Joey Castillo, known for his work with Oddly Specific Objects, has taken on a unique project: constructing a weather station for the Republic of Zaqistan as part of a nation-building initiative. The installation of this device was a venture into unknown territory for Castillo, who expressed uncertainty about its functionality and lifespan.
Zaqistan, a micronation founded by sculptor Zaq Landsberg in 2005, is primarily composed of monuments and a “border patrol gate.” The micronation exists only on paper, except for a family of robot guards stationed at the gate. Castillo’s custom-built weather station now stands as the first of its kind in Zaqistan.
Using a specially designed Feather-format development board called the Solar Feather Express, Castillo’s weather station measures barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, and visible and UV light. The development board is built for low power consumption and includes solar harvesting capabilities.
Due to limited internet access in Zaqistan, Castillo utilized a Swarm satellite transceiver for connectivity. Prior to installation, he tested the transceiver near a local school and received a curious response from an inquisitive group of elementary school children.
On the day of installation, Castillo shared his success on social media, mentioning the repair and upgrade of sculptures and monuments, the replacement of worn signs, and the hoisting of the Zaqistan flag. He also noted that there were a few minor issues with the weather station, but nothing that couldn’t be resolved.
Castillo has provided more details about the project on his Mastodon account for those interested in learning more.