I’ve always been interested in weather since I was a kid. Took earth space science classes in school that covered a little bit of meteorology. I’m no expert of course. I decided to get a little fancy and bought a weather station for my home that connects to Weather Underground.
I use a AcuRite 5 in 1 pro weather station with Acu-Link bridge & Meteobridge. I have it setup in a pretty good position facing south at 13ft high on a post and some pvc. It was the most logical spot to place it so I could have access with a 10ft ladder but so far I’ve been getting some surprisingly accurate data according to nearby personal weather stations. The sensor is in direct sunlight most of the day, but what is really awesome about this weather sensor, especially in this price range is that it has a aspirated fan that ventilates the thermometer to give you a accurate reading even when it’s hot and no breeze.
When I first got the weather station I was using AcuRite’s My Backyard Weather to feed Weather Underground via the Acu-Link bridge, but it was only updating every 15 minutes and that’s just too slow, not entirely sure why AcuRite decided to do that and its possible that someday they will change that. Their software also came with a app for iOS and Android, but it really sucked and decided not to use and My Backyard Weather wasn’t a thrill to use either.
This is the Acu-Link bridge that I mounted inside of my home on a floor joist in the basement in the utility room which has a window with a direct line of sight to the weather station.. I’m getting 3 out of 4 signal strength for both of my sensors. I also have a secondary tower sensor (temp/humidity) that I use for reference. I did have the Acu-Link Bridge mounted in my network cabinet which worked fine until I added the secondary sensor and both were presented with a 1 signal strength which was causing issues by not sending the data quick enough. On Weather Underground, you would see a blank section every now and then and that was because it lost signal. This was not ideal. So I ended up finding another place which luckily there was an outlet available to power the unit and it wasn’t too far form the networking cabinet, so I had to run just a short cable. I’m getting a solid signal now!
This is the Meteobridge that I’ve mentioned earlier. Its a TP-Link TL-MR3020 Router running a custom OpenWRT firmware called Meteobridge. Once the router has been flashed with this firmware, it is not longer a router but acts much like the Acu-Link bridge. Meteobridge connects to the 5 in 1 sensor via the Acu-Link bridge that is plugged in via the only Ethernet jack and then the device is connected to the network via Wifi. Meteobridge sniffs sensor data from the passed-through TCP traffic and uses that data as if the sensors were directly connected to Meteobridge. That way Meteobridge gives Acurite Internet-Bridge owners a broad array of new options to deal with their weather data. Its quite the smart device.
Meteobridge allows me to posts the sensor data directly to Weather Underground every 5 seconds! Its a lot better than 15 minutes, not only that, I am getting more data that I did with the AcuLink bridge. I’m picking up wind gusts and rainfall rate, now as far as I know, the AcuRite 5 in 1 sensor doesn’t natively support wind gusts and rainfall rate so my I’m assuming that Meteobridge is doing some sort of calculated wind gusts and rainfall rate. Installation was pretty easy, I had to make some adjustments to the barometric pressure. I just simply calibrated it to match the closest NWS calibrated sensor and so far, so good. But I’m sure there will need to be adjustments down the road.
Ok, now I’m just showing off. This is the LCD console that came with my weather station and I think its pretty neat. Shows most of the data simplified, perfect for sitting on the kitchen counter. If I need more detailed info, I’ll check out Weather Underground on my phone or desktop. The console also has a ticker on the bottom that will give you some additional things like moon phase, forecast, record wind and temps, etc. It’s really neat and fun.
If you are interested in meteorology or would like to be part of the weather community, I totally recommend getting one of these stations.
I’m going to go and enjoy the weather…