Arduino Weather Station Project - Shelter

Assemble the Weather Shelter (Part 7)

The weather shelter was put together using a collection of plastic plumbing parts that are available from your local hardware store or depot. Some of the parts can also be recycled from building sites. We used a 100mm plastic pvc tube which is widely used by plumbers for the main part of the shelter. To make the section where the wind flows through onto the DS18B20 sensor we used plastic plates that are used for the base of pot plant holders. These only cost a few cents.

The plates are held together using three threaded rods and plastic tubing to provide the separation between them. The top and bottom covers use on the PVC tube are available in many shapes and sizes. The cover we used at the bottom had a hole in it to fit a 50mm section of tube. We then attached a vent cover to keep the bugs and other critters out of the shelter but allow air movement for the BME280 sensor that is mounted inside the shelter.

To finish off the shelter we spray painted it using high gloss white paint to reflect solar energy from it.

Shelter Parts

Weather Station Shelter Parts
  • Plastic plates such as one used as a base for pot plants. These are for the air vent.
  • 3mm threaded rod
  • Assortment of nuts, washers and split washers to suite threaded rod
  • Plastic tube that fits over threaded rod for spacers. Could use plastic standoffs also
  • 50mm Air Vent
  • 100mm to 50mm reducer
  • 50mm PVC Tube
  • 100mm PVC Cover
  • 100mm PVC Tube
  • White High Gloss Paint or Spray Paint

You can use whatever length of PVC tubing that fits your requirements. We used four plates for the vents but you can use more or less. You will need to cut the threaded rod to a length that covers the plates plus the bit that fits into the top cover of the 100mm tube. You need to allow some length for fitting of nuts and washers. All parts are readily availbale from local stores or offcuts from building sites.


Tools Required

  • Saw to cut the PVC
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Pliers
  • Knife for cutting plastic space tube and plates
  • Marker Pen

Base Shelter Assembly

Shelter Base Unassembled

We assemble the base of the unit simply by sliding the vent over the 50mm tube. This tube is then fed into the 100 to 50mm reducer. This is then slid into the 100mm PVC tube. We did not use contact cement to join the parts together. Friction seemed to the job.

Shelter Base Assembled

Vent Plate Preparation

To mount the plates that act as a wind vent for the temperature sensor we used three lengths of threaded rod. Between each plate we used a short length of rubber tube cut to about 20mm in length. This give a bit of spacing between each plate to allow air to flow through but to keep the temperature sensor in shade.

Mark Holes in plate

Stack the number of plates you are going to use. In our case we used four. On the top plate we are going to mark the position for three holes. We will then drill these three holes through all of the plates. The hole has to be large enough for the threaded rod to fit through.

The next step is to drill a hole for the temperature sensor. You can cut the hole or using a drill with a suitable attachment drill a hole of about 4cm in width. NOTE: We do not cut this hole in the top plate. In our case only the bottom three plates.

Plate with holes

Temperature Sensor Assembly

The DS18B20 sensor is mounted in the top cover that fits over the 100mm tube. We need to drill three holes for the threaded rods for mounting the wind vent plates. We also need to drill a hole in the middle of the top cover for the DS18B20 sensor. To mark the holes we placed one of the plates on top of the cover and marked the hole positions.

Cover with holes

Once we have drilled the holes we can mount the sensor.

Top cover with sensor mounted

The plastic plates we used for the vents had a lip on them. We drilled small holes around the lip on each plate to allow water to drain from them.

Vent Plate Assembly

We recommend that you paint the vent plates with the high gloss white. We used a spray paint can to cover both sides of the plates.

We can now assemble the vents and attach them to the top cover. This can be a bit of trail and error to get the plate heights worked out and fitting of the plastic tube offsets installed.

Start by screwing a nut onto the top of each threaded rod. We then place the plate without the the 4 cm hole in the middle at the bottom. Next we slide a plastic tube offset (or alternative) over each rod. We can now place the next plate over the 3 rods and slide down onto the offsets. We repeat this for the remaining plates. As we mount each plate we check to make sure that they are level and the gap between each is consistent.

Plate assembly

Once we have the last plate mounted we put a spring washer and nut on each rod. This is to keep the plates together prior to the final mounting onto the top cover. You may need to cut the threaded rods if they are too long.

Painting

Once assembled the unit can be painted. You can either spray paint or use a brush. You will need to allow a few hours to a day for the paint to dry depending on what you use. It was easier to paint pvc components assembled together. If you paint the components prior to assembly then do not paint over the sections of pvc that slide inside another part. As mentioned previously it is easier to paint the vent plates prior to assembly.

Final Assembly and Mounting

Inside the shelter housing we installed a jiffy box that had a wiring block for the BME280 and DS18B20 sensor. This jiffy box has vents in it to allow air movement around the BME280 sensor. The BME280 sensor was mounted inside the jiffy box cover. The DS18B20 sensor was terminated inside this jiffy box. Refer to part 3 of this project for more details.

We ran a cable from this jiffy box back to the Arduino controller box. We drilled a hole in the bottom of the shelter to allow cable entry and connection to the jiffy box.

The shelter was mounted using a right angled bracket that was bolted to the side of the shelter. The completed shelter is shown below.

Assembled Shelter

Coming up next ...

We create a basic weather station web server.