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United States Patent 
[li] 4,287,762  Sep. 8, 1981
 DIGITAL WEATHER STATION
 Inventor: John S. Baer, Bar Harbor, Me.
 Assignee: Rainwise, Inc., Pitman, N.J.
 Appl. No.: 63,789
 Filed: Aug. 6, 1979
 Int. CU G01W 1/04
 U.S. CI 73/170 R
 Field of Search 73/170 R, DIG. 11;
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,237,012 2/1966 Treffeisen 250/231 SE
3,430,217 2/1969 Bridge et al 73/170 R X
3,549,897 12/1970 Blake 250/231 SE
3,683,294 8/1972 Gaa 250/233 X
3,742,233 6/1973 Gorgens et al 250/231 R
3,997,782 12/1976 Willits 250/231 SE
4,086,580 4/1978 Schroeder 250/231 SE X
Primary Examiner—Jerry W. Myracle
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—John C. Dorfman
A totally digitalized weather station provides a digital display with selection elements for selecting a particular transducer and indication elements for indicating which parameter is being sensed at the time. Elements are provided to select from memory maximum and minimum readings of various parameters. Some transducers may employ a broadly new digital technique whereby the dial cooperable with a pointer on the shaft is used to produce digital calibrations which are attached to the shaft and move with the shaft and are read by at least a pair of fixed heads. In non-linear situations, corresponding scales are adjustable rotationally relative to one another to permit the corresponding calibrations of the two scales to be present underneath the respective reading heads simultaneously.
18 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures
U.S. Patent Sep. 8, 1981 Sheet 2 of 2 4,287,762
DIGITAL WEATHER STATION
The present invention relates to a digital weather station. More specifically, the present invention con- 5 cerns a system in which various types of weather parameter sensing transducer devices, whether analog or digital in their outputs originally, can have their outputs converted to digital signals. The digital signals, in turn, can be input into counter means using a central display 10 which shows in digital form the various parameters detected by the transducers. The present invention also provides a simple new digital readout gauge means which converts analog to digital whose input is fed to a presetable up/down counter and digital display. 15
Home weather centers, including barometers, thermometers and possibly a hygrometer, have been popular as long as these instruments have been available. The information supplied by such instruments, however, is often significant only in the room in which they are 20 displayed. Consequently, there have been various types of instruments developed which can be placed out of doors to give information not available from instruments within a house. For example, wind speedometers, weather vanes and rain guages, as well as outdoor ther- 25 mometers to measure outdoor temperatures have been available for many years. In most cases, these devices require a direct in-place observation so that it is necessary to go from one to another in order to obtain the information required. If the instruments are outside, it is 30 necessary to go outside into whatever weather conditions exist at the time.
Additionally, some weather instrumentation has been digitalized, but much of it remains analog in nature. An example of a digital rain gauge is seen in my U.S. Pat. 35 No. 3,943,762. The digital nature of the display and read out of that device makes it quite possible to have the counter and display located remote from the actual device. The present invention is an extension of this concept wherein display for many parameters is located 40 at one point, preferably indoors. Sensing transducers which detect and measure various weather conditions are able to be located remote from the display and transmit pulse signals to the counter and display.
The system in accordance with the present invention 45 involves a display panel with a digital display which preferably includes a time and date display capability and at least one, and preferably many, other selected weather parameter indications. Manual selectability of parameters displayed is preferably provided, and selec- 50 tion means is normally provided to manually select the information one wishes to know. Alternatively, an automatic scan system may be provided whereby digital display of each of the parameters monitored may be shown in sequence. In such event each type of parame- 55 ter is identified by its own indicator display or by a separate display position which may be identified. A single illuminated display with sequentially illuminated distributed indicia showing which parameter has been selected is preferred. 60
The present invention provides the concept that various types of condition sensing instrumentation, not necessarily limited to some weather paramater, may be digitalized. In particular, the present invention provides a means of transforming analog devices which employ a 65 movable analog element, commonly a rotatable shaft, preferably having a pointer cooperating with a calibrated dial, into a digital arrangement. Preferably in
such devices, the scale of the calibrated dial is removed from its fixed position and substituted for the pointer. That is the calibrated dial is attached to and moves with the shaft. Stationary reader means, preferably optical pick-up means, is employed to count the calibration marks on the dial as they pass the reader means. The calibration marks typically have to be widened or otherwise size modified but their relative positions to each other remain unchanged. Therefore, photographic processes are useful to generate the calibration marks which have become a digital code pattern and the pttern is then rotatably supported on the shaft. In transferring the dial from its stationary to a movable position, the calibrations have to be reversed (inverted) to provide a mirror image effect. Where the dials are linear, only one dial is required and only one head need be adjustable. In non-linear situations, however, a somewhat more complex double scale arrangement is required in order to sense direction of movement.
More specifically, the present invention concerns various digital readout gauge means for condition sensing, which includes weather parameter sensing.
Calibration means bearing digital calibrations is movably supported relative to support means. The calibration means is coupled to condition sensor means which drives the calibration means so that successive positions of the calibration means are analogs of the parameter being sensed by the condition sensor means. Reader means on the frame cooperates with the calibration means to sense digital calibrations thereon and generates impulses representative of digital count. Up/down counter means provided with selectable starting value receives impulses from the reader -means to modify the starting value as counts are added or subtracted by impulse from the reader means. Display means connected to the counter displays the count as a digital output.
The present invention also provides a display unit which has connection to individual instruments for gathering weather information and which feeds digital information to the display. Display consists of at least a time display and plurality of other displays representative of different weather parameters.
The weather parameter sensing transducers are associated with a storage means which permit the storage of sequential values with times and dates for an unlimited period of time but as a practical matter permit display for a specified period of time, such as a year. Means is provided to display selected memory stored information for maximums or minimums. Where maximum or minimum is displayed, the date and time of occurrence in 2400 hour time is displayed in sequence on the same display on the separate display.
In connection with the analog to digital conversion means, a method of reading a transducer having a rotatable output shaft whose position is an analog of value comprises generating digitally countable marks as calibration for a rotational pointer, producing a mirror image of the calibrations, attaching the mirror image to the pointer shaft for rotation of the shaft. In use, the mirror image calibrations on the shaft are counted as they pass a fixed position as the shaft rotates and the count either increases or decreases a reading count for the particular parameter involved.
For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the accompaning drawings in which: