Author Topic: Davis Reliability/Service ??  (Read 4042 times)

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Offline Albedo

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Davis Reliability/Service ??
« on: July 08, 2014, 09:58:08 PM »
The members of this forum frequently recommend either the Davis VV or Pro2 depending on the OP's requirements.  I was ready to buy a VV a couple years ago, then life intervened and that got put on the back burner.  Now I am again considering a Davis product and my research led me to Amazon because of all the reviews from users.  Based on that, it appears that about 15% of the Amazon reviewers get a defective product and poor (non-existent) support from Davis.  I realize that dissatisfied customers are more likely to voice their concerns than satisfied customers are.  However, even if that 15% were only 1.5%, I find that to be an unacceptable failure rate on Davis' part especially considering their "premium" prices for their products.

Are there other sites where defect rates from the various manufacturers can be found and compared? Is there enough real world data on the WS-1000 to consider it as a viable option?  Are there other more reliable products available under $500?  Or, is there a $100 product that could be considered a disposable and replaced every year?

Thoughts/suggestions? TIA.

Offline Bushman

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 10:11:46 PM »
Answers:

1) No
2) NAFAIK
3) Probably not
4) Maybe - I am testing the Acurite 1550 with bridge and after 2 months, so far so good.  If it was to last  2 years the cost/yr would be about $60.  There is  a PITA factor having to order a new one that I cannot quantify.

Offline SlowModem

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 11:16:45 PM »
I would not buy a Davis station from Amazon.  If you look at the threads about buying a station, you will see that many vendors offer an unadvertised price on the stations and dataloggers which is lower than MSRP.

As far as Davis quality and Davis customer service, I am well satisfied.  I have tried Oregon Scientific and La Crosse stations and I am much happier with Davis.

Good luck!  :)
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


Offline CamarilloWX

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 12:26:49 AM »
Agree with SlowModem. I buy a ton of stuff on Amazon but not my Davis station. Look for the unadvertised price from the vendors referenced on other threads. As far as the service from Davis, I am very happy.  I was on the phone with them today about a noisy FARS fan. Took less then a minute to speak to a human and after another two or three minutes I was off the phone with a replacement fan on the way.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 12:30:02 AM by CamarilloWX »
Eric

Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 02:41:21 AM »
I have owned a Davis VP2 for over 3 years now without issue on the main unit its self. I added on a solar sensor and had to replace it a year later. I also bought a wireless transmitter and stainless temp probe for the swimming pool temp. Had to replace it after a year also. Maybe I am one of the 15% and other 85% here feel otherwise.

I have been given a Beta WS-1000 to test and comment on. It has also been running over a year with out any issues. I can not comment on longer life reliability as the unit has not been in production that long. The WS-1000 is probably the easiest / cheapest way to get your weather data on the internet.

My questions to you are why to you want a weather station. Is it just something nice to have and look at now and again. Or are you a weather nut who is OCD if the humidity reading is 2% off? Any weather station is going to be subject to the full forces of nature and is subject to failure. I am glad I purchased a Davis and have spent many years enjoying it and the weather station hobby. However if the WS-1000 was available at the time, it would probably have been the path I would have taken. My opinion is almost 2 WS-1000 stations can be purchased for the cost of getting 1 Davis sending data on line, so I would go the cheaper route.

This would also be a good thread for you to read.

Offline miraculon

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 09:54:20 AM »
As with any complex product assembled by humans, nothing is perfect 100% of the time. I have owned a Davis VP2 for two years now and I have been very satisfied with it. I had a problem with the humidity sensor having clipped data at 85% (would not go above 85%) but Davis covered it under warranty by sending out a replacement unit.

There are some quirks that every company/product has but I think that they make an outstanding product. Some of those "Amazon" comments sound like poor siting regarding wind direction behavior and temperature errors, or basic misunderstanding of micro-climate effects. Other complaints do seem legitimate.

The Davis has excellent RF performance. Where I worked before I retired, we installed a VP2 on the roof of the steel frame building. I was very skeptical about whether the console on the first floor of the two-story building would be able to receive the signal without a repeater. I was wrong, it works quite well.

I have several "auxiliary" sensors along with my VP2. I also used a radiation shield (7714) and rain collector prior to buying the VP2. (these were used with my old "one-wire" weather station) Even after several years, I have had no issues with yellowing of the plastic.

Also, the local marina has a VP2 and I walked over to it with my console several blocks away. This is about 2000 feet as the crow flies. I finally lost their signal about 1000 feet from their ISS. I am amazed about how good it is. Another "discount brand" thermometer that I have can't maintain a connection more than 40 feet or so.

More pertinent to your concern about buying the VUE, I do have two VUE consoles that I use in conjunction with the VP2. I really like the VUE console and both have worked well. I did have a mysterious shift in barometric pressure in one of them, but it may have been caused by severe vibration during construction work in my house.

Greg H.


