Author Topic: What should I get?  (Read 941 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
What should I get?
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:20:50 PM »
I have been doing some research into weather stations recently and I need some help. My primary goal is to have the data streamed to Weather Underground and/or various other sites so I can view it there and perhaps down the road make my own website. I have some background in IT/web development; a little professionally, but mostly as a hobby.

From my research, it sounds like Davis Instruments has really good hardware, but it seems like they are stuck in the 80's. It makes no sense to me why in 2017 they still cling to having all the data go through the console as the default setup and PC software as the monitoring solution. In the internet age, the default setup should be a small ethernet hub that goes next to your router and receives all the data from the sensor suite. The console should then get it's data from the hub. In fact, the hub itself should be a server. Anyone in the IT world knows a PC is not a server.

I found 3 systems that could potentially work for me. The AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1 with smartHUB, Ambient Weather WS-1401-IP, or Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 ISS along with the Meteobridge PRO. Where I live we get quite a few power outages so I built my own UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for my network equipment. All three of the weather station setups I mentioned have hubs that run on 5 volts. My UPS has a 5 volt output so that shouldn't be an issue putting the hub on the UPS and having a constant internet connection with or without power. My network shelf and UPS is pictured below.

Questions:
  • Between the AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1 with smartHUB and the Ambient Weather WS-1401-IP, which one is better? I see the AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1 has an aspirating fan but the Ambient Weather WS-1401-IP does not. Yet, it looks like a lot of people have issues with high temperature readings with the AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1.
  • The Meteobridge PRO is super expensive. It sounds like the perfect solution but I don't know if I can justify it's cost. It seems extremely overpriced for what it is. Are there any cheaper options out there to getting a Vantage Pro2 connected to the internet without a console or PC?
  • If one or more consoles are added to any one of the 3 systems mentioned, do sensor calibration settings need to be changed in each console or are they adapted from the hub?
  • When mounting the Vantage Pro2 anemometer and sensor suite separately, which ones coordinates and elevation do you use on websites you send data to since they will be different?

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline Jáchym

  • Meteotemplate Developer
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 8531
    • Meteotemplate
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 01:41:41 PM »
I think that even Meteobridge Standard can connect to your Davis, the Pro version is the same in terms of station support.

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 01:49:42 PM »
It is my understanding the standard Meteobridge requires additional equipment to receive the wireless signal from the Davis sensor suite.

Offline Jáchym

  • Meteotemplate Developer
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 8531
    • Meteotemplate
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 01:52:54 PM »
Meteobridge Pro is a piece of hardware + software

Meteobridge standard is just the SW, which you use with some supported router, but overall you can still use it with Davis and it would most likely be a much cheaper option. I use MB Standard myself, but I dont have Davis, so I cannot say exactly how this works.

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3078
    • Conditions @ CW2274
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »
I found 3 systems that could potentially work for me. The AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1 with smartHUB, Ambient Weather WS-1401-IP, or Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 ISS
All I'll say is you normally get what you pay for, and here's no different.
Davis Wireless VP2 SHT31 24hr 67CFM FARS
RW Tipper w/ CoCoRaHS

Offline johnd

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
    • www.weatherstations.co.uk
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 10:17:10 AM »
From my research, it sounds like Davis Instruments has really good hardware, but it seems like they are stuck in the 80's. It makes no sense to me why in 2017 they still cling to having all the data go through the console as the default setup and PC software as the monitoring solution. In the internet age, the default setup should be a small ethernet hub that goes next to your router and receives all the data from the sensor suite.

The bit you're overlooking in this analysis is that to measure weather optimally, the sensors need to be well-exposed. Often this means mounting the sensors some distance away from buildings and any source of electrical power. So the connection between outside and inside if often best served by a wireless link and one with a very modest power consumption.

Traditionally, WiFi uses too much power (though that may be changing with some of the more recent WiFi chip designs) and so the wireless link uses dedicated UHF frequencies and protocols designed for minimal power use. The next generation of Davis station is likely to use ZigBee for instance. So, whatever device you have indoors needs first to be a receiver for the wireless data and plus some basic computation to perform primary processing on the raw data. Whatever it does beyond that is up for discussion but I suspect that there will still be a large constituency of users  who will prefer a display on the receiver/processor rather than just relying on eg a tablet or phone display.
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 11:05:36 AM »
The bit you're overlooking in this analysis is that to measure weather optimally, the sensors need to be well-exposed. Often this means mounting the sensors some distance away from buildings and any source of electrical power. So the connection between outside and inside if often best served by a wireless link and one with a very modest power consumption.

Traditionally, WiFi uses too much power (though that may be changing with some of the more recent WiFi chip designs) and so the wireless link uses dedicated UHF frequencies and protocols designed for minimal power use. The next generation of Davis station is likely to use ZigBee for instance. So, whatever device you have indoors needs first to be a receiver for the wireless data and plus some basic computation to perform primary processing on the raw data. Whatever it does beyond that is up for discussion but I suspect that there will still be a large constituency of users  who will prefer a display on the receiver/processor rather than just relying on eg a tablet or phone display.

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. All I was saying is there should be a hub with the wireless link built-in instead of it being in the console. The brains would be in the hub. Not the console. As for your last comment, that is probably true, but only because of resistance to change. Tyranny of a reigning paradigm. You could still have the console, but it would get it's data wirelessly from the hub or over your network via wifi instead of directly from the sensor suite.

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6679
    • Eagle Bay Weather
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 11:28:00 AM »
You mean like Acurite's SmartHub?  ;)

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 11:30:52 AM »
You mean like Acurite's SmartHub?  ;)
Exactly! But where is Davis Instrument's version? They are stuck in the 80's and can't get out.

