Author Topic: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather  (Read 353 times)

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Offline LazyDogFarms

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Hello all,

I have been running my Ambient Weather WS-2080 for probably going on five years now and I am considering an upgrade for a few reasons.  First, the plastic outdoor sensors are getting weathered and brittle and I am having some intermittent connection issues with the RJ11 connector for the wind vane/anemometer on the thermo-hygrometer/transmitter.  Second, I irrigate my lawn and raised bed gardens using a smart irrigation controller and weather data from my PWS and I'd like to get a few soil sensors to keep the soil moisture levels used by the irrigation controller fairly well calibrated.

I have been running Cumulus 1.9.4 and understand that if I continue to use Cumulus with a new weather station, I'll likely need to move to Cumulus MX (although perhaps not).  I also upload to WU.

Here are a few options I am considering (not in any particular order) and wanted to get some feedback please.

Option 1:

Ecowitt GW1002 weather station (GW1000 gateway, GS68 anemometer/wind vane and solar/UV sensor, WH32 outdoor temperature sensor, WH40 rain gauge), WH51 soil sensors.

Option 2:

Ambient Weather WS-1900 (Osprey WH65 tri-wing array and WS-1900 console), GW1000 gateway, WH51 soils sensors (and possibly a WH32 outdoor temperature sensor).


I've read many of the threads here on those systems and the Osprey array, but still have some questions. 

As I see it, the primary differences between the two systems are:

With Option 1, I have all separate sensors for more ideal site placement.  With Option 2, I have the Osprey array so the rain gauge and temperature sensor are mounted higher than recommended (my mast is 24 ft), but I also have a display console.

Some questions that I have:

1.  Do I understand correctly that with both options (since I will be using the Ecowitt GW1000 WiFi gateway) I will have the same ability to add sensors, customize, upload data and such with both options?

2.  Will the Ambient Weather WS-1900 console (which does not connect to the internet or transmit data) still be able to view weather data locally even if I am also using the GW1000?

3.  How problematic is the issue with having the rain gauge mounted 24 ft off the ground?  I understand that it is ideally mounted four to six feet from the ground.  Will the increased height result in significant misreporting of rainfall amounts?

4.  I have the same concern with the placement of the temperature placement.  The weather station is sited in an grassy orchard with no nearby structures or paved surfaces if that makes any difference.  If I purchase the separate temperature sensor, is it still important that it be mounted in a sunny location rather than a shady location?

5.  How sturdy is the connection between the pole mount metal bracket and the sensor array (both the WS68 and the Osprey)?  I saw an online review of the Osprey and it showed that the far side of the metal bracket is only held in place to the Osprey by five small plastic tabs.   I heard that some of the construction of the WS68 is metal.  Is the entire assembly metal (other than the cups and vane)?  If not, can you tell me what parts of the WS68 are metal?

6.  Does the GW1000 work with Cumulus and if so, what version?

Thanks so much for the input!


Offline PaulMy

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 11:46:28 AM »
GW1000 works with current version of CumulusMX.  Not with Cumulus1.


Enjoy,
Paul

Offline LazyDogFarms

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 10:44:22 AM »
Thanks...

Online galfert

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 11:53:13 AM »
Hello all,

I have been running my Ambient Weather WS-2080 for probably going on five years now and I am considering an upgrade for a few reasons.  First, the plastic outdoor sensors are getting weathered and brittle and I am having some intermittent connection issues with the RJ11 connector for the wind vane/anemometer on the thermo-hygrometer/transmitter.  Second, I irrigate my lawn and raised bed gardens using a smart irrigation controller and weather data from my PWS and I'd like to get a few soil sensors to keep the soil moisture levels used by the irrigation controller fairly well calibrated.

I have been running Cumulus 1.9.4 and understand that if I continue to use Cumulus with a new weather station, I'll likely need to move to Cumulus MX (although perhaps not).  I also upload to WU.

Here are a few options I am considering (not in any particular order) and wanted to get some feedback please.

Option 1:

Ecowitt GW1002 weather station (GW1000 gateway, GS68 anemometer/wind vane and solar/UV sensor, WH32 outdoor temperature sensor, WH40 rain gauge), WH51 soil sensors.

Option 2:

Ambient Weather WS-1900 (Osprey WH65 tri-wing array and WS-1900 console), GW1000 gateway, WH51 soils sensors (and possibly a WH32 outdoor temperature sensor).
This will work for as far as the GW1000 is concerned but the Ambient WS-1900 will not pick up Ecowitt branded sensors. Ambient does not sell the outdoor WH32.

Quote
I've read many of the threads here on those systems and the Osprey array, but still have some questions. 

As I see it, the primary differences between the two systems are:

With Option 1, I have all separate sensors for more ideal site placement.  With Option 2, I have the Osprey array so the rain gauge and temperature sensor are mounted higher than recommended (my mast is 24 ft), but I also have a display console.

Some questions that I have:

1.  Do I understand correctly that with both options (since I will be using the Ecowitt GW1000 WiFi gateway) I will have the same ability to add sensors, customize, upload data and such with both options?
As long as you only use Ambient branded sensors if you want to see the data on Ambient branded console like the WS-1900.

Quote
2.  Will the Ambient Weather WS-1900 console (which does not connect to the internet or transmit data) still be able to view weather data locally even if I am also using the GW1000?
Yes as long as they are Ambient branded sensors. You can have any number of consoles. The sensors are one way radios. The consoles are just picking up the signal like you car radio picks up radio stations. A radio station is not limited by the number people turning on their radios.

