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[wxsig] Newbie question

wn0x at earthlink.net wn0x at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 2 03:37:03 UTC 2007

I think you will need a radio in both cases.  The old Realistic HTX202 are cheap, run off of twelve volts and have standard connectors for power and audio.  The nice thing about handy talkies in general is that they are designed to run on 12 volts or less, work with compromise antenna systems and are relatively inexpensive.

The T238+ will obviate the need to perform any additional processing on the data from the weather station.  It performs the data collection, averaging and modem functions and will report in standard APRS format.

There is a modification to turn on the radio a few seconds before you need to transmit, which would save battery power.  

You could also remove the backlighting on the LCD to save additional power, but I think the T238 will even run without the display.

A down side is that the basic weather station from AAG is wind speed, wind direction and temperature only, they are only $88 bucks though.  I am not sure how they would hold up in a salty wet environment.  Other sensors are available as needed.

You might consider a small solar controller like the MicroM+ http://www.theheathkitshop.com/microm.html to charge your batteries. This unit draws very little power and will not discharge your batteries overnight.  

I am working on a similar project for land-based remote weather and really like the T238 as an option. 

To be fair, there are also PIC based projects like the OpenTracker that will perform a similar function to the T238+ and also supports Peet weather stations.  I believe the Byonics WxTrack is a pic based unit that supports Radio Shack WX200, the Oregon Scientific WM-918, and the Peet Brothers Ultimeter 100, Ultimeter 800, Ultimeter 2000, and Ultimeter 2100.  

This may be an option for you as well.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Jim Gurley <jimg at cavenet.com>
>Sent: Mar 1, 2007 5:38 PM
>To: wn0x at earthlink.net, TAPR Weather Station SIG Mailing List <wxsig at lists.tapr.org>
>Subject: RE: [wxsig] Newbie question
>My impression is the T238+ is just the modem.  I then need to add radio, right?
>If I wasn't sure this package is going to be swept off the buoy 
>during the odd gale...
>At 02:29 PM 3/1/2007, you wrote:
>>Any reason you wouldn't consider a 1-wire setup with T238+?
>>Sounds like it has almost everything you need and be much simpler 
>>and cheaper to implement.
>>-----Original Message-----
>> >From: "Daron J. Wilson" <daron at wilson.org>
>> >Sent: Mar 1, 2007 2:55 PM
>> >To: 'TAPR Weather Station SIG Mailing List' <wxsig at lists.tapr.org>
>> >Subject: RE: [wxsig] Newbie question
>> >
>> >> 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!
>> >>
>> >> Needs:
>> >> 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
>> >> conditions)
>> >> 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?
>> >
>> >I think a fiberglass watertight enclosure (Hoffman or similar) would be
>> >where I would start.  Inside there I'd try to fit a low power VHF radio,
>> >Kantronics KPC3+ TNC and possibly a Peet Bros Ultimeter 100 weather station.
>> >Our APRS weather stations http://www.ocrg.org/telemetry_feed/ocrgwx.html use
>> >commercial mobile radios for more power, the KPC3+ which has been modified
>> >for our telemetry needs, our custom made telemetry adapter which gets a
>> >digital input and a couple analog inputs, and a device we make called the
>> >WeatherDOG which takes the Peet data stream and 'massages' it with a PIC
>> >before sending it to the TNC.  This is done primarily to make the weather
>> >data standards compliant so it will show up on the Kenwood APRS radio
>> >displays (mobile and portable), but secondly we have an option in the
>> >WeatherDOG that allows the data to be 'human readable' and spits out the
>> >weather data in a UI packet with it in clear test format so you could easily
>> >parse it or just read it on a computer screen.
>> >
>> >Many ways to do this of course, power will certainly be your challenge.  I'd
>> >use some photo sensor to shut the thing off at night if you want to
>> >conserver battery, using a couple of gel cells and a small solar panel for
>> >maintenance.  If all you really want is wind speed and direction, I guess
>> >you could take the output of the anemometer and feed it into the PIC, write
>> >a bunch of code, and get what you want.
>> >
>> >Another off the shelf option (more power required) would be the CAT200
>> >repeater controller with the computer interface, connects directly to the
>> >Peet weather station and a two way radio, simple DTMF query to the radio and
>> >the synthesized voice could read back the wind speed and direction for you.
>> >
>> >Sounds fun, good luck on the installation!
>> >
>> >73
>> >
>> >N7HQR
>> >
>> >
>> >_______________________________________________
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>> >wxsig at lists.tapr.org
>> >https://lists.tapr.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/wxsig
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