Author Topic: Weather Station (WS) advice  (Read 4853 times)

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Offline Albedo

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Weather Station (WS) advice
« on: November 03, 2012, 05:40:01 PM »
Hi!
I have been lurking here for awhile and have already learned a lot.  I am in New Mexico so my primary concern isn't rainfall because we are happy with whatever we get whenever we get it.  However, I am interested in tracking the other weather factors, especially wind speed.  I am at about 7200' elevation.  It seems that the Davis Vantage Vue is the best option in my price range (<$500), but I am open to all suggestions.  I would also like to have the data on my computer and share on the internet.

Now for my initial round of questions:
1.  Will the Vue fit on a standard 1.25" electrical conduit?  How much length can I use without the conduit bending in our considerable wind, maybe 50 mph in March?
2.  What do I need to buy in addition to the Vue?  I have seen that I might be able to buy a computer interface from SLOweather, but it looks like the actual Davis interface also includes some software, so I am confused in what I actually need.  Also, if I get the data on my computer, do I need to buy a console?
3.  I understand that none of the WSs are great in terms of forecasting due to a lack of data available, but I wonder if the Davis algorithm would be able to predict precipitation 9 hours out?  Alternatively, is there a facility that would send an alarm if it did start to rain or snow?
4.  I have searched and found the units priced lower than the standard $355, are these sites reputable or is it safer to stick with the "Amazons"?
5.  What additional information is required to help me make good purchasing decisions?

TIA,
Al
 











Offline Skywatch

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 10:52:47 PM »
http://www.archertradingpost.com/atp/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_6_7&products_id=2

Taking into account your 500$ ceiling here's a VantagePro2 for 393$. Not sure how much SLOweather or Belfryboy are selling their computer interface but I'd imagine you can get the Pro2 and interface for around the 500$.

1. The sensors will be able to fit on the pipe you mentioned. That's the same size pipe I use

2. All stations include console. That's where the PC interface plugs in.

3. The Vue and Pro2 use almost all the variables to get the forecast but the Pro2 maybe better. It has a ticker tape display which will show you the precipitation X hours out as you mentioned. Or something similar.

4. Archer Trading is known among a few of us for good customer service. I've never had a bad experience with ATP. They know customer service. Another thing is they offer expidited shipping for about 7.25$ which is good and gets the station to location quicker. From Florida to Texas it takes me 2 days to recieve. May take you 3-4. Better than waiting a week.

5. The VP2 is more flexible to installation. You may not be as into rain data but always good to have that correct if possible which in your price range is possible.

The Vue is a good station but given your price range and some of your preferences point to the Pro2.

With the interface Cumulus is a good program. Donationware. Free and works well with the Vantage Pro2 and Vue. Also has uploads to Weather Underground, PWS Weather, WeatherBug, CWOP, and Twitter so plenty of sharing options.

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Davis VP2+ with leaf/soil, extra temp/humid station custom wind. Purple Air PA-II. Boltek LD-250/Microsferics TOA kit. Excelvan/Fine Offset WH2310.
SOFTWARE
WD 10.37

The weather station has moved from McKinney, Texas to Plano, Texas.

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 09:35:54 AM »
Wow!!  That is a great price for a WS that I thought was out of my range.  :)  Thank you for the info and the link.  Am I correct that the only things I need to get up and running are the Pro2, a computer interface, Cumulus software and mounting hardware?  This is exciting!
Thanks, again,
Al 

Offline ocala

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 10:19:06 AM »
Another thing that's nice about VP2 is you can substitute a wireless anemometer. That way you can put the rain, temp, humidity and ISS and the desired 6ft level and put the anemometer at a higher position to get that correct wind data you are after.
As you can see in this pic I put mine at 33ft on my antenna tower.

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 10:30:49 AM »
That will be a great upgrade, but for now I need to keep it on budget.  LOML hasn't totally bought into this project yet.   ;)

Offline ocala

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 10:39:07 AM »
The anny kit is $129 so that would put you $23 over budget.
Plus, and I'm not sure of this, ordering the station without the anemometer that would have come with it may be less. Haven't looked into the specifics of this though.
But, I know about the wife thing.  :-)

Offline wxtech

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 10:44:19 AM »
Welcome to the best wx forum from an ex NM resident.
I'm using VWS with my VP2 Plus and WeatherLink IP.  I've been a Davis and VWS satisfied customer for about 8 years.  Also check the unpublished prices at http://www.ambientweather.com/.  You have to email for a link to their low price.
The console has several alarms and VWS will alarm on just about any wx parameter that you choose to set up.  I used a Vue as back up for awhile.  It didn't meet my requirements.
Weather station siting is just as important as selecting the equipment to use.  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/media/epz/mesonet/CWOP-Siting.pdf
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/media/epz/mesonet/CWOP-WMO1250.pdf are just 2 of many guides for your consideration.
Al
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline Skywatch

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 10:59:05 AM »
And Weather Display is also a good program. I've used it for a while and havn't had any hicups from it in a while. Brian the writer I've found is also really great with customers. Another thing I like about Weather Display is it sends cloud data and current conditions like fog, ice, rain events which are abreviated in 3 letters displayed in the tabular display on Weather Underground. Lots of fun graphs, displays, and features. I enjoy using it. Brian the writer is actually here on WXforum.

