Author Topic: Station to transmit into a metal building?  (Read 659 times)

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Offline WXman

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Station to transmit into a metal building?
« on: November 21, 2018, 09:41:00 AM »
I'm thinking about getting my parents a weather station for Christmas.  I'm looking at a budget <$100 so the AcuRite and Ambient stations are high on the list.  The problem is, they live in a "pole barn" which basically is exactly like a new house on the inside, but the exterior has metal sheeting instead of vinyl siding or brick.

The metal exterior layer of the house totally destroys their cellular coverage and they have to walk out on the porch to use the phone.  I am wondering if one of these weather stations would be able to communicate with the console through the walls??

The distance from the sensor array to the console would be probably 25 feet or so, but again there is a thin layer of metal to pass through.  Anybody know if this would even work??
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38.01977N, 84.83486W
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AcuRite 5-n-1 w/ WiFi reporting to WU

Online johnd

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 09:49:06 AM »
Presumably there are windows in the house? Most weather station wireless is high enough frequency to be line of sight. So if the console of a 2-part station can 'see' the sensor transmitter(s) through a window then it might well work. Otherwise, it's down to luck. What I will say is:

  • Cellular and WiFi reception is as good a guide as anything to whether wireless might work in general
  • 25 feet is pretty close, but continuous sheet metal is a pretty good barrier
  • OTOH there are usually some gaps like windows and doors but also where the metal sheets might not necessarily be tightly butted up, eg maybe at the roof line. You might be lucky and get sufficient leakage in even when there's not line of sight, but it's essentially impossible to predict.
Prodata Weather Systems
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Offline WXman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 09:58:52 AM »
Yes, they do have several windows all around the house.  Ideally I think we'd mount the station to one of the posts that supports the roof of the porch.  So it would be pretty close to the house.  Sounds like it will just be hard to predict whether this will work or not.  Hmmm.....
B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology

38.01977N, 84.83486W
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station
AcuRite 5-n-1 w/ WiFi reporting to WU

Offline Bushman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 09:59:38 AM »
My Davis VP2 transmits just fine through a metal roof.  Distance from sensor suite to console is about 20-25 feet.

Online johnd

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 10:44:52 AM »
My Davis VP2 transmits just fine through a metal roof.  Distance from sensor suite to console is about 20-25 feet.

I doubt that it's actually transmitting directly 'through' the metal roof - assuming it is a literally continuous sheet of overlapping metal. But there's probably enough leakage around the roof or maybe eg through any non-metallic fixing holes to give adequate reception at relatively close range. What RSSI figure do you see?
Prodata Weather Systems
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Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Offline Bushman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 11:04:00 AM »
It is seamless metal roofing.  The only possible "opening" is  chimney 20 feet away - opposite direction of where the console is.  Maybe the signal is like Santa?  :)

Offline galfert

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 11:07:58 AM »
VP2 is also much more powerful than the Ambient and Acurite stations. So the VP2 is not a good example for someone looking for a <$100 solution.

If you budget is less than $100 then there is no good choice to recommend. Unless you consider the Ambient WS-1900 but that model does not connect to the Internet. It looks just like a WS-2902A but the display has no WiFi.

With the $100 budget you have set the most popular option at that price is the La Crosse Technology V40-PRO-INT. But I just cannot recommend it. Sure it may be popular (according to Amazon its #8 in the best seller list of weather stations) but no weather enthusiasts buy that. If you go into the La Crosse sub forum on this website you'll notice that there is hardly anyone discussing it. The La Crosse sub forum is a dead zone. So people that are buying it probably are not very serious about weather. This weather station doesn't even display barometric pressure.

My cheapest recommendation are the following, but price of these are $135 and $170:
WS-1550-IP (no display ...Internet and web page or mobile app only, but requires Ethernet connection to receiver device)
WS-2902A (display has WiFi and Internet weather services connectivity) - This model is what I'm using and it is the most popular choice today reporting to Weather Underground. But I'm looking to upgrade to the more expensive WS-2000 just because of the display. All of these newest Ambient Weather hardware use the newest Osprey outdoor sensor and had a very good track record. Nothing is perfect though.

I didn't mention the obvious Acurite 5-in-1 that can also be had for around $100, only because I have no experience with it. Lots of people around here have been very happy to move on from the older Acurite 5-in-1 to the newer more expensive Atlas 7/8. From what I gather the Acurite 5-in-1 was just okay and was and still is a very popular choice (#13 on Amazon best seller list).

Whatever you get I wouldn't worry about it working or not through the metal roof. You can always return it if it doesn't work. Just try it. Amazon has great return policy.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 11:40:36 AM by galfert »
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge) | Ecowitt GW1000
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Online johnd

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 11:26:41 AM »
It is seamless metal roofing.  The only possible "opening" is  chimney 20 feet away - opposite direction of where the console is.  Maybe the signal is like Santa?  :)

OK. What RSSI figure do you see?
Prodata Weather Systems
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Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Offline Bushman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 11:51:11 AM »
It is seamless metal roofing.  The only possible "opening" is  chimney 20 feet away - opposite direction of where the console is.  Maybe the signal is like Santa?  :)

OK. What RSSI figure do you see?

Remote location - do not have access to that number.  Sorry.  Very rarely (ever?) have I seen transmission issue FWIW.

