Author Topic: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer  (Read 3079 times)

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Offline CaptMike

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Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« on: September 25, 2013, 11:41:07 AM »
The easy part was deciding to get the Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station.  The problem is that I have a late model MacBook Pro, and no desktop computer.  My eyes are blurring over, reading all the posts/information on the subject.    First, what I want to do with the station.  For now, to be able to see weather on the console.  To be able to download it to Weather Underground.  And when on the road, which is usually half the month, and overseas, to be able to view the information from the weather station on my laptop.  If I may ask a few basic set-up questions. 

The Davis tech person suggested getting the WX Station, and the W-Link IP.  The way I see it, the W-Link IP bypasses the need for a dedicated desktop computer?  Is anyone using this set-up with a Mac?  I've read that on a Mac, W-Link does less than on a PC.  Would this also apply to the W-Link IP?

Now, to the software for the Mac.  Would that software supplement the shortcomings of W-Link?  WeatherSnoop seems to get good reviews.  From older search posts, I am having a hard time determining if LWC is still around.  I have read good reviews on it, also.  But would like to get something that is current.

Does this set-up seem like something that will work?  Anyone else doing the same thing?  Or is it better to have some kind of dedicated desktop?

Also, I live in Alaska, and it gets quite cold and windy in the Winter.  Any cold weather tips?  From my research, the Davis Vantage Pro2 seems like a quality product that should do the job.  Thank you very much for your time.

 

Offline George Richardson

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 02:57:46 PM »
CaptMike,
I do not use Mac computers, but from the experience this forum has given me over the past many years, it is my opinion that the most flexible and perhaps cheapest route you could take would be to buy a used Windows XP computer and run it 24/7 as your weather computer.
JMO
George

Offline Bushman

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 03:13:21 PM »
Easiest way to accomplish this is hook the Davis to a Meteobridge.  About $100 bucks all in.  You could also roll your own using a Raspberry Pi "computer" for about the same.  Meteobridge is nice because it is all set to upload to WU, CWOP, etc.  Plus port forward its IP and you can log in from wherever.  In fact, I was just doing that last week when I was in Eastern Europe.  Pretty cool to see the inside and outside temps etc. BTW< did this from my smartphone as well as my laptop.  Oh yeah - you don't use WL-IP for this; regular dongle.
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Offline smorris

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 05:59:01 PM »
Hi Mike, and welcome to the WXForum,

If you haven't found it yet, there is a Mac specific sub-forum at http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?board=114.0

Bushman has the right suggestion for anyone wanting to put a weather station online without using their computer 24/7, especially a laptop.

You talked about running weather station software on your MBP, but with a Meteobridge you don't need anything running on your Mac. Another alternative is to connect your VP2 to your home router via a WeatherLink IP. It sends data to Davis and WU, and if some time later you decide to run local software, most can use the WLIP data.

You mentioned LWC (Lightsoft Weather Center) which closed up shop a couple of years ago. The LWC developer, Stuart Ball, has released a new version of LWC called WeatherCat (www.trixology.com) Almost everyone on the LWC and MacWeather forums now use WeatherCat. Remember, this (or WeatherSnoop or Weather Display) are not needed when running WLIP or a Meteobridge.

As for cold weather info, look for posts from forum member ScalpHunter.

I hope that helps,
Steve
Steve - Avon, Ohio
Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus w/FARS, Leaf & Soil Station

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Offline CaptMike

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 06:38:23 PM »
Thank you for the replies.  Running a separate Windows PC doesn't sound practical.  The Meteobridge looks like a practical solution, but not being the most computer savvy person around, it looks a little intimidating.  Am I reading too much into that?  They had a practice set-up page, and it didn't look that easy to me.  I'll take a look at it again.  Bushman, what is a dongle? 

The W-Link IP has the same limitations as WX Link, as you can't download historical data, if I see that right.  What is the set-up for folks using the Mac software?  Are they using a dedicated PC, then downloading that software to their Mac to get the WX information from there PC/router?

I'll take a closer look at Meteobridge, and research to see what people who are using it, think about it.  Thank you for the welcome, Steve.

Offline docbee

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 07:15:34 PM »
Regarding Meteobridge, you can get this ready to go with simple instructions from ambientweather (weatherbridge) or can buy one of the recommended mini routers and flash it yourself to spare some $.

Setup is done by a web interface, so that should not give you too much of a headache. Where not so IT-savvy users do have sometimes a bit trouble is setting up the WLAN access correctly. But keep in mind, what of the other devices does offer WLAN at all ;-)
founder of smartbedded.com - home of meteohub, meteoplug, meteobridge, meteostick

Offline CaptMike

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »
OK.  Before I check this out at AmbientWeather, will Meteobridge work with my Apple Airport Extreme?  Reference my diminished knowledge on the workings of wireless networks, will they work together?  One does one thing, and the other, another?  My ethernet cable plugs into my wireless providers router, which is cabled to the Airport Extreme, which sends the signal to my laptop, iPad, etc.  The Meteobridge plugs into where?  From where to where?  Then it sends a signal to my laptop?  Weather Underground?  I will be able to access it while on the road?  Will Meteobridge need to talk to my Airport Extreme?  Or will it plug into my router, just like the Airport Extreme does?  Then you get Meteobridge to talk to the main router?  I will sort all this stuff out, just trying to get a heads up on it.  It sounds like it may work.  Thank you again for the replies. 