VWS (Internet version) 100$

Weather Display 70$
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 11:11:01 AM by mckTXaws »
HARDWARE
Davis VP2+ with leaf/soil, extra temp/humid station custom wind. Purple Air PA-II. Boltek LD-250/Microsferics TOA kit. Excelvan/Fine Offset WH2310.
SOFTWARE
WD 10.37

The weather station has moved from McKinney, Texas to Plano, Texas.

Offline d_l

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 11:07:15 AM »
You should also check Rainman Weather's pricing here.  I've found that often Rainman's net price (price plus shipping) is the cheapest of all.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 11:21:32 AM »
All these recommendations are giving me a lot to research.  :grin:  I will contact the various vendors tomorrow for net pricing.  Again, I appreciate everyone's guidance and assistance.

Offline moehoward4

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2012, 12:46:13 PM »
The SO's NEVER fully accept/understand our hobby...... ](*,)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 06:17:57 PM by moehoward4 »
3 Davis set-ups...which one ya wanna talk about? And I got ALL my manuals....

Offline tobyspond

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 01:25:29 PM »
Some of us are the wives ;)

Offline Bushman

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 01:26:28 PM »

Offline William Grimsley

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 02:41:35 PM »
I'm no use on this thread, I'm a kid!  :lol:
http://www.newton-poppleford-weather.co.uk
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Offline miraculon

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 03:00:41 PM »
Hi!
I have been lurking here for awhile and have already learned a lot.  I am in New Mexico so my primary concern isn't rainfall because we are happy with whatever we get whenever we get it.  However, I am interested in tracking the other weather factors, especially wind speed.  I am at about 7200' elevation.  It seems that the Davis Vantage Vue is the best option in my price range (<$500), but I am open to all suggestions.  I would also like to have the data on my computer and share on the internet.

Now for my initial round of questions:
1.  Will the Vue fit on a standard 1.25" electrical conduit?  How much length can I use without the conduit bending in our considerable wind, maybe 50 mph in March?
2.  What do I need to buy in addition to the Vue?  I have seen that I might be able to buy a computer interface from SLOweather, but it looks like the actual Davis interface also includes some software, so I am confused in what I actually need.  Also, if I get the data on my computer, do I need to buy a console?
3.  I understand that none of the WSs are great in terms of forecasting due to a lack of data available, but I wonder if the Davis algorithm would be able to predict precipitation 9 hours out?  Alternatively, is there a facility that would send an alarm if it did start to rain or snow?
4.  I have searched and found the units priced lower than the standard $355, are these sites reputable or is it safer to stick with the "Amazons"?
5.  What additional information is required to help me make good purchasing decisions?

TIA,
Al
 

Al,

I can comment on 2 and 4.

2. The VUE console can accommodate the SLO interface or one of the Weatherlink interfaces. I am using SLOWeather's serial interface with a VUE console. I have a VP2 and this is an extra console for me, but the principle applies for your VUE setup. I am using Weather Display with the VUE console and SLO serial device. It does not datalog, but WD does a fine job of writing everything to the hard drive so I am not sure it is much of a loss. I suppose if a power failure exceeded my UPS run time I would be in some trouble..

4. I have had good luck with Rainmanweather.com. If you sign up for an account, you get the "best price quote" which is really good. I am sure that some of the other sources like Archertrading, etc. are also good but I have stuck with Rainmanweather. Good service, quick shipment. Archer seems to have more of the individual parts, etc.








« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 12:00:51 PM by miraculon »


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 04:49:16 PM »
Dang!!!  I hadn't thought about a UPS.  Is that an essential item or a nice to have?  Said another way, does everybody have one and they are so basic that nobody thought to mention it?

Offline DanS

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 05:26:40 PM »
A UPS isn't absolutely needed but makes things much nicer during intermittent home power drop outs. Makes the difference between uninterrupted data flow and breaks in your data to your online connections (with your Internet equip., router, modem, etc. on the UPS as well).  Plus you don't have to go into your p.c. setup and check/reconfigure everything each time it dies either.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:56:06 PM by DanS »

Offline smorris

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2012, 05:47:31 PM »
I don't have a UPS on my system. My datalogger will store packets from the weather station until the power comes back on. And if I don't have electricity, I don't have Internet service, anyway.

While you are getting quotes from other companies, keep an eye on Archer. They will occasionally have unannounced price drops that only last a day or two. I don't know if they get extra shipments, from different distributors, or what. But just a few weeks ago I got a UV sensor from Archer for $80 under their normal price, and a day later it was back up to the same price as the other discounters.
Steve - Avon, Ohio
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Offline wxtech

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2012, 06:18:57 PM »
Even though my laptop keeps connected during a short power failure, I have a UPS for other equipment.
My WLIP, AcuLink Bridge, DSL modem, router, and my home telephone base station.  I would be without a home phone when the power fails.  Even though I have a cell phone, I still use the landline phone.
My weather station uses a small XP computer and is connected to a larger UPS for longer power fail times.  If I used the small UPS for the XP it would last only for an hour.  We have excellent power reliability but outages do occur.  Recently a truck took out a power pole a few miles away.  
We've seen recently that disasters take out cell towers so through no fault of ours, the cell phones quit.
My Internet service continues when my home is without power.  The telephone exchange has battery back up during power failures so my DSL is not interrupted.
The UPS also has power conditioning and insurance which will protect and replace equipment damage.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 06:25:27 PM by wxtech »
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline moehoward4

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2012, 06:20:19 PM »
tobyspond      I fixed my "mistake".      Jack
3 Davis set-ups...which one ya wanna talk about? And I got ALL my manuals....

