Author Topic: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)  (Read 5606 times)

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Offline aerostato

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Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« on: October 16, 2009, 05:24:14 PM »
Hello everyone!

I am currently building a weather instrument system for a local NPO, and I'd like feedback on how to construct and implement the system. I have spent the last few weeks perusing wxforum.net and researching other relevant weather station websites, yet I feel I am not confident in making a final decision without additional feedback.

Here are the details:

I must design a weather instrument system that will be located near Tracy, CA. I would like to gather weather data transmitted by the weather station and upload it to the NPO's website and other websites (weather underground, etc.). Additionally, I'd like to use the same weather data and create a virtual call center that will allow users to call in and receive weather reports over the phone. The NPO insists that the system must handle calls and weather data upload, so I have configured a list that includes an industrial computer to connect to the weather instrument.

- weather station ($500) (Davis VantagePro2 is the winning choice)
- industrial computer ($700)
- Outdoor computer enclosure (???)
- Other [UPS, router, etc.] ($300)

Considering that condensation and heat will be a factor, I'm having trouble finding an enclosure that will handle both under our current budget.

Does anyone recommend an alternative to the proposed setup? If anything, I'd love to run the instrument without a PC (WeatherlinkIP, data logger, etc.), but the NPO insists that we implement a call function. I also researched IVR outsourcing solutions, but the majority of them are catered to larger call volumes than what we anticipate.

Any advice, recommendations, or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much!

Offline Bushman

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 05:42:41 PM »
Why an industrial computer?  Is this completely standalone?  Get the wireless Davis and transmit to a bldg. near by.  A little netbook will do fine.  The hardest part of this will be the IVR.  I'd get some PC answering machine software that handle text-to-speech from a file that the weather software generates and use that.  Just set to not allow messages.

Offline aerostato

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 06:00:28 PM »
I appreciate the reply.


Well, it will be placed in a remote location nearby a local airport. However, it will not have access to storage or access. We will have to set it up outside in a field. With temperatures reaching as high as 120 in the summer, a netbook would not be ideal for these conditions.

How is weather data downloaded? As a .txt file?


I'll look into PC answering machine software. Thank you, Bushman.

Offline WeatherGoose

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 06:43:32 PM »
Doesn't the ENVOY work in place of a computer?


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Offline aerostato

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 07:28:56 PM »
Well, the NPO doesn't want anyone housing the computer on their own property. In other words, they want the entire setup in one location. If calling in wasn't necessary, then all that it would require is a VantagePro2 or Vue with a data logger. However, a computer is a must to handle the calls, and therein lies the problem of finding a viable solution of finding a decent enclosure that deals with extreme heat and cold or finding decently priced hosting that can handle weather data reports.

Offline Bushman

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 08:07:58 PM »
As the crow flies, the wireless Davis should be good for  several  miles if you use the radio repeater.  :)  And actually, a Netbook with a SSHD would be perfect - generates very little heat.  What are you doing for telco and power?

It is a POC to generate a text file that  you could run TTS on. 

Offline FrankP999

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 04:58:04 AM »
Doesn't the ENVOY work in place of a computer?
No. The Envoy requires the data logger to connect to a computer, just like the VP console.

Frank

Offline Bushman

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 11:01:27 AM »
If there is TCP/IP, the Metohub is an option but that still means a computer somewhere to do the dial-in/TTS

Offline port1

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 12:35:31 PM »
 :grin: A Rainwise station can transmit a mile, and has a datalogger if that's an option for the setup instead of an industrial computer.
It also has a cellular option for data transmission.
I say go with a Rainwise.
It's also very rugged.
 8-)

Henry
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Offline aerostato

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 10:28:16 PM »
I appreciate the replies!

There is phone and power connecting the current system. The system is also running DOS and enclosed in an old aluminum enclosure, so I was considering using the same enclosure or purchasing a new one that can house a UPS, industrial computer, modem/router, and weather station console. Of course, heat becomes an issue, so I'm shopping around for an enclosure that can handle heat dissipation through vents or fans. The option of implementing an external fan is also there.

In terms of the VantagePro2, is the system considered overkill in terms of functionality? What are the major key differences between that and a Vantage Vue? General Pros / Cons of each?


Thank you!

Offline Bushman

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 10:37:14 PM »
Vue is cheaper but not expandable. VP costs more and is, but also allows you to separate the anemometer from the rest of the instrumentation to get better results.

Offline SLOweather

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 11:53:37 AM »
Interesting... I had read on a sales site that the Vue would use "most" wireless VP2 accessories. However, I just read a copy of the manual on Ambient's site.

The Vue can only receive data from its own ISS, that of a Vantage Pro 2, AND, a wireless anemometer. So, one of the downsides is partially addressed, in that one could use the wireless kit and separate anemometer to have an anemometer/windvane in a better location.

And, it looks as if the Vue console is positioned as a cheaper possible second console for existing wireless VP2 installations.

Vue is cheaper but not expandable. VP costs more and is, but also allows you to separate the anemometer from the rest of the instrumentation to get better results.

Offline DaculaWeather

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 09:24:22 AM »
That was a plus for me when I got my VUE. I hadn't budgeted for a new weather station and mine died. So to get the reliability and accuracy I was looking for, I had to compromise and get the VUE with plans in the future of adding a VP2 console and sensors. Yes, it will cost me more in the long run but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  ;)

Offline Garth Bock

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2009, 10:21:16 AM »
When I bought my VPro 2 I didn't have the bucks to drop the hammer so I bought just an ISS and then on the next paycheck bought a Envoy and then a data logger. I have since added a solar sensor and a console. I know nickel and dime'ing cost me more in the long run but it was either that or buy parts for my O/S 968.

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Offline RainmanWeather

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Re: Weather Station Recommendation ($1500 budget)
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2009, 06:55:40 AM »

For the Davis, a modem connection can be accomplished without a computer at the station site. Requires Serial WeatherLink and a 6533 modem adapter (and modems of course).

Here is the application note explaining the configuration (PDF): Setting Up a Remote Modem Connection (WL Serial)

 

anything