Jump to content

Weather stations


Baseball0618
 Share

Recommended Posts

Looking to buy a good weather station to install at home and what better place to use for references than this board!   Looking for some feedback on what's good out there are and my only tow constraints are: 1) it must have an integrated app so that I can view it when I am not home 2)  include a rain gauge.

 

Price isn't a huge sticking point, thinking around the 100-200 dollar range? I am looking for something that is generally accurate and won't break in 1 or 2 years.  

 

Thanks in advance to everyone! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking to buy a good weather station to install at home and what better place to use for references than this board!   Looking for some feedback on what's good out there are and my only tow constraints are: 1) it must have an integrated app so that I can view it when I am not home 2)  include a rain gauge.

 

Price isn't a huge sticking point, thinking around the 100-200 dollar range? I am looking for something that is generally accurate and won't break in 1 or 2 years.  

 

Thanks in advance to everyone! 

Edit price point ceiling would be 400 bucks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edit price point ceiling would be 400 bucks

davis vanatage pro 2, you can get wireless one for 390-400$. That includes the rain gauge and what not. The software though is an extra like 100$ I believe. I know they have the VUE also but I'm not sure how good that is, I think its cheaper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to stay in the $100-200 range Ambient aren't bad. But with the "cheap" price you are rolling the dice on life expectancy.

My current ambient had been solid. 3+ years. For the price paid ($110 or so) I'm happy to have gotten 3 or more years out of it. I bought my father in law one similar and before 1 year the rain gauge no longer worked, then the anemometer crapped out 6 months later.

So, for that 100-200 dollar range realize you could get a lemon or luck out like I did. I'm going to get a vantage next time around. I already warned the wife about the price tag ;)

Here is the ambient site:

http://www.ambientweather.com/west.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weather stations are a pricy hobby.  I agree fully with Tom - the VP 2 is excellent and almost fits your price point.  But I'm afraid the features you want might not all come in at the right price (if you go wired, you may be able to make it work.) It's a little cheaper if you go for the wired one if you don't mind running a cable into the house and out to it, but I vastly prefer wireless.  But at that price point it comes without data logging/history and remote monitoring.  I think it's over $100 for the software, closer to $200.  It's not just software - it's a hardware dongle too.

 

I've had my system for almost 10 years now so I can walk you through a little of the expenses (I'm just going to average out prices from 10 year old memory!)

 

I bought the initial system (wireless VP2) for, we'll say $400 + Serial data logger & Weatherlink software for $150.   I won't inlclude mounting hardware, serial adapter at the time etc. 

 

A year later I added the daytime aspirated shield.  We'll say $100 (probably more)

 

A year after that or so they came out with Weatherlink IP (the one with remote monitoring without an always-on PC) - so I bought a Weather Envoy ($300) (it's basically a second monitoring console without the screen) because I wanted my indoor temps from a different location than my screen - and Weatherlink IP ($200.)

 

Then a year after that I wanted their calculated "THSW" (Feels like) index.  So I got the solar and UV sensors ($300+) .

 

Now this is where it gets fun.  Not long after that, readings drop out.  It turns out a LOT of people had this problem - Davis had a bad batch of supercapacitors that all blew out around the same time on the outdoor mainboard.  It wouldn't run on solar and would drain LI 123A batteries every 18 hours or so.  And they didn't treat it as a recall - instead it was normal "repair service".  You send them your board and they repair it (or do an advance exchange.)  I think they charged around $80 or so for this. 

 

I got that fixed, and sometime the next year, I start showing alarms for a UV index like it's the inside of a nuclear reactor.  Unpluged that dead sensor to get rid of the alarm, and didn't replace it. 

 

The next year - readings drop out.  Not the capacitor issue, it's just not transmitting.  New outdoor mainboard.  $180 or so.

 

I thought my annemometor has been dead for quite a while - but a few weeks ago I noticed it working again.  I don't really pay attention to it much because my geography (huge trees) makes the readings meaningless. 

