WS601-UMB weather sensors Lufft and WeatherBug control electronics from Earth Networks. © Ernst Steinhauser

What became of the radio amateurs’ weather station in Ravensburg?

In November 2015, the chairman of the German Radio Amateurs Club’s (DARC) local association in Ravensburg, Germany introduced himself and explained how we helped to realize one of their dreams by sponsoring a professional WS601-UMB weather sensor. In the following article he shows us how the station has developed until now.

Projects in the association

The attractiveness of a local association certainly also depends on interesting projects. The board of the local association in Ravensburg (P09) is constantly trying to launch new campaigns.

The projects are implemented in different time periods, which is a normal process in the association. Scheduling time plans for actions mostly fails because our members are very occupied in their work and family life. The number of crafting projects has to be manageable and there is no point in pretending: As an accosiation, you need to consider well whether a project can really be implemented. For the cohesion, it is important to celebrate successes.

You find the current project status of our local group (P09) on our website.

Dreams became true

A wish of P09 (DARC association in Ravensburg) was to integrate a weather station at the newly created digital mobile radio (DMR) relay station site “DB0RV”. The site owner would also benefits from our weather data. It’s known, however, that good quality weather stations have a high price. Since we hadn’t been able afford such a project financially, we contacted the company G. Lufft Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH and asked for help.

Our request was handled professionally by G. Lufft. Such sponsorship requests also require a targeted and professional approach from the local association’s chairman. We would like to thank Mr. Weil from Lufft as well as DARC Managing Director Jens Hergert, who always helped us with the negotiations.

In September 2015 we received a professional Lufft weather sensor. The programming of the weather station was taken over by Alex, call sign DD1ALX. You find the end result on the DB0RV website.

The joy in the local group was of course indescribable. We were very pleased with the professionalism of the company Lufft in terms of marketing. As seen on the Lufft Blog, Lufft has published the news on their homepage  and was read worldwide. This led a follow-up which is described below…

And it got even better

Two weeks after the blog post about the weather station, I received an e-mail from the company Earth Networks from Germantown, Maryland, USA. Patrick with the radio call number KA1RQS was the one who contacted me. He told me, that he read the article about our weather station project on the Lufft homepage, and asked if we are interested in the partner program of the company Earth Netwoks.

As a newly elected local association chairman I first didn’t know, how to deal with this offer because I neither knew Patrick nor the company Earth Networks.

So Patrick and me started a very pleasant conversation and he explained what’s the company Earth Networks and the partner program in detail.

Earth Networks with its WeatherBug brand provides consumers, governments, and businesses with global knowledge of weather forecasts and weather warnings. Partners can access a worldwide weather network.

After a few days of reflection, I accepted the Earth Networks offer. The sensor parts from USA were delivered to me quickly. All transport costs and customs formalities were taken over by Earth Networks. After a short test at home, we installed the sensor unit at the site of the relais station DB0RV.

After it has been online for about two days, Patrick wrote me a message that the sensor works to the full satisfaction and lightning strokes as far as to Libya can be detected with the installed sensor. This was followed immediately by the access data to the global sensor network. As a non-weather expert, I was amazed at how much data can be retreived on the online platform.

Here just asmall extract:

  • Temperature displays worldwide
  • Colored contours of temperatures
  • Temperature differences
  • Slideshows of lightning strikes
  • Dew points
  • Air pressure and more.

We are currently focusing on automated reports for the following events: lightning strikes closer than 30 km and are getting closer, temperature differences and storm warnings.

Conclusion:

For our local association it’s a win-win situation. Earth Networks markets the data gained worldwide. For us as a partner, there are no additional costs apart from electricity costs.

The two described projects represent an enrichment in our association we don’t want to miss any more. We would like to thank everyone involved; in particular, Mr. Weil from G. Lufft Mess und Regeltechnik GmbH and Patrick Le Floch (KA1RQS) from Earth Networks.

By the way: Earth Networks is looking for a partner in the Greater Hamburg area. If you are interested, please contact me at dl3gbe@darc.de.

 

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