Weather station: set-up!

August 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

The installation of a Davis Vantage Pro2 automated weather station at Reigate Grammar School, Surrey, UK.

2011

Geography put in a bid to RGS  PFA for the funding of a wireless automated weather station (AWS) to run an RGS weather station and website. Some of the aims of this project are as follows:

  • to provide the school community with educational data (for Geography, Maths, ICT etc);
  • engage student involvement in a weather club to collect data (for calibration purposes?) and perhaps provide amateur “forecasts” for school events, display summary data and raise the profile of weather interest in the school (assemblies, Open Day displays etc?)
  • over time back-up good quality weather data about RGS weather;
  • log data over forthcoming years and months;
  • provide an online LIVE weather data summary for RGS;
  • register the site on Weather Underground and NOAA.

2012

March: £800 funding agreed for AWS purchase, with help from Sean Davey and Martin Hallpike: shared cost with Geography department agreed with HOD: Malcolm Cline

April: Choice of weather station finalised after much research: Davis Vantage Pro2 wireless model.

Potential locations for weather station enclosure and anemometer mast investigated with Malcolm Cline (Head of Geography), Fred George and Carmel Grater (maintenance and groundstaff).

May: Purchase of VP2 from Prodata: £980.75 serial model  www.weatherstations.co.uk; shared cost with Geography department

Funding for security fencing (costly) and mast erection (for anemometer) agreed by bursar

Testing of wireless range from proposed locations on school roof for anemometer and ISS: used 2-way radios to establish wireless strength with console in Geography office (no signal) and then DofE office (D1) – good signal. Help from Peter Kline and Mark Hadley and Malcolm Cline.

PC requirements discussed with ITS: help from Graham Redfern, Keith MacPherson and Peter Townsend.

June: Fred George organises installation of anemometer on school roof: aerial company attach 5m aerial pole to top of lift shaft: good exposure, especially to SW winds; pole can be dismantled quite easily for maintenance of anemometer.
Anemo is up; signal is good, real wind data streaming to console; main ISS unit still sits under the desk in office! Question to Prodata regarding difference between indoor and outdoor temperature readings (despite both being in same room at the time).

July 4 -5 Security fencing constructed for ISS: completion of weather station enclosure.

August: ISS mounted on tripod and installed in weather station enclosure.

Weatherlink software installed on pc: console communication established with pc: complete weather data display seen on pc monitor for the first time!

Some troubleshooting of console data logging: Prodata solution = switch it off and switch it on again!

Grass mowing inside enclosure discussed with grounds staff.

SAC develops weather blog & discusses build of live weather page with ITS using Cumulus software.

August 13: Cumulus software installed and set-up completed.  Exploration of webpage set-up through ftp and cumulus.  Peter Townsend supplies webspace through rgsinfo.net & ftp upload.

September: ongoing problems with Weather Underground access through Firewall and proxy-server.

Sept 22: Installation of manual rain gauge and max-min thermometer.

Sept 26: Success! FTP upload of basic cumulus weather data to display LIVE school weather at www.weather.rgsinfo.net.

Considering changing wind units from kmh to mph while initial September data can be adjusted early and easily.

01-October: changed units from kmh to MPH for wind speed.  Will probably DELETE september data and start over with October data.  Archives of August and September 2012 data on csv & excel file formats will be available.

2 responses to Weather station: set-up!

  1. 

    This is how it all began at bablake, 35 years ago! Exciting times, indeed.

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