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Author Topic: Remote Weather and Video Stations  (Read 205 times)

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Online Deerslayer

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Remote Weather and Video Stations
« on: August 13, 2018, 07:17:08 AM »
We are fortunate to have a Member, Dave Fasken, a Ham operator and electronics hobbyist in our club, who took it upon himself to fabricate our weather station at the field. This is based upon an amateur radio link to a server system on the Internet; an licensed amateur radio operator is required to be its owner/sponsor. Dave, Wilf, Herman and perhaps some other Members are such.

Over several years, some of us have wished for, and discussed, the possibility of obtaining something similar for still or video coverage of part of our field. Apart from the anticipated expense, there is the issue of how it could be done.

Here is a bit of information which I picked up at the Cornwall Fun Fly this past weekend.

A fellow flyer brought out one of his weather stations to demonstrate. There are a couple of clubs in the Ottawa area that have installed them. The system consists of the measuring instruments, a small solar panel, a small lead acid battery and the associated Arduino-based electronics. This was mounted on a piece of conduit - very compact!

The communications method is via the cellular network. You dial up the number and you get a test message with weather details. Pretty slick! He monitors his remote stations over the cellular network. The cost of this setup is $520 per year, which is affordable to some RC clubs, especially where their membership may have long driving distances. He retains ownership, looks after replacing the battery, if needed, and handles any technical issues. The predominant cost is for the cellular account.
 
So, "What about video?". The answer is forthcoming, but first you may find his information to be of interest:

https://ruellaconsulting.wordpress.com/

Video?

He has done that as an experiment. The issue is cost of the "smartphone" connection, as opposed to the bare-bones texting capability of his weather station. Even if you only do still shots, perhaps updated once or twice per minute, you still need this level of service. He priced out his complete package at approximately $1700 per year - well above what would be practical for an organization such as KRCM.

Now, there may be other approaches, such as through the amateur radio community. Or, if a site put in an Internet link, along with associated support equipment (battery, inverted, solar panel, etc.), something could be set up. It could still be something worth investigating, of someone has the inclination.

A few years ago, Mike Lucas of Zycom Technology here in Kingston offered to look into this, but it was never followed up on. Mike's son was a KRCM Member and I have known and dealt with Mike professionally beginning some 20+ years ago. He is the co-founder of that company.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 07:19:08 AM by Deerslayer »
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