MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.

Download Now


LTB Weather Station

by RobWLakes Apr 4, 2018
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

Try this one for a start. The larger ones do appear more common, but 14x2 glass envelope can be found. Thank you for your interest in this project. Rob

How tolerant are the reed switch slots? I can't seem to find 14x2, mostly 12.x x 1.8 or 14 x 2.3... Or do you remember a part number for them?

Sorry, I'm new here and i cant find the arduino code anywhere, is possible to have a base code to start programming?

If you download the files you will find a zipped package with the demo Arduino program in it. The Thingiverse web page only renders images and 3-D project files. Unlike GITHub it does not render/display program files directly. I can recommend also downloading my other project LTB Weather+wireless as I have devised a very neat version of the Manchester protocol in it. However what you build in this first project can be carried over to the wireless version later on. Thank you Varpy for your interest in the project.

Hello Rob. Nice work. I am in the middle of printing the rain funnel on an ender 3 printer. A 15 hour print! Something weird is happening though. After some point, the nozzle moves to the middle, drops a bit o filament and the continues. This causes some filament residue to stick in one particular point. It looks like a bug in the code. May I ask which slicer you used?

The model is oriented with the funnel portion at the top so you have to flip it upside down. If you print as is without supports it will start printing the funnel at the narrowest point which is in mid air.

Hi Balkan,
Thank you for the compliment. Yes, the rain funnel is a marathon! I am not sure I can picture your problem clearly, however the slicing occurs at your end, all I have provided is the .stl file for you slice. The OpenSCAD design program can produce errors like all other design programs. Turning ideal geometric shapes into a series of real world numbers for non ideal machines to build will always have some glitches. The funnel though is a very simple shape made only from concentric cones and cylinders, and it printed ok on my printer (though in 9hrs, so I must have used a coarser setting than you. It still seemed like ages!). The printing system I use is a Robox (UK) and it comes with a dedicated controller/slicer, but I believe the underlying slicing engine is a Cura variant. That means I don't get to play with the slicer like the 'real' Cura, so I can't give much advice of where to begin to look. You could check my .stl files with programs dedicated to checking the integrity of .stl, and I think Blender provides such a check. It can reveal defects I believe, thought I have not used it myself. At the moment my energies are going into working out a 433MHz connection between the weather station and a base station. I hope to have the preliminary build published in a week or so. Best wishes, Rob

Cool thing, an defenetly the best wind direction detection thingy!
Also cool design overall!

Thanks must go to Artem B who spotted an error in the Bread Board documentation (reported on the YouTube clip). It previously showed A2&A3 as the interrupt driven inputs for the anemometer and rain gauge. Now the image correctly shows D2&D3 for anemometer and rain gauge. Thank for the help Artem B.

Hey Rob
I would love to print this but is ther a away to konvert it in a high resulution to STL oder give me a Step or F3d format?
I dont like this Polygon round things^^

Hi Xanaden, The polygon faces on the cylinders etc help keep the size of the Thingiverse download down. However if you use the original OpenSCAD (Open Source and well behaved) files to generate new STL files you can minimise the polygon effect by increasing the $fn=30 to $fn=80 or greater. This also effects rendering times, so don't make it too big eg 200 is definitely overkill!
Note though you will have to go through and regenerate all the STL's one by one by selectively de-commenting sections at the end of the two OpenSCAD files, generating the STL and saving it.
I have added an image of the rendering at $fn=80. Thank you for your interest in this project.

Comments deleted.

Also i have one doubt...don't you think ... Hall Effect sensor would be more effective rather than using Reed Switch for speed sensor ?

It would work, no doubt. The LTB Weathersystem was printed as a science/technology demonstration, so just a proof of operation was needed, it was not necessary to put the very best of technology with it. My commercial weather station uses magnetic reed switches in the anemometer and it has lasted for years. Let us know if you try it.

Can you post video if it ? Moving in air ? I am eager..to see in action...

