weather station recommendations?

   #1  

texasjohn

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So, I'm getting lazy. I'm wanting a weather station that does the following:

wireless
rainfall
wind velocity
temperature
alerts for very high wind for safety and low wind for herbacide spraying
nice large display, maybe backlit

nice-to-have
atomic clock
PC connectivity


.any recommendations appreciated, let's stay under $150
 
   #4  

themichelob

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The Vantage series by Davis does pretty much all you asked for. I have the Vue (a lower end model), and it has all those features except atomic clock. Working now for a couple years without a problem. Regards, Mike
 
   #5  

lhfarm

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After going through 4 low-cost weather stations, that broke or didn't work, I purchased a Davis Pro Vantage 2 for around $500. That was 5 or more years ago and it has been rock solid. I sure wish I had started with the Davis and saved myself time and money. Be sure and do lots of research on the long-term performance of the low cost models. There are several threads on weather stations here too.

Good luck.
 
   #6  

Retired Iron Peddler

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After going through 4 low-cost weather stations, that broke or didn't work, I purchased a Davis Pro Vantage 2 for around $500. That was 5 or more years ago and it has been rock solid. I sure wish I had started with the Davis and saved myself time and money. Be sure and do lots of research on the long-term performance of the low cost models. There are several threads on weather stations here too.

Good luck.

Yep, that's been my experience too. After wasting money and time on cheap weather stations, I purchased a Davis Pro Vantage 2 Weather Station over 6 years ago. It has worked as designed for all that time. I had a couple of problems with the rain sensor errors in recording rainfall. Each time I contacted Davis, they promptly sent the replacement parts to me at no charge. I also have software loaded on my computer to report my weather data to the Weather Underground internet weather web site every 2 seconds.:D

I have a TX pesticide application license and for my required records when spraying my pasture for weeds, I keep a copy of the wind speed and direction for that day with my other records.

Bill
 
   #7  

Ken45101

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When I researched weather stations, the common thing I read was that the cheaper ones did not last. So I too went with the Davis Pro Vantage 2 about 5 years ago and I've been very happy.

I only wish they had software for the Mac. I bought a cheap netbook computer for the weather station.
 
   #8  

cqaigy2

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When I researched weather stations, the common thing I read was that the cheaper ones did not last. So I too went with the Davis Pro Vantage 2 about 5 years ago and I've been very happy.

I only wish they had software for the Mac. I bought a cheap netbook computer for the weather station.
Seems like i remember seeing software on weather-display site that would work with mac.
 
   #9  

MikeFarm

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The Davis Vantage Pro has software for OSX "WeatherLink for Mac OS X"
 

Ken45101

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Well the OSX software is new since I bought my weather station. But $165 is pretty steep!

Thanks for the heads up.
 

lhfarm

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Well the OSX software is new since I bought my weather station. But $165 is pretty steep!

Thanks for the heads up.

Do check out Weather Display - the Weather Station software and also look at their forum for Macs. I don't use a Mac, but Weather-Display is great software and works with about any weather station.

I should have mentioned to the OP that to really get the most out of his station, he will want to run software 24/7.
 

unbidden

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Many have mentioned the Davis weather stations; if and when I upgrade that is probably my next WS. I'm currently running an Ambient WS-2080 with dual monitors. One is dedicated to uploading info to WeatherUnderground (with use of a netbook computer) and the other is downstairs just for casually checking weather. I've been running the 2080 since November and have had zero problems with the unit. There are many places to purchase WS's, I can tell you that AmbientWeather.com: weather stations, weather station equipment, weather radios, and more prices and customer service is top notch.

By the way, uploading to WeatherUnderground is free and you can download the app to view your station from a smart phone. Sandaysoft > Cumulus software can be run on several different WS's and is free to use and download, this is what you could use to upload your weather to WU.
 

