OT: Weather Stations



Thanks.
I am looking for a package that works out of the box without any of the trials and tribulations that I usually experience trying to set-up anything with software involved.
I haven't as yet investigated how difficult it is to lay the wires from the outdoor site to the house difficulty with which would be the only reason I might yet opt to go wireless.
<rant on> I find the current trend to battery powered devices such as programmable stats for central heating that could so easily be powered off the mains a right PITA. OK so there has to be a back-up battery included for the best of both worlds but that would typically last much longer and you wouldn't lose your settings for being a bit lax in battery replacement at least unless a power cut intervened. <rant off>
--
Roger Chapman

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Roger wrote:

If you would be satisfied with a system that gives you all the data on the display then you don't need to worry about the setup. On the other hand you cannot avoid using PC software if you want to automatically record lots of detailed historical data. It is also worth noting that unless you can mount the various sensors rigidly in an appropriate position you are not going get anything like accurate results. Furthermore readings can vary significantly between locations a short distance apart particularly if there are building or trees nearby. So don't expect to get any meaningful corelation with other stations or the met office figures.
Peter Crosland
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk
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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 10:09:50 GMT, Roger wrote:

Probably, our wireless thermostat stuggles the 30' from the living room to boiler room with a thick solid stone wall in the way. Cables just work.

You need something to record the data, in my case it's the PC that is on 24/7 as my server. If you don't want to leave a PC on (a mini ITX machine will take very little power) then some dorm of logger will be required.

You get what you pay for... Most stuff is easy enough to set up, siting of sensors in suitable locations is the normal sticking point.
Cheap stuff how about: http://www.anchorsupplies.com/w-8681.htm 89.95 + P&P But unless there has been 3rd party work on the software that is what you will be stuck with. Support/replacement parts for the hardware might be hard to come by as well. Support/parts for Davis and (some?) Oregan kit is available.
My WM918 is ancient and works but it did take quite a bit of prodding to get the rain guage not to falsely register interference and I've replace the reed switch in the anemometer a few times. The later generations use the same or very similar protocol on the serial port and there is 3rd party software for them.

Only you can decide is cables are going to be too much agro to install. It might be worth investigating the topography of the cables. Mine has the sensors wired back to a connection box then a single cable from there to the consol. The connection box isn't suitable for outdoor use but I've stuck in a plastic box in the shed with a silica gel bag, it's happy. The connection cable from the box to consol is a bit of CAT5 network cable, run through a bit of flexable plastic conduit buried 6" down under a path. It's longer than the one supplied but it works. Finding out what the connectors used are and the cable may mean this technique could be used on another station.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Dave Liquorice wrote:

Blimey! Is that not far too good to be true????????
Richard
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Richard wrote:

Yes! It is illegal to use in the UK as the radio is not on approved frequencies.
Peter Crosland
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On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 22:58:28 -0000, Peter Crosland wrote:

Are you sure?
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/licensing/classes/rlans/short /
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Cheers
Dave.




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wrote:

Maplin do a few similar items:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?criteria=Wireless%20Weather%20Station&source &SD=N
According to PDF , 868 euro 915 US
Adam
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Wel it is cheap, but mebbe not cheerful, perhaps weather proof your weather stattion first:
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/7178
Adam
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On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 18:15:12 -0800 (PST), Adam Aglionby wrote:

In the first "review" long cables mean you can mount sensors away from the transmitter, this is a plus point in my book depending on how much excess cable there is of course...
Water may or may not be a problem if it can get out again easily things will dry. It's long term wet that causes trouble. The rating of IPX3 given in the second review would be about right for what is described. A secondary box would probably be a good idea though.
Some battery technologies detest the cold and just don't work when down to 0C or below. See threads in here about wireless Davis kit stopping in the cold...
Frozen wind vane, it happens, water freezes, not a fault with the kit. Under some conditions mine can freeze up with a gale blowing. Wet snow and a sudden temp drop will do it.
Software, well it's windows that's what windows does. Particulary with rushed together software developed without a budget.
You get what you pay for treat it with a bit of TLC on installation and I suspect it'll last fairly well. Getting at the data without using the diff software might be a problem but perhaps someone has reverse engineered the protocol or maybe it's even been published by the OEM.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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wrote:

Dinnae see a problem either

With the longer cables getting the box in a more sheltered position shouldnt be aproble, allow for drain and possibly some silica gel in the box, in the sun it should dry out again. Corrosion on connectors can always be a problem, silicone grease if your a supporter of the idea.

Actually have a solar light with JumpSun nicds and green LEDs in it that stilll lights in sub zero conditions covered in snow.

If it was wired could probably add a wirewound heater resistor.

Does export a CSV file so should be useable, guessing at the cost they`ll be popular and somone will have hacked the protocol either by now or soon.

