• Outdoor solar powered weather station – part 4
    Draining and charging One of the critical points I want to test before deploying the station outside is how it behaves if it runs out of power. Think of dark December days with snow on the solar panel. So, I implemented a “drain the battery” routine, which turns on the LED to full brightness and keeps it on while the CPU goes into deep sleep. And (after some failure using a forced reboot) an “hibernation mode” which is activated once the battery voltage drops below 2.6V. In hibernation mode, the external power Vext stays off, the controller only reports its […]
  • Outdoor solar powered weather station – part 3
    I have a bug! Four days ago the microcontroller got stuck. The LED was on, but it was no longer transmitting. So I hit reset and continued testing. One of the things I added was a watchdog trigger. The CubeCell board has a build in watchdog – and the only thing you need to do is switch it on – how cool is that? I did not think back to the problem until today suddenly the board rebooted. I noticed because the LED I configured to drain the battery was off – the default after reboot. Looking at the number […]
  • Outdoor solar powered weather station – part 2
    Not too much progress but I said I rather blog more often this time instead of just reporting the result at the end. I am usually working about between 30 minutes to an hour in the evening on this project, a bit more during the weekend. So it is slow steps. Software When I built my first station I thought about sending it commands as well. LoRaWan is a two-way protocol. To conserve power, so-called Class-A devices (like the one I am building) only receive data in a fixed interval after they have sent something. But as my station is […]
  • Outdoor solar powered weather station – part 1
    I built this type of weather station before. But unlike the last times, when I blogged only after I completed it, this time I will blog during building it. I do not spend too much time on this. Still working from home I often lack the energy going back to my desk in the evening and writing code or designing stuff. So I spend about 30 minutes each day, making this a slow build. But hey, even when working slowly I will complete this. This is the fourth version of my outdoor weather station. The following hardware concecpts I tried […]
  • Building an Anemometer – Part 2
    In this part I write about the microcontroller I am using and the code. Recently the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a completely new designed microcontroller which can be programmed with MicroPython. Named the RP2040, it is somewhat limited as it does not have Wifi or any other means of wireless communication on board, but it has plenty of ports and is actually even a dual-core controller! So I needed to find a project where I can use it and the Anemometer is a perfect fit. In fact, the Microcontroller does not have much to do here, its tasks are: Count […]

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