Author Topic: Are Davis Vantage Pro Weather Stations Still Considered as High Among the Best?  (Read 3556 times)

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Offline Bunty

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Are Davis Vantage Pro Weather Stations Still Considered as High Among the Best?

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Offline Garth Bock

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Electronic spec-wise it is one of the best. Fast update times, accuracy, range, partially open to third party devices and software plus somewhat decent support from an OEM has been a plus. While the non-color mil-spec looking console has always been a bit of a negative overall the whole station's price/function/accuracy puts it in the professional area right along with Ecowitt, Accurate, Rainwise, Ambient, Kestrel and a couple of other true OEMs.

Even though there are cheaper rebranded Chinese clone knockoffs that call theirs "professional" , spec-wise Davis blows them away. Yeah it's pricey but it's up to the buyer what they want to trade off for what they can afford, support and the accuracy they want.

Offline Ra1nman

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Suspect the short answer to this is yes, I've been following weather stations on and off for many years. Long answer - I regret not buying a VP2 when the prices were more tolerable, having recently picked up an Ecowitt, here is my advice for what it's worth, take it with a pinch of salt. If you are based in the US then I would grab a Davis assuming cost is acceptable to you. From my research it would seem the Davis on the whole will have a longer life than the other brands, luck can play a part of course. If the Davis lasts 15 years and costs $600, it means your three $200 weather stations need to last at least 5 years each, that is my very basic math! - of course things can fail, parts could be replaced on any device.

Maybe also depends if you are interested in temperature more than wind and rain, if this is the case then there are high accuracy sensors available for other brands. I'm greedy and would like solar and sonic anemometer, this makes Davis $1200+ in my region, other brands offer similar for $200-250, you pay your money as they say. With Davis you can be pretty sure accuracy is all good, other brands you may have to tolerate +/- percentage on accuracy, depends on what you've had and where you would like to be in this department.

Chasing accuracy with other brands could easily see you half way towards a Davis in costs, suspect also that the Davis would for the most part still be running sometime after the other brands bit the dust or were replaced. I for one will probably end up with a Davis before too long, at least then I can see how accurate my Ecowitt has been :grin:

I'm not a professional so please know these are just my thoughts from many years researching. Good luck with your new purchase [tup]
Ecowitt WS90 ׀ GW2000 ׀ WH51 ׀ WH32EP ׀ WH40

Offline ivano

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Davis is an excellent station, I especially appreciate the software, the excellent anemometer, the quality of the construction and the duration, however, there are some flaws, obviously in my opinion, its rain gauge, with rains with high rain/rates, it overwhelms of a good 10% I'm talking about the monobascula, its screen is not a screen up to par, and consequently the temperature detection is affected, a comparison with a wh31/32 ep in a barani or metspec or comet etc etc screen is not feasible, finally the high cost, in any case everything depends on what you are looking for, if one needs something durable and reliable, it is not wrong to take a Davis, but with that money you can make a nice level station, spending even less, in any case opinions ,,,,
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Offline vinceskahan

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with that money you can make a nice level station, spending even less

I would love to see a detailed parts list and prices for something matching a VP2 at that price that does 'not' require any internet connectivity nor phone home to China as a baseline requirement to function.  It would have to be no-Internet LAN only.   It would also need to be something we could run weewx with in order to process the data.....

So Ecowitt is out, just as one example.

(my almost 14-year old VP2 here still working well !!!)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 03:08:21 AM by vinceskahan »
WeeWX sites:
  Davis VP2+DFARS to a pi4
  EcoWitt GW1000, WH32 outdoor T+H, multiple WH31 indoor T+H, WH51 soilMoisture (docker)
  Davis AirLink (inside)
  PurpleAir (outside)
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Offline Bunty

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What about Tempest?   Prefer commentary by someone with personal experience with Tempest.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 05:22:18 AM by Bunty »

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Offline mauro63

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Davis is an excellent station, I especially appreciate the software, the excellent anemometer, the quality of the construction and the duration, however, there are some flaws, obviously in my opinion, its rain gauge, with rains with high rain/rates, it overwhelms of a good 10% I'm talking about the monobascula, its screen is not a screen up to par, and consequently the temperature detection is affected, a comparison with a wh31/32 ep in a barani or metspec or comet etc etc screen is not feasible, finally the high cost, in any case everything depends on what you are looking for, if one needs something durable and reliable, it is not wrong to take a Davis, but with that money you can make a nice level station, spending even less, in any case opinions ,,,,

My dear,

opinions are often unimportant in industry forums, and this is not excluded ;)

Everyone pulls the water in his mill, whether out of sympathy for the brand, or out of interest, etc., there will always be someone ready to denigrate your opinion.

