data. The schematic is simple, with only two connections on pin 10 and 11, for the receiver and an LED. A USB to Serial chip, the FT232R, is used to connect the atmega to the computer, and also provides power for the entire board. 

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After soldering the circuit onto a perfboard, I put everything into a nice, waterproof, project enclosure. A bit of hotglue later, and the receiver felt nice and solid. Next steps include writing some online software for retrieving weather data.

Vladislav Pomogaev

I'm a highschooler who is interested in technology, science, and engineering. In my spare time I work on projects that allow me to learn new skills and concepts. - Vlad

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