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ML Astro Weather Station introduction: Cheap, reliable weather station for your Observatory

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#1 minhlead

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 04:13 AM

Dear friends,
This started out as an DIY project and before I know it, people here in VN swarmed me with orders. So I am thinking about expanding the business to international market. My commercialized Weather Station is now in the production phase, which means you can now pre-order it and have it shipped by the end of Oct - 2021.
This is a wifi-based solution that'll save you wiring to your computer. For it to work, you'll only have to provide power and a stable Wifi connection. Running independently, the standard version of the weather station broadcasts the sensor readings via a small JSON based protocol (picture below) that you can quickly glance at via your smartphone's web browser or you can have an optional website that presents the weather history in beautifully designed charts with calculated cloud covers. That you can check out anywhere in the world via the Internet.
If you own an Observatory, the Weather Station is INDI compatible (with ASCOM support in planning) and will work in tandem with your equipment to automate the emergency Observatory shutdown in case of rain.
The weather station came with 1 year of warranty and 3 months of hands-on tech support and troubleshooting should be enough to get you up and running. I'll personally help you calibrate your cloud sensor for correct reading at your location. Every experienced user will tell you that every weather station will require different cloud sensor calibration parameters based on how you install the sensor and your local temperature. Without proper calibration, even the most expensive cloud sensor won't provide the correct reading.
You can find detailed prices and specs of the systems down below. The product will begin to ship at the end of Oct 2021, shipping price would be somewhere around 30$ worldwide, contact me for a detailed shipping price. 

fdScreenshot at 2021-09-18 10-06-44.png
Thanks and clear skies!
If you are interested please give me an email at minhnguyentrong1810@gmail.com. For first 50 orders I'll do free worldwide shipping.

P/s: A demo of the observatory can be found here http://minhnguyentro...rg/weatherradio Thanks!

Sorry for the rough demo photo, I promise the end product will be more polished.

241466515_10208556054574363_2473575671178968284_sdsn.jpg


Edited by minhlead, 18 September 2021 - 08:44 AM.

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#2 silverking

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:36 PM

Perhaps a simple CAD render of the final product would serve your marketing campaign more effectively than the accompanying photograph of the "prototype"?


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#3 minhlead

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:57 PM

Perhaps a simple CAD render of the final product would serve your marketing campaign more effectively than the accompanying photograph of the "prototype"?

Great suggestion. I'll get to it right away. Thanks!

#4 lambermo

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 01:04 PM

Awesome, and I see you have basically the same components that I used: Hydreon, Melexis and I assume a TSL237 too , see

https://lambermont.d...weatherstation/

Does it hook up to the weather safety proxy ? https://indilib.org/...fety-proxy.html

-- Hans


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#5 minhlead

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 05:59 PM

Awesome, and I see you have basically the same components that I used: Hydreon, Melexis and I assume a TSL237 too , see
https://lambermont.d...weatherstation/
Does it hook up to the weather safety proxy ? https://indilib.org/...fety-proxy.html
-- Hans

Hi Hans,
I used a BME280 for humidity reading. And no, I did not hook it up to a WSS. My reasoning is that since I have direct sensor reading, using an WSS seems a bit redundant. If you have 2 weather warning, how do you piority them?

#6 lambermo

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 02:49 PM

Hi Hans,
I used a BME280 for humidity reading. And no, I did not hook it up to a WSS. My reasoning is that since I have direct sensor reading, using an WSS seems a bit redundant. If you have 2 weather warning, how do you piority them?

Might you be mixing up the weather safety proxy with the weather meta driver ?

The weather safety proxy outputs only 1 signal: safe or not safe.

https://indilib.org/...fety-proxy.html Its goal is full observatory automation with the dome/roof included.

The weather meta driver does a logical and of up to 4 weather signals (of which weather safety proxy can be one) and all 4 need to be safe until it says it's safe.

https://indilib.org/...ather-meta.html

 

ps. I've been looking to upgrade to the BME280 :)


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#7 minhlead

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 06:11 PM

Might you be mixing up the weather safety proxy with the weather meta driver ?

The weather safety proxy outputs only 1 signal: safe or not safe.

https://indilib.org/...fety-proxy.html Its goal is full observatory automation with the dome/roof included.

The weather meta driver does a logical and of up to 4 weather signals (of which weather safety proxy can be one) and all 4 need to be safe until it says it's safe.

https://indilib.org/...ather-meta.html

 

ps. I've been looking to upgrade to the BME280 smile.gif

Umh,

Correct me if I am wrong here. I thought the WSP and Weather Meta Driver all rely on external feedback from online source to determine if the weather is safe/unsafe?

Since the weather station in INDI can set the threshold for danger/safe weather (I set so that my ROR closes on the first rain drop detected). Since I am using direct sensor reading, I do not feel the need to query online sources for weather warning. Is there any benefits when you hook your weather station with WSP ?



#8 lambermo

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 02:27 PM

Umh,
Correct me if I am wrong here. I thought the WSP and Weather Meta Driver all rely on external feedback from online source to determine if the weather is safe/unsafe?


The WSP does not rely on external online sources.
It was built to listen to a local WSS which gathers local sensor data of all sorts and produces a single safe/no safe signal from all that.

The WMD by itself also does not, but it can be fed by up to 4 stations that provide a weather status.
 

Since the weather station in INDI can set the threshold for danger/safe weather (I set so that my ROR closes on the first rain drop detected). Since I am using direct sensor reading, I do not feel the need to query online sources for weather warning. Is there any benefits when you hook your weather station with WSP ?


That's where I started as well, but soon I found out that for instance a single dew drop in the morning can trigger the Hydreon which is a signal you can safely ignore. Yet I still want to be able to detect a single drop.
Also when the the session gets aborted by something like this and a minute later the 'new current' weather signals are all good again then the observatory would open immediately again.
This flapping is unwanted. So in the WSS I built in a hysteresis check, like it has to be dry not only now but also in the last hour.
And a single drop in a minute is fine, and up to two of those per hour as well. So 3 drops in a single minute would still close, as would 3 minutes that saw 1 drop each.
Similar for the infrared cloud sensors. I have all the logic I apply online here : https://github.com/d...ditions.py#L348

It's not perfect, but this has allowed for several fully automated sessions of roof opening, unpark, etc. imaging, park, roof closing.

I need to rewrite a lot of code to clean it all up but you know how that goes once something 'just works' ;-)


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#9 minhlead

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

The WSP does not rely on external online sources.
It was built to listen to a local WSS which gathers local sensor data of all sorts and produces a single safe/no safe signal from all that.

The WMD by itself also does not, but it can be fed by up to 4 stations that provide a weather status.


That's where I started as well, but soon I found out that for instance a single dew drop in the morning can trigger the Hydreon which is a signal you can safely ignore. Yet I still want to be able to detect a single drop.
Also when the the session gets aborted by something like this and a minute later the 'new current' weather signals are all good again then the observatory would open immediately again.
This flapping is unwanted. So in the WSS I built in a hysteresis check, like it has to be dry not only now but also in the last hour.
And a single drop in a minute is fine, and up to two of those per hour as well. So 3 drops in a single minute would still close, as would 3 minutes that saw 1 drop each.
Similar for the infrared cloud sensors. I have all the logic I apply online here : https://github.com/d...ditions.py#L348
It's not perfect, but this has allowed for several fully automated sessions of roof opening, unpark, etc. imaging, park, roof closing.
I need to rewrite a lot of code to clean it all up but you know how that goes once something 'just works' ;-)

Thanks for the clarification. I do not have the luxury of having local weather station that's sharing data publicly, maybe that's why I did not put an eye on WSP. But I think most of the weather station here in VN use a tipping bucket weather sensor so they have delayed response to a rain (would take them 3-5 minutes to even report it's raining since it started to rain). The idea of checking if the condition stays good/bad for long enough to trip the alarm is very good reasoning.
Maybe I'd take a look on INDI's watchdog/weather driver and put in some time/frequency related threshold.
Also I find that if I turn on the RG-11 heater (keep the 8 pins at 0 position, it helps some what with the dew problem, it wont make the dew disappear but will help prevent dew forming on the acrylic dome). Also decrease the sensitivity also a great way of avoid getting false positive from dew. The highest sesitivity setting is too sensitive and will trip on even smallest dew drop.


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