 

And finally 2 years ago, we apparently had 20" an hour rainfall (Ray, do your records have anything about that historic event? ;) ).  Which was odd, because I was hiding in the shade from the sunlight on a 90+ degree July afternoon.  Rain gauge sensor died. I didn't replace it (darn squirrels kept putting nuts & berries into the bucket anyway so the readings were useless to me anyway.)

 

All that said, you're looking at the condensed version of a decade of maintaining the system, so it looks worse than it is.  And all that said, I still swear by the system - I had some of the LaCrosse/Oregon systems before that and could never, ever go back. 

 

Also, if you have a lot of shade, and get the wireless system, I'd recommend replacing the 123A battery at least every October or so.  It saves having to go out at 14 degress in the dead of a winter night with a foot of snow and ice to replace it.  Don't ask me how I know this.  Also don't ask if it was Feb 2010. :ph34r:

 

Rainwise might also fit your budget if you don't mind going wired. 

 

 

Funny VP2 story - I never got a "low battery warning" for the indoor backup batteries for the console.  The night of the big ice storm last year the power went out around 2:00AM or so.  The backup battery alarms all over woke me.   I checked the console to see the current temp and it was blank.  Darn thing ran out of batteries, never warned me, and now was out in the ice storm! So I'm fumbling in the dark looking for C batteries as the world around falls to chaos, and the lights go back on.  I found the batteries, scrambled to the console to quick put them in before the power goes out again, get them half way in - power goes out again just as I'm closing it (now I can't route the cable.)  I got it all back together again in the dark, but the barometer is funky, giving no reading.  Sometimes you have to let it sit 24h after no power before the baro comes back.  So I let it sit, next day (watching the temps hover at *****ing freezing with ice everywhere) - no baro.  Days later? No baro.  I'd given up on it as dead.  Checked for a few months, no baro, it was broken.  And 2 months ago I happened to be scrolling through records and noticed the baro was back!  For now, it's working again.

 

The point of all this? Getting a weather station sounds like a great idea until all the maintenance kicks in.  IMO, it's still worth it, I look at the readings constantly, and when I don't have my at-the ready readings to curse out Tony for being off I go into withdrawal.  But don't go into it blindly without knowing that it will incur some expenses down the line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

davis vanatage pro 2, you can get wireless one for 390-400$. That includes the rain gauge and what not. The software though is an extra like 100$ I believe. I know they have the VUE also but I'm not sure how good that is, I think its cheaper.

 

I have the Vantage Vue.  Outstanding station.  You will need Weatherlink to get your information out there, however.  Ambient also has great pricing on Davis.  I think I got mine for < $300.  Weatherlink is another $130.

 

http://www.ambientweather.com/da6250.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Vantage Vue.  Outstanding station.  You will need Weatherlink to get your information out there, however.  Ambient also has great pricing on Davis.  I think I got mine for < $300.  Weatherlink is another $130.

 

http://www.ambientweather.com/da6250.html

whats the difference between the vue and vp2?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have both vantage vue and VP2 stations - vantage vue is easier to set up and all in one - ISS plus cheaper.

VP2 has fan aspiration for more accurate readings -  UV ability for extra sensors and the ability to have a remote wireless anemometer that can be mounted on the roof apart from the ISS

 

Both really good....just VP2 more flexible and more dollars and I would say a somewhat better temp accuracy due to fan aspiration

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the vantage vue, and I noticed that I am not getting wind direction in my readings. I call Davis today and tell them this, and the guys response is "that's weird". So for $112 plus shipping to and from,  they will repair it (I forgot to ask if that includes parts). Now I'm wondering if I drop another $300 and get a new one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the vantage vue, and I noticed that I am not getting wind direction in my readings. I call Davis today and tell them this, and the guys response is "that's weird". So for $112 plus shipping to and from,  they will repair it (I forgot to ask if that includes parts). Now I'm wondering if I drop another $300 and get a new one?

get a vp2 for 390, makes sense to me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...