A Better Portable Weather Station – a Story in Photos

I had been having some trouble with my original ‘tightwad weather station’ and had decided to upgrade as I changed it out. Here’s the story of my ‘not-as-tightwad’ weather station and how I made it work for our trailer.

First, I started with an “AcuRite 00638A2 Wireless Weather Station with Wind Sensor” as it was 1/3 off online and looked to be a good unit. I went with this unit as we often camp around lots of trees, and that makes a wind direction measurement mostly useless. This unit also measures dew point, and has an average for wind speed; a nice feature.

I wasn’t going to reuse my PVC pipe mast solution that I’d had earlier, as that had proved to be too bendy. So I had three more things to solve: the pole, adapting to a pole, and a sturdy pole base.

I found a “Flagpole To Go Portable Flagpole Tire Mount” for a good price, and knew that I now had a good beginning.

I remembered that I had a 15′ long extending painting pole in the garage; I use that thing about once every 15 years, so it’s recruited. Second part solved.

To adapt to the pole, I needed something that would fit both the threaded end of the pole and the socket in the bottom of the weather station’s outside unit, as the manufacturer had thoughtfully made it slick inside, but had included a good, beefy setscrew. A trip to Depot gave me a solution, with a cheap (under$4) corner painting pad that mounts to a painting pole.

Time to go to work.

First I sawed the painting pad’s handle off at a spot where I’d be sure it would firmly bottom in the outside unit’s socket. No, I didn’t take it out of the plastic it came in. That made it easier to saw, using my razor saw.

Cutting the handle off

 

I had wanted a tight fit into the outdoor unit socket, so I trimmed it to the point where it would be good and snug, but not too tight; and the setscrew in the outdoor unit’s socket could get a good bite on it.

Some trimming for a good tight fit

Our adapter’s made, we have a base, a pole, and batteries. My really handy nephew had made me a transport box for one of my antique road flares, and I recruited it. It works absolutely perfect for this! So now I could pack the delicate outdoor unit, and keep it from damage. Here’s how it looks, all packed up and ready to go.

As packed. Pretty cool, huh?

Here’s how it looks as I’m unpacking it.

The box, opened. Note how the anemometer is nicely protected.

Here’s how things go together. The batteries insert into the base of the outdoor unit via a door on the side, then the waterproof cover with the adapter slips over that and locks firmly into place.

The two pieces. Now you can see how my adapter will work.

One more step here: screw the adapter onto the pole.

Ready to go together and get out in the weather.

So as I set up the trailer, I had inserted the flagpole base under the jack pads. Then the pipe (the other half of the base) just screws into the top of that. Here’s how it looks with the pole inserted and the setscrew tightened.

The assembled base

And here it is, at work, measuring the weather.

Measuring the weather.

 

Hope you enjoyed this, it was fun and easy to make. And it WORKS!
(unlike some other things I’ve tried…)

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