About: Shelly Park Weather Station

Summary

Shelly Park is in the Howick area, which is situated in Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand.
Cockle Bay, Somerville and Meadowlands are the neighboring suburbs.
The weather station is fully automated and records the most important weather information. The Weather information is collected using Maxim (Dallas) 1-Wire Sensors. Data is transferred from the 1-Wire Sensors into the dedicated Weather PC via serial cable. The data is collected and turned into useful information like graphs, high-low trends etc and then uploaded via FTP to the Webserver. The content of this Website is powered/managed by Drupal, an open source content management platform which runs on Apache, PHP and MySQL. The Weather PC is a custom built Intel i3 3.2 GHz with 4GB Ram, Running Windows XP Pro. Software used is Weather-Display which is developed near by on Awhitu Peninsular, Auckland, New Zealand. 
 
All meteorological data for this weather station is reset at midnight, rainfall is the exception resetting at 9am, this to match New Zealands meteorological standards.
 

 

Weather Station Details:

Maxim 1-Wire:

The Maxim 1-Wire Sensors provides the Weather Display software extra functionally and information.
We have found the accuracy of the La-Crosse WS-2350 not as good as we would like. By using 1-Wire sensors we can get the accuracy higher. For example the Barometer on the La-Crosse WS-2350 can change dramatically with temperature changes. When we connected up the 1-Wire Barometer and placed the unit in a location where the temp does not change as much and we have got near perfect accuracy when comparing with the Auckland Airport and other local stations. The La-Crosse WS-2350 is now not used anymore except for the readings on the console and as a backup.
The other benefit of 1-Wire technology is that you can place your sensors in just about any location you can run Cat5e (Network) cable to. You are not as restricted as much, by default the La-Crosse WS-2350 Wind Sensor comes with 10m cables. We needed longer cables to connect it up to the Thermo-Hydro Sensor & Transmitter. We had to dismantle the Wind sensor to solder the new longer cable in. Most of the time www.hobby-boards.com 1-Wire boards come with 2x RJ-45 (network) sockets on them. This makes it easy to connect new sensors in the Weather Station. The second RJ-45 socket enables you to daisy chain the sensors which becomes one long string of sensors.

 

Current information collected using 1-Wire Sensors:

  • Wind speed
  • Wind Direction
  • Rainfall
  • Barometer
  • Solar W/M²
  • UV Index
  • Lighting Counter
  • Temperature - Indoor
  • Temperature - Outdoor
  • Temperature - Servers
  • Temperature - Garage
  • Temperature - Loft
  • Temperature - Soil (10cm)
  • Humidity - Indoor
  • Humidity - Outdoor
  • Power Usage (Kwh)
  • Leaf Wetness
  • Soil Moisture
 Visio 1-Wire Network Diagram

Boltek StormTracker with NexStorm:

The Boltek StormTracker is an PCI card which fits inside of the Weather Display computer and an external aerial allowing us to tell if lightning is near but also to see where it is on a Map. The StormTracker detects lightning strikes up to 1200km away and plots them in real time on a map. NexStorm is the software we use to grab the data from the card, process it, store it and then show it on the map. The StormTracker can also determine whether the strike is a ±Intercloud, Cloud to Ground or Ground to Cloud strike. This is shown as +IC –IC +CG –CG.