Sky maximum distance from Hub

Hi those interested with maximum distance the Sky may work from the Hub and how good the RSSI reception value is.
Today I experimented moving my Sky around my suburb while the hub was upstairs inside the window. With line of sight I was approximately 700m away (2300ft) and the RSSI value was -75 working well.
In other areas without line of sight it continued working through houses to a maximum (Or minimum) RSSI value of -91 before I lost reception at about 500m through houses and trees.
With such great success I have plans for some longer distance line of sight testing…

I am interested to hear if you have the Sky working at longer distances and if you have done anything to improve the signal strength, by perhaps adding reflectors or anything?

This image shows the area that my Sky was functioning while my hub was upstairs inside the window of my house. I cropped the image in line on each of the streets at the last point that I was still getting connection. My house is on the high point of the area so the signal only went through parts of the odd houses and trees, it doesnt go through multiple houses.


Very happy
cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Hi @dsj,

Today I carried out my extreme long distance Sky range tests to see where I could mount a Sky with reception to my house. Using the hub connected via my mobile hotspot with the Sky on the pole above my house. So in the reverse direction because I would need to mount the hub on top of my pole to achieve the reverse.
From each point I wanted to test, it kept working without even trying my parabolic reflector or anything, just sitting the hub on a post, so I continued to the furthest headland 7.6km away with reception and live 3 sec wind updates at a RSSI of -89 to -90!
I ended up on the furthest headland on the far right edge of this photo, viewed from the Sky:
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looking back from the headland my Sky was directly above the hub in this photo
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above the white house on the ridge in the centre of this photo near the pole that is slightly visible:
IMG_1821
from each corner of this map:

Very happy AGAIN with your design and performance!
Unbelievable :slight_smile:
Triple Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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That’s amazing, Ian! Thanks for the report.

Hi @dsj David,

On my first day of distance tests I managed the Sky 700m away to the hub inside the window.
The next day using the Sky on the roof I extended the hub location Northwards from one headland to the next as far as practical to over 7km without requiring any extra antenna.
Today I ventured Southwards and was unable to pick up a signal to the bare hub at over 12km.
Great so now I had the opportunity to try adding a parabolic reflector to see if I could extend the distance without changing anything in the hub.
Bingo I had it working about 12.4km away. Over 40,000ft or over 7 miles.
RSSI was -93.
So after I watched it working and doing its 3 sec updates for a few minutes I then removed the reflector to check its effect, and it lost reception.
The Hub was held at the focal point of the reflector by rubber bands.


The reflector aimed at the Sky on the headland:

The Sky is on a pole at the North East or top right of this picture and the hub is at the headland in the South West or lower left of this map

This is the Australian frequency hub to a Sky running at 3.33 volts.

cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Amazing! Thanks for the update, Ian.

Hi @dsj,

The next extra long distance test is to mount the hub onto the top of my pole and test the Sky at the distance. (The preliminary tests were with the Sky on the pole and the hub in the distance)
This is the plastic box (with some drain holes) using 12V supply to a 5V buck converter to reduce voltage drop and to ensure any voltage drop in the feed wire is corrected.


(The two Skys on the new timber mount are testing vibrations and wind reading comparisons)

(And the windsock has also moved and changed design.)
The RSSI of the hub reduced to -84 going through the iron roof, and perhaps my solar panels and a ceiling and floor to the router on the ground floor. ( I could move the router if needbe)
My first test with the Sky on the distant headland at around 5km produced RSSI -85 with no problems.
So I am now ready to begin distributing my Skys to their distant locations…
And yes lightning might wipe the hub out…

cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Today I mounted a remote Sky at our public launch 2.8 miles, or 4.5km, from the hub. The hub is on top of the pole as shown in the previous post. It is returning 3 second wind readings with an RSSI of -86. (It will not be used for rain or sun) It is painted matt black to reduce its attraction. The brackets and wire are are to discourage birds and reduce entanglements if a paraglider floats onto it.

Thank you weatherflow!
cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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I love you setup, but who/what is attracted to a white one? just wondering.

