Author Topic: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?  (Read 8827 times)

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Offline hydrogis

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Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« on: May 20, 2012, 10:50:16 AM »
I'm new to weather monitoring and would love some advice from this knowledgeable community!

I am interested in purchasing nine weather stations to conduct student research in Georgia, USA.   We need to measure temperature, wind speed, humidity, UV index, barometric pressure, and rainfall.

These nine stations will be located in remote locations (near farm ponds, forested ponds, and municipal reservoirs) so they must run on battery power.  The stations also need to store data (we will only able to download data monthly).

Many of you seem to use Davis products for remote monitoring.  However, we have a limited budget and would like to spend around $250 per weatherstation (could spend up to $430, if absolutely necessary).

We are considering the Oregon Scientific WMR 200 (http://www.oregonscientificstore.com/Oregon-Scientific-WMR200-Professional-Weather--Station-Center.data). Any other products recommended?

Any guidance is greatly appreciated!!!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 02:43:00 PM by hydrogis »

Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 10:53:22 AM »
I have a Weatherwise 1090 weather station, it works great and is easy to install and they are on sale right now for around $125. They measure everything u specified except for UV Index but it has solar radiation and evapotranspiration to replace that. Im not affiliated with Weatherwise but I would say it's a great product.

 
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Offline d_l

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 11:12:27 AM »
What failure rate for the nine stations will you be able to accept?  IOW, how many stations can fail and not seriously impact your research results?

All weather stations have some failure rate fail out of the box and over time.  When you have that many stations operating at once, your odds are greatly increased that you will have to deal with the manufacturer for warranty service or off warranty repairs.  If the manufacturer doesn't stand behind their product, then you should budget for replacement of one to three or more new stations to replace the ones you had to junk.
--Dave--

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Offline DanS

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 08:34:58 PM »
Hi and welcome to the forum! Your OS station choice might be the best for your requirements and budget allowance. I see a logger time table on page 9 of the manual. It appears to have plenty of memory for what you intend to use it for. Sounds like a fun project.

I saw some on the Ambient site like the Meade that meet your requirements. The UV sensor with this particular model is included where many others it is an option.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 10:35:22 PM by DanS »

Offline Weather Display

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 08:55:07 PM »
yes the WMR200 has internal storage, which depends on the history interval, how long that is (you can get like a month storage eg at every 30 minutes, from memory)
the UV sensor though with that station should only be looked at providing a rough guide only
Brian
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Offline BigOkie

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 12:55:43 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum! Your OS station choice might be the best for your requirements and budget allowance. I see a logger time table on page 9 of the manual. It appears to have plenty of memory for what you intend to use it for. Sounds like a fun project.

I saw some on the Ambient site like the Meade that meet your requirements. The UV sensor with this particular model is included where many others it is an option.

Wow, they must have upgraded the storage since Meade bought out Honeywell.  My 923 only goes down to five minute intervals and the logging isn't near 19 days!  Wow, I might see if I can get just the console unit for this thing cause I'm sure the sensors work fine with it.


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Offline hydrogis

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 03:50:35 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the helpful feedback!

I hadn't fully appreciated the value of reliable customer service.  I see how company dependability is especially important when dealing with so many pieces of equipment and long time-frames.  Definitely something to consider.

I'm going to crunch some numbers in my budget and see if I can manage to purchase more reliable equipment.  I may even record fewer parameters in exchange for reliability (the David Wireless Vantage Pro2 is calling my name).  Lots to consider....

It's still very good to know that the Oregon Scientific offers decent data storage (don't know how I missed that in the manual... #-o)  There is still a very good change I'll end up with OS equipment...

Offline Bushman

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 04:33:26 PM »
If I were you, I would contact Davis directly - I would not be surprised if they would see directly to the uni at a very deep educational discount.  Or maybe they will donate some of the equipment?

Offline johnd

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 02:21:39 AM »
...also, maybe a SINGLE console could be sufficient, with multiple sensors?