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Offline wxtech

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 10:56:26 AM »
I highly recommend Davis products over others I have tested.  I was building my own station, then bought a Davis original VP in 2003.  When the VP2 became available, I was early to purchase one.  After 8 years service, I had that VP2+ refurbished by Davis.
The Davis VP2 is the best wx system for the price, whatever configuration you select.
My weather station consists of NWS installed temperature and rain sensors, and my personally owned equipment.  The Davis station is as accurate and more reliable than the NWS equipment.
I also have Acurite stations.  I Beta tested the bridge.  For the price, the 5-N-1 is amazingly accurate.  Several displays are compatible with the 5-N-1. The Acurite is my back up to the back up.
I agree with Greg about the siting and micro-climate misunderstanding.  Some owners dissatisfaction is their fault in not properly installing the sensors.
Al
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« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 10:59:38 AM 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.

Online ValentineWeather

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2014, 11:51:57 AM »

My weather station consists of NWS installed temperature and rain sensors, and my personally owned equipment.  The Davis station is as accurate and more reliable than the NWS equipment.


That is good to hear. I've even been wondering about the AWOS stations temperature accuracy.

With my Davis 24-7 fully aspirated I've noticed nearby (within 1.5 miles) 2 different AWOS stations in full sun tend to run a degree or two higher and I've checked the Davis with an traceability to NIST standards thermometer and never found it more than .4 degrees off. Does bring up a few questions for me, like is this nation wide. 
 
Randy

Offline wxtech

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 01:14:41 PM »
I have a NWS Co-Op station, not ASOS.  It is a Nimbus Max/Min temp system non-aspirated, a standard rain gauge, a Fischer-Porter weighing rain gauge.
The NWS equipment is checked by the local forecast office Observation Program Leader at least once each year. 
The Nimubs temp system does have occasional spikes that are obvious.  I'm lucky to have other systems to verify obs data. 
The Nimbus is the temperature reference that I use to calibrate the Davis VP2+.
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 Albedo

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 01:18:05 PM »
Thanks for all the responses thus far.  I know enough not to purchase a WS from Amazon, but that is apparently the only place where one can get a large number of reviews summarized by degree of satisfaction.

I am inclined to agree with Dr Obbins re the cost/accuracy equation for a casual user such as myself.  I read the linked string and it appears there are a lot of anecdotes about the various pieces of equipment, but no comprehensive study to provide definitive data.  IMO, Davis is overpriced and behind the technological curve in terms of innovations.  Please don't hate me.   :lol:

So, at this point, I am leaning toward the WS-1000, but may change my mind.

Online ValentineWeather

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2014, 01:48:10 PM »
Myself I won't install the WS-1000 even if it was being given away. Now the Vue I wouldn't want because the rain gage is sticking 20-30 feet in the air, however  I wouldn't turn down a Vue either because I know its a quality instrument like all the Davis stuff.  JMO
Randy

Online johnd

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2014, 02:04:46 PM »
IMO, Davis is overpriced and behind the technological curve in terms of innovations.  Please don't hate me.

That's fine. But then the logical corollary is that there must be a better-priced and technically more advanced alternative product available that offers at least comparable accuracy and reliability. Just don't know why I haven't found it yet.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2014, 02:16:27 PM »
So, at this point, I am leaning toward the WS-1000, but may change my mind.

I don't know if you considered it, but compare the range, update rate and increments of measurement, too.
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


Offline Bushman

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2014, 02:23:04 PM »
The OP hasn't really said what are his goals.  Casual observer?  Weather geek?  Use for sports?  I think most folks on this forum opt for higher end prosumer wx devices like Davis and Rainwise because  they are more than casual users.  My better half simply cannot understand why I have a Davis (and why I wanted another!).  For her, knowing  the temp hum and windspeed is more than enough and she still can't understand why I replaced the simple Micronta temp/hum with the Acurite (since I lost the battle on another VP2 for home.  :)   So if the OP is a casual user, get an Acurite or Ambient WIFI.  If you want precision etc. get a VP2 (or Rainwise)

And to John's point I guess we don't have a large enough market to give Davis competition.  But I tell you - stuff the Acurite guts (and its My Backyard Weather) into Davis-quality plastic and you would have a Davis-beater.  Ambient's stuff is simply too low end.

Online ValentineWeather

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 04:16:03 PM »
When someone comes out and says Davis stuff is behind the technology curve I need to know what is in front.
 
Davis has Wireless Transmission with Repeaters, Short/long range repeaters, using Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum 902-928 MHz (US), weather-proof shelters, solar power kits, telephone modem adapter, available anywhere via Internet, data logger, Fan aspirated radiation shields, rain collector heater. Sensors are coated, potted, and overmolded with extensive testing for extreme wind, UV, and salt/corrosion protection, Leaf Wetness, Soil Moisture, extra temperature & Humidity Stations and I could go on.

Plus almost all 3rd party software support Davis Instruments. 
Randy

Offline Bushman

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2014, 04:48:51 PM »
Yes and it also has....   :twisted:

- outdated B&W display (The 70's called - they want their LCD back)
- overpriced and plus-sized add-on sensors (Really - a temp sensor the size of War and Peace?)
- proprietary logger with limited capacity
- limited refurb/repair service unless you live in the US
- closed architecture that won't allow other useful sensors (Envoy 8x notwithstanding)
- poor web support (Take a gander at My Backyard Weather by Acurite)
- hopeless bundled software (Weatherlink)
- lack of SD card internal storage

etc.

