Author Topic: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?  (Read 1873 times)

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Offline boss281

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My Ambient Weather WS-1001-WIFI OBSERVER finally died big time after nearly 3 years of usage.  I live on a 3 acre rural property on the NW side of a ridge, and the local climate "actuals" can diverge a bit from forecasts for cities like Baltimore and Westminster in the state of Maryland (zip 21776).  It served it's purpose, gave me temperature, rain, wind and wind gust information that I compared daily to newscasts, a somewhat easy to use console that I kept next to my easy chair, and connected more or less successfully to Wunderground network through my Windows 7 laptop, all the problems with THAT group notwithstanding.

I'd like something a bit more reliable, has the ability to connect to Wunderground and other member rich weather networks, and not take a computer science degree to figure out connection protocols for uploading to the internet, and viewing remotely from the internet on computers and my phone.

I can afford the Davis Pro 2 (I'm a little worried about power storage), but it appears I need additional software and perhaps a bit more hardware.  I really don't go back and analyze historical information, so I'm not sure if the data logger is necessary.  Any advice beyond the hardware package itself (which appears to be a mostly thumbs up purchase here on the forum)?

Thanks in advance.  Note KMDNEWWI3 on WU is down until I get something new purchased and up and running...

John
Weather Underground PWS KMDNEWWI3


Offline PaulMy

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 11:08:45 AM »
Quote
I can afford the Davis Pro 2 (I'm a little worried about power storage), but it appears I need additional software and perhaps a bit more hardware.  I really don't go back and analyze historical information, so I'm not sure if the data logger is necessary.  Any advice beyond the hardware package itself (which appears to be a mostly thumbs up purchase here on the forum)?
Good choice if you go with the Davis VP2.

Without a data logger/or some third party hardware to connect to a computer or router, the Davis stations are excellent to view your local data. 

If you want to see your data on a computer, phone, internet or services like WU you WILL need that data logger at an extra cost.  If you get the Davis Weatherlink data logger, that comes with the Weatherlink software and that will run on your computer and also upload to other services like Weatherlink.com, WU, CWOP, and your own website if you want to set that up.  Nothing else would be needed.

There are some third party weather programs that you can use instead of Weatherlink.

The Davis stations will work with nearly all the available weather programs.  The Davis data is accepted by WU and CWOP, and other services such as PWS Weather, WOW, AWEKAS, and Weathercloud but in most cases the third party program/device would be needed for these other uploads.

Enjoy,
Paul

Offline bchwdlks

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 03:55:30 PM »

...
 has the ability to connect to Wunderground and other member rich weather networks, and not take a computer science degree to figure out connection protocols for uploading to the internet, and viewing remotely from the internet on computers and my phone.

...

At a minimum you would need the Davis 6510 USB Windows Port. About $120 USD from Scaled Instruments. There are other options but this is the simplest solution. The downside is that it requires a Windows computer to be on 24 X 7 to relay the data. There also tends to be driver issues when Windows does upgrades.

The way to avoid that is to use the 6510 with Meteobridge. The hardware is about $35 from Amazon and the software license is 65 Euro. The documentation for setting it up is excellent and does require some basic network/hardware skills - Add a device to your home network & reconfigure it. This is a very flexible set up. Very easy to send data to multiple weather sites (WU, Weather Cloud, etc.) and also create the data templates for almost any of the software packages.  It also has a LOT of knowledge on this forum for support.




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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 04:00:29 PM »

...
 has the ability to connect to Wunderground and other member rich weather networks, and not take a computer science degree to figure out connection protocols for uploading to the internet, and viewing remotely from the internet on computers and my phone.

...
The downside is that it requires a Windows computer to be on 24 X 7 to relay the data. There also tends to be driver issues when Windows does upgrades.
Not saying it's not possible, but I've never had this issue, and I've used WL USB for ~ 6 years running 24/7 on my laptop.

Offline Mattk

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 04:53:07 PM »
Things have come a long way in the last 6 years and today there are options now that do things much better than running a laptop 24/7 and at a fraction of the cost, power requirements and overheads.

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 05:03:04 PM »
I'm sure. This works for me as I have my laptop HDMI'd to the TV, so I can see WL, surf the web, whatever, and watch the tube without moving my rear end outta the chair.

Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 05:40:30 PM »
Quote
I can afford the Davis Pro 2 (I'm a little worried about power storage), but it appears I need additional software and perhaps a bit more hardware.  I really don't go back and analyze historical information, so I'm not sure if the data logger is necessary.  Any advice beyond the hardware package itself (which appears to be a mostly thumbs up purchase here on the forum)?
Good choice if you go with the Davis VP2.

Without a data logger/or some third party hardware to connect to a computer or router, the Davis stations are excellent to view your local data. 

If you want to see your data on a computer, phone, internet or services like WU you WILL need that data logger at an extra cost.  If you get the Davis Weatherlink data logger, that comes with the Weatherlink software and that will run on your computer and also upload to other services like Weatherlink.com, WU, CWOP, and your own website if you want to set that up.  Nothing else would be needed.

There are some third party weather programs that you can use instead of Weatherlink.

The Davis stations will work with nearly all the available weather programs.  The Davis data is accepted by WU and CWOP, and other services such as PWS Weather, WOW, AWEKAS, and Weathercloud but in most cases the third party program/device would be needed for these other uploads.

Enjoy,
Paul

Paul (and others): thanks for the very quick response.  I've ordered the unit and the data logger with WeatherLink.  I read some more into it and I think this old guy can figure out the connectivity and options.  I'm already in weather data withdrawal with my system down.  Odd, I didn't realize the local weather was so damn addictive...

John
Weather Underground PWS KMDNEWWI3


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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 06:12:26 PM »
Quote
I can afford the Davis Pro 2 (I'm a little worried about power storage), but it appears I need additional software and perhaps a bit more hardware.  I really don't go back and analyze historical information, so I'm not sure if the data logger is necessary.  Any advice beyond the hardware package itself (which appears to be a mostly thumbs up purchase here on the forum)?
Good choice if you go with the Davis VP2.

Without a data logger/or some third party hardware to connect to a computer or router, the Davis stations are excellent to view your local data. 

If you want to see your data on a computer, phone, internet or services like WU you WILL need that data logger at an extra cost.  If you get the Davis Weatherlink data logger, that comes with the Weatherlink software and that will run on your computer and also upload to other services like Weatherlink.com, WU, CWOP, and your own website if you want to set that up.  Nothing else would be needed.

There are some third party weather programs that you can use instead of Weatherlink.

The Davis stations will work with nearly all the available weather programs.  The Davis data is accepted by WU and CWOP, and other services such as PWS Weather, WOW, AWEKAS, and Weathercloud but in most cases the third party program/device would be needed for these other uploads.

Enjoy,
Paul
I'm already in weather data withdrawal with my system down.  Odd, I didn't realize the local weather was so damn addictive...
John
Ha, you kiddin'? Take my PWS away and you'd probably hear about me on the news. :evil:

Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 06:20:02 PM »
I'm sure. This works for me as I have my laptop HDMI'd to the TV, so I can see WL, surf the web, whatever, and watch the tube without moving my rear end outta the chair.

I NEVER once thought about that, casting to the TV.  Brilliant.  If only I could convince the missus to move a mini fridge to the living room...
Weather Underground PWS KMDNEWWI3


Offline wxmanmhd

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 09:03:33 PM »
I am also thinking of ordering VP 2 but I noticed no one mention WeatherLink IP. I have a Mac computer and I was wondering if I can still load files from WeatherLink.com to my computer or would that be really unnecessary since in the cloud.

Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 09:42:06 AM »

The way to avoid that is to use the 6510 with Meteobridge. The hardware is about $35 from Amazon and the software license is 65 Euro. The documentation for setting it up is excellent and does require some basic network/hardware skills - Add a device to your home network & reconfigure it. This is a very flexible set up. Very easy to send data to multiple weather sites (WU, Weather Cloud, etc.) and also create the data templates for almost any of the software packages.  It also has a LOT of knowledge on this forum for support.

When I search "metobridge" on Amazon, I get this link for a router (https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Portable-Router-TL-MR3020/dp/B00634PLTW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518014167&sr=8-1&keywords=meteobridge&th=1).  I've ordered the Davis data logger just to get my system up and running quickly when received, but ultimately I don't want it tied to a 24x7 laptop or PC, although I have two that are on all the time (just not located where I want to place the console).  If I understand the Meteobridge page correctly, I have to buy this inexpensive router and "convert" it to something.  I see AmbientWeather appears to have done this for you, but it's $200+.  Not sure what's what here...
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 12:24:33 PM »
You basically re-flash the firmware image with the meteobridge image using a tool in the TP-Link web interface as originally supplied. Once you do this, it "becomes" a meteobridge.

