Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Internet of Things... Connected Weather Station

I have been laid up for a little while and like a good shut in I was shopping on Amazon for things to buy. One item that is always of interest to my parents and relatives is the weather. A while ago I bought them an Ambient Device weather forecaster which they still use today and they find very useful (sadly, that company went out of business).

I recently spent about $150 to buy a Netatmo indoor and outdoor temperature / weather station. It is quite fascinating. Here is the indoor module that tracks temperature, sound (in decibels), CO2, humidity, and other elements. When you push the top button it will glow based on the CO2 levels (green is "good"). I plan to hide it behind a couch so you can't see it. The indoor unit connected to my phone via bluetooth and then I was able to get it to sign on to my wireless network. It took about 5 minutes.

Here is the outdoor component. This unit measures humidity and temperature and connects to the "base" station above. The outdoor unit is battery powered and all weather so once you put it outside (on our porch) you can ignore it and it will send readings to the base station.

The really cool part is that you just download an app onto your phone and voila! you can have updates and graphs and charts and see your temperature in and out of your house anytime. They also have alerts so that you can be notified if there are temperature changes (such as below freezing weather outside or interior temperatures that drop enough to freeze your pipes) and also for CO2 alerts and other customizable features. It is all very easy to understand.

This "weathermap" from Netatmo allows you to see all the stations that are set up in your neighborhood. The temperatures may be in celsius don't be fooled. It is fun to pick any area you are familiar with like your home town and see how many weather stations are already set up.

They also have a rain gauge and are coming out with a wind velocity measurement system, as well. I will think about buying both of them, although the wind velocity would be more useful because my balcony is partially blocked from the balcony above which might impact the ability to accurately measure rain.

This is a fun system and I'd imagine it will only get cheaper so I'd recommend it for anyone who is interested in weather. It could be a good gift for parents or an in-law. Also the alerts are very cool and it is nice to be able to check in on your house while you are away.

Cross posted at Chicago Boyz


Gerry from Valpo said...

We've owned a remote weather station for a while. It measures rain and temp and sends info to a base station indoors. To measure rain accurately the gauge must be mounted away from all obstructions including trees. Ours sits on top of the deck fence under open skies. Always been a weather geek. The one you show appears to be state of the art.

Carl from Chicago said...

Ha ha maybe I can trade you a new weather station for a Glock tune up.

Funny I thought the outdoor unit was in the shade but it was showing 85 degrees today and the temperature was likely closer to 70. Being in direct sunlight makes a huge difference. Will see now if it has more accurate readings.