Author Topic: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...  (Read 2084 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« on: September 21, 2016, 02:56:54 PM »
We purchased the Saratoga house in '91 which had a thick shake roof installed in the late '80s and it was time for a roof replacement.  The cabled Davis VP1+ station was installed on a tripod on the roof (as the only clear sky-view around the house) and had always suffered +4F temperature readings due to the position (despite the 24Hr FARS).   I'd been wanting to split the Davis ISS and put the temp/humidity FARS down on the North side of the house at 5ft elevation to more accurately indicate the temperatures, and the re-roofing gave me the opportunity (and a few extra challenges).  I talked with Davis tech support (very helpful) about extending the temp/hum sensor cable and they said keep it to 25ft or less, so I'd cut a Davis 40ft extension (6P6C RJ12) and reterminated it with a RJ12 socket as the extension from the controller to the ISS mounted on the wall.

During the roof removal and installation, I had to switch to a wireless Davis VP2+ system on a tripod in the back yard for conditions.  Unfortunately, it's a 'green dot' system which was only partially compatible with the VirtualVP software, so while Weather-Display worked fine, WeatherLink 6.03 could collect conditions but error trying to upload the graphs/NOAA reports, so the saratoga-weather.org website had to be modified work with the temporary VP2+, and my other weather programs (used for testing the templates) were only partially functional.  So, from July 29 to August 5, the roof replacement was done (a new metal 'shake-lookalike') was installed.  I disassembled the old VP1 FARS from the ISS and cleaned the parts.. lot's of grime from being on the roof for 12 years.  Unfortunately, my cleaning of the temp/humidity sensor with a small brush likely dropped some grime into the sensor which then indicated 100% humidity.  I tried ordering a replacement from Davis-- out of stock and obsolete, and the VP2 sensors wouldn't work.  I found that WeatherSpares in the UK had some left, so purchased and waited for Royal Mail+USPS to deliver the new sensor.  It finally arrived on July 27, and a replacement FARS fan and anemometer were installed to replace the original ones.  I also ordered an additional temp/hum sensor for when this one fails in the future :)

Now my VP1+ install has new temp/hum sensor and a better placement and a new 24hr FARS fan (cabled), a new anemometer/wind vane (mounted 7ft above the roof), and is working quite well!  My CWOP stats show that my temp/hum readings are better aligned with my neighbors (and match better with the VP2's temp/hum too).

The second anemometer/wind vane is for the Davis VP2 system used as backup.  It's a wireless system and I'm pleased the new metal roof still allows the wireless signal to work from the anemometer transmitter mounted on the tripod.

Yes, you do see solar panels -- as part of the reroofing we decided to install a 5.2KW (AC) solar setup (Sunpower panels/microinverters) and got the go-ahead from PG&E to operate on September 6th.  On sunny days, we generate about 26KWh and it's nice to see the meter running backwards at about 3KW :)


Here's the before and after pics of the station now.

Direction
Looking:
Original
Feb. 2004
Current
Sept. 2016
North
East
South
West
FARS Location
North

Best regards,
Ken
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 04:53:17 PM by saratogaWX »
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline PaulMy

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 03:20:03 PM »
Great that you were able to make the VP1 back to life... pictures talk a 1000 words...

Looks like you've had similar issues about best location that many of us have in our urban environment.

Enjoy,
Paul


Offline Trippy

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 01:41:55 AM »
Thats a great setup you have there! I've been searching for a replacement vp1 temp hum module for the last few years without sucess can you share with me where you got one from please? Although I'm uk based i'm sure i could get one from the US

Nick

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 11:18:33 AM »
Thats a great setup you have there! I've been searching for a replacement vp1 temp hum module for the last few years without sucess can you share with me where you got one from please? Although I'm uk based i'm sure i could get one from the US

Nick

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Hi Nick,
Thanks for the kind words about the station.  I have not found a USA-based supplier for the (discontinued) temp/humidity sensor for a VP1 FARS.  I bought mine from the UK at WeatherSpares -- as I said, a bit pricy, but the only ones I'd found.

I'm somewhat in a catch-22 with the VP1 -- it works with VirtualVP for all the weather software I need to test with the template sets, where the VP2 only works with VirtualVP with Weather-Display (and not WeatherLink) and a couple of the other weather software.  So, I have to keep the VP1 as the main station with the VP2 as a backup (and correlation test for conditions).

Best regards,
Ken
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 11:21:15 AM by saratogaWX »
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline Trippy

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2016, 01:53:22 PM »
Thanks Ken, i did look on there a few years back and couldn't see any but i will check back in again. My vp1 unbelievably is still functioning having been re-housed in a uk weatherproof box 😀 i'm looking at developing a weather station using an Arduino/mysensors as a cheap alternative when it finally breaks just need to find a way to get the data into WD.
Rgds
Nick

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 02:25:07 PM »
Green lawns are mostly out in our area.  Brown lawns are 'in'.  Unfortunately, the drought has caused major drying/die-off of the forests so major fires seem the norm now :(

We did get 100% of 'normal' rain this water year, first time in 5 years, but without El Nino, this next year is likely more of the drought.
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline ocala

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 08:47:54 AM »
That's a metal roof?
I have never seen a shake-lookalike before.
That's impressive. I have seen different colors but they all look the same.
Interesting.

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 05:19:46 PM »
Yep, a steel based/stone coated roof by Metro Shake in 'Cedar' color.  Took one guy about 4 days to put it all on over the battens that were used by the original thick cedar shake roof that was removed.  It is screwed in place, not nailed, over a thin water barrier/insulation over the battens.

The roof is flexible, but very strong -- no issues holding up to walking on the roof (to maintain the weather station).
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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Offline jeffm5690

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2016, 08:54:55 PM »
Great job.  Looks like very quality work and should provide excellent data!

Jeff

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 12:12:03 AM »
Looks good!  Guess I'm not the only one still running a VP1 after all.   ;)
Mark 
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Offline sundevil01010101

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Re: Saratoga-Weather - Summer '16 major changes...
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 08:48:03 PM »
Nice job.   Looks like you got the main sensors off the roof which is good.   As to the urban mounting challenge...

I have a roof mounted Vue (with the anemometer for my ground mounted VP2) and I don't know if it's the bad placement of both and surrounding stations compared to but even here in AZ my stations are usually never more that 1 or possibly 2 degrees off and that isn't even for very long.

Both stations are gold-starred on WU, perhaps a low bar to some but it's something.

You can see the pictures of station siting on the Info - Weather Station page of my site for comparison.

My lil Acurite 5-in-1 Pro is on top of the VP2 pole, it's not gold starred for several reasons, temp goes like 7-8 degrees too high, pressure issue too.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:52:09 PM by sundevil01010101 »
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