Weather XM — An Easy Way to Stack Your Pole

With the rise of Heli­um, many of us were intro­duced to the new con­cept of com­bin­ing a blockchain appli­ca­tion with actu­al phys­i­cal real world usage and tok­eniz­ing the incen­tives. I call that com­bo blockchain + meat­space, and Heli­um is just the beginning. 

As most of us who got seri­ous about Heli­um quick­ly real­ized, the name of the game is get­ting an anten­na out­side and up high. As it turns out, those skills and that loca­tion are use­ful for more than just deploy­ing Heli­um Hotspots.

One project where you can add a device to the same pole (or roof) you’ve already secured is Weath­erXM. It’s a small weath­er sta­tion that reads wind speed, direc­tion, air temp, humid­i­ty, light, a rain gauge, and pres­sure. The out­door sta­tion com­mu­ni­cates over LoRa to a base sta­tion in your house that con­nects to your WiFi. 

Weath­erXM has just announced (29June2022) a wait­ing list for Heli­um com­pat­i­ble sta­tions, so the require­ment for a WiFi base station/miner may soon be gone. They’ve also recent­ly (30June 2022) announced a $5 mil­lion seed round of fund­ing led by Place­hold­er VC. That’s promis­ing, though not par­tic­u­lar­ly strong evi­dence that they’ll even­tu­al­ly crush. I mean, I hope they will because I love weath­er stations. 😉 

Set up is straight­for­ward with the WiFi con­nec­tion ver­sion, which is what I bought (the Heli­um com­pat­i­ble one was­n’t avail­able at the time.) It goes in two steps. First, con­nect the min­er to pow­er, then to your Wifi. This part hap­pens indoors, and the only slight­ly janky thing is that the min­er has a GPS anten­na which has to be near a window. 

Sec­ond, put the parts togeth­er for the weath­er sta­tion using the includ­ed tools, mount it on top of a pole, and you’re all set. I used an extra tri­pod and a short length of pole I had lay­ing around. I’ve seen them mount­ed to the same pole a Heli­um min­er is on using a stand­off arm; that seems total­ly fine to me.

As of today, June 29th 2022, there are 421 sta­tions world­wide on the net­work, and in the first 24 or so hours my sta­tion earned 29.074 WXM.

It reminds me a bit of the ear­ly days of Heli­um; not many spots on the map!

The main idea behind most of these blockchain + meat­space projects is that you deploy some kind of device that pro­vides a data flow. The com­pa­ny, in this case Weath­erXM, will resell that data flow and pay you for it in tokens. How much those tokens are worth, where you can redeem them, and if the net­work will ever actu­al­ly be used are still up in the air.

For now I’m just using it to com­pare indoor and out­door temps here in San Diego to decide when it’s time for A/C and when I can use our whole house fan to cool the place down. 

Right now there isn’t much more info out there; while there’s a token there does­n’t seem to be a ton of inter­est on the Weath­erXM to dive deep into cryp­to; they just want to incen­tive deploy­ment through tokens. Cool with me, I love weath­er stations! 

Rock on!


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