There are a couple of caveats here. See this link: http://www.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Hardware

The V3 of the MR3020 has an issue with WiFi. If you are planning on a WiFi connection, this could be a problem. If you have access via Ethernet, you might be OK.

I thought that at some point of time, the newer MR3020s would no longer allow re-flashing with non-native firmware (e.g. meteobridge). Be careful of what you order accordingly.
( Maybe that issue has gone away, I haven't followed it recently since I use a meteobridge PRO.)

Another problem that may or may not still exist is an incompatibility with USB1.0 devices and the MR3020. Not sure if this still exists or is even present on the later MR3020. The fix was to use a cheap USB hub, I used a 2-port for this.

Not trying to create a lot of FUD here, but just watch out for these issues. If you are not familiar with re-flashing various devices. You might want to consider the Ambient Weather ready-to-run offering.

Greg H.




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Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 01:18:35 PM »
You basically re-flash the firmware image with the meteobridge image using a tool in the TP-Link web interface as originally supplied. Once you do this, it "becomes" a meteobridge.

[SNIP]

Not trying to create a lot of FUD here, but just watch out for these issues. If you are not familiar with re-flashing various devices. You might want to consider the Ambient Weather ready-to-run offering.

Greg H.

I just read up on the Ambient Bridge Weatherbridge solution, which appears to a commercial router with the Meteobridge firmware uploaded.  So I have heard 5 options using my coming Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 wireless weather station (note I'm slightly confused):

1. Let the weather station talk to the included console, and enjoy a wireless watch using the console only.  No external access from computer or phone, and no connectivity to internet based weather networks.
2. Add the Davis Instrument data logger, another $165.  From what I'm reading, it APPEARS that this manages data you store when this is connected to the console, and then can be uploaded to outside weather services and/or viewed on your laptop for analyses.  I can't tell if this actually does something to connect to the outside world like Weather Underground in real time.
3. Get the Davis Instrument WeatherlinkIP product, another $295, which you plug into the console, then use ethernet cable to plug into your home router, then have computer and phone access to weather data through included software.  I presume you can push data to outside weather services like Weather Underground and others.
4. Get a compatible router for about $30, download a meteobridge image and reflash the router.  With some configuration, luck and magic it's ethernet connected to the house router, and push/pull data from your station to outside services.  I don't mean to be flip, but what I've read seems to be just a step or two above my PC networking configuration skills.  I managed to get my Comcast router set up with a house full of devices, but that's about it!
5. Get the Ambient Weather product called WEATHERBRIDGE Universal WIFI IP Ethernet Server for Weather Station for $209, which appears to be a commercially available version of the process outlined in (3) above.  Presumably with the company support arm.

I like 4 and 5 above since they do not need a physical connection to the console or PC.  Item 3 seems to require a simultaneous connection to the console and house router, so mobility is an issue.  #4 is the cheapest, followed by 5, then 3.  I'm leaning towards #5.

Now, for 4 and 5, do I NEED the data logger????  It appears simply be a means to physically collect real time data off the console, then disconnected and reconnected to a PC to upload to the PC or the internet.  Is that right?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 01:21:31 PM by boss281 »
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Offline bchwdlks

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2018, 03:00:27 PM »
It sounds more complicated than it is. The 6510USB Davis WeatherLink Computer Interface costs about$125 USD from Scientific Sales or Scaled Instruments. It has hardware(USB Connection) and software to connect the Davis console to a Windows or Mac computer. It will allow you to see, generate reports & graphs of your data on your local machine and will allow you to send your data to external sites. It does require some setup to export the data to external sites. Your computer has to be running to send the data, so if you want data to Weather Underground or other, your computer will be running 7X24.

That is where the Meteobridge comes into play. The 6510USB connects to the Meteobridge instead of the computer (it is a wired USB connection). It uses less power than a 5 watt night light. It comes pre-configured for creating a data file for  ~24 services or sofware packages. And it has tools for you to load MySQL databases, send Twitter alerts, created custom data files. The Meteobridge then connects to your home network (WiFi or wired). Some of the TP-Links require a USB hub to convert the 6510 USB v1 to USB v2.