Quote
3.  How problematic is the issue with having the rain gauge mounted 24 ft off the ground?  I understand that it is ideally mounted four to six feet from the ground.  Will the increased height result in significant misreporting of rainfall amounts?
Very problematic I think. An all-in-one sensor array should be placed between 13 and 16 feet off the ground for best siting. The all in one is a compromise for all sensors. This height is the best compromise for all sensors. It is not ideal for any of the sensors...it is just the happy medium which is acceptable for most. Putting it up 24 feet off the ground is giving precedence to wind and then more negatively affecting temperature, humidity and rain. Up to you though. Depends on if one sensor is that more important to you than the others.

Quote
4.  I have the same concern with the placement of the temperature placement.  The weather station is sited in an grassy orchard with no nearby structures or paved surfaces if that makes any difference.  If I purchase the separate temperature sensor, is it still important that it be mounted in a sunny location rather than a shady location?
Temperature sensor should be away from concrete and roofs and buildings that radiate energy (heat). They should be at the optimal elevation of a few feet and inside of a really nice radiation shield or Stevenson screen with adequate ambient air flow not blocked by a building, which is why more professional systems actually improve on this for days with no wind by incorporating a fan to keep real ambient air temperature flowing past the sensor. The fan doesn't cool the sensor as it draws air in...it doesn't blow on the sensor. Without a fan a good reading can still be possible in full sun with a good radiation shield. I suppose a bad (cheap) radiation shield may need the help of the shade of a building or tree, but then you are cutting corners and affecting the outcome.

Quote
5.  How sturdy is the connection between the pole mount metal bracket and the sensor array (both the WS68 and the Osprey)?  I saw an online review of the Osprey and it showed that the far side of the metal bracket is only held in place to the Osprey by five small plastic tabs.   I heard that some of the construction of the WS68 is metal.  Is the entire assembly metal (other than the cups and vane)?  If not, can you tell me what parts of the WS68 are metal?
It is pretty sturdy if mounted on proper diameter pole. I don't think this is a concern. The mounting will outlast the sensors.

Quote
6.  Does the GW1000 work with Cumulus and if so, what version?
As answered by PaulMy, yes with Cumulus MX and not with Cumulus 1.

My two cents: the WS-1900 display...same as the WS-2902 is not a particularly nice display to see at different angles. You have to approach the display at just the right eye level and angle to see it or it just washes out. Also since you are considering soil sensors realize that this display will not show you this data. Since you are considering the GW1002, I would just add the HP2551-C display console instead, as it is a much much nicer display and doesn't have the view issues and it will show you all the sensors.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 11:58:07 AM by galfert »
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge (WeatherBridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
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Offline LazyDogFarms

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 04:29:37 PM »
Thanks so much, that is great feedback.  It looks like the GW1002 will work the best for my needs with the individual sensors that can be more ideally located.  According to Lucy, Amazon should have them back in stock in 2-3 weeks.

I may also add the WH57 lightning detection sensor as we get quite a few summer afternoon thunderstorms here.   I didn't see much in the way of guidance on ideal placement of that sensor.  If it makes a difference, most of our thunderstorms come in from the northwest with some from the west.  We also have a 500KV and a 230KV power transmission line about 1/4 mile south of our location.  Any tips for placement? 

Online galfert

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 06:50:50 PM »
For the lightning sensor, seems to me like the majority of the users are saying to put it indoors. Up in the attic is a good location.
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge (WeatherBridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
Tele-Pole

Offline LazyDogFarms

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2020, 10:15:38 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I've ordered the GW1002 components (GW1000, WH32, WH40 and WH68) along with a lightning detector (WH57).  I've also ordered a SRS100LX solar radiation shield for the WH32. 

I'm a little concerned about putting the lightning detector in my attic due to the high summer temperatures there, particularly at the peak, so I may install it outside as I have an extra solar radiation shield I can use to mount it and provide some protection from the elements.

I'm trying to decide whether to order the WH51 soil sensor or the newer model WN51 soil sensor with the ceramic cap.  I'm wondering based upon this feedback of some potential accuracy issues (https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=39792.msg408957#msg408957) whether I should start with the WH51 and then perhaps order the WN51 if others report good reliability.  Does anyone have any experience with those two soil sensors and the comparative reliability?

Offline ramblinche81

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Re: Feedback and advice on new weather station, Ecowitt/Ambient Weather
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 08:22:37 PM »
Regarding soil sensors, i am very happy with my four wn51 sensors. I think there are some nuances to use which requires a methodical setup. I would not consider them plug and play set it and forget it related to nominal moisture and calibration readouts. I do not believe device directly measures soil moisture. I believe (i do not know) device relies on saturation then measures wet bulb temp changes or diffusion rates which is then converted to a moisture level by interpolation.

Set up of gateway and sensors is easy. Naming sensors is helpful.

Similar to you, i want the sensor to help me better manage plant irrigation. There are some very good ag engineering resources for soil capacity and moisture levels.
Univ Minnesota has this https://extension.umn.edu/irrigation/soil-moisture-sensors-irrigation-scheduling#electrical-resistance-sensors-1870361

I am adding lightning detectors and temp humidity. I will place sensors in full shade. I deep south, you cannot put a sensor in a box without distorting true heat level.

I am not measuring rainfall because effective soil moisture is the meaning measure.

There is a link in this forum for a custom app for tablets. Go to eco/ambient product folder and you will see it.
July 2020
Ecowitt GW1000B gateway @ ecowitt.net
Ecowitt WN51 soil moisture x4
Ecowitt WH57 lightning
Ecowitt WH31 temp x2
Ecowitt WH40 rain gauge
Ecowitt WS68 wind sun sensor on order

 

anything