How to install a home weather station

Receiving and unpacking weather stations is an exciting part of owning such a measuring instrument. However, there are some essential things to consider when setting up your weather station. In this article, we take a closer look at them.

Also, check out: How to choose a home weather station before purchasing a home weather station

Things needed in your TOOLBOX: What you need to install Personal Weather Stations successfully:

  • Screwdriver
  • pliers
  • Hammer
  • Saw

1. Correct positioning of your sensors

Choosing the correct location for your weather station is probably essential for any weather station installation. This is the most significant part to ensure the accuracy with which you will be able to measure all the different atmospheric conditions.

The two most important factors to consider for optimal installation are the height of the sensors and their distance from other objects.

A. The distance

Distance is the first crucial factor to consider when setting up your weather station. Two different distances are of particular importance during the installation process.

The first is the distance between the outdoor unit (containing the sensors) and surrounding objects. The second distance is between the outdoor unit and the base station.

B. rain shadow

Trees and walls can cover or cast a “rain shadow” on the unit, giving you a completely wrong reading from the rain gauge 1). The effect of a tree should be obvious, but the “rain shadow” deserves some further explanation.

Say, for example, the wind is blowing in the direction of the house while it is raining, and the rain gauge is placed too close to the wall on the opposite side of the house. The wall creates a “rain shadow,” i.e., the wind blows the rain over the rain gauge, receiving only a portion of the actual rain.

The same goes for wind speed and direction. Large objects influence wind speed and cause the wind to swirl, making it very difficult to get an accurate reading of wind direction.

At this point, you may be frustrated and wondering where you can put your deep L sensors, so they don’t get influenced by something. You’ll be happy to know that there is a rule of thumb to follow.

You might not be so happy to know that the rule of thumb follows a 4 X 1 rule. This means that deep L sensors should be placed at a distance four times the height of the nearest structure. If the structure is 3 m high, the deep L sensors should be placed 12 m from it.

C. Distance between the base and outdoor unit

Wireless connections are becoming the norm for most mid to high-end home weather stations. The ability to place the sensors anywhere outside the home and communicate seamlessly with the base station without additional cables or installations makes them very attractive to most home users.

D. Height

The second crucial factor when choosing a site to determine the accuracy of your sensor readings is the actual physical height of your unit above the ground.

The first reason is to get an accurate humidity reading. The accuracy of the hygrometer can be seriously influenced, especially when placed in a garden or an area containing plants, grass, or even bodies of water. 

Temperature is another variable that the surface can also influence under the sensors. Whether the sensor unit is installed on the ground or a roof, the surface of each sensor absorbs and reflects/radiates much of the sun’s heat into the surrounding atmosphere 2).

Therefore, when the sensors are placed too close to the surface, the thermometer will not be able to give an accurate reading. (Reflected/radiated heat from the ground below is added to the atmospheric temperature sensed by the thermometer).

Fortunately, you don’t have to be completely discouraged because the solution to this problem is not so complex. Just make sure the sensor array is about six feet above the ground surface. This height is sufficient to make the influence of surrounding objects and surfaces negligible.

Most quality weather systems come standard with brackets to mount the sensor unit (usually around a standard pole). You will be able to get a suitable mast from most of these manufacturers. You can even save money by purchasing a galvanized post that is long enough (to prevent rusting) from your local hardware store.

Be sure to take note of the width or type of post/surface your Deep L Sensor Array brackets will use before purchasing any accessories. Your weather station documentation should be able to provide you with this information.

2. Roof sensors

Most of us don’t have a big enough garden to place the sensor far away from any obstructions. Placing the sensor unit on your roof or mounting it sideways on a pole about 2.5 meters from the bottom of the roof will give you the best possible readings for all weather conditions.

Attention! This is a potentially dangerous exercise, so have a professional installer do it for you if you are not entirely confident and can do it yourself safely. 

Remember that you should replace the batteries approximately every two years. So make sure that the detection unit is always accessible to replace them and carry out occasional maintenance.

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