The weather station project (codename : PiWeather)
It's been quite a while we haven't posted anything here, but it doesn't mean we're not working on cool things !
A few months ago, I thought it would be cool and useful if I could monitor temperatures inside and outside of my apartment. This way I could know when to open the windows or close them in summer when it gets warmer outside than inside, and the other way around. Then I figured that I might as well add other data, such as pressure, humidity, maybe wind speed and others if I gather the time and the energy to go through with my project, which I admit, rarely happens 😀
Anyway, things are now moving with the project so now is the time to write here. The idea for this first article is to introduce briefly what I will do and how I am planning to do it. I will update this article in the future with links to the latest articles I post about the PiWeather project.
As you probably guessed from the project's codename, the central unit is a Raspberry Pi. The Pi itself does not host any sensor. It will instead be connected wirelessly to them, or more precisely, to what I will call from now on “sensor units”. These sensor units will be Arduino based (what a surprise!) sensor platforms. I mean by this that a sensor unit can host more than one sensor on board, like both a pressure sensor and a temperature sensor for example.
My goals are :
- No wires : While the Pi will be connected both to a power source and through Ethernet, the sensor units must be wireless.
- Plug and play sensors. Just put a battery inside a sensor unit, and you're done. No complicated setup on the computer, through switches, nor command lines.
- Longest possible battery life for the sensor units. If you have to change batteries every other week, then being wireless has in fact no point.
- Web interface to monitor and access all the logged data
- Use cheap parts
There are probably tons and tons of similar projects on the Internet, and I don't really care. The point is as always to have fun, learn, design, and do something useful...Okay, it's not always useful 🙂
On a technical side, the topics I will try to approach during this long journey are:
- The sensors I used or plan to use
- Low power Arduino design
- Arduino development in Eclipse
- Raspberry Pi program cross compilation
- Communicate wirelessly between an Arduino and a raspberry Pi
- Google protocol buffers
- Symfony 2 PHP framework
- Create a daemon for Linux
- Interrupts on Raspberry Pi
- PCB design
- Case design (if I make to this stage obviously :D)
- Twitter Bootstrap
This list is not exhaustive, but it shows that this project approaches a very broad range of domains and languages .
The articles won't be a series of tutorials. Nothing I will do is new, I will instead focus more on how all of these things work together, and how the design evolves through time.
And this ends this introduction post 🙂
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