Davis excellent for those who love Davis, ditto for Rainwise etc etc going down to Ecowitt and company, and none of the names mentioned can boast the "professional" appellation as I read in a post, professional is far from it ;)

We could use a term, used by many, the "semi-professional", a term stolen from the sports sector but which has nothing to do in this field, it is equivalent to a "I would like but I can't"

When it comes to toys, everyone chooses what they like best, nothing else, based on his preferences and installation possibilities

M.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 09:15:07 AM by mauro63 »

Offline mauro63

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To conclude my thought, which will be heavily attacked, but this doesn't cause me any problems,

No amateur user, me first, is able to establish his real measurement uncertainty, which I remember does not concern only the instrumental tolerance but a whole series of aspects ranging from instrumental tolerance to the site installation and its characteristics, to the methods of data collection and the characteristics of the instrument capable of recording them, compliance with the manufacturer's specifications (of the temperature and humidity sensor for example) regarding the periodic calibration operations and the issue of the calibration certificate etc etc

at an amateur level we rejoice because our Davis temperature and humidity sensor has been working perfectly for 10 years, other than Ecowitt!

But nobody cares to consider also a secondary aspect such as the long-term drift, which makes, after 10 years the sensor almost useless in a context in which accuracy of the data is required ;)

So, in my humble opinion, there's no battle, but only personale choses, dictated by every single user needs

M.

Offline miraculon

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I have been running a Davis VP2 for about a dozen years now.

Is Davis "among the best", not sure how that is defined. Probably among the best of the consumer-grade stuff, but it's no Vaisala, R M Young, Novalynx, etc.

The main appeal is the interface and software support both Davis and 3rd party.

I have an RM Young anemometer. My Davis anemometer has failed, so the Young is what my station uses. I am glad that I got an Universal Anemometer Interface when I did. My Novalynx rain gauge was easier to interface to the rain input of the SIM box.

If the true pro-grade stations had better support for CWOP, web, etc. I probably go in that direction (or would have gone, my roof-climbing days are over).

So, despite an early failure of the T/H sensor in the ISS, two supercap failures, the DFARS fan (a couple of times), I will stick with Davis since I have a lot of time/effort and $$$ invested in it. These failures have been a disappointment. Rainwise may have been an interesting alternative. Davis seems to be discontinuing the ancillary equipment (like UAI) and going to China for sourcing. The "Made in USA" aspect was part of the appeal.

I will probably continue to repair/replace my existing setup with Davis parts.

Greg H.


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Offline scudwatcher

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I have four WeatherFlow Tempest Stations in my CSRA Weather Network, ie, Gregg Park, South Carolina, Harlem, Georgia, Hephzibah, Georgia and Red Hill, South Carolina.  You can observe current weather conditions at: https://csraweather.net/csrawxnetwork.htm.  The Tempest Station are by far (my opinion) the simplest and quickest installation less than 45 minutes and connected to the Tempest Network all by your smartphone.  The down-side of the Tempest Station is the haptic rainfall sensor.  Although you can calibrate the sensor, rainfall accumulation is not as accurate as the Davis Instruments VP2 "tipping bucket" or "spoon" sensor.  But, for a general (hobbyist) view of current weather conditions at your location, I recommend the Tempest Station latest price I believe is $335 USD plus shipping from the Weatherflow/Tempest website.  There may be some cheaper websites out there.  Good Luck!