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2012, 07:50:30 PM »
Between all the new options, jargon and acronyms, you people are killing me!  I am overloaded and I haven't even finished my glass of wine yet.   :?  Nevertheless, keep it coming; so much to learn, so little time.   :lol:

Offline tobyspond

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2012, 08:09:17 PM »
Jack,

Not a problem.

Have a good one,

Kerry

Offline d_l

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2012, 08:28:08 PM »
I have several small UPSes to keep my DSL modem, router, Envoys, WLIPs, and Meteohub alive during power outages. It must be part of Murphy's Law, but it seems power outages always occur during the worst weather: wind storms, blizzards, neighborhood brush fires, etc.  These are exactly when you most want to be reporting these weather extremes to WU or your website. When the weather is boring, you can be sure you won't have a power drop.  ;)
--Dave--

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People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline Skywatch

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2012, 11:52:58 AM »
Got an email from Ryan with Archer.

Quote
Hi Matthew,

Good to hear from you.  Well I did a comparative analysis with shipping fee included and found that indeed their price after shipping does beat my price by about $9 (for the random zip code I chose).  I am selling my goods at a price that I am comfortable with in order to also provide top notch customer service.  Please allow me to justify my reasoning.

I do not know what kind of customer service RainmanWeather provides but I doubt that they are willing to:

1) provide a replacement guarantee on the goods that they sell
2) guarantee the shipment arrives safe and undamaged
3) provides free technical service after the sale.

They may provide #3 above but I don't know any Davis dealer that will provide #1 and #2 above.  I personally grantee my Davis products to my customers for a year, if a customer has a defective part I replace it at my businesses expense no questions asked.  Honoring this guarantee without question to my customers incurs a slight fiscal loss to my business.  However, I know that my integrity to customers spreads like rapid fire in the weather blog community which is free, unbiased, and a VERY powerful advertising tool for me.  You will find (and you already know) in the weather blogs that my reputation is second to none.  If a customer purchases something from me that went defective I will honor them with a replacement and even ship the part to them for free.  I have even replaced a console that a customer says is defective even though it is very evident they dropped it (cracked lcd).  I also take fiscal responsibility for damaged or lost shipments to customers by shipping replacements at my own loss  ( In a worse case, I have had $1000 worth of equipment go missing and I honored my customer with a replacement shipment).

If I participate in trying to beat my competition dollar for dollar then the integrity of my service can not be maintained.  In my business model I have to provide a balance between competitive pricing and customer service.  In this case paying the extra $9 for a piece of equipment worth a couple of hundred dollars buys a customer unparallelled service in the weather sales industry.  This business model for me has provided stability in my sales and as such I am not a flash in the pan and thus I will be around to honor my warranties and not be out of business due to this crummy economy.

You have my permission to explain this in the forum if you desire as I of course would appreciate it GREATLY.  I purposely do not involve myself in forums because it provides a mutually exclusive interest.... Of course I would talk good about myself hehehe...


This is why I love Archer Trading!
HARDWARE
Davis VP2+ with leaf/soil, extra temp/humid station custom wind. Purple Air PA-II. Boltek LD-250/Microsferics TOA kit. Excelvan/Fine Offset WH2310.
SOFTWARE
WD 10.37

The weather station has moved from McKinney, Texas to Plano, Texas.

Offline Albedo

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Re: Weather Station (WS) advice
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2012, 03:38:15 PM »
I didn't see a board dedicated to WS siting, so I am continuing in this thread.  I apologize if this is incorrect.

This morning I reviewed the siting info presented by WxTech (thank-you).  Then I looked at my property.   #-o

The house is 24' high and the trees are generally 25-30' high.  My lot is tree covered and rises over 130' from the front to the back further complicating the issue.  The anemometer can go on the roof and be about 34' AGL and the temp/humidity sensors shouldn't be a problem, but I can't see any good location for the rain gauge unless I cut down a bunch of trees.  (That isn't going to happen.)  So this makes me think that I should just go with a Vantage Vue and ignore the rain data.

I also checked prices for the Pro2 today and learned that I would need to add an Anemometer Transmitter Kit (Davis 6332) to make the anemometer wireless which would totally blow my budget.  Again, this seems to steer me toward the VV which I would locate 10' above the flat, pebble-covered roof.  I know that isn't ideal, but would that distance be sufficient to get reasonably good temperature readings?  Thoughts, suggestions, comments, guidance???

Again, my thanks to everyone for their assistance.