Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PC and UPS Maintenance Day

Several weeks ago the UPS in the living room that runs my weather station mini-PC and Uniden HomePatrol scanner started screaming that its batteries were dying.

Rather than pay the premium that APC wants for their batteries, I picked up a couple of individual AGM batteries from my local supply place, put them on the trickle charger I have, and promptly forgot about them.

WELL.....Monday night I logged in to my weather server, only to get a "404" from its network address.

Hmmm.....go out to the living room and see that it's completely cold, and the UPS has shut down.

Time to swap out the batteries, I guess!

Rather than just replace the batteries, I pulled the covers off the UPS and blew out all the dust, and checked that the fans were easy to spin, and then rebuilt it.

Pulled the covers off the mini-PC, and blew all the dust out of it, too.

So now the weather station is back on-line, and sending data to NOAA via the Citizen's Weather Observer Program.

And they still haven't said a peep about the pending layoffs at work....


  1. And I'm betting the batteries weren't cheap either...

    1. The APC battery pack would have been around $100, plus shipping, over half the cost of an entirely new UPS.

      I got an 'upgraded' pair of batteries (higher AHr rating) from Newegg, and they cost about $6, with free shipping.

  2. Good on ya for using your own batteries for the UPS. Those things aren't cheap.

  3. I've looked at weather stations. That Davis gear is nice stuff. Mostly, I've wondered how it'd be to try to build one. I know all the parts are available as separate items. Hook 'em up to an Arduino? I'd pretty much have to do wireless, but there's Zigbee and other stuff available for that.

    1. Davis replacement parts are expen$ive, so I'm assuming you'd get them elsewhere.

      For software, I use "weatherview" on a Linux/Intel Atom platform.

      Weatherview has been complied for many other systems, and I used to run it on a little Netgear USB-to-Ethernet hard drive adapter running an ARM processor.

    2. Well, yes, I wouldn't go buying Davis parts -- would be cheaper to just buy the station. But there are lots of different things out there, depending on how much you want to spend, etc. There was some discussion a while back on the Arduino forum about tipping bucket rain gauges. At least that's where I think I saw it. If high accuracy isn't too important to you, you could build an anemometer pretty cheaply. Might even be accurate, if you're careful. A small savonius wind turbine, with some magnets and a hall sensor?

      I get the DIY bug a lot, but I find that often, it's better to go with a kit, or at least do more of an assemblage of stuff, rather than building from scratch.

  4. I'm sure if you Google for "home brew weather station" or "home brew anemometer", or whatever, you'll find more than enough clever solutions to do what you want.

    The source code for wview is available, so you could probably cross-compile it for different processors, or get enough info from the code to gin up your own code.



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