I have uploaded a short YouTube video. I hope that does the trick. I added a plastic window to the cut-away version of the funnel so I could demonstrate the tipping bucket rain gauge working with water.

Good idea, I will see if I can do it.

Reed switch Normally open? Type right?

Yes, the two reeds are normally apart. When a magnetic field polarises each of them N-S the overlapping part of the reeds in the center are N and S, so they attract and the reeds touch, competing the circuit. This is most effective when the reeds are aligned along the magnetic force lines. Hence in reed relays the reed is in the centre of a tubular coil, not at the ends .

many thanks for this design. I just have a question regarding the frame. What size of aluminium tube have you used?

12.5mm OD. I can't remember where I sourced it. It came out of the "spares" bin. Mind though, you will probably need a much more robust tubing if you want it to last outside. Thanks for the feedback loddi, I will add that detail to the description.

Hi Rob
thank you for posting this.
I think that the rain measuring system needs improvements. I made one and find out that the drain hole is very small. I think that hole has to be double than the funnel hole, to be sure that water leaves the system faster than inserts, otherwise the flip-flop system will block, due to excess water underneath.
How many liters / sqm rain can this funnel absorb? It looks like that during heavy rain the funner cannot absorb all the water. If the water overflows, the measurement will be inaccurate.
Another point is that the volume near the flip-flop system is not enough to drain high rain flows, and due to this, the flip-flop blocks. I'll try to do some improving, I'll let you know.

Hi Andy,
I am very pleased you are enjoying the design. Your comment about the drain hole is very true. I was going to make it bigger but without having a plan to exclude crawlies, especially web building spiders, or mud carrying wasps, I overlooked it and left it as it was. I think I would use 4-5 slits next time, providing a bigger surface area for drainage, but keeping smaller gaps. Most funnels I have seen have slightly bigger holes as well, plus some sort of simple grill to minimise the chance of objects sealing over the inlet hole (eg a fruit or a bud). It needs some sort of coarse filter at the bottom of the funnel to minimise this possibility as well. I had a small twig stop my Oregon Scientific rainfall detector when a small "Y" shaped stick landed in it and the lower part went through the hole and stopped the buckets flipping.

The flip-flop bucket system means it can take any amount of rainfall. More rain just means more flip-flopping. However it could get overloaded and not drain quick enough through the system if the rain was really heavy (see Japan recently). I have a problem with my Oregon Scientific rainfall system as it takes about 0.2mm to make it flip-flop, and if it gets 0.19mm, it sits in the cup until more is added and it flips, or it just evaporates and the reading is lost. So it does not register small showers etc. I do know what the lower limit is for my design as to how "sensitive" it is at the lower range.

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback.

Hi Rob,
Yes this thought about slits in drain system maybe its a good idea. What is the idea of how to stand somewhere this system and drain the water? I see three holes in the base and I wonder if there should be some legs?

I think something needs to be done about aerating the interior, otherwise it will trap moisture and mold will develop.

Perhaps a greater gradient in the funnel would improve the flow of small amounts of water.

I also think if it would help to have a perforated spherical diaphragm about midway rim to hole of the funnel that would allow the water to pass through following several paths, while blocking foreign objects.

Hi Andy,
I have taken the easy way out and simply added another two holes the same size in a line.
The three holes in the base are for levelling screws if users want to get that exact, or as you suggest to allow the water the drain away if legs were added. The problem with aerating the interior is that it adds to the evapouration problem and the reduction in carry over rain to the next burst of rain.
In my commercial version it has all the electronics and batteries inside the "funnel". They seem to have decided to provide a battery container but not much for the electronics. The gradient in the funnel should be ok I reckon.
I am trying to think how to incorporate a filter for foreign objects.

Cheers, Rob

Hi, this is a great build! I am almost done printing it. Do you know where I can buy the thrust bearings? I have not had any luck finding them for sale.


I have the same problem. It looks like those bearings don't exist in any ebay search..
Thank you.