I for one don’t want to know!!! @iladyman lives in Australia, where everything in nature is a creepy-crawly that’s out to kill you… :wink:

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:slight_smile: I visited Australia many times, camping in places where you shouldn’t camp. Encountered creepy creatures, but non was out to kill me.
Just for your amusement here is my vacation responder from a few years back:

" Hi,

Thanks for your mail, but your crazy scientist isn’t available today. I’m fighting of the dangers of Australia, but will try to survive them all.

- Crocodiles . These are the things most people think of when they hear ‘Australia’ and with good reason. These things can grow up to 25ft long and killed an estimated 20 people last year alone. I’ll try and avoid those.
- Sharks . The three most dangerous types of shark are: The Bull Shark , Tiger Shark and the big daddy of them all the Great White. Australia is home to all three. I’ll take a picture from a save distance.
- The Box Jellyfish is a brainless animal that just floats around waiting for me, then WHABANG , 60+ meter long tenticles wrap around my leg. The effect? Death within minutes.
- Snails . Just when I thought it was safe to go back into Australia’s ocean (Yeah right) I’ll come across the wuss of the animal kingdom, the snail, oh but this isn’t any snail because, you know its Australia, no it’s the Marble Cone Snail one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. And its a fucking snail. This creature is responsible for 20 deaths in Recent Years, it could be more but It’s a snail. I should be able to out run it.
- Spiders . Australia is, once again, home to the most deadly kinds of spiders on the planet, including the sydney funnel web. Spiders have a low fatality rate however, since records began only 18 people have been killed by spider bites. I’ll look under the toilet seat before I sit down.
- Birds . Imagine, I’m out for a nice stroll in the Australian wilderness when I see a colourful and harmless looking bird. I go to give it bread like its some kind of huge duck, then suddenly it kicks out and kicks again. and again .I’ve just been killed by the deadliest bird in the world, the Cassowary.
- Snakes . God help me, Okay Snakes. Australia is home to an estimated 100 venomous snakes, as a matter of fact, Australia is the only place on earth where there are more venomous snake species than non-venomous , Fan-fucking tastic.
- Octopus . Last but not least , is the psychedelic looking Blue-Ringed Octopus. Its hangs around in rock pools and, when cornered, will produce several blue rings on its body, which are meant to warn people but lets face it, if you saw it you’d want to pick it up as well. Well you wouldn’t because, although its only 10 cm, it has very potent venom, which there is currently no Anti-Venom for. Death can occur in as little as 2 hours.

Wish me luck."

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Going through your list crocodiles are not this far south, sharks are and they do kill a few, the box jellyfish also are not this far south, I did once stand on a stone fish (really bad) which you didnt mention but that was also further North at where we call Surfers Paradise! Yes we have the Sydney funnel web spider here.

Cockatoos are what generally destroy my weather stations. The wire frame above it is tricky for them to stand on, but they will still try even if they have to hang upside down. They chew anything but their beaks so far have slipped off the smooth edges of the Sky so they have not managed to destroy it.

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The wire serves 3 purposes. 1. Paragliders will snag less. 2. Birds will have trouble sitting on it reducing poop. 3. The wire supports the lower bracket if a person tries climbing on it.

Plenty of snakes and a brown snake (very poisonous and aggressive if cornered) has slid next to me a couple of times. The blue ringed octopus are in the rock pools I swim in near this beach but I keep away from them.

Why Black:
P1020742
Initially it was being camouflaged for a bush location but the airflow was poor so I changed the location and rather than looking messy grey/green/black I made it all black.
The matt black colour is because it is less attractive to humans curiosity compared to glossy shiny white new looking toys. Kids love to climb poles and will challenge each other so a dull matt black object is less attractive. But we will see how it lasts?
cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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When I was camping in Kakadu National Park about 15 years ago, I was showering in one of the camp showers when something fell on me. Being blind as a bat I wear glasses, which I did not have on in the shower, and all I saw was something red and spidery. I have never screamed and ran so fast in my life! Luckily (for everyone else) the camp site was deserted, as I suspect the sight and sound of me streaking would have scared more people to death than the spider (if it even was a spider)… :smiley:

I did love it there. Sigh.