I went through the same questions as you about 4 years ago. I decided to get the 6510USB because I did want to send data somewhere at some point. I had downsized computer hardware to a single Windows tower, a cell phone and a tablet. I was not going to leave the Windows running for weather data processing, so Meteobridge was the choice. The decision pre-loaded or flash your own was easy. The way I saw it,   I could 'brick' 2 TP-Link devices before I got it done and I would still have $30-50 less invested than if I bought pre-loaded WEATHERBRIDGE.

If you configured a home network you should not have any problem flashing the TP-Link router. The Meteobridge instruction set for each device is well written. The easy way to avoid connection issues is to download to flash image, instructions and tools to a Windows machine using a wired network connection. Unplug the Windows from the network and plug it to the TP-Link (or other). It sees a new network and connects you to the configuration page.





Offline PaulMy

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 05:05:13 PM »
Quote
2. Add the Davis Instrument data logger, another $165.  From what I'm reading, it APPEARS that this manages data you store when this is connected to the console, and then can be uploaded to outside weather services and/or viewed on your laptop for analyses.  I can't tell if this actually does something to connect to the outside world like Weather Underground in real time.
3. Get the Davis Instrument WeatherlinkIP product, another $295, which you plug into the console, then use ethernet cable to plug into your home router, then have computer and phone access to weather data through included software.  I presume you can push data to outside weather services like Weather Underground and others.
If you were to go with your item 3 that wouldn't be another $295 to item 2 just a replacement.

Item 2, USB datalogger, logs data for some period of time depending on the interval you set (10 minute interval = 17 days), and also is the physical connection from console to computer.  Weatherlink software or a third party software on the computer can then access the station's live data and also catch up any data that the logger has stored while your computer may have been shut down. Weatherlink software or third party software then displays the data on your computer screen, saves data files, and uploads to wherever you set up, such as Weather Underground, CWOP and others.

Item 3, IP datalogger, logs data similar to USB logger but for a longer period of time, and also is the physical connection to your router which then sends data to Weatherlink.com without computer intervention.  Weatherlink.com can be set up to send your data to Weather Underground and CWOP.  The extra charge for Davis' optional subscription web service is included for lifetime in the IP purchase price so no annual fees if you want to use that service.  I don't use the IP logger so not sure exactly on the physical setup, but your computer installed Weatherlink or third party software can also access the live data and the catch up from the IP logger and then use the data in a similar way as from a USB logger.

In the USA you can get the USB or IP logger from Davis vendors for considerable less than the prices you have quoted, i.e. Scaled Instruments $117 for USB and $209 for IP.

Enjoy,
Paul

Offline wrz0170

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 05:54:04 PM »
Hi there.   First congrats on your VP2. I just got mine a couple of weeks ago and have it configured.  Iím VERY new to all of this but this is the route I took.

VP2 Wireless.  Including my anemometer. 
Raspberry Pi 3 (under $50)
Bellfryboy Datalogger about £50 pounds.  Takes less than 2 weeks to get from the UK.  Nicely made and packaged.
WeeWx on the RP3 to run it.  (Free!)

I, by no means am proficient with Linux but the members here and on WeeWx forums were phenomenal in assisting.

I am now wirelessly uploading to WU and been running over a week.

Just to throw it out there.

William

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2018, 10:43:33 PM »
I'm sure. This works for me as I have my laptop HDMI'd to the TV, so I can see WL, surf the web, whatever, and watch the tube without moving my rear end outta the chair.

I NEVER once thought about that, casting to the TV.  Brilliant.  If only I could convince the missus to move a mini fridge to the living room...
Tell her it's a new end-table.

