Preparing the station for colder weather

Davis weather station

It has been forecast that my area will have bitter cold temperatures for a few days next week. Now is the time to do a bit of prep work to make sure that the station stays online and provides useful data.

My main concern is that the station and it’s computer stay online during a general power outage.  My power grid here in Texas however is getting worse with each passing year it seems. Ice accretion is usually the main culprit here. Trees and debris fall on the power lines with nearly every ice event. I am not concerned so much about the sensors or camera as they have been designed to work in such weather.

The data flow in my station is as follows;

  1. Sensors – Temperature, Wind, Rain, etc.
  2. Main sensor board
  3. Transmitter
  4. Station antenna system
  5. Receiver antenna system
  6. Davis main console computer
  7. Raspberry Pi station software computer
  8. Satellite internet up-link to remote internet server
  9. Web page display

The weak links in my system have proven to be keeping grid mains power applied to the Raspberry Pi and the satellite up-link. I have both systems on UPS power and I also have an alternate cellular hot spot in case of satellite up-link failure. However it can be a challenge to keep all the segments of the entire system functioning smoothly with each other. I have anticipated various failure modes and tried to provide backup solutions.

My main concern of course is to keep the station functioning locally and recording data for the station permanent records. Serving an internet web page is important for those who wish to use it, but it is not vital to the overall station operation. The station sensors and transmitter are solar and battery powered and are not dependent on Grid mains power. The Davis console computer is also battery powered in the event of a mains failure. This is the core of the weather station and they will record data for approximately 14 days using battery power without replenishment.

Weather Station

Hopefully the weather system that is forecast will be mild and uneventful, but I have prepared as much as possible for the unexpected, just in case. Stay warm folks!

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