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Wow, Amazing work. As a former paraglider pilot turned kiteboarder I’d like to set up a wind sensor near Kite Beach Maui because the weatherflow.com sensor has been down for weeks. With what you’ve shown I’m hoping to get a signal from Kite Beach back to my house with is only 3.78 miles. Just gotta get LoS I hope.

Still coming back to this thread in 2021 :slightly_smiling_face:

I have compared the Tempest and found that it can not achieve 1km line of site. For those of us requiring wind measurements at very long distances without paying for a mobile phone connection the Sky was the solution.
Are you suggesting trying the Tempest antenna in a better location? Like if it hung down the inside of the mounting pole using a plastic pole? Or are you referring to the new cellular remote version of the Tempest?
I know of several freinds holding off their purchases waiting for the cellular remote version of the Tempest.
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

Hi all. New member here. Have had a Tempest for a little over a year. Set up at a small private marina, close to a spot where friends and I like to kiteboard. Since it’s nearly an hour drive from home, it’s incredibly useful to have real-time observations. Luckily a friend lives in a condo at the marina and graciously hosts the hub. It’s just outside of the recommended maximum distance. But it still works most of the time. It is however a nuisance when it goes offline (presumably due to a loss of signal from the sensor). Wondering if anyone has come up with any other ways to boost the signal strength.
The parabolic reflector is amazing, but a bit cumbersome to ask someone to place in their home when already doing me a favor.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Hi Brent,
Welcome to this forum :slight_smile:
There have been several discussions regarding the Tempest distance to the hub and improving the signal strength. Use the search feature magnifying glass at the top of this page to find them.
A new topic began recently which specifically targets your question with references to some of the discussions:

A difference between a Sky and a Tempest is that the Tempest includes solar panels and a battery surrounding the antenna. For my long distance Sky it has no batteries or solar panels between the antenna and the hub because the Sky battery using the solar power accessory stores its battery below the Sky. I believe that the transmitter power and the antenna are the same design in both.
If you could get your hands on a Sky with a solar power accessory then I would be confident that it will get better reception. People on this forum have sometimes tried to get a Sky from others because many people who now have a Tempest may have an old Sky in their spares. They are no longer in production.
Another thought I have had if my Skys all fail and I need to use a Tempest at longer distance is to pull it apart and install an extension or move the antenna outside from the solar panels or move the solar panels. Which of course would invalidate the warranty etc.
Another thought is to make a simplified parabolic reflector behind both the hub and the Tempest. If you only need to improve it slightly this may be enough. There are pictures on the forum of dismantled Tempest and hub which show the antenna as a vertical wire. The internet has lots of images of people doing that to improve their wifi etc.
And you can see the results updated every minute (I think) on the status page of your rssi values.
Also make sure the hub is flat side facing the Tempest. To be very tidy and minimalistic perhaps just a sheet of metal or metal tape attached to the back side of the hub. There is a comment some where about which side of the hub the antenna is on, which they worked out by pulling it apart.
good luck, cheers Ian :slight_smile:

Hi again Brent,
I was just thinking about what you said and I realised that you have not been checking the status to actually know where the failure is occurring. Learn from this page how to check the reasons why your Tempest may not be reading the current winds:

And when you “Go to settings > stations > (select station) > tap the Status menu > scroll down and note the RSSI value for the connected device” notice that you can see information for your station hub connection to wifi and lots of other info to work out when and where the failure is.
cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Hi Ian,
Strange coincidence. I’ve been thinking about that myself and was actually just in the process of looking for and going through that exact information when I saw your message. Things are working properly at the moment, but I was looking for the RSSI. I see that my hub is around -60, but the station is -98. So that means that station is receiving a good signal from the hub, but the hub is receiving a weak signal from the station?? Or vice versa?
Really appreciate your help.

Hi again Ian,

OK… So at the moment, my station has stopped reporting. It’s been 29 minutes since the last observations (all metrics) but I haven’t yet received a notification that its offline.
I took screenshots of the status info.
The last observations were taken at 5:44am. As you can see, screenshots taken at 6:12am.
At 6:21, as I write, it’s still not updating.
It looks to me like the WiFi is ok.
Does this look to you like a loss of communication between hub and station?
Thanks again!
Brent