Maplin had them at a short term inro price of 75 quid, german ebay vendor is similar price as well as several UK vendors. Have got a couple of wireless temp/humidity sensors, Aldidl ones, outside have been trouble free for over a year. Wind information would be useful with the motorcycling season re awakening. Knew could think of some justification ;-)

Looks like these people could be the OEM
http://hopefulindustrial.com /
Wish it could run wired as well, wind sensor here should really be 3 storeys up in traditionally constructed tenement, dinnae think 868 is going to make it that far, and scared of heights for changing the batteries ;-)
One wire weather instruments seem to have got down in cost a bit and now with a UK vendor:
http://www.audon.co.uk/1-wire_weather.html
Adam

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Dave Liquorice wrote:

If they are type approved which I understand they are not. However I could be wrong.
Peter Crosland
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868 MHz is OK for licence exempt applications..
--
Tony Sayer


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tony sayer wrote:

Noted. My understanding is that these are not actually appoved.
Peter Crosland
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Just an update.
I have ordered a Davis VP 2 Wireless package at the limited offer price of 599. I will report back when I get it set up.
The cabled option was cheaper but I would have had to buy an extension cable which would have closed the gap somewhat and I took fright at the amount of work required to route the cable through the house and barn and out across the garden.
Oh well not much over the 500 limit I set myself at the start.
--
Roger Chapman

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On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 21:05:50 GMT, Roger wrote:

Great !! :-)
I'll be very interested in how you get on with the VP 2.
I've had mine a year and am still *very* impressed with it. Watching it a lot of the time :-) Also looking at WeatherLink graphs from the data logger on my PC.
When installed more updates please :-)
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Regards,

Hugh Jampton
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Will do. Probably take me at least a week to get myself sorted and that is if I don't have to get back to my misbehaving gas boiler which has been relatively trouble free over the last few days.
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Roger Chapman

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Kit turned up lunchtime. Unfortunately I had to do my delayed shopping after that so planting the units won't happen today. Won't happen in the near future either if the weather forecast into early next week is correct. Must look on the upside. A week will give me a chance to read the destruction booklets from end to end even if I won't necessarily understand it all. :-)
--
Roger Chapman

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Weather has been kinder than forecast and I spent much of today installing the weather station.
Preparation took some time as I had to make my own fixing for the anemometer. The U bolts supplied were intended for thinner poles.
The anemometer is mounted on a 2.5" diameter pole I happened to have resting in a neglected part of the garden. 13 feet of it made up of 2 discarded lengths of gas main from the days when gas main was plastic covered steel. It is planted near the edge of an embankment wall. The top of the pole is 8 feet above the top of the wall and some 11 feet above the ground below the wall. A kind neighbour offered his services as counterbalance while I fitted the anemometer to the top of the pole working from a ladder leaning against the wall. Ladder flexed rather alarmingly in cantilever mode. Being short of cement I back filled round the pole with compacted clay. I think I will need to give the pole a concrete collar but I will see what happens in the short term first. I will be annoyed if I have to dig it all out and start again. I sprained a thumb lifting the pole into position.
The main station is mounted in a flower bed on a round fence post about 15 feet from the pole and 4 or 5 feet from a low wall. That too was dug in as I didn't want to risk splitting the top of the post by hammering. It is not really high enough but I didn't have a longer pole. The connection cable is protected by some redundant drain pipe but the trench is still open and will stay open until the weather is fine long enough for me to add some concrete round the anemometer pole.
The console is up and running but has a constant message for me - low console batteries - not surprising seeing I didn't have any batteries to put in it. It is just about line of sight through a window at the moment but moving it around in the house suggests that the reception is still good enough even when there is a substantial thickness of stone wall in the way.
It is going to take me some considerable time to become familiar with the more complicated functions but in the meantime I can see at a glance the headline figures on an almost instant basis which is in great contrast to Weather Willie who coughed only once every several minutes. Weather Willie is still there so I can see whether he over reads on wind speed as much as I thought he did. When setting up the weather link it asked me for the rainfall to date this year. Weather Willie claims 30 inches which is so obviously incorrect that I left the figure at zero. (IIRC annual rainfall is supposed to be of the order of 40 inches).
There was quite a draft during the day but wind has gone light now and there is not a lot happening here on the weather front at the moment. If I had a wind turbine it certainly wouldn't be generating. :-)
It remains to be seen how bad the severe weather expected over the next few days really is. At least I have this up and running so I will have some accurate data if the wind doesn't push the anemometer pole over.
--
Roger Chapman

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On Sun, 9 Mar 2008 21:43:51 GMT, Roger wrote:

Great :-)

Get batteries - you need them to move the console around.

I'm sure the reception will be OK.

Yep - good innit ? :-)
You seem happy with the Davis so far - Good. Keep posting with updates and any problems. Also get Weatherlink working with the data logger - I wouldn't be without it.
Have a look here :-
http://www.troytheblacklab.co.uk/weather
Just updated my weatherlink data once (I don't keep it updated).
Have fun :-)
--
Regards,

Hugh Jampton
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I intend to but that will have to wait for a few days.

So am I, now.

Yes. I suppose that in time I will become familiar enough with it to stop dipping into the instructions when just pressing buttons doesn't help. :-)

Weatherlink is working. I find that more complicated than the console and there isn't much data as yet.
What recording rate do you use? This is still set at the default 30 minutes.

I am impressed. I don't have a website for perhaps obvious reasons.

So far it is mostly positive but the sprained thumb is a bit of a bind.
The Weather Willie seems to be agreeing on rain so far, not that we have had much, just 0.2 inches but the wind recording is definitely out. High point this morning was 21 mph which WW missed. WW high point was an hour or more earlier when the maximum wind speed was only 20 mph but WW recorded 26.4 mph. If that error is consistent the 81 mph earlier this year was really only 61 mph and the 9x last year only about 70 mph.
--
Roger Chapman

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