discussion / Sensors  / 21 March 2018

Remote weather stations

Hi sensors group! I'm hoping to incorporate fine scale weather data (wind, precipitation, temperature, etc) into my research, which will be situated in a fairly remote area of northern Tanzania. Due to the accessibility restrictions of the field site, any weather stations I use will have to be equiped with onboard data loggers and preferably be solar powered. I'm having a hard time finding available technology with those characteristics that fit within my fairly limited budget. Does anyone have suggestions for models, companies, or avenues of inquiry? 


Hi Claire, 

So I know you've been getting a heap of solid advice over twitter, which is fantastic!  In case others have a similar question now or in the future, I'm going to capture some of what came back here. Have any of these been particularly useful? It'd be great to hear about how you get on setting up the weather station - would you keep us updated? 


Thread 1 - with Anupa

Hi Claire, we have been working on low cost weather stations. Is $1000 the total budget including shipping? Where exactly are you in Tanzania? Will try and connect you to nearest networks.

— Anupa (@Mint_Floss) March 28, 2018

Great!! Yes, $1000 is about my max total budget. I’m currently in the US but my field site is in the Maasai Steppe (northern TZ)

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 28, 2018

Oh! Can you take it with you to Tanzania from US, then?

— Anupa (@Mint_Floss) March 28, 2018

That’ll depend slightly on the size and how they’re packaged. But yes!

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 28, 2018

Davis with logger seems quite ideal ($800ish). Also set up a solar charging with 10W 6V panel, 6V 3A charge controller, 6V to 5V DC DC regulator (LM2596) buck converter, 6V 10AH lead acid battery compatible with charge controller (all available on Amazon for <$100).

— Anupa (@Mint_Floss) March 28, 2018

I haven’t seen Davis ones with an onboard logger, is that an extra unit you can purchase and add in?

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 28, 2018

There's a USB data logger that's very convenient. https://t.co/4nS2Qe03p7

Hope this is what you need?

— Anupa (@Mint_Floss) March 28, 2018

That's wonderful, thank you so much! Thank you for helping me all the way from India - what a great example of how supportive and extensive the academic Twitter network is:)

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 28, 2018

All the best! Do let me know what solution you devised and also tales from field :)

— Anupa (@Mint_Floss) March 29, 2018

Thread 2 - with @shahselbe 

We’ve built and deployed low cost @FieldKitOrg weather stations for the last few years in Botswana/Namibia/Angola and will be deploying many throughout the Amazon and Tanzania (amongst other places) this year.

— Shah Selbe (@shahselbe) March 21, 2018

Awesome, I'd love to hear more about @FieldKitOrg, who should I contact for more information?

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 21, 2018

Send me an email: [email protected]. It’s still pre-public release but we are working with certain partners in deploying them now

— Shah Selbe (@shahselbe) March 21, 2018

Thread 3 - with @Alasdair 

Hi Claire, what are you looking to record to total? (wind / rain / humidity / precipitation etc). We feel a @WILDLABSNET thread coming on :)

— Arribada Initiative (@arribada_i) March 21, 2018

Essentials are wind speed and direction, precipitation, and temperature. Humidity and barometric pressure would be cool but not required, and solar powered would also be ideal.

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 21, 2018

Thread 4 - with Danielle Levesque

How cheap is cheap? The hobo ones are quite good https://t.co/L62ltwxl31

— Danielle Levesque (@dl_levesque) March 21, 2018

Funding is still a bit up in the air (shocking, I know), but those would be the absolute top of the budget for me. I'd prefer to be in the <$1000 range so I can also afford to feed myself

— Claire Hoffmann (@clairefhoffmann) March 21, 2018


Hi choffmann,

there is an intriguing option coming up later this year with LoraWAN sensor network that will be available from space by http://lacuna.space/

This essentially means a sensor anywhere in the world can send the data about once a day at very low power and cost, meanig a few cents per message or so. We can take a weather station with digital output and add the communication module to support such communication for you. See other projects we do and feel free to get in touch: http://irnas.eu/iot-drone-mapping

We use Raspberry Pi's. Currently at around $600 for a set up including batteries and solar panels (we record acoustic data, temperature, humdiity, lux and barometric pressure). We don't have windpseed on ours currently but since the system is modular it can be added (the adafruit one is pretty cheap). https://www.adafruit.com/product/1733


Dear Claire,

Maybe a SODAQ Meteo would be of interest to you? Combined with a sensor suite from Davis Instruments, the price will not exceed $1000, and you will have solar-powered, internet connected weather station. Please reach out if you are interested! We also have support available in Tanzania.

Kind regards,