Online ValentineWeather

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2014, 05:50:32 PM »
But still nothing is better or I've been purchasing the wrong stations all these years.
Randy

Offline Bushman

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2014, 05:59:52 PM »
There are lots of better stations.  Just maybe not at your price point.

Online ValentineWeather

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2014, 06:08:24 PM »
There are lots of better stations.  Just maybe not at your price point.

Aren't we talking personal weather stations?
Randy

Offline SlowModem

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2014, 07:10:20 PM »
I guess you can spend as much on a weather station as you want to.  Rainwise and Weather Hawk make more expensive stations.
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA


Offline Albedo

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2014, 07:52:56 PM »
I don't know if you considered it, but compare the range, update rate and increments of measurement, too.
As I mentioned in Reply #9, I consider myself a casual user.  Then the question becomes, "How close is good enough?", but based on the linked thread from Dr Obbins, even side by side Davis units don't necessarily agree with each other.  So where does that leave us?  Is that why so many forum members have multiple units so they can average the measurements from their battery of stations?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 07:57:18 PM by Albedo »

Offline Albedo

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2014, 07:53:33 PM »
That's fine. But then the logical corollary is that there must be a better-priced and technically more advanced alternative product available that offers at least comparable accuracy and reliability. Just don't know why I haven't found it yet.
It doesn't have to be from a single vendor.  Lower prices abound and others offer better technology, there may not be a single product that offers both, basically an unfilled market niche.

It is not my intention to create a "religious war", but I would like info based on more than a handful of individuals' experiences with a handful of systems.  Does that exist?   
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 08:02:30 PM by Albedo »

Offline PaulMy

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2014, 09:39:08 PM »
You may already have checked out these comparisons.  Not specific to reliability or service but gives good comparisons.  I have only specifically seen the Davis, Lacrosse and Fine Offset types and to me there is no question who is on top.
https://ambientweather.wikispaces.com/Weather+Station+Comparison+Guide
http://www.davisnet.com/weather/d_v_c_features.pdf
http://www.davisnet.com/weather/d_v_c_specs.pdf
 
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Offline Albedo

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2014, 10:02:05 PM »
You may already have checked out these comparisons.  Not specific to reliability or service but gives good comparisons.  I have only specifically seen the Davis, Lacrosse and Fine Offset types and to me there is no question who is on top.
https://ambientweather.wikispaces.com/Weather+Station+Comparison+Guide
http://www.davisnet.com/weather/d_v_c_features.pdf
http://www.davisnet.com/weather/d_v_c_specs.pdf

I had seen the one from AmbientWeather, but I have to admit that I am skeptical about it:  The Davis VP2 scored 7 Excellents, 7 Goods and 1 Fair with an overall rating of Excellent.  So far, so good.  Then I looked at the Rainwise Portlog which scored 9 Excellents and 2 Goods with an overall rating of Good.  Does this mean that the $2700 unit is outclassed by the VP2?  There didn't seen to be any description of the methodology used for the ratings or the weighting of the various categories. 

Also, both Davis units got Excellents for reliability, but that is contrary to the Amazon reviewers' comments, unless 85% is considered to be excellent.  My experience from my work measures reliability in terms of defects per million.  I find it difficult to accept that home weather stations would tolerate 85% or even 99% if that were available.  I do appreciate that you provided some data as opposed to the typical responses.  :)

Offline CamarilloWX

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Re: Davis Reliability/Service ??
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2014, 10:19:55 PM »

Quote
I had seen the one from AmbientWeather, but I have to admit that I am skeptical about it:  The Davis VP2 scored 7 Excellents, 7 Goods and 1 Fair with an overall rating of Excellent.  So far, so good.  Then I looked at the Rainwise Portlog which scored 9 Excellents and 2 Goods with an overall rating of Good.  Does this mean that the $2700 unit is outclassed by the VP2?  There didn't seen to be any description of the methodology used for the ratings or the weighting of the various categories. 

Also, both Davis units got Excellents for reliability, but that is contrary to the Amazon reviewers' comments, unless 85% is considered to be excellent.  My experience from my work measures reliability in terms of defects per million.  I find it difficult to accept that home weather stations would tolerate 85% or even 99% if that were available.  I do appreciate that you provided some data as opposed to the typical responses.  :)

The reviews on Amazon are subjective just like the opinions you are going to get here.  The individual ratings as well as the over all ratings at Ambientweather are also subjective because someone had to look at the specifications and come up with a rating.  If I were forced to make an assumption on why Rainwise overall rating was lower then the Davis I would guess the high cost vs. the other stations that had similar specifications.  In any case, specifications are only as good as how something performs in the real world.  I had stations that had great specs but did not perform very well in my backyard under certain conditions.  When I decided to replace the last station I came here and poked around.  Ambient also has some recommendations based on budget.  It may be a little dated but it might help.

http://www.ambientweather.com/cost.html
Eric

 

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