PEMS at Location 4 (PEMS4)

Initially moving to SC in 2014, I didn't set up anything until we owned our own propery in late 2016. This long break without working with the software or sensors is where having documentation from PEMS3 really helped. There were some technical issues with networking I had to work through before I could put sensors outside. So I started small inside with a single temperature sensor, and finally about New Years 2017 I set a temperature sensor outside. This was all slowed down in part because of an issue with the script used to collect information from sensors and put them in a database. Not being that good at Perl I dove into the issues and fixed them, and made a patch for the script creater. I also figured out how to used some shell scripts to create a daily report and save it as a seperate text file. It was really just the high and low for the day from one sensor, but still it felt pretty good to get that far.

Example of daily report
Figure 1. Daily Hi/Low report format, in testing

Problems with cabling have followed me where ever I take my setup. I did a split operation like with PEMS3, taking the Raspberry Pi and placing it in the shed for all outside sensors, and using the server inside to get readings inside and to run tests. To help isolate the server from any problems like before, the RPi in the shed was connected over WiFi. The outside sensor bus was getting longer and I was seeing more issues with long lines and parasitic powered sensors. I developed a plan to divide the bus and provide power on separate lines from the data bus, and powering only a select few items over parasitic power.

One thing I had wanted to do was take temperature readings outside from an actively moving air sample, and one event caused me to hurry the project up, the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017. My prototype worked and for that day in August I set up a script to take temperature readings every 2-3 seconds to see how the eclipse impacted our local temperature. The results were interesting. I need to write up a page on that experience.

Figure 2. Aspirated Temperature Housing 1 (ASH1), in testing

Not being in an ideal location for wind readings, I still put the wind sensor up hurriedly one day as we were going to be hit with wind from a hurricane. It was looking a little beat up when I put it over top of the shed, and when I finally brought it down after over a year up there the housing is about done for. I've seen that someone has developed plans to print a housing out on a 3D printer, but I don't have access to that. It may be easier to build a new board based on the now closed down HobbyBoard's design and use two separate sensors for wind and direction.

Wind bird on shed
Figure 3. Wind Sensor mounted to shed

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created 11 Apr 2020