Building a Pressure/TemperatureWeather Station (Sensor Pack) AEM 1905, Fall 2008
Parts list: Perf board Pressure sensor Temperature sensor and 1k resistor 4-wire ribbon cable Wire for jumpers
Place components on the non-copper side of the perf board, starting with the pressure sensor. Orient it so that the +Vs pin (with notch) is toward the center of the board.
Place temperature sensor on opposite side of the board with the flat side facing in.Add the 1k resistor, in line with the center leg of the sensor. Don’t solder them in yet.
Splay the leads so the components don’t fall out. Once you are satisfied with the placement, solder them all in place.
Pull apart you jumper wires so you have a short piece of each different color of wire.
The red wire in the cable will be +5 V. Make 2 red jumpers to carry that voltage near each of the two sensors. In the case of the temperature sensor, that will be the far end of the resistor. Then turn the board over and make the necessary solder bridges.
The black wire in the cable will be +0 V (AKA ground). Make 2 black jumpers to carry that voltage near each of the two sensors. In the case of the temperature sensor, that will be one of the outside legs. Then make the necessary solder bridges. Clip off excess leads.
Make a green jumper for the pressure sensor signal line. Make a white jumper for the temperature sensor signal line (which is the center leg, not the other outside leg – that one is left unconnected). Make the necessary solder bridges, clip off excess leads, and double check for inadvertent solder bridges.
Separate and strip the wires at the other end of the cable. Slip on short pieces of shrink wrap. Prepare to solder the cable end to two 3-pin male headers.
Hold the wire and the 3-pin header in the two clips of a Helping Hands tool. Solder to the short end of the pin. Use the Helping Hands clip on that same pin as a heat sink. Solder the green wire to an outside pin.
Use solder and heat sparingly so you don’t melt the plastic nor shrink the shrink wrap nor leave a solder blob too large to slip the shrink wrap over.
Finish up by soldering the green, red, and black wires, in that order, to one header. Solder the white wire to an outside pin of another 3-pin header.
Slide the shrink wrap over the solder connection (no metal should be exposed) then carefully shrink it with a heat gun.
Plug the two 3-pin headers into a female receptacle, crossing the white wire over so it is next to the green wire. This will help it hold its shape while you glue it.
Use hot glue to hold the two 3-pin headers together permanently. Be sure not to glue the connector to the female receptacle – you need to be able to disconnect the sensor.
Here is what a completed cable end looks like – the glue appears light in the photograph. Don’t put on too much glue – you may need to plug in other sensors into a female receptacle bank right next to this one.
Here is a completed weather station (pressure and temperature) sensor pack, ready to be plugged in to a flight computer to record its data as time goes by.