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Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 06:18:05 AM »
I called and modified the order and canned the data logger and just getting the VP2 package, as I'm either going with the do-it-yourself Meteobridge approach or getting the Ambient Weather preconfigured Meteobridge router solution--from what I'm hearing above the datalogger or dataloggerIP isn't needed for either WiFi access point approach (correct?).  Before I decide on the Meteobridge approach I'm going to research the weather networks I can connect to (I want PWS, CWOP and WU) and the required software I need.  This still sounds ambitious for my limited networking skills, but then again, I'm semi retired and only working part time now, so I have some free time to kill.  Never too old to continue the learning process...
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 08:19:38 AM »
I called and modified the order and canned the data logger and just getting the VP2 package, as I'm either going with the do-it-yourself Meteobridge approach or getting the Ambient Weather preconfigured Meteobridge router solution--from what I'm hearing above the datalogger or dataloggerIP isn't needed for either WiFi access point approach (correct?).  Before I decide on the Meteobridge approach I'm going to research the weather networks I can connect to (I want PWS, CWOP and WU) and the required software I need.  This still sounds ambitious for my limited networking skills, but then again, I'm semi retired and only working part time now, so I have some free time to kill.  Never too old to continue the learning process...

You will need the datalogger (6510) in order to get the data out of the console and into the meteobridge. There are some 3rd party loggers out there, search the forum for them. The meteobridge PRO "red" is the only one that doesn't require the logger, since it has it's own receiver for the ISS (and other) transmitters.

You could just get the Davis 6555 and it can handle CWOP and WU along with Davis' own Weatherlink.com based maps and data displays. It uploads independently to weatherlink.com and the Davis server handles the subsequent uploads to WU and CWOP. Other than GLOBE which is for schools only, these are the only directly uploaded networks that the WLIP can handle.

Greg H.




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CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 08:30:40 AM »
I'm just going to scratch my head now and claim clueless.  The data logger is required to get data out of the console, but I thought the meteo bridge didn't require the data logger if you were just pushing live data.  I'm looking at the image at http://wiki.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Home.
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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 08:55:06 AM »
I'm looking at the image at http://wiki.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Home.

That schematic is not detailed enough to show exactly what's going on. There are basically just two options:

1. To get data out of a VP2 console to any onward computing device requires a logger of some description fitted to the console to provide a suitable computer interface.

2. To receive data wirelessly direct from the ISS (the outside sensor assembly) then you need the Pro version of Meteobridge. Whether you choose to have a console display as well is up to you, but it is not essential for this configuration.
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 09:36:03 AM »
I think the idea is that the meteobridge will replace a computer in connecting your weather station to the internet for those who don't want to run a computer 24/7.  But, you've still apparently got to have an interface between the Davis unit and your internet gateway (whether a computer or meteobridge).

I installed my weather station on a refurbished (read that "used) Dell D610 laptop that I bought off of eBay for something like $60.  I installed Weatherlink *and* Cumulus on this laptop.  It has been sitting there humming along now going on five years...and has gone as long as six or seven months without a server or computer restart.  With the laptop I got built-in WiFi and a built-in UPS...it connects wirelessly to my router and brown-outs, short power outages, etc., doesn't phase it.  I also havet the ability to add utilities and other programs to it.  It really has worked flawlessly.  I know that energywise that there are more efficient setups than this, but this one has worked great!  The monitor is seldom turned on and I figure it costs me at the maximum probably $45-$50 a year in electricity to run...probably less.  Hmmm, I've got a Kil-a-Watt meter I think I'll stick on it. :)   If it dies today (PLEASE DON'T!!!!) it has done me right and I couldn't complain. 

I just thought I'd mention that to you.  Old laptops are cheap and are kind of a swiss-army-knife for a hobby weather station. ;)

Best wishes,
Ed

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Cumulus v1.9.4  Build 1079
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Today's weather beats no weather at all!

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 01:07:35 PM »
I just put the Kil-a-Watt meter inline.  It is reading both my VP2 console and the laptop...with the screen closed the weather station is pulling a whopping 31 watts.  Figuring duty service of 24/365, the electricity usage for www.BeeWeather.com costs me $31 including for the VP2 console and laptop. :)

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Cumulus v1.9.4  Build 1079
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Today's weather beats no weather at all!

Offline boss281

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2018, 03:46:51 PM »
Success! The VP2 arrived and I now have at least my local weather available. I need to configure the Meteobridge and purchase the data logger in the next week to become internet ready again. Halfway there. Note the system will be permanently mounted out near that fence post in the background.

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Narrowed down to Davis Vantage Pro2 (Wireless), what else do I need?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2018, 05:07:31 PM »
 UU Congrats on getting it up and running.  Now for the connectivity part, eh? :)  Looks like you've got a good spot for it....free and clear!!!  Have fun!

Davis VP2, v3.12
Cumulus v1.9.4  Build 1079
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