When we were completing the set up here at the home office, we got all the IT equipment going and office furniture installed. During the deployment of our infrastructure hardware, it came up that we do not have anything to monitor the environment for the hardware. The first option was getting another network enabled environment monitor like we have installed in so many data centers. The second option was to get a full remote Weather Station.
Almost every remote Weather Station includes an indoor temperature and humidity sensor that is connected to the system relay and available over the network.
Connectivity delivered by Weather Underground
Wunderground.com is the most comprehensive (open) network of weather stations. They provide the servers for storing, analyzing and viewing Weather Station data from all over the globe. There are no service fees, and as an added bonus, when you set up a Weather Station and being reporting data to Wunderground you get free data hosting and member benefits. Those benefits include incoming Email alerts and no ads in their mobile applications or website.
Ambient Weather OBSERVER Series
There are many personal or professional Weather Station kits available. Ambient Weather has made their OBSERVER series very affordable, and easy to configure with Wunderground.
They have several different models available, so we went for the middle of the road…or at least accounting would only let me go that far.
WS-1200-IP Weather Stations
The WS-1200-IP OBSERVER Solar Powered Wireless Internet Remote Monitoring Weather Station had the best mix of features and price for our needs. The equipment itself had both the outdoor capabilities, with the indoor sensors and display console to meet all our requirements.
Weather Station Components
- Outdoor Sensor Array
- Indoor Temperature, Humidity, and pressure sensor
- ObserverIP module
- Display Console
Weather Station Install
The installation was very straight forward and could really be done by someone with little or no technical (IT) abilities. We did end up having to purchase a separate mounting kit, rather than mounting directly to the roof.
- Assemble the sensor array – this step consisted of connecting the bottom pole mount apparatus, connecting the wind vane (with included allen wrench), and putting in the included rechargeable batteries.
- Mount and install the outdoor sensor array – we purchased a mount that would go directly into one of our fence posts. Just bolt that in, and attach the sensor array to the top. Tighten down everything and make sure its level.
- Connect the ObserverIP using the included AC power block, and connect to ethernet network (cable included). This unit needs to be placed preferably in a line of sight position with the outdoor unit with no metal objects between.
- Connect the indoor temperature/humidity/pressure sensor by putting in the batteries (not included)
- Connect the indoor display console by connecting to AC power.
At this point, you will have your own personal weather station for home use. The only troubleshooting that was required was resetting the various components to get them all connected together.
One note on the AC power adapters. There are two blocks, one for the ObserverIP and one for the display console.
- ObserverIP uses the block with output of 5V and 0.5A
- Display console uses the block with output of 5V and 1.0A
Weather Station Configuration
Configuration past this point is to get the Weather Station connected to Weather Underground.
- Find the ObserverIP on your network. By default it’s configured using DHCP. Depending on your home network configuration, you can either scan the network for the MAC address of the ObserverIP (printed on the bottom of the unit), or most home routers now easily show a map or table of addresses you can use.
- Connect to the unit with a web browser http://what.ever.ip (no SSL). From there you can configure the local network, weather network, station settings, calibration, and view live data.
- Go to Wunderground.com, create an account, then in your profile you will have My Weather Stations. From there you will have the option of Add a New PWS. Go through the process and input all the information required and you will receive a Station ID and Password for your Weather Station
- Return to the ObserverIP configuration site, and input the values in Weather Network for Station ID and Password. Click Apply, and depending on the version, you may need to reboot.
- Verify now that all the lights on the ObserverIP are now illuminated, and you are done
You should now be able to find your Weather Station on the Wunderground.com site, and observe real-time data from the display console and ObserverIP web interface.
For the cost(s) involved with this project, I would say it was a great investment. The product is great quality and easy to install. As good proof we had a storm the first night that the unit was live and had no issues. There is also some community value in contributing your weather findings to the greater public.
Also, this is great for children to also learn about the weather. Constant questions, answers, and internet searches. Just be careful, since they can reset the historical data if they have physical access to the display console.
If you need any assistance installing your own Weather Station please reach out to us.