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Another satisfied Davis Vantage Pro user. Have the wireless Internet module. I can monitor from phone, iPad, computer and also share link with anyone interested. I also link to wunderground.com and get my historical data there.

David Sent from my iPad using TractorByNet
 

B7510HSD

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I also am a Davis fan I have a VP2 and a new Vantage Vue for another location they are side by side at the moment and seem to record exactly the same!! The Vue can be had for about $100 over your planned price!
 

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Another vote for the Davis. I have two. The latest is a Davis 6163 Wireless Vantage Pro2 Plus. I have the IP link on both for Internet access. On one I also have an add-on wireless temp module with the probe installed 4' underwater in my pond so I can monitor and record the water temperature. Davis doesn't seem to update their products very often, but they seem to be pretty stable and reliable.
 
  
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#17  
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texasjohn

texasjohn

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all good info...lots of pointers to sites and stations I had not located.
I had considered Weather Underground and 24/7 monitoring. I do have extra PCs laying around that could do that. Sounds like a good idea to do that.
Lots of Davis fans ...reliability is there, price a little steep, but your testamonials have caught my attention.
Also, the ambient 2090 had caught my eye...no solar shield needed and all sensors in one unit plus everything else for $110. No wonder currently sold out.
 

ustmd

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Another for Davis....I had a couple of other cheapo stations that all crapped out, for various reasons, within 1-2 years (Central TX summers are a little hard on electronics that are intentionally positioned in the direct sun). My Davis station has been running now for 3 years--no issues.
 

troutsqueezer

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I have the Ambient 1090. Does everything you list. Gets many 5 star reviews on Amazon. Works like a champ for me.
 

davehowell

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I had the same problem, buying a weather station for a college science department. After several disappointments with differing equipment, I just went to the internet and got all the data we needed from dedicated local weather reporters such as schools, airports, and nearby broadcast stations.

I found that the most closest to our measurements were those at the same altitude. Around here, mid Atlantic Appalachians, altitude and microclimate, especially the direction that slopes face, cause significant weather changes


Maybe this is useful for you. If you wanted your own very local conditions, this approach would not work.
 

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I have two Davis weather stations both are at least 10 years old and working well. They are nice I check them every morning. But In the workshop I have a $24.95 Atomic Clock, in color, with time, temperature inside and out, Barometer with rise and fall indicators and weather prediction. I like it a lot so when the outside sensors go on the weather stations I will not replace them. :2cents:
 

sodamo

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Another vote for the Davis. I have two. The latest is a Davis 6163 Wireless Vantage Pro2 Plus. I have the IP link on both for Internet access. On one I also have an add-on wireless temp module with the probe installed 4' underwater in my pond so I can monitor and record the water temperature. Davis doesn't seem to update their products very often, but they seem to be pretty stable and reliable.

How does this water temp get reported? Just on the console or in the apps or web? Been thinking of adding this to keep track of pool temp.

David Sent from my iPad using TractorByNet
 

sshaw

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How does this water temp get reported? Just on the console or in the apps or web? Been thinking of adding this to keep track of pool temp.

The water temp gets reported as "Temp 2" on the console. One thing I'd note (because it surprised me) is that the console will graph a history of the inside and outside temp, but it won't graph the extra temp sensor.

With the additional purchase of the Weatherlink software and data logger, you can archive the data and make graphs on a PC or MAC. With Weatherlink there is also the option to have the data from your station show up on a simple web page at weatherlink.com, which is easily checked from your smartphone. I use this often to get a quick real-time weather check. The water temp will show on the data summary page.

See these examples:

Davis | WeatherLink - WeatherLink Station Map

Davis | WeatherLink - My Weather Page

Davis | WeatherLink - My Weather Page

Weatherlink will run you another $200 to $300 depending on the option you choose. I've been using WeatherlinkIP, which requires very little setup.

The wireless temp sensor runs another $200.
 

Coyote machine

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Cool ! This thread is wanting me to get going on hooking up my weather station, can't remember the brand at the moment but I will check it out soon. Thanks guys!:thumbsup:
 

unbidden

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all good info...lots of pointers to sites and stations I had not located.
I had considered Weather Underground and 24/7 monitoring. I do have extra PCs laying around that could do that. Sounds like a good idea to do that.
Lots of Davis fans ...reliability is there, price a little steep, but your testamonials have caught my attention.
Also, the ambient 2090 had caught my eye...no solar shield needed and all sensors in one unit plus everything else for $110. No wonder currently sold out.

IMO, don't buy the 2090, get the 2080. You will need the larger add-on solar shield if you want accurate readings unless you can get your sensor in the shade. But shade means you are probably blocking wind, thus wind reading won't be accurate.
 
  
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#26  
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texasjohn

texasjohn

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their site says the 2090 is an upgrade to the 2080, in particular a better temp sensor and no extra solar shield required...
are you saying that the upgrade is still insufficient and a LARGER shield is still needed? I'm having a little trouble why an accurate temp sensor is so difficult. Seems just need several layers of shielding/shadè to do the job...maybe you have insight...couldn't one build an umbrella for it? I will be putting it on a tower, no shade, trees, obstruction for 40 yards any direction.

Solar shield is another $30 while cost is same for 2080 and 2090.

IMO, don't buy the 2090, get the 2080. You will need the larger add-on solar shield if you want accurate readings unless you can get your sensor in the shade. But shade means you are probably blocking wind, thus wind reading won't be accurate.
 

unbidden

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their site says the 2090 is an upgrade to the 2080, in particular a better temp sensor and no extra solar shield required...
are you saying that the upgrade is still insufficient and a LARGER shield is still needed? I'm having a little trouble why an accurate temp sensor is so difficult. Seems just need several layers of shielding/shadè to do the job...maybe you have insight...couldn't one build an umbrella for it? I will be putting it on a tower, no shade, trees, obstruction for 40 yards any direction.

Solar shield is another $30 while cost is same for 2080 and 2090.

The sensor array is upgraded (??) but I doubt the temp sensor is any more accurate. With the small solar shield on the 2090 the temp is going to be affected by direct sun light. The wind directional and wind speed cups are now combined, therefore you can't separate them nor can you place the temp sensor at the optimal height without affecting wind/speed/direction. For those reasons I believe the upgrade is a downgrade. It will also be easier to replace a given part on the 2080 because the components are separate and not combined. Again, this is just my opinion but I think you’ll find that temps without the larger shield will at times be 3 or 4 degrees off.
 
  
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texasjohn

texasjohn

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fair enough
So, with the 2080 I could mount everything BUT the temp sensor at the top of my tower and temp sensor in a location/shaded box I construct for it? What is optimum height for temp sensor and how far can it be located from the other sensors?? Individual sensor replacement does seem to be an advantage.


The sensor array is upgraded (??) but I doubt the temp sensor is any more accurate. With the small solar shield on the 2090 the temp is going to be affected by direct sun light. The wind directional and wind speed cups are now combined, therefore you can't separate them nor can you place the temp sensor at the optimal height without affecting wind/speed/direction. For those reasons I believe the upgrade is a downgrade. It will also be easier to replace a given part on the 2080 because the components are separate and not combined. Again, this is just my opinion but I think you値l find that temps without the larger shield will at times be 3 or 4 degrees off.
 

unbidden

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fair enough
So, with the 2080 I could mount everything BUT the temp sensor at the top of my tower and temp sensor in a location/shaded box I construct for it? What is optimum height for temp sensor and how far can it be located from the other sensors?? Individual sensor replacement does seem to be an advantage.

To get all components to an optimal height and position is extremely difficult but anything close will give you reasonably accurate results. Take a look here: Weather Station Installation Guide Be sure to view the available pdf files that are linked on that page. The first pdf explains height and distance but is in meters, easy enough to do the approximate math though. You can Google weather station placement and will get several hits, all are approximately the same info. One thing you should definitely do is use lithium batteries in the sensor and console. Dollar for dollar they last longer and are less susceptible to temperature changes.

If you do go with the WS2080 or 90, the software set up will confuse you, but if you look at the help menus on Easy Weather + Cumulus you'll find that you don't have to enter much configuration at all. Be sure you set the proper time zone, for example (-5 is a different zone than 5). Another thing is if you live at altitude, find on line a local airport that is approximately the same ft above sea level as you are and use that barometric pressure reading in your settings. That all sounds confusing but you'll grasp it and find it's fun to do. I suggest you peruse the following message board: WXforum.net - Index Everything you'll need is there and the members are as friendly as here on TBN.

One other thing, if you do use Cumulus to upload to WeatherUnderground you’ll need to shut Easy Weather software down. Just use Easy Weather when configuring your console and making changes.

Now that I confused you, don't worry, you will love it and will learn a lot about weather.
 

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Davis Vantage pro 2 here with Weatherlink to broadcast my data. 3 flawless years so far.

Dad has a Davis Weather Wizzard, going on 8 years old (IIRC). No issues at all either. And its right off the ocean in a salt spray environment.

We had a cheaper ($100) station from Walmart (National Geographic?? brand). It was garbage. Batteries dieing and it basically was destroyed by the salt environment in less than a year. Waste of $100.

I can't say enough good about the Davis products. Plus in the unlikely event something gets damaged after the warranty expires, most if not all the parts are available for purchase. Things like anemometer cups.

Davis products are more pricey than the cheap chinese models, but they are made in the USA to a higher standard. They are basically professional quality, but not near as expensive as actual "commercial" products, as such they are used in a lot of commercial and industrial applications.

I bought through these guys: Davis Vantage Pro2 Great service and lowest price I found.
 

Ken45101

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How high for the thermometer? Well it depends on what you want to read. Seriously, ours is 6' above our second floor balcony. It will read higher than something close to ground level. We live on a ridge top. On still evenings, the valley below is often 5-8 degrees cooler than it is up at the house. Only at breezy times are the temperatures consistent.

FWIW, our Davis Vantage Pro II is mounted with the wind sensor on the top of a 20' mast. The rest of the station is at 6' above the balcony.
 

crazyal

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I got a LaCrosse pro something. It's worked fine for a number of years now, 5 or 6 maybe, but I'm not sure if I would call it the best you can get. I found that the wind gauge is somewhat worthless with all the trees I have it keeps the wind too high up to get an accurate reading. If you're not looking to spend too much money then I would suggest looking into their pro line.
 
  
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texasjohn

texasjohn

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Thanks to all for ideas, sites, recommendations.
I ordered the Ambient 2080 with two consoles for monitoring two locations and backup in case one console goes bad. I'll build my own temperature shield. Deciding factors included low price, complete connectivity to PC and web publishing, Ambient has reputation for excellent service. Seems they sell lots of units with few issues. Issues I found included Ambient working quickly to resolution. Separate sensors allow individual replacement if one fails.

Many fans of Davis here and am sure they are a great unit, but but in the end I decided the above points were sufficient to go with Ambient. I may regret choice, we'll see. Will let you know how it goes.

Anxiously awaiting arrival now and mounting before the tornados hit!
 
  
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texasjohn

texasjohn

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Ambient 2080 arrived promptly with two consoles as ordered. Glad I got two, one for house, one for shop, can review where I am. Temporary set up was simple. Components of plastic but look like they will last several years. Glad I got the 2080, allows placing temp sensor independently. I have constructed an additional sun shade for it. Easy to do with about a 2 ft piece of 4" pvc pipe. Placed it in center of pipe with standoffs so good air flow all around. Have temporarily mounted it. Am planning on setting up PC so it will continuously report to Weather Underground...still to do. Am enjoying it.
 
 
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