Summer WISP Maintenance
The summer holiday is here and that always provides me with some time to make physical changes to the WISP equipment. Last year I made all the preparations to be able to swap the WiFi dishes over to a newly installed stronger mast. But unfortunately I ran out of time and good weather back then to finish the job. So this holiday it was at the top of my priority list to finish this. I also noticed that the RF armor radio cover had become brittle by the NZ sun and had been blown apart. So a good time to fix that too. And our previous weather installation wasn't installed particularly well and would cause some partial shade on the solar panel. This weather station was decommissioned some time ago so I figured I could just remove the old mounting hardware. But...
On arrival I spotted that the the local paragliders had installed the new weather station on our repeater box using the old mounting hardware. And even more damage was done by installing the weather station controller above our solar panel ?♂️ See photos below.
In the end we spend almost three hours on two jobs. One, swapping the dishes over onto the new mast and aligning them again. Two, fix up the weather station install. The weather station also had another installation defect. The arm wasn't installed facing north, so the wind direction was always reported incorrectly. In the last couple off photos you can see that the weather station and controller have been moved backwards as not to create a shade over the solar panel. And the wind vane arm has been installed facing north instead of west.
The North facing camera still causes some shade over the panel at the very end off the day but that doesn't worry me too much. I might take a hacksaw next time and trim the lower waratah that also cast a bit of shad in the evening.
George Timmermans, Research Toolmaker, Software Engineer and Tinkerer