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Digital barometer channels vintage aesthetics

Arduino TeamFebruary 24th, 2023

There are many reasons why you might want to know the local barometric pressure. Maybe you do long-range target shooting and want to know how it will affect your ballistic trajectory. Or maybe you want to evaluate the performance of an internal combustion engine. To find that information, you’ll need a barometer like this digital model built by Mirko Pavleski that channels vintage aesthetics.

A traditional analog barometer looks a bit like a watch, with a dial readout. But many researchers wanted to record barometric pressure over time, and they would use a graphing instrument resembling a seismometer. Pavleski’s digital barometer replicates that functionality, showing barometric pressure over a period of 24 hours on an LCD bar graph. A numerical readout shows the total change over that period of time.

The components for this project include an Arduino Nano, a BME280 temperature, humidity, and pressure sensor, and a 16×4 character LCD display. Normally, a display like this can only show alphanumeric characters, but Pavleski was clever and used custom character blocks to create the bar graph. The components reside inside of a PVC enclosure with self-adhesive wallpaper to give it a classic look.