Installing a weather station can be a big challenge for many users. It is imperative to fix the system in the right way to maintain accuracy. Many new weather station buyers are sometimes concerned about the quick and easy way of installing it. Most of the weather stations come straight-forward and don’t need much knowledge when installing. However, specific points must be kept in mind when connecting a weather station so that each of the units is placed at the right position. We will provide you few tips to correctly install a weather station system.
Planning and site surveying
Like any other thing in life, a little planning before purchasing a weather station can make the installation process much smoother. Always buy a weather station that would be suited to the site of installation available to you. Some weather stations might not be considered for a particular location. You should keep in mind to survey the place before going for the installation to determine the distance of transmission required for that area. Transmission distance is the only feature that can determine if the weather station is appropriate for a site.
Location of the outdoor sensor system
The place of the outdoor sensor system of the weather station is the most critical aspect of installing a weather station. It can profoundly influence the data transmission, and a wrong site can ultimately ruin the system’s accuracy.
- You should maintain a good distance between the weather station and any other tall object.
- Never install your weather station under a tree or overhang, as this can make the rainfall data measured by your system incorrect.
- Don’t place your weather station at the alley, between two houses, as it can affect the anemometer resulting in wrong wind data.
- The surface beneath the weather station can also profoundly influence the data measured by it. Black surfaces like asphalt or black shingles can make the temperature measurement warmer than that on lighter surfaces like grey shingles or gravel. It is better to choose a cover with more luminous colored surfaces. It should be noted that the weather station must be placed at least 5 ft above the ground, including grass or other shrubs.
The way of installation is also an essential thing to keep in mind. Each of the units must be placed carefully to make the weather station provide the right weather data and forecast.
- In case you don’t have a fencepost or flagpole to mount your weather station, it is best to purchase an arm mount or a tripod. A tripod allows you to install the system on it, which can then be placed on the ground or a rooftop, while with the help of an arm mount, you can fix the weather station to the exterior wall or fence.
- Make sure that the weather station is installed at the line of sight and doesn’t exceed the maximum transmission distance from the receiver; else the console won’t be able to access any data from the outdoor system.
Temperature and humidity sensor
Thermometer and hygrometer are the vital parts of a weather station, and most of the time the problems are due to an improper installation of the temperature and humidity sensors. Here are few important points to remember about the humidity and temperature sensors;
- Temperature sensor should be placed in a shield and must not be exposed to direct sunlight. The housing shield of the thermometer must be well ventilated, and there must be enough wind flow to prevent it from unnecessary heating up. Make sure that the protection is of appropriate size. A radiation shield with built-in aspirated fan is much better as it allows better ventilation. If you don’t have a radiation shield, then you can also use an aluminum sheet, which can be mounted 6 inches away from the sensor, to provide shade as well as proper ventilation.
- In case the temperature sensor is placed on the rooftop, it must be at least 5 ft above the surface of the roof. It applies the same if it is to be placed even on the grass.
- Humidity sensors must be located at least 50 ft away from any plant, tree or water body, as they can affect the humidity measurements. Even if there is any of it, the humidity sensor must be at least 50 ft away from it.
- Both the thermometer and hygrometer should be placed at least 50 ft away from any paved surfaces.
- Many obstructions can highly influence the sensors, so you must try to avoid some areas such as shaded areas, heat sources, steep slopes, areas with high vegetation, sheltered hollows, swamps, locations where snow drift occur mostly, and low leveled areas that hold standing water after rains.
Anemometer is also an essential unit of the weather station, and it can also be profoundly influenced if the installation isn’t done correctly. Some points must be noted about its setup;
- It is essential to place the anemometer at an open level area with least obstacles.
- You should try to place the anemometer at the highest level, making it the tallest standing object in the surrounding. Even if there is any tall object, the anemometer must be at least 7 ft above the object’s height.
- In case there are very tall buildings, trees, posts or other tall objects, make sure you install the anemometer away from the object at a distance of least ten times the actual height of the objects.
- Usually, the anemometer must be placed 10 meters or more above the ground for the measurement. If it is situated on the rooftop, it is convenient to put it as high as possible.
- Don’t place it in an awkward position where you won’t be able to reach. It can create a problem for you to reach the anemometer for maintenance purpose.
- While calibrating an anemometer, it is best to use a digital compass or GPS for more accuracy in the wind data.
Rain gauge tips
The rain gauge is a very complicated unit of a weather station, and the correct installation is critical to maintaining maximum accuracy. The rain gauge can be influenced by many obstructions such as tall buildings, trees or other objects, so these things must be kept in mind while installing the rain gauge.
- The orifice of the rain gauge must always be above the level of in-splashing of the rain, and also above the level of snow accumulation, else the splashing rain water drops can get include in the gauge, creating a wrong rain data.
- Rain gauge should be placed at least 5 ft away from any horizontal obstruction so that the rain is not blocked by the object.
- In case there is an object just 5 ft away from the rain gauge, it must not be taller than 10 ft.
- For open and clear areas, the windshield can be used to decrease the impact of the wind.
- To keep away birds from pooping or nesting in the rain gauge, plastic spikes can be mounted on the gauge.
As many advanced weather stations are coming up with new features, the radiation sensor is also one of those features. Many users may not be familiar with this sensor, but this sensor will transmit appropriate data only if it is placed correctly, so these points should be kept in mind;
- It is strictly recommended to put the radiation sensor away from reflective surfaces, shadows, and any source of radiation, as these can profoundly influence the measurement.
- Although elevation doesn’t affect the accuracy of the sensor, it is recommended to mount a radiation sensor at a height less than 3 meters, so that you can easily reach it for maintenance purpose.
- In case you are installing a cabled weather station, keep in mind to include the liable wall contours and other obstacles that it will have to pass through. The actual requirement might be far more than the simple point-to-point measurement. This way you will be able to purchase a cable with most appropriate length.
- Make sure you have maintained all the safety requirements like Earthing and lightning safety.
- Never install the console or the indoor sensor system near any heat source or cooling source. It can affect the data.
Every little thing should be considered while installing the weather station if you want the best out of it. Planning is a must before starting anything, so first make a plan and create a simple blueprint and then do the installation. In this way, not only will your weather station be accurate, but also your installation will be smooth and quick. Be very careful when you are working on the rooftop or at a certain height. If possible take someone’s help. Keeping all the things apart, the most important thing is your safety.