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MSP430-based solar-powered weather station


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Hi Folks,

Some time ago in a thread http://forum.43oh.com/topic/5550-simple-msp430f5529-bootloader/

I shared my bootloader that I wrote for my weather station project.

I'd like to share some info on the project that I have completed and that its now operating in the field.

 

Link to the description: http://eltomek.blogspot.com/2014/10/diy-weather-station.html

 

All comments are welcome. Thanks all from this forum who helped me in numerous posts where I had no idea how to get out of technical issues! :)

 

Best Regards,

Tomek

 

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Edited by tml
[ADMIN] Added images
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@@tml Nice! I added some images to your post, so it is easier to comprehend the amount of work you put into it. Will you be planning to have this PCB made? I'd like to put it on the 43oh Store.

I see you may be switching to the TIVA. I could help sponsor the first batch.

Thanks Bluehash! As for the current PCBs: I will of course share the design files soon (I need to clear up the working directories, see what's needed and what is not). But, the board has couple of issues that I described in the post. I plan to share the fixed version as well, but now I need to spend some time with my wife and daughter :D This project sinked me a lot!

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Have you considered also pushing your weather data to data.sparkfun.com then you can view your data on imp.guru like these other weather stations: http://imp.guru/c4

I will be happy to do that soon. I'd like to move the data to some other place anyway (I'm not happy with the service I use now) and was thinking about IoT data servers.

Do you know any that would allow not only to post data to but also get data from? I need to provide a configuration and firmware in ihex format for the weather station which it downloads each time it sends the data to the server. I need to be able to upload this config file and ihex firmware image. 

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I will be happy to do that soon. I'd like to move the data to some other place anyway (I'm not happy with the service I use now) and was thinking about IoT data servers.

Do you know any that would allow not only to post data to but also get data from? I need to provide a configuration and firmware in ihex format for the weather station which it downloads each time it sends the data to the server. I need to be able to upload this config file and ihex firmware image. 

 

Interesting idea, with data.sparkfun.com you can download data but I don't know about the ihex format, it sort of enforces formatting into CSV, JSON, things like that.  How big is the file and what are you looking to do, just do a http request to fetch it?

 

I could see a scenario where you check the file into github then fetch the raw format back.

 

This could also be a feature that I can add to imp.guru, after all the goal is to create a tool for real IoT applications like this but if the github solution suffices, its your best bet.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi!

My first weather station that I've presented in this topic has been successfully working in the field since the deployment in September 2014 until early April 2015, when something failed and it stopped communicating with the world. I'll see what happened, I just need to bring it down from the 20m tall tree :-)

 

In the meantime I've been working on the new hardware and I've finally completed it.

The enhancements comparing to the 1st version are:

  • added on-board lead-acid battery charging circuit (based on the Texas Instruments bq24450 chip)
  • added support for microSD card (to store the pictures from the VGA camera and move the bootloader to make use of microSD instead of internal MCU flash)
  • added GPIO-controlled 5V circuit based on LT1763-5 (also attached to the Launchpad 5V pin)
  • added support for 5V UART with BSS138-based logic level translation (between 3.3V and 5V) - taken from the Sparkfun project
  • moved modem's reset line to ADC-capable GPIO (this line is tricky, will probably later elaborate on that)
  • added on-board voltage dividers to measure battery and solar cell voltages (in the first version I had them externally connected making the mess in the case)
  • replaced SMA connector with u.fl

The PCB size is 7x10cm, it was produced again at seeedstudio. I was taking care for assigning the GPIOs for the sensor so that they don't collide with CC3100 BoosterPack (in case wifi is needed instead of GSM).

 

Well, it wasn't without issues unfortunately. The BSS138 circuit forwards some (330uA) current into 5V circuit, I should have inserted a Schottky at the R17/R18.

 

I have made 10 PCBs (by mistake, it was meant to be 5 ;-) ), if anyone is interested in having some (bare ones, i.e unassembled) please let me know.

It's an open hardware project, for now I've attached the schematics in PostScript because sharing the KiCAD project is not trivial - I have a mess in the component library :-)  I'll do it some day.

Also I will publish the source code, for now it's not something I'd like anyone can see, if you know what I mean....

 

Best Regards,

Tomek

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meteo_mainboard.ps

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