Offline WXman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 02:29:20 PM »
VP2 is also much more powerful than the Ambient and Acurite stations. So the VP2 is not a good example for someone looking for a <$100 solution.

If you budget is less than $100 then there is no good choice to recommend. Unless you consider the Ambient WS-1900 but that model does not connect to the Internet. It looks just like a WS-2902A but the display has no WiFi.

With the $100 budget you have set the most popular option at that price is the La Crosse Technology V40-PRO-INT. But I just cannot recommend it. Sure it may be popular (according to Amazon its #8 in the best seller list of weather stations) but no weather enthusiasts buy that. If you go into the La Crosse sub forum on this website you'll notice that there is hardly anyone discussing it. The La Crosse sub forum is a dead zone. So people that are buying it probably are not very serious about weather. This weather station doesn't even display barometric pressure.

My cheapest recommendation are the following, but price of these are $135 and $170:
WS-1550-IP (no display ...Internet and web page or mobile app only, but requires Ethernet connection to receiver device)
WS-2902A (display has WiFi and Internet weather services connectivity) - This model is what I'm using and it is the most popular choice today reporting to Weather Underground. But I'm looking to upgrade to the more expensive WS-2000 just because of the display. All of these newest Ambient Weather hardware use the newest Osprey outdoor sensor and had a very good track record. Nothing is perfect though.

I didn't mention the obvious Acurite 5-in-1 that can also be had for around $100, only because I have no experience with it. Lots of people around here have been very happy to move on from the older Acurite 5-in-1 to the newer more expensive Atlas 7/8. From what I gather the Acurite 5-in-1 was just okay and was and still is a very popular choice (#13 on Amazon best seller list).

Whatever you get I wouldn't worry about it working or not through the metal roof. You can always return it if it doesn't work. Just try it. Amazon has great return policy.


This one is #1 on my list so far:

https://www.ambientweather.com/amws1900.html

Seems like it's got the newer Osprey sensor suite and my parents don't need (or will know how to use) Wifi connectivity.
B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology

38.01977N, 84.83486W
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station
AcuRite 5-n-1 w/ WiFi reporting to WU

Offline havtrail

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 05:57:07 PM »
Hi WXman, read again this part of the first reply to your post from johnd:

"Most weather station wireless is high enough frequency to be line of sight. So if the console of a 2-part station can 'see' the sensor transmitter(s) through a window then it might well work."

If you can locate the outside station and the inside console (receiver) so that they can "see" each other through a window, that is your best chance of success.

Rich K.
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Offline galfert

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 05:59:59 PM »
This one is #1 on my list so far:

https://www.ambientweather.com/amws1900.html

Seems like it's got the newer Osprey sensor suite and my parents don't need (or will know how to use) Wifi connectivity.

WiFi connectivity is pretty neat to see your weather on your computer, phone, tablet...etc. Also by putting your weather data on Weather Underground you gain forecast information that you don't get by looking at the console. So I would not dismiss it so quickly.

The good news though is that you can later upgrade a WS-1900 into a WS-2902A by just buying the WiFi display console separately. Then you can keep both display consoles operating off the same outdoor sensor array, having one in a different room as a 2nd display.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 06:02:01 PM by galfert »
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge) | Ecowitt GW1000
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline CW2274

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 06:40:31 PM »
This one is #1 on my list so far:

https://www.ambientweather.com/amws1900.html

Seems like it's got the newer Osprey sensor suite and my parents don't need (or will know how to use) Wifi connectivity.

WiFi connectivity is pretty neat to see your weather on your computer, phone, tablet...etc. Also by putting your weather data on Weather Underground you gain forecast information that you don't get by looking at the console.
Like what? I'm gathering that his folks merely want to know whether they need a sweater or not. Paying for on-line equipment just for the sake of WU is foolish imo.

Offline Bushman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 07:19:08 PM »
Or.... look out the window.  :)

Offline Mattk

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 08:49:41 PM »
A VP2 will transmit through a 6mm full (no windows) stainless enclosure but just don't expect the signal to have any great range. A repeater easily fixes the range issue and would effectively nullifies any tine roof/wall issues   

Offline the beteljuice

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2018, 10:24:32 PM »
He want's a cheap and cheerful kit - you know, the stuff you used to be able to buy with cables on  =D&gt;
Imagine what you will KNOW tomorrow !

Offline galfert

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 06:41:19 AM »
For me one of the neatest things of having my own weather station is having my own personal forecast on WU. I also like using Dark Sky and knowing that they are using my station data through MADIS.

From WU app:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 07:07:45 AM by galfert »
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge) | Ecowitt GW1000
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline WXman

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Re: Station to transmit into a metal building?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 09:58:37 PM »
Yeah basically my parents are not the tech-savy type at all.  My mother can barely send a text message.   :lol:  But we all live out in a rural area, and rainfall is a big deal out here due to creek flooding and gravel roadway issues.  They currently have a good old fashioned manual rain gauge, which works awesome, but you have to go outside in the weather to check it.  So I thought it would be neat for them to have a station where they could stay in the house and monitor rainfall and temperature.  That's why I'm looking at <$100 systems.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology

38.01977N, 84.83486W
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station
AcuRite 5-n-1 w/ WiFi reporting to WU