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Wireless weather stations - suggestions for model - for use at Hearth.com

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I notice there is a new breed of wireless weather stations that automatically transmit their data to one of the popular weather sites.

    I think it might be neat to have one located here, so folks everywhere could check out the "microclimate" on our block, and I might even tie it in with a camera which will be trained onto the mountain nearby (east).

    I know we have some weather people here, so I was hoping to get some pointers or suggestions. Obviously I don't want to spend 5K for what seem like the "top of the line" stations, but any experiences or links would be welcome!

    Examples:
    http://www.ambientweather.com/weunwestpa.html

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  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I have the Rainwise Mk-3LR, which has worked well in my environment... basically salt, wind, sand, and more wind. I opted against getting the rain gauge, primarily because it adds too much windage on the mast on my roof, and adds to the visibility of the array. Plus, as far as I am concerned, it is either not raining, raining a little, or raining a lot, all of which are easily gauged by my other rain sensor, the window. Costs about 11-1200, depending on the display you get.

    -- Mike
  3. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    I own a wireless, Davis Vantage Pro. Now Davis has updated this system to the Vantage Pro 2. The vantage pro 2 most likely has some updated "weather junk", and componets. I believe the wireless range is advertised at 1000 feet (perfect conditions, and terrain). The one I have is rated at 300 feet. Which operates very well for me. My station is probably located 80 feet from my house plus a little more distance inside to my console. I personally would not buy a weather station that isnt wireless. Wireless are a bit more $, but well worth it. The only wired part of the station is the anemometer, (wind speed thing). That has a telephone-like, cable which allows the anemometer to be positioned higher than the weather station unit itself, where the cable is plugged into, than wirelessly transmitted to your console. I also have a the solar panel on the outside station, along with a battery backup. The small 6-volt, camera battery is used to transmit the weather packets from the outside station to the console inside your home. I have only changed the battery twice in 5 years. So I'd think without the solar unit the battery life would still be almost 2 years.

    As far as the software goes, Davis provides software, which is recognized by the, Weatherunderground, website. Which I assume is the site you are referring to. Therefore, Ambient weather is not really needed to upload your data to their site. Regardless of what you have heard. Actually the software I'am using is provided by the, Wunderground. I have a older version of Ambient (bought with the station), which I dont use. Its a computer "hog". Unless you have a old computer to run only the weather station, you will find that Ambient, will boooog down your system. Right now I am running my station off my old computer. I wouldn't need to, but it was easier to do that than transferring it all to another system.

    I'm sure there are many stations to choose from, I know that Davis are suppose to be the "Cadillac" of personal weather stations. There price tag isn't cheap, but I do like the unit I have.

    http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=56367
    The link to my personal station on weatherunderground's site.

    www.ricemnweather.clearwire.net
    The link to my weather website, which was made from the Davis software. Kind of generic, but I'm no site designer.

    Any questions, just ask
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have the Davis Vantage Pro2 and love it. The wireless function works great. reaperman is correct, if you don't want to be fiddling with the station, get the Davis. It just works, and does its job very well.

    PS: moved to the green room. Interesting, but not so hearth related :)
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I get the info the cheap way. There is a women two miles from my house that has a bazillion dollar setup and the info is available on the Weather Underground website.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, but I can deduct it! And it will be hearth related, because a link to it and the "snow cam" will be available here!

    I was wondering where it went to - the Gear (it is gear). DIY (yes, maybe).....

    I was just looking for max audience......you know how that is......
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    BG, is yours hooked to the net?
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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  9. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    I have the LaCross 2308 which interfaces to the Heavy Weather Software whinc then interfaces to the AMbient Weather Software which then send the data at predetermined times to the internet website located below.

    The LaCross system cost ~$150 and the Ambient s/w was ~$30. The Heavy Weather s/w came with the station.

    All in all it works pretty good, I am satisfied with it.
  10. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    I'm in the process of setting up a 1-wire network for the new home with an old Dallas weather station.
    I'll probably use something like this: http://oww.sourceforge.net/index.html

    It's not wireless but it is highly customizable, expandable, uses open source software, and doesn't require a "real" computer to run.

    I'm hoping to also use it to monitor stove and stack temp with a thermocouple in addition to some other things. It's not for everyone but I wanted something that could handle a bunch of different sensors.

    I'll know more after I get some more goodies in the mail.

    Kirk
  11. Webwidow

    Webwidow Member

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    Craig if we are doing this we would want an accurate rain gage for the gardens.
  12. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Great minds think alike...

    What software (or website?) do I need to monitor a nearby hardware installation, assuming one of my neighbors has sprung for this high dollar equipment, and how do I find the closest installation, which I assume is uploading its data to the internet?

    Or am I making some erroneous assumptions that I can freeload off *my* neighbors, too?
  13. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=

    Type your zipcode after the "query=" or enter it in the search box at the top of the page.
  14. WxGuy

    WxGuy New Member

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    There is weather station software called "Weather Display" than can interface with a large variety of weather stations and can provide a virtual weather station on your desktop, or it can generate a weather web site for you. While I feel the default site by Ambient's "Virtual Weather Station" software is prettier, the Weather Display software is much more powerful in my opinion.

    I own a Wireless Davis Vantage Pro2 Wireless Weather Station. I am very happy I made this choice as the Davis stations are the cadillac of personal weather stations and mine has operated without a hitch for just about a year now except of a couple of leaves I had to clean out of the rain gauge. They are also used in much harsher Environments than the average home user would use them in or may even be aware of. I also use the Weather Display software to supply the data to my personal weather website.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  15. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Update: I found a weather station about two miles from my house that sits on the path of my favorite bike route, which is great for checking the windage before I start pedaling. Thanks, it's pretty cool and it's free.

    I think my city put it up based on the name of it, but I'll be danging if I can actually locate it. I've looked for it on three different bike rides based on the google map location, but no luck. I wonder if the map location is "approximate"?
  16. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    I know google map has the location of mine at least a 1/2 mile from my house. Which is ok with with me. I'd hate to have to shoot some theif who has a map of where my six hundred dollar station is sitting outside in the open.
  17. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    I have an expensive Oregon Scientific and it's junk, they even replaced it under warranty, and that one is junk also.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, I just saw this. Mine is not connected to the net yet. A neighbor living a mile down the street had the same setup on the net so I didn't bother. Now I see they are offline, so I am considering putting mine online.
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Hee-hee! Good point reaperman. Maybe I'll wear Kevlar on my next bike ride. ;)
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I am going to roof mount mine.....

    And speaking of expensive, it is over $1,000 for the model with most everything, plus extra for the software! I guess the question is always "how many options?" The solar radiation measurement and the solar fan (for more accurate readings) sound like they would be nice to have.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have the stock unit, no options. That gets me wind, humidity, temp, rain fall, no solar radiation. It came in at about $400? I think. Mine is also roof mounted. Interestingly, when it gets pretty cold it reads about 1-2 degrees higher than a thermometer placed away from the house. The roof is still radiating some heat there.
  22. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    I guess its like most things with additional options that can be added. We automatically think when we buy something new, we want it "all" or somehow our new purchase is incomplete because something has been left out. But after we have it for a while, and the newness wares off we realize we would have done just fine with the basics. My unit is stock, and has enough information for my needs. Some of these other options can be purchased at a later date. Davis website has regular "close out" sales of various items, you just have to keep checking their site. Also there are weather geek, forums out there where used options are usually available.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Eventually when I get the greenhouse built, I'd like to add a remote readout for it.
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