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Sector67: GGHC Entry

Posted by Sector67 May 4, 2011

Completed at 1:53 CST





The Weather Window

The Maker Movement is about exploring your immediate world, learning on your own how it works and then tinkering with it as you see fit. Sector67 set out to embody as much of this spirit as possible in its creation of the Weather Window. We called it the Weather Window because when looking “through” it, a user will see opportunities and adventure!

The primary function of the Weather Window is to have users learn to gather and process data sets gathered from an omnipresent source, the weather!

The device is designed to have out-the-box functionality and independence from computers for use as an invitation for users to get busy exploring their world. In line with the Maker attitude, we wanted to empower the user to make the device their own by including “modular opportunities” in 5 concise lesson plans that expand understanding and instigate energy. Core goal of ours were to include opportunities for exploration for all levels of ability.

Big thanks to everyone at Sector67 who contributed, and big thanks to Element14 for sponsoring the event!


Sector67: The Progress

Posted by Sector67 Apr 18, 2011

Better late than never, this is our "4/15/11" update post. We've been busy, but images talk.



The basic weather station thus far. Prototype with temperture, humidity, light, and barometer sensors. Tested it out in the fridge.




Data output...not calibrated YET, but signs of life.




Sourced humidity and barometric sensors.




Self-made tippy bucket - parts: flashing tin, two bits of heat shrink tubing, stiff wire.




Tippy bucket constructed.




Tippy bucket installed.




Low tech, self-made rain gauge!




Low tech humidity sensor: dime, cardboard, nails, glue, board, human hair.




This is another project from a Sector67 member. The device is used to record data collected when testing landfill linings. Our interest in the device is the spreadsheet program written for a microcontroller (can kinda see it on the LCD here). We are planning on installing the software on our weather station.


Until next time.



Sector 67: The Project

Posted by Sector67 Apr 3, 2011

Here is the basic concept we have put out for feedback.


The idea: Environmental Analyzer; Portable Data Logger and succinct, accompanying lessons to stimulate use of the device.

Cheap weather stations already exist, as to portable data loggers (anything associated with education is hella expensive), but no open-source, cheap, modular unit exists for educational purposes that puts all this together. Therefore, we want to create an out of the box weather station/environmental analyzer that is also a data logger (Phase 1). Included with the device will be simple lessons (the secondary capabilities in the outline below) such as how to construct a wind-speed sensor (Phase 2). Modular add-ons (again, listed in the outline) would likely require more financial investment, but would allow the user to expand capabilities as desired (Phase 3 - questionable considering time constraints).

Essence: Arduino-ify data-logging for students. Give a basic tool that works out of the box and provides a basis for data collection and analysis, but has the ability to expand to meet desires and curiosities. Data could be output into a spreadsheet (ie Excel) for analysis and visualization purposes.

One big issue we are working on is sourcing the parts. We want to take price, availability, and sustainability into account. We are currently doing research in this area.

Portable data logger; Out of the box Weather Station

1.    Core goals
     a.    Environmental monitoring
     b.    Data logging
     c.    Introduction to data analysis
2.    Out of box capabilities
     a.    Temperature
     b.    Light
     c.    Humidity
     d.    Barometer
3.    Secondary capabilities
     a.    Provide a platform for low-cost data logging
     b.    Air particular measurement
     c.    Development of sensors for data logging (curriculum plans)
         i.    Wind/RPMs
         ii.    Solar
         iii.    Rain
4.    Modular add-ons (???)
     a.    Solar power
     b.    Power monitoring
     c.    Time lapse photography
     d.    Rechargeable battery
     e.    PH measurements

Technical Specs

1.    Basic components (we are looking into the what parts can be sourced globally)
     a.    Power source: 5 volts, DC, batteries
     b.    Microcontroller
     c.    SD card
     d.    Sensors
         i.    Temp sensor
         ii.    Photo voltaic
         iii.    Humidity sensor
         iv.    Barometric pressure sensor
     e. display (like a cheap cellphone screen, Nokia??)
2.    Containment box – schematic for possible cases (3 variations)
     a. 1 liter bottle
     b. tupperware-like container

"Zero experience necessary, only enthusiasm to learn required."

Sector67 is a maker and learning space in Madison, WI, USA. With a dedication to immersive learning and hands-on teaching, Sector67 strives to maximize the newest ideas and technologies within a peer-to-peer, community-focused format. Interaction is highly encouraged, as is the diversity of members, non-members, activites and ideas.

Thanks to the support and fiscal sponsorship the of the School Factory, Sector67 has been a buzzing hive since its 2010 inception, supporting activities from sewing to pottery to foundry work to programming to 3-D printing to Tesla coils and beyond. In only 6 months, there are 30+ members and counting. Classes are a weekly staple along with countless individual projects and member collaborations. Even in its infancy, Sector67 has developed a high level of community engagement, from the local to the international, by participating in such inititiatives as Build Madison, MadHackerHaus, Global Cupcake Challenge (shout out to Jigsaw Renaissance, another GHC participant!), 100-Hour Challenge in collaboration with the University Wisconsin, Dreambikes Blender, Lego Robotics with the First Lego League and the Red Bull Creation project.


That's us and were happy to be here. Looking forward to what we (including you!) are going to do in the GHC. Good luck to all parties!


Some member shots to give this some visual decor.





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