Offline TheBushPilot

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I would argue the whole "professional" label for consumer grade weather stations is a bit disingenuous. They're consumer grade. Nothing more, nothing less. They perform in my opinion incredibly well for being just that. Davis Instruments makes well rounded robust stations for the average person. Albeit with a dated console, but you really can't go wrong with them. That's not to say they have their share of QC issues. But generally speaking they seem to have found their place on the market. Now, whether any station is considered professional is really up to the user. "Professional" is also subjective to who you ask. Take for example: you can host an ASOS in your backyard, but unless you maintain the instruments and calibrate per the recommended intervals, its data is about as valuable as the Acurite down the road. On the flipside, calibrating a Davis once a year may allow one to better evaluate individual sensor performance and put some weight behind the readings if one were to question the accuracy of said suite.

If we want to get technical, I would consider all modular weather stations fundamentally problematic in some capacity. From measurement methods to measurement traceability.

But, the good news is that these stations were not designed to emulate an ASOS or state funded mesonet. Their target market is the amateur weather observer who probably does not care about traceability of measurements or sensor response time or gradient dampening. And that's ok.

So all in all, yeah. Davis Instruments makes good weather stations for the market they are targeting. Their community presence and reputation is a pretty good indicator of that.

Cheers
« Last Edit: May 07, 2023, 12:38:23 PM by TheBushPilot »
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Offline kaz911

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What about Tempest?   Prefer commentary by someone with personal experience with Tempest.

I have 3 Tempest stations.

They are absolute rubbish.

1. Rain sensor - only works if you can mount the device on a flat concrete surface with very little "extension". ANY vibration will register as rain. A bird landing on it will trigger "rain" - I had one of mine with quad "reinforcement" steel strings and double chimney mounts setup - and that still register great amounts of rain if wind is > 7-8 m/s

2. Batteries - they just die without warning

3. Bird protector spikes - slides down and blocks air for wind sensor.  (see point 1...)

4. At very low wind speeds - the sensor is all over the place (vs. Davis Vantage is spot on) - at "NO wind" it drifts / shows about 0.5 m/s. That is very common for Ultrasonic sensors including the very expensive Airmar WX200 (of which I have a few)

5. Tempest have a "we know our rain gauge is crap" software feature which is supposed to help with "false positives" - I have never been able to get it to work. (You "backfeed" known rain to them and they try to calibrate)

But a conceptual issue is wind and rain should not be measured at the same place.

I have kicked myself multiple times for NOT just buying the Davis from the start.

I still have one non-functional Tempest on my roof - the 2 others are in the "scrap pile"


Offline Bunty

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Since 3 Tempest turned out to be rubbish, then it must be time for the company engineers to go back to the drawing board.

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Offline doubleohwhatever

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Probably among the best of the consumer-grade stuff, but it's no Vaisala, R M Young, Novalynx, etc.

For what it's worth the Vaisala WXT "Acoustic RAINCAP" is far less accurate than any calibrated tipping bucket. That said, the WXT536 does have a tipping bucket input.

Offline cpufrost

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>>

For what it's worth the Vaisala WXT "Acoustic RAINCAP" is far less accurate than any calibrated tipping bucket. That said, the WXT536 does have a tipping bucket input.<<

Agreed.  The "haptic sensor" [sic] is sacrificing accuracy and repeatability for convenience.  Nothing more.  It's a bad concept that needs to be abandoned.

It's essentially the equivalent of measuring the rumble noise from wind in a microphone and equating that to wind speed!  There are a few silly Android apps that just do that, claiming to be "wind meters".  :lol:

Offline doubleohwhatever

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Agreed.  The "haptic sensor" [sic] is sacrificing accuracy and repeatability for convenience.  Nothing more.  It's a bad concept that needs to be abandoned.
Yep.

There's also this issue with the WXT line:
https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/ocs/pubs-ocs/technotes/OCS_TN5_Wind_Speed_Variability_of_VaisalaWXT520.pdf

I got rid of my last WXT536 a few years ago and at the time, this problem was still present with no hardware or firmware fix available from Vaisala.

Offline ASOSWX

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I don't consider Davis a Professional weather station at all.  Compared to CSI, All weatherinc..as far as sensors.. RM young, Visalia...  It is nowhere close,  but then again it depends on your definition of professional.

 

anything