Author Topic: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station  (Read 281 times)

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Offline bamcneil83

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Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« on: July 17, 2021, 06:39:05 PM »
BLUF: We need a new weather station (under $600) for our fire station in northeast Nevada so that we can maintain good situational awareness of what the weather is actually doing and how it's affecting our fuels.  (slightly important for wildland guys.)    See parameters below.


Looking for advice on a weather station for our wildland fire station.   We've been using an employee's La Crosse C84612 during the summer, but after 8-9 years it's finally died and we were never too sure about the accuracy. We've wanted to upgrade for a few years, but it worked and our station budget is very tight. We'd also like it to be connected to Wunderground or some service via the internet so that we can remotely monitor the weather in the winter and anyone can pull data during the summer.

I emailed our RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Station) guys (since they are weather station gurus), but they gave the cookie-cutter "we can't recommend any specific brands due to contract requirements" bullshit answer and essentially implied that anything with sensors less than $1k each was beneath them.  A RAWS station costs around $18k give or take a couple thousand for reference.

PARAMETERS
Cost: Under $600 for the entire system. 
Outdoor sensors: Must have temp, RH, wind speed and wind direction. Would like: rainfall and UV/solar radiation
Indoor sensors: Temp/RH
Sensor to base unit connectivity: Wireless with a range of around 200 feet to get proper siting.
Power: Battery and/or solar. We have access to an endless supply of AA batteries and could easily setup a 12volt/solar panel option too.
Display: Yes.  The Davis displays are utilitarian and blah, but I guess they work. 
Internet connection: WIFI or cable.   Preferably standalone, but if it needs to connect to a computer I'll work with our IT department to get the software approved.


Siting
We have a 30'-35' tall radio tower that we will mount the anemometer to so that it's the proper 32.8' above ground (Or 20' if you follow the NWCG recommendations.)  The radio tower is 50 feet from where the receiver/display will be located in the office.
The temp/humidity sensor will be approximately 200' away from the receiver/display with only the office wall (modular wood construction) between the sensor and receiver.
Rainfall will be approximately 25-75 feet from the receiver/display.
UV/Solar can be mounted wherever is best.

Climate
Summer average highs are in the mid to upper 90's with average lows in the upper 40's and low 50's.
Winter average highs are in the mid 30's with average lows in the upper single digits.
Precip: less than 10 inches annually.
Snowfall: 50 inches
Winds: Not sure, but it's somewhat windy every day.  Probably 0-5mph
Elevation: 5700 feet
It's a Semi-arid high desert.

Thanks in advance!

BM



Offline jjh92

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Re: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2021, 07:08:44 AM »
Your wireless distance of 200' limits your choice to Davis for a reliable connection.  Other brands will be very iffy at that distance.

Offline havtrail

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Re: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 04:01:58 PM »
Does the temp/humidity sensor really have to be 200 feet away?

Rich K.
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https://weather.havtrail.com
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NEWA pa_have

Offline galfert

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Re: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2021, 05:10:54 PM »
Go back and give an education to those holding the purse strings as $600 isn't going to cut it. Or get out there and hold a boot.
You need a Davis VP2 Plus and WeatherLink Live.

$783.20 Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus - 6162
$178.95 Davis WeatherLink Live - 6100

~$1000 ...but probably more like $1200 to $1300 see below.

But that doesn't include mounting pole and hardware, so you have to figure that out too into the cost. From your install it seems like you might be looking at separating the anemometer from the ISS base, which means you'll need the help of an additional transmitter Davis 6332 which is another $114.23.

If you can squeeze a bit more then instead of the 6162 go for the 6163 with 24hr FARS.

Check these out at Scaled Instruments. Do it once, and do it right.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 05:24:38 PM by galfert »
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Offline bamcneil83

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Re: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 05:35:57 PM »
Your wireless distance of 200' limits your choice to Davis for a reliable connection.  Other brands will be very iffy at that distance.

I could probably get away with one in the 100' to 150' range, it just wouldn't be the most ideal situation as it would put in a slight depression so the humidity could be higher there, especially during the spring and fall.    Anything closer than that and it's on a watered green lawn versus being out in the unwatered natural area. 

Offline doubleohwhatever

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Re: Weather Station for Federal Wildland Fire Station
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 10:21:58 PM »
If the bosses are being tight with the funds then try explaining it this way... Davis is an American company whereas your options for less than $600 will almost certainly be Chinese imports.

Absolutely nothing wrong with the Fine Offset and similar products. However, it's a little pathetic that the federal government won't pony up for the station you really need (Davis) which happens to be from an American company.

 

anything