WSDL WxShield for Arduino
Advantages to using a Weather Shield
And here is a little more detail on the differences between the WxShield and OS consoles:
- The wireless receiver uses an external antenna and is more sensitive than the OS base consoles. If you have
trouble receiving sensors through house walls and such, this may solve the problem.
- The barometer on the shield has 250 times more resolution than the barometer in the OS console.
- The shield's barometer provides pressure readings once every minute, versus 15 minutes for the OS console.
- The optional temperature/humidity sensor on the shield has a traceable accuracy of 0.3°C and 2% RH. "Traceable" means the
units have been calibrated in the factory using equipment which has been verified against government reference standards.
Compare this to the stated (e.g. non-traceable) accuracy of the OS console of 2°C and 5% RH.
For a little less money, a less accurate version of the sensor can be used instead.
- The wireless receiver can decode transmissions from just about any version 2.1 or 3.0 sensor made
by OS. OS consoles can only decode one protocol version.
Look further down on this page for a list of sensors currently supported.
Future versions may also be able to pick up other sensor brands such as LaCrosse or Taylor.
- Wireless sensors can be set on overlapping channel numbers. This is especially useful for the version 2.1
sensors which only have three channel settings, and allows the use of more than three sensors at the same time.
- WSDL can optionally sense when batteries are changed in a wireless sensor.
The sensor's new rolling code is automatically configured and the battery changed date is updated.
- Unlike some OS consoles (e.g. WMR100), which are known to periodically lock up (requiring a reset or battery removal to fix)
if Arduino locks up, it is reset automatically by WSDL and no user intervention is required.
The end result should be a more reliable system.
- The newer version of the WxShield measures the signal strength of your sensors, so you know which ones
might be problematic in the future.
This wouldn't be the real world if there weren't a few drawbacks also:
- For now, this is in the form of an engineering prototype. It is just a couple of raw printed circuit
boards that are plugged into each other and into a computer. It is not difficult to build a nice enclosure
for the unit, but that is not part of this project at this time.
- There is no "atomic clock" on the weather shield.
- Weather forecast icons are not provided (although this might be added to WSDL at some future time).
- Keeping track of different wireless sensors can get a bit more complicated, especially if you have a lot of them.
The amount of added complexity varies depending on what options are chosen in WSDL.
- There's no visual display on the WxShield, although the OS console can still be used for display purposes
(it just cannot be connected to the computer via USB).
- The WxShield/Arduino setup has no memory for weather data, like the WMR200 does. As such, it must
always be connected to a Windows computer for data logging to be continuous.