Or search for "U/V flanged miniature/Miniature Thrust groove Sealed Ball Bearings AU" and then use menu.

Hi guys, I thought I had struck gold myself when I found these little rippers. There are a number of suppliers. Note on the page you have a menu to select what type of thrust bearing you want. I chose "5x8x2.5mm 675-ZZ"
I am pleased you are enjoying the design.

Thank you Rob,
the smallest bearings I have in my lab is 624Z. Of course thrust bearing will work much better, but for the moment I'll try to use them. So I did some design modification to fit these. Unfortunately, my phone is broken and I can't send photos, but it looks that works fine.

Hi Xexphallius,
I have already included a 'schematic' image of the connections required for the parts of the system. They are simple circuits comprising of magnetic reed switches for the inputs from the 3D printed parts and I2C connections for the barometer sensor and the LCD display output. This is, I believe, a relatively simple Arduino setup these days. If you find it challenging then just take your time and have a go. It does not require high bandwidth so you can experiment with a breadboard set up to feel your way through the build. I did not include url links to specific suppliers as they may change and I have no desire to support one supplier over another as I have found most of them good, most of the time. If you checkout the included Arduino program you will find reference to more specific part numbers and connection information.
I hope you attempt a build and enjoy the journey.

Hey, this looks really cool & im interested in printing in. can you put up a parts list? & also assembly (what solders to what). it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Hi Rob
Thanks for the additional infos about printing. One of my colleagues would like to build this station but has no 3d printer. Perhaps
I will try to print it for him, starting with the wind direction vane. I am not sure whether it would be better to add a helping break away part instead of slicer generated support. I am used to openscad, so this would not be a problem. will see (perhaps)...

I found the auto support generated by the Robox Automaker slicer worked quite well, but not all slicers are equal, and some work better on some things and not others. It is a linear type of support on either side, and constant width, apart from the very tip of the pointer, so it should build the support reliably on most slicers. I will try to add a photo I reconstructed from what I could find of the original support material to give you an idea of how it went. Great to hear of an actual build. Brilliant!

Hi FunLab,
Thank you for interest in my project. I have probably made an error in not exporting all my .stl files in the preferred position to print. For example I print the Rain Gauge funnel upside down and build it up from the outermost top section first. My slicing software allows me to rotate the object before printing. My printer will do the funnel without support, however even then it takes 12 hours! I think if if the sides were thinner it would print quicker, but then may not print without support. The Wind Direction vane does need support and looks quite strange ot begin with, but prints quite well. If I can find the old supports, I will publish a photo. I take support printing now as just part of the deal, it works so I use it. I try to avoid it, but not at the expense of not doing anything at all.

I have used 0.4 nozzle and the quality of the print is quite good. On my printer (CEL Robox) the flat areas print up quite nicely. I have deliberately made the thickness of most of the parts more on the excess than too thin. This should make it accessible to a wide range of printers. The only really thin part is the tipping bucket mechanism as it needs to be light for the weight of the water to work.

Your estimate of time to print is pretty good, I estimate approximately 35 hours in all. I have taken your concern and published the printing times on the Thingiverse site to help others make up their mind. I suspect many will only print one of the three sensors, rather than do all three. Ultimately the OpenSCAD files are there for people to optimise their own designs. The overall concepts are not rocket science, so even just designing one from scratch in another CAD system should not be too hard.

This is a very nicely designed thing but I do not see how some of the parts would print nicely with a single extruder FDM type printer. Many parts need massive support structures or must be cut in half and turned around or need custom support parts which break away later to be able to be printed. Also there are many flat roofs which are also problematic to print nicely. To me it seems, that the parts are made for printing with an SLA type resin printer. How should the wind director be printed for example? Not sure if it will print ok with support structures....
Also I am missing some estimate of how long printing of all required parts may take. Of course it depends on the printer but I assume it to take something between 20 and 25 hours.
I think this thing is missing important printing guidelines/hints/tips how to make one...