Don't forget that each console can only receive data from one ISS (at a time). In general, it's not possible to have multiple ISS units reporting to a single console.
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Offline SLOweather

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 06:09:45 PM »
If done in this way, it's true that a single console will receive SOME data from the other ISSes. However, it will ONLY display and WeatherLink record the TEMP data from that ISS. Used this way, one console could receive temp/hum data from up to 7 more consoles, but the rain and wind data from those stations would be lost.

I did this at the big ranch installation. On one console, I set up ISS #1 as the ISS, and ISSes #2-5 as temp/hum stations. The console reads all 4 extra ISSes, but only the temperature and humidity from each one.

...also, maybe a SINGLE console could be sufficient, with multiple sensors?

Don't forget that each console can only receive data from one ISS (at a time). In general, it's not possible to have multiple ISS units reporting to a single console.
...well, according to the service tech at Davis, apparently it *can* be done:

Hello,

1)      You would set them up on different stations. For instance station 1 would be your ISS, and you can set your additional sensors to station 2 and 3 with the DIP switches on the transmitters. Then you would go into the Setup mode on the console:

1) Press and hold the DONE button and while holding it down press the DOWN ARROW.
2) In the Setup Mode the first screen is “Receiving From” Station 1, and if you press the DONE button once it takes you to the next screen.
3) The next screen should say "ON (ISS)"
4) Press the RIGHT ARROW to select Station 2 and 3
5) Press the UP arrow until it says "ON (ISS)" then press the GRAPH button to set to “ON (TEMP)”
6) Once that is set, press and hold the DONE button to exit Setup mode.

2)      The Weatherlink software will put the data on the same text file. You do have to Click on Setup and Station Configuration to add the additional sensors.

3)      Yes, they will be time stamped and in sync with ISS data.

There would be nothing else you would need as long as the additional sensors are in range of your wireless console.

Jerry Loyd
Technical Support Representative
ph# 510-732-7814
www.davisnet.com


Offline SLOweather

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 06:26:01 PM »
One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is to make sure that all of the specs of the weather station match the accuracy and resolution you need. This extends not only to the weather parameter specs like temperature and humidity, but also to the sampling period. A station with a 14 or 15 second pdate time for wind is of little use when you are looking for gust info.

Also, re:
Quote
(the David Wireless Vantage Pro2 is calling my name)
you can save money by getting the wired instead of the wireless VP2 if you can live with a 4 conductor phone cable connecting the ISS to the console. Your original post seems to indicated that these will be out in the boonies where there is no indoor location for the console. (near ponds, runs on batteries, etc)

Mount the ISS and anny units on a pole, and then mount a small enclosure for the console on the same pole.

Offline johnd

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Re: Best Affordable Remote Weather Station?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 03:57:39 AM »
Don't forget that each console can only receive data from one ISS (at a time). In general, it's not possible to have multiple ISS units reporting to a single console.
...well, according to the service tech at Davis, apparently it *can* be done:

@Old Tele man: I don't think you read my original reply very carefully, because it's not at variance with what Davis say. I've highlighted the key words for you.

The OP was asking about using up nine weather stations to read multiple weather parameters, including eg wind speed and direction, temperature etc at each site. In Davis terms that effectively means using a complete ISS at each site.

It's theoretically possible to do this by having a maximum of 8 ISS units and putting one on each VP2 wireless channel. But the catch obviously is that the console can only listen to one ISS at a time. (Using an Envoy8x would actually be another option, but that's a whole different set-up and one that I think wasn't seriously being entertained here.)

The question that Davis answered was effectively whether you can have multiple sensors reporting to one console and the answer here is well-known to be yes. What Davis were saying is that it's perfectly possible to downgrade an ISS to, for example, a temperature station and have a console pick up only the temperature data (or eg T/H) from the ISS. In practical terms therefore the secondary ISS is no longer functioning as an ISS, it's effectively just a 6372 or 6382 station. (Actually using a Vue ISS can be more slightly more cost-effective than a 6382 station in this sort of application, though the radiation shield obviously isn't quite as good.)

I repeat, there's no way that you can pick up full ISS data, including eg wind data, at a console from more than one ISS unit at a time (other than by going down the 8X route).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 04:02:38 AM by johnd »
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