SwitchDoc Labs has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its second-generation OurWeather DIY weather station targeting makers and educators — and it represents a complete redesign.
"We launched the first OurWeather Kit in 2016," the company explains. "After listening to customer comments and more importantly customer suggestions, a redesign and complete revamp of the OurWeather kit has been made and is now being launched via this Kickstarter. We simplified construction, produced a new 3D print base (which is now included in the kit), switched to a MUCH more powerful computer (ESP32 Dual Core!), added an external antenna (the #1 most requested feature), improved the REST interface and added new features. Same quality parts, and still includes full open source software so you can modify the project to meet your requirements."
The heart of the redesigned OurWeather kit is the WeatherPlusV2 board, a custom design which uses an Espressif ESP32-WROOM module for processing and wireless communication and includes RJ11 connectivity to the SwitchDoc Labs WeatherRack environmental monitoring system along with analogue, digital, and I2C Grove format connectors plus a Feather-compatible header for add-on hardware. The base kit also includes a 3D-printed mounting plate, the WeatherRack with rain bucket, wind vane, and anemometer, temperature and humidity sensor, 128x64 OLED display, antenna, and mounting accessories.
"Initially the children can put together different computer boards while learning about the different components on each," the company explains of the design's applicability to STEM education. "Lights on the board will show which part is working. Importantly, all of this may be assembled and disassembled; no soldering required. With the step by step manual included, even parents or teachers with minimal technology background can guide this experience with ease.
"OurWeather will sense and record ten different environmental factors. In our focus groups the kids had fun with the different sensors, even before placing the sensors outside. And with the new Wi-Fi antenna you can go much further away from your Wi- Fi Access point! Once fully assembled, there are more advanced lessons to be learned while connecting the project with the internet. This is an easy first-time exposure to software tools such as Scratch or Apple’s Swift Playground."
Full details are available on the project's Kickstarter campaign page, where the base kit is starts at $139; an upgrade kit, meanwhile, is available at $75 for those who already have the original OurWeather kit in-hand.