Offline CaptMike

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 08:18:18 PM »
I just looked over the manual for the WeatherBridge/Meteobridge, and answered a lot of my questions.  Have to look over it again to see if the WB connects to the Airport Extreme, or my providers router.  And which one it talks to.

It looks like they have some pretty good prices on the Davis products.  Thanks.

Offline docbee

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 05:55:55 PM »
Meteobridges are capable to run in your WiFi as long as you have a standard 2.4 GHz b/g/n up and running, which all apple products do. By selecting the SSID Meteobridge should connect to, you can select which router or access point will be choosen. Use "WPA2" as encryption as the apples do have that presumably as default.

Meteobridge does directly connect via your router to the Internet, so your Laptop can go to sleep  :lol:  

When setting up the Meteobridge for the first time, connect it via an Ethernet cable somewhere into your LAN. I guess one of your routers act as DHCP server so Meteobridge will be advised a distinct IP from that router. The wiki explains how to find out which IP it got. Most easy way is to browse to "magicip.meteobridge.com" which redirects your browser to the correct IP in your LAN... sounds a bit like magic, but does work. And this all reads much more complicated as it is ;-)
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Offline kalenshah

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 05:32:19 AM »
I have a VP2 connected to weatherlink IP. I have an iMac and I have had experience with both weathersnoop and meteobridge. Due to the fact I don't want to leave my computer on 24/7 I have connected my weatherlink IP logger to the meteobridge and have not had a problem since I got.
Some might ask why I use meteobridge when I have the IP. Firstly, uploading to weather underground via weatherlink.com is only every 15 minutes, whereas I get rapid fire with meteobridge. Secondly, meteobridge has a wider range of upload sites, such as Met Office WOW etc.

Also regarding your cold temperature, I made my own davis heater here: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=20199.0

My VP2 site on wunderground: http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=IENGLAND406
WUNDERGROUND ID:IENGLAND406                                                             Live IP

Offline CaptMike

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 02:04:03 PM »
kalenshah,

Why not direct from the VP2 to the meteobridge?  Do you need to use the WL IP, or were you just using it because you had a Mac, then decided later to add the meteobridge so you didn't have to leave your iMac running?  Thanks for the other information.

Offline kalenshah

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 06:20:24 AM »
I already had wl ip, and I was getting frustrated not having rapid fire, so I got meteobridge. It still requires one of the data loggers to connect to it, whether usb, serial or IP.
WUNDERGROUND ID:IENGLAND406                                                             Live IP

Offline CaptMike

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 11:14:52 AM »
OK, I thought I had a bit of a handle on this.  What do you mean by data logger, whether USB, Serial, or IP?  I thought you could go from the VP2 console, through the meteobridge (via some kind of cable) directly to the router, out into the internet and my Mac, or anybody's computer.  Also WU, etc.  What does the data logger do?  What is a data logger?  Thank you again for the replies and information.

Offline Beaudog

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 11:42:35 AM »
For the most part you need some type of data logger to retrieve the data from a Davis console or Envoy.  There are some third party and do it yourself options but there is some doubt that these still work with the latest Davis firmware.

Bottom line there is no way to transfer the data without some sort of logger.

http://www.davisnet.com/weather/products/weather-reporting-software.asp

The USB model is probably the most popular one.   Davis calls it software when they sell it but the actual software is not what is required it is the  data logger that collects the data and coverts it to a format that can be read by computers.

A simplified answer. And as always there are exceptions and work a rounds but most are do it yourself and beyond the average user.

Offline SBWX

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Re: Vantage Pro2 Set-up for MBP with no Desktop Computer
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 08:15:29 PM »
Also an iMac user. I had a hard time trying to decide and ended up with Weather Link IP and the wireless Envoy.

This was the only way to get my station online 24/7 without a computer. I also have a Windows laptop that i used  to install the Weather Link software. This is a must as Weather Link configures the VP2. There is no Davis Mac software I found for this as Weather Link IP is Windows only.

Now I can use any computer Mac or Windows with any weather software to download the data from the logger or even from the Envoy. I run the Weather Link software once a week to download the data. This allows me to chart, make reports etc...I also set up the software to get the data from the Weatherlink website.

One thing I Did find if you run Mac software like Weather Snoop you have to leave it running 24/7

I must say that I am very pleased with this setup and amazed how easy it was to setup Weatherlink IP and the wireless Envoy. Kinda like a Mac, just works.

Hope this helps