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[wxsig] Newbie question

Jim Gurley jimg at cavenet.com
Thu Mar 1 20:19:19 UTC 2007

Our local sailing club would really like to know the wind 
speed/direction at a spot offshore.  NOAA doesn't have the budget to 
install a real weather buoy, so  it's up to me (us).  We think the 
USCG will allow us to place an instrument package on a navigation 
buoy in the area of interest, although installing it will be a good trick!

1) Wind speed/direction required
2) Able to communicate with base station about 1.8 miles away (good 
line of sight).
3) Solar panel operated. (Night time observations not important, so 
maybe no or very small battery?).
4) Marine environment (non freezing, but salt water and frequent gale 
5) Low cost, since the USCG has a hard time just keeping the buoy in 
place, and it will probably be lost more than once.

The Dallas Wind sensor seems like a reasonable input device, although 
sufficient accuracy might be possible with a wand with strain 
gauges.  I'm a competent PIC programmer, so that wouldn't be too 
challenging.  The 1.8 miles is the gotcha for me.  There are no 
available locations for repeaters, so I'm thinking it will have to be 
either a packet radio or possibly a cobbled-up FRS type personal walkie talkie.

Any suggestions?

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