A passion for weather: In the following blog post you will get to know a hobby meteorologist from Aigen, Austria. In addition to the weather observation he has installed gorgeous solutions for his home using Lufft technology. Here you will also find out which technology is behind the network system…
Photo source: adrenalinapura, fotolia; Thomas Krannich
In 1975 I discovered my passion for meteorology by starting to observe the daily weather and recording it in a diary. 14 years later, I’ve owned my first Stevenson Screen collecting temperature, humidity and air pressure with the help of Lufft recorders. After six further years, I was the proud owner of a digital Lufft weather station IS10. Unfortunately it became the victim of a strong lightning strike in 2007 destroying it almost completely. It was a blessing in disguise, that this event gave me the idea to rebuild the system in a different manner: I renewed the damaged sensors and the whole system rebuilding is based on ANACON transmitters. The actual station with units to measure air temperature, air pressure, wind speed and direction, global radiation, UVB radiation, soil moisture, precipitation and clouds is truly impressive. Moreover I’m planning to install a probe recognizing the radioactivity within the ambient air.
The intelligent analog-digital UMB converter (ANACON-UMB) with galvanic isolation is very useful for the UMB-network integration. It can easily be fixed on an EN mounting rail and can be networked through DIN rail bus connectors. For the configuration, there is a simple Windows software tool available, which can be connected to the computer via RS232 port and an ISOCON interface converter.
ANACON is preset for a large number of Lufft environmental sensors, so it is easy to handle from installation to operation. The LED indicator for the operation supports temperature and humidity sensors, wind, pressure as well as precipitation sensors, and many more.
Besides collecting weather data, I use the digital-analog converter to keep an eye on power and water or even heating meters (per impulse, per liter, kWh, etc.). In order to track my environmentally friendly pellet stove and the pellet consumption, I can also use the flexible ANACON module. The related mechanism works by a metal part stimulating a capacitive proximity sensor with each turn of a screw conveyor. The number of revolutions indicates the amount of used pellets. One ANACON solution I use detects the switching status of the alarm system and registration.
The weather data are not only measured but also saved and used for
- The garden irrigation (soil moisture detection for vegetable patch and lawn),
- The window of the glass house (wind, precipitation, ambient temperature inside and outside),
- The foil roller blinds above the vegetable patch (information about wind, rain, indoor and outdoor temperature)
- The shutters (global radiation in connection with astronomic program).
The basic data acquisition is operated by the LUFFT UMB-config tool. The measured values are issued and evaluated with the help of a very extensive Excel file. Other tasks performed by this file are all control activities across numerous Excel and VBA macros and connected relay boards.
A future project I have in mind is to “tinker” an Excel program comparing old with new environmental data and collecting similar ones of e.g. the last 48 hours. Its forward projection could serve a future weather forecast model.
All these solutions were facilitated with the help of Helmut Hager, manager of the calibration lab at Lufft. Therefore I want to thank him very much for his great support and the exchange of experience within many telephone calls since 1995. He helped me a lot to solve some of my technical problems .
|About the author:
My name is Thomas Krannich. I am 55 years old, have studied mathematics and physics (teaching post for secondary schools) at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. Since my youth I‘m interested in weather observation and recording. I check the daily weather since 1975 and 1989 I owned my first Lufft measuring device supporting me with my investigations.