Offline johnd

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
    • www.weatherstations.co.uk
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 11:34:31 AM »
You could still have the console, but it would get it's data wirelessly from the hub or over your network via wifi instead of directly from the sensor suite.

OK, well if it's understood that what you'd prefer to call a hub would have functionality for receiving the weather data wirelessly then I think we're in violent agreement. I've always envisaged with this sort of configuration that you'd have something like the VP2 console/Envoy pairing, ie the core circuitry would comprise:

1. Wireless data reception
2. Some, almost certainly configurable, additional data processing able to generate eg basic data files to feed to web pages for display on a phone or tablet
3. WiFi and maybe cabled Ethernet too for onward distribution of the data to, well, wherever either local or remote.

If you build a display into this then it's still a type of console, albeit with added functionality. If there's no display built-in then it's a kind of updated Envoy (or hub if you prefer).

But actually a Meteobridge Pro Red comes close to what we're talking about here as a hub.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 12:10:12 PM by johnd »
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6679
    • Eagle Bay Weather
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »
MB Pro Red has a display, so I think the Meteostick/Meteohub is a closer match to what the OP is after, and most similar to the SmartHub.  BICBW.

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 12:26:17 PM »
MB Pro Red has a display, so I think the Meteostick/Meteohub is a closer match to what the OP is after, and most similar to the SmartHub.  BICBW.

The Meteobridge PRO is exactly what I am after, but it is so expensive. And no the tiny display on it doesn't make it a console. It is a piece of network equipment that goes in a network closet. It is not something that you are going to hang on your living room wall. As for the Meteostick and Meteohub, buying both of those would cost more than the Meteobridge PRO.

Offline johnd

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
    • www.weatherstations.co.uk
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 12:27:00 PM »
MB Pro Red has a display

Well, it has a useful but fairly small LCD display. It's a display certainly, but I'm not sure whether it's really comparable to a main console or eg a web page display. But isn't the key point that it can forward data in very flexible scriptable ways to other Ethernet/WiFi devices so doesn't it tick the main box of acting as a hub - if you don't like the built-in display then just ignore it. (But it is quite handy for eg status messages if nothing more.)
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Offline Jáchym

  • Meteotemplate Developer
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 8531
    • Meteotemplate
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 12:41:55 PM »
MB Pro Red has a display, so I think the Meteostick/Meteohub is a closer match to what the OP is after, and most similar to the SmartHub.  BICBW.

The Meteobridge PRO is exactly what I am after, but it is so expensive. And no the tiny display on it doesn't make it a console. It is a piece of network equipment that goes in a network closet. It is not something that you are going to hang on your living room wall. As for the Meteostick and Meteohub, buying both of those would cost more than the Meteobridge PRO.

MB standard -> send data to your website/some weather network (WU etc.) -> cheap tablet at home to display the data

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 12:45:04 PM »
MB Pro Red has a display, so I think the Meteostick/Meteohub is a closer match to what the OP is after, and most similar to the SmartHub.  BICBW.

The Meteobridge PRO is exactly what I am after, but it is so expensive. And no the tiny display on it doesn't make it a console. It is a piece of network equipment that goes in a network closet. It is not something that you are going to hang on your living room wall. As for the Meteostick and Meteohub, buying both of those would cost more than the Meteobridge PRO.

MB standard -> send data to your website/some weather network (WU etc.) -> cheap tablet at home to display the data
But it can't receive the data wirelessly from Davis sensors.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk


Offline Jáchym

  • Meteotemplate Developer
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 8531
    • Meteotemplate
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 12:49:08 PM »
Yes, you would need something like Meteostick.

I guess there just isnt a simple cheap solution....

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6679
    • Eagle Bay Weather
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 12:52:34 PM »
Or better yet, an SDR package, a Raspberry Pi (or Pi Zero) and weewx.  Most if not all of this is already out there.  I know for the 433 mHz  stations it is all in place.  Yup - roll yer own Davis "SmarterHub".

Offline K7RMK

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 12:55:01 PM »
Or better yet, an SDR package, a Raspberry Pi (or Pi Zero) and weewx.  Most if not all of this is already out there.  I know for the 433 mHz  stations it is all in place.  Yup - roll yer own Davis "SmarterHub".
I do have a pi. If you look in the first post you can see it in the picture. It is my web server. What is an SDR package?

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk


Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6679
    • Eagle Bay Weather
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 01:06:16 PM »
SDR= Software Defined Radio.  About $20 bucks.  https://github.com/bemasher/rtldavis

Offline chief-david

  • Educational Weather
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2005
  • Space Academy for Educators
    • Robbinsdale Middle School Weather
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 01:47:22 PM »
MY push for the davis is that it reports every 2.5 seconds. 
 Others may be from 18-36 seconds.

You can use any software you want for reporting to the internet.
Vantage Pro Plus 6163
Robbinsdale, MN 55422@ 45 degrees North Latitude.
http://weather.rms.rdale.org

You can't phase me-I teach Middle School.

Offline johnd

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
    • www.weatherstations.co.uk
Re: What should I get?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 02:05:58 PM »
The Meteobridge PRO is exactly what I am after, but it is so expensive.

I guess it depends on budget, expectations and what you're comparing it too. A VP2 ISS plus MBPR isn't too different in price to a full VP2 station plus logger.

But beyond that it's just down to production scale I think. MBPR is designed and assembled essentially by hand in Germany. I don't honestly know the scale, but 500-600 units/year is probably in the ballpark. Davis themselves might be 50x that and maybe you need to get to 100-200K units/year to really get production costs down, factory (rather than just PCBA assembly) in China etc.

So I'm not sure that the scale is there to bring prices down a lot or, to look at it another way, whether there's anyone with enough capital to invest to gamble on eg 100K units/year being sold.
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK