Personal Weather Station

 

Ok, here is another Open Talk topic that I would like to get some information about. I have been thinking about getting a personal weather station, not because I need it, but just because I am a gadget geek and like to follow the weather. It seems like it would be an interesting hobby. My local airport where official weather is reported is about 25 miles away, so there can be quite a difference between the local news weather reporting and the weather in my back yard.

My yard is 1/2 acre with lots of open space, so I think I can find a good location to mount a PWS on a pole. I have been looking at the "Ambient Weather WS-1001-WIFI OBSERVER Solar Powered Wireless WiFi Remote Monitoring Weather Station". It measures, records, archives and reports indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, UV and solar radiation. It communicates via wi-fi through your router and connects with the Weather Underground website where the information from your PWS is posted for online viewing.

Does anyone have any experience with this or any other personal weather station? Please share your knowledge and experiences.

http://www.ambientweather.com/amws1000wifi.html

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Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

sponsored links

Lacrosse Deluxe Colour Weather Station

This is what I have. Doesn't log or connect Internet. Shows min/max temp and humidity each day. Both indoor and out.

Does not log rain, but I had one that had rain gauge. But useless in winter.

Has display that visually shows, sun, cloud, rain, snow, lightning.

Averages local barometric pressure and determines weather such as rain, snow, lightning, sunny, etc based on average. Needs about 4-6 weeks to become quite accurate.

$130 Canadian list, but often on sale $50.

As accurate as I need. Trick is to find location for remote temperature/ humidity that remains shaded all day, but still gets decent air flow.

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NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

Welcome to My World

I've been a weather geek virtually all my life. I'm a registered weather spotter for the local branch of the National Weather Service and have been reporting for them for over 15 years.

I'm not familiar with the Ambient products although I know they have a pretty good reputation. My neighbor uses a Lacrosse station and he is quite happy with it.

In my case, I'm serious enough about the weather to justify spending some money. I've been using Davis Instruments equipment for 25 years now. The Vantage Pro2 is the station I'm currently using.

http://www.davis.com/Product/Davis_Instruments_6162_Vantage_...

Davis also makes less expensive models to suit a variety of weather enthusiasts.

http://www.davis.com/Category/Weather_Instruments/51585?refe...

In any case, I find it to be a great hobby and provide a useful service at the same time.

Good luck with whatever equipment you choose.

Nice but Expensive

Those Davis units look nice but are a lot more than I want to pay for a home weather station.

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Shooter N32 39 W97 25 VIA 1535TM, Lexus built-in, TomTom USA App

Well...

Shooter wrote:

Those Davis units look nice but are a lot more than I want to pay for a home weather station.

You can do ewer weather the same way my system works..

Go outside - get wet.. Look around for some kind of water leak.. If you don't find one it's likely raining!

Go outside - can't see your hand.. Try opening your eyes.. If that doesn't work turn on some lights .. Still can't see your hand.. It's likely fog

Go outside - hat blows off - look around for a fan.. Not finding on.. Presume it's windy outside!

Go outside - its light - yet turning off light. If no swich, presume its sunny!

Cheap, simple, effective! razz

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

We have experience with a couple

We opted for the cheaper station first. It was OK but didn't last long and not a lot of information .
We now have the Davis unit. We love it. It is more dependable and we'll worth the extra cost.
It is wifi to the indoor unit and this gives some data but after we hooked the indoor unit to a small netbook computer we were amazed at how much more data there is that can not be seen on the indoor unit by itself.

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Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Davis.

Mary,do you know what model of Davis unit you have?

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Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Personal Weather Station

How many of you are licensed amateur radio operators and members of your local skywarn?

Been involved in

Tx., Ny., Md., & Nc.

Not much call for it in several parts of the continent.

n' yeah, fer the record..

I'm radio active n' glow in the dark!razz

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

Oregon Scientific

Well, I'm on my 2nd Oregon Scientific and I will not buy another.

The first was a WMR918 - wireless, solar with batteries. Not a bad unit. Wind, Temp (3 [or 4] units), Humidity and Barometric Pressure

A squirrel managed to pull the debris screen out of the Rain Gauge and chew at the hole that directed the water to the measuring device. Called support and was told that the device was no longer sold and it was not supported and no parts were available. (2 small screws attached it to the base). Then the temp/humidity sending unit failed and even replacing the NiCad battery as well as the AA batteries did no good. Support gave same song and dance about no support. Of course, they were more than happy to sell me a new weather station.

So the wife got me a new W/S for Christmas (2015). First thing I noticed was that the Rain Gauge had the EXACT SAME TOP as the old one had. So that part was available. They either lied or did not know.

The new base unit randomly adds rainfall to the "Total" amount of rain. Right now it says that we have had 69.81 inches of rain since I did a Reset Jan 24 this year. Yet the local weather data site says we have had 3.73 inches since Jan 1. I do not live in Hawaii where the rainfall could be that high on certain islands on the windward (Northern) side. BTW, it did read 0.0 after the Reset and it randomly added rainfall before the reset as well.

The PC software is not that bad, but it only displays 40 hours in the history charts and has no way to display previous history or access it with the "Free" software.

I reset the unit because it was only displaying the past 8 hours in the 40 hour chart. It had been displaying 32 to 36 hrs. worth, as it is now (apparently normal operation). It was also losing the remote temp gauge signals intermittently.

Oh yeah, it has not been able to receive a signal from WWV to set the time/date accurately - it is still on EST and has lost about 1 min since reset. It may work in another location though.

Once it starts to fail, it will be replaced with another brand.

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Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

I'm licensed

Jim1348 wrote:

How many of you are licensed amateur radio operators and members of your local skywarn?

I'm licensed, but not very active.

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Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

bios atmosphere 2.0

I have one of those. It works ok. Gets tiring after a while...lol

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nüvi®3580LMT,nüvi®2598LMT| We do not live in Igloo's, and do not all ride to work on snow mobiles.

Weather Underground

I have also thought of getting one of those myself, but other than the novelty of it, wasn't sure I wanted to spend the bucks.

As others have said on here, I also did a lot of research and it seems the Davis models have the most features, provide the most data, and also allow you to monitor it remotely.

If all you want is to see weather data closer to you, I would look at Weather Underground. Most of the people who hav ethe Davis system (and others) are connected to the internet and provide their data online. Just open the web page and search in your local area.

I found a neighbor who had one less than half a mile away, so it gives me all the informaiton I need, without any cost to me...

Davis VP2

I have had a sequence of three remote reporting rain gauges over the last 20 years. Even though my reporting location is less than 40 feet through one wall from the place I hang the receiver, the first two had intermittent trouble being received. The current one is a Rainwise model, and has been satisfactory in that respect, although it eats batteries and has some other problems.

About five years ago I bought a Davis Vantage Pro2, and began reporting my data so others could see it. As I have for most of that time, I currently report to wunderground, and I also currently create my own website using the Cumulus software from Sandaysoft.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashbo...
http://pastoll.info/weather/index.htm
https://www.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/a/archae86/11.j...

The Davis reports to my receiver over a much longer distance and through several walls, but has had far more reliable communication than my older rain gauges. My biggest reception problem was at startup, as my Davis receiver was picking up signals from a neighbor transmitter the better part of a thousand feet away, and I did not realize I needed to switch to a non-default channel for a day or two.

My installation is badly in the wind shadow of my home--the issue is neighbor trouble.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Professional Weather Center

I have had two weather centers, one was a a Lacrosse and the one from Acu-Rite. The Lacrosse lasted quite a few years but had to replace the wire and the censer, The Acu-Rite model 01500/01515 is almost three years now and still has the same backup batteries. It has a solar panel that powers the weather station outside. It has to many features to list. Price can be from 99.00 and up. There are features you can get so it will connect to your computer. and wifi. www.AcuRite.com They can also be bought in Walmarts, Home depot.

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johnm405 660 & MSS&T

.

Very interesting topic, especially as I need to replace my BSA weather rock. Shipping is rather expensive. wink

Great Idea!

abeebe wrote:

If all you want is to see weather data closer to you, I would look at Weather Underground. Most of the people who hav ethe Davis system (and others) are connected to the internet and provide their data online. Just open the web page and search in your local area.

I found a neighbor who had one less than half a mile away, so it gives me all the informaiton I need, without any cost to me...

Thanks!

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Shooter N32 39 W97 25 VIA 1535TM, Lexus built-in, TomTom USA App

yes

getting involved in APRS, for information some hams have their weather stations on APrs

davis vantage vue

Nice to be able to see current weather conditions. Also has history graph for last 25 hours and 25 days. For dry southern California, in my area, we had record rain in one day of over 3.3 inch. That would be an average for whole month of January.

Davis Vantage Vue

I have a Davis Vantage Vue. Had it for about 10 years, and it is connected to the internet and posts to Weather Underground. I enjoy it a lot as I am far enough away for an official or even another personal station, that I like seeing my weather.

Also, when I travel, I can see my actual weather including rainfall. I download the temperature data and correlate it with my home's energy usage (have heatpumps) and created a beautiful parabolic curve relating average degree days with daily kwH used. Helpful for seeing when my heatpump might be going bad as the energy usage will move outside the prediction consistently. Also, I have propane for hot water, and I can use weather data to calculate how my propane usage varies with temperature.

Then there is the basic weather data to know the dew point and wind data which is useful when working outside.

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___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

Weather Station

Check Acu-Right. It has an outside weather guage that checks rain, wind speed and direction as well as humidity and temp.

Bloomsky

Davis Vantage Vue

alandb wrote:

Mary,do you know what model of Davis unit you have?

It is a Davis Vantage Vue. It is so much better that the La Crosse we had before it. The Davis Vantage Vue keeps the data link outside to inside a lot better.

If you can be sure and link it to a Laptop or pc. We have a designated Netbook wired to it and you get more information than just on the unit by itself. You can link to NOAA but we never have looked into how.

You can connect it to the internet but we have the program and it is just linked to our Netbook.

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Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

waiting for Acurite Atlas Elite.

Thanks everyone for all the comments, and please keep them coming. So far in the research I have done it seems the Davis Vantage Vue or Vantage Pro2 are the premier hobbyist weather stations. The main disadvantage I see with them is the higher cost. The base cost of the Davis product is comparable to other brands, but by the time you do add-ons for software, internet connectivity, etc you can easily get up into the $500 to $1000 range which is more than I want to spend.

The thing that appeals to me about the Ambient WS1001 product is that everything is included in the package and it is in the $300 price range. I have however read some conflicting reviews about quality, durability and reliability of that brand, so I am still trying to sort that out.

I see that Acurite announced some new products at CES in January that are supposed to be available in the second quarter. The Acurite Atlas Elite looks interesting to me. The pricing isn't available yet, so I think I will wait to see how that shakes out and what the early reviews say before I decide what to get.

So for now I will continue to research. I found the WXforum.net weather forum which seems to be the go-to forum for weather stations, just like POI Factory is for GPS. So I am just starting to dig through all the information available there.

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Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

The weather rock is very reliable.

You can get one almost anywhere. And they are very simple to use.

perpster wrote:

Very interesting topic, especially as I need to replace my BSA weather rock. Shipping is rather expensive. wink

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Nuvi 2460LMT and 1350.

Was formerly the ARES

Was formerly the ARES Emergency Coordinator, RACES Radio Officer and Skywarn involved for Brooklyn, NY prior to buying a house in Nassau County. I didn't get involved in the services after I moved but was deployed with my licensed wife the weekend following 9/11 t set up communications across the street from where the towers stood.
I have full HF, UHF, VHF in my daily vehicle and have an antenna and roof tower for the house I haven't set up.
I am on the local UHF repeater all of the time and have been playing with DMR for almost 2 years.

My call, as you probably could tell, is KB2PSM.

Rob

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Maps -> Wife -> Garmin 12XL -> StreetPilot 2610 -> Nuvi 660 (blown speaker) -> Nuvi 3790LMT

.

pwohlrab wrote:

You can get one almost anywhere. And they are very simple to use.

perpster wrote:

Very interesting topic, especially as I need to replace my BSA weather rock. Shipping is rather expensive. wink

And made in the pre-historic USA!

What is the weather rock?

perpster wrote:

And made in the pre-historic USA!

The weather rock or weather stone is a humor display that pokes fun at the intricate technology used in modern weather forecasts, as well as the fact that their accuracy is less than perfect. A rock is typically hung from a tripod and accompanied by a sign indicating how to read it. And your right...made in the USA. Official Boy Scout tool. lol

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nüvi®3580LMT,nüvi®2598LMT| We do not live in Igloo's, and do not all ride to work on snow mobiles.

Nice if you're traveling

Someone in our neighborhood has one that I found by using the WunderStation app on my iPad. It satisfies a curiosity as to the local weather at home when we're away and it logs things such as rainfall and temperatures over time. I'll try to find out who has it and what the brand/model is as it seems to have been reliable for a couple of years that I've been aware of its existence.

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"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

Weather Underground (WunderStation)

You can see what equipment they have when you look at the station on Weather Underground. There is a link at the top that reads "About this PWS". The popup will show the equipment being used.

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Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Thoughts to Consider

From my years of experience with these amateur weather stations, I recommend you give some thought to the following when shopping out a system.

Battery backup is a must if you are recording historical weather data.

The station should have the ability to store its own data and not require a connection to a booted PC.

An Internet interface is a great feature which allows others, including yourself and perhaps the National Weather Service, to monitor current weather conditions at home. I find it handy to be able to check the indoor temp when I'm travelling during the winter.

Programmable alarms. I have remote sensors located in areas sensitive to low temps like pipes in crawl spaces, greenhouses etc.

I strongly recommend a wireless station with no direct connection to indoor electronics. I've lost 2 PC's and a couple of data storage units over the years to power surges caused by lightning.

When shopping for a wireless station, consider those with enough range to cover the sensor locations you want to use. Often is is best to monitor temps close to the ground while an anemometer and wind vane should be mounted as high as possible. Finding a location for an "all in one" sensor array is often difficult for accurate readings. I monitor the temp in an out building a half mile away using the repeater option on my Davis station.

Wireless systems that allow multiple console locations are very handy. I have them in the den, the bedroom and another in the family room.

You can save some money by buying a basic station that is expandable to fit future needs. I added the solar and UV sensors as well as extra consoles to my Davis Vantage Pro 2 a couple of years afterward and saved over $500 on my initial purchase.

Keep in mind some solar powered wireless sensors still have battery backup. It may not be convenient to have to get up on the roof during the winter to replace a battery.

While most quality stations have the majority of these features, it still pays to check before buying.

Have a good idea what you want to monitor and where you can put your sensors. Then choose a product that fits your needs and budget.

Great information!

Great information bdhsfz6. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise and advice. It is very much appreciated. I wish I could get a Vantage Pro 2, but it is beyond my budget. From what I can figure out, by the time you get all the sensors, bridge, software, etc. you can soon be up to $1000 or more which is more than I can justify. On the other hand, I don't just want to buy $200 or $300 worth of junk that will only last a year or two.

I will continue to research, read reviews and other info and take my time. In the end, I may decide to stay away from the weather station hobby and just get my weather info from nearby stations on WU. There are several within a few miles of me. It is interesting to see the variation between sites that are close to each other. It is obvious that some folks do a better job than others of maintaining and calibrating their stations.

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Alan - Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Davis

Based on alandb's tip, my neighbor has a Davis Vantage View

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"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

I like to think it is my PWS :)

TXRVer wrote:

Someone in our neighborhood has one that I found by using the WunderStation app on my iPad. It satisfies a curiosity as to the local weather at home when we're away and it logs things such as rainfall and temperatures over time. I'll try to find out who has it and what the brand/model is as it seems to have been reliable for a couple of years that I've been aware of its existence.

Same here. By using WunderStation, I was able to satisfy my itch of getting a PWS by just using the information from my neighbors. I set up his PWS as my favorite. Saved me a bundle of money and time. smile

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Garmin Nuvi 2699 with 2017.30 Maps

What? Its very accurate.

The weather rock is very accurate.....for the time you are viewing it.
If its wet...its raining.
If its moving...its windy.
If its dry...its sunny out.

Speed2 wrote:
perpster wrote:

And made in the pre-historic USA!

The weather rock or weather stone is a humor display that pokes fun at the intricate technology used in modern weather forecasts, as well as the fact that their accuracy is less than perfect. A rock is typically hung from a tripod and accompanied by a sign indicating how to read it. And your right...made in the USA. Official Boy Scout tool. lol

--
Nuvi 2460LMT and 1350.