Hackers love to measure things, and enjoy monitoring the world around them. Weather stations are a big part of this, and many tinkerers have tried to interface such hardware with varying levels of success. [Ray] is one such individual, and was pleasantly surprised when working on a recent project.
Unlike more old-school models, the model [Ray] found himself working on was a modern unit with a significant number of sensors, a WiFi interface, and even a color screen. Reading the manual, [Ray] noted the device used the IP 192.168.4.1, which is commonly used by the ESP8266 when running in AP mode. The hunch proved to be correct, and opening the device revealed an ESP-WROOM-2 running the show.
Now working with familiar parts, it was simple to hook up to the onboard serial port to scope for data. To [Ray]’s delight, the device was outputting all the weather data out over the connection, and in plaintext to boot. The station also featured the ability to connect to Weather Underground, and watching the debug messages during this process helped [Ray] to understand the format of the information.
It’s rare that manufacturers make it so easy, but debug ports can often be a treasure trove of information to the budding hacker. We’ve seen others cracked before, too.