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Author Topic: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?  (Read 9756 times)

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Offline Paul03

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Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« on: January 01, 2017, 04:31:48 PM »
I don't want to spend the money Davis wants for the Pro2.  I'm not really looking for accuracy I just want the graph to show something! 

Offline Dale Reid

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2017, 02:29:18 AM »
You can get some parts from this place, with a nice little box and a mounting flange.  I think it was $25 postage paid, came pretty fast after ordering.

I've got one to interface to a Texas Wx Instruments, but haven't got it in place yet.

The nice thing about TWI is that they have the ability to enter in a scaling factor.  Don't know if Davis does.

This kit uses a silicon diode which generates a voltage.  I'm not sure if the Davis is an active or passive type device. 

www.instesre.org


Offline mihec

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2017, 08:41:06 PM »
There are various options explained in this forum. One is to put a temperature sensor in a jar and tell this to WD. It will then plot it as solar. Other option I use is a 1-wire humidity sensor board but I have a photodiode instead of a humidity sensor itself. It works great apart from nonlinearity in the morning and hourly little jumps (probably due to some recalculations done in software). Overall it works nice.

Offline niko

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 09:47:18 PM »
...and if you have a Davis VP/VP2 station there have been several DIY solar sensors built that plug into the ISS.

Offline Weather Display

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 09:48:09 PM »
another option is to get a Bloomsky camera
WD now can use the solar (lux) and UV readings from that, with any station type

Offline NorCal Dan

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 10:46:26 PM »
DIY projects for solar...the hard part is getting that data into WD.  Some wx stations are easier to integrate than others...what wx station are you using?

Offline hankster

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 11:07:15 PM »
another option is to get a Bloomsky camera
WD now can use the solar (lux) and UV readings from that, with any station type

How is that done?

Offline Weather Display

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 11:09:23 PM »
in control panel, there is now a Bloom sky setup
you enter the API key you get from your bloomsky login (see the developer link bottom left)
then make sure it all works..click on test
then at the bottom of that setup screen you can tick to use the solar/uv data for WD data
and turn the main switch on in that setup too

Offline Paul03

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 11:50:38 PM »
Since I'm really dense on the electronics, is there a simple way to connect a photocell or photo diode directly into the Davis VPII?

Offline Dale Reid

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2017, 12:27:32 AM »
Niko,
Is there a thread or a subject on the various non-standard things that people have developed and fed the data into WD somehow?

I know there is a single wire discussion, Normal Wx station selection from the main station setup for WD, and Labjack stuff.

But if I had a really neat Gizmo 137 mod IV that sensed I don't know, maybe how fast my tomatoes were growing, how would I get that instrument plus my computer and an RS232 or USB to make that number available to WD?  And then how to customize one of the many extra sensor buckets that WD has, such as using a temperature sensor slot to store and graph and manipulate those data?

If someone has their laser snow depth measuring device, how to configure WD to see it?  I've looked at the FAQs and maybe I just didn't see it as a subject or group, perhaps being more specific rather than too general.

Just thinking,  Dale

Offline niko

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2017, 01:07:04 AM »
This is the forum for that type of activity, but beyond that there's nothing organized. Many have expressed interest in e.g. a solar sensor, and some of us have the skills to design that kind of thing, but most of the interested parties do not have the skills to implement the project. In the past I have even put together kits of the essential parts and detailed information for a Davis compatible UV/Solar sensor, but no one who got a kit actually put it together. I no longer volunteer  :lol:

There are two members of this forum who have completed projects that I've had a hand in, one built VP UV and Solar sensors that are working well, and the other built a skytemp (cloud cover), precip, light level, UV, sensor array that uploads the data directly to their website.

There's a good long thread about the laser snow depth sensor, and some other 1-wire sensors have been incorporated into WD. Also I believe Brian has added some other wx related sensors that output data to a file read by WD.

But it's hardly reasonable to expect Brian to add non-weather related sensors or everybody's different concept of an interface for e.g. a solar sensor to WD. In these days of data driven php websites there are many ways to feed other data to the webserver and incorporate it into the site.

Offline hankster

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 03:37:03 AM »
in control panel, there is now a Bloom sky setup
you enter the API key you get from your bloomsky login (see the developer link bottom left)
then make sure it all works..click on test
then at the bottom of that setup screen you can tick to use the solar/uv data for WD data
and turn the main switch on in that setup too

Thanks Brian. I turned it on, will see how it looks once it's daylight. Great job!

Offline Weather Display

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 03:41:41 AM »
cool
do you have a web site?
as the one in your forum profile not working?

Offline niko

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 04:03:05 AM »
The url in the .sig works http://nfmweather.com/weather/

Offline hankster

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Re: Is there any way to build a homemade solar sensor?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 12:45:18 PM »
cool
do you have a web site?
as the one in your forum profile not working?

Forgot to change it in my profile. It's http://www.nfmweather.com/weather

Link to the WD graphs http://www.nfmweather.com/weather/wxgraphs.php

Looks like I may have had a setting wrong on the Bloomsky setup as it appears it was using it's data for everything. Changed that, will see how it looks after I get off of work.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 12:50:18 PM by hankster »

 

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