A Covid 4th of July. Another week of trying to rest up and not too much activity but I did pull my weather station down off the house to install the new GPS module in it. Currently the GPS is not working because the overhang of the roof is enough that it blocks the signal, I ordered an extension cable for the antenna to hopefully find a good spot for it: where it’s somewhat protected, but can also get signal. I think this is why I removed the GPS from the original build, it’s in the plans and schematics and even mostly wired, but the wires were cut, and I totally don’t remember doing so. The station has been on the side of the house collecting data for 2+ years now and it’s had some parts fail but overall it’s in pretty good shape.
The Soil Moisture sensor did fail quite early, this was sorta expected. I had heard that the constant voltage causes the copper on the sensor to corrode and separate. I’m curious to potentially try another approach: to only power it when it takes the measurement, this would dramatically slow the corrosion but it wouldn’t stop it and it’d be interesting to see what kind of life it gets for that approach.

The Soil temperature sensor also failed, this was more human error as it was clipped by the weed whacker when trimming the lawn. It’s also been replaced by a soil sensor in another area on another system as part of this sort of distributed system I now have with other sensors and systems in the backyard.

Otherwise, the rest of the system appears to be in good shape and appear to be operating normally. I pulled a hornet’s nest out of the Solar Radiation Shield and I did find 4 fire ants who had gotten fried across the PoE pins! It’s like the original hardware bug (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bug_(engineering))!

This week should get the antenna extension cable in and hopefully hooked up without issue.

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