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Topic # 150248 16-Jul-2014 12:51
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I'd like to get a weather station at home, anyone on here a guru on the topic ?

I'd like something wireless that will send the stats back to the Apple Mac and be solar powered/charged.

Thanks!

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  Reply # 1089918 16-Jul-2014 13:04
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I am no guru on them, far from it, but you have quite a few restrictions there. How much are you looking to spend?

I have a basic N96FY from the UK, which is a rebadged fine offset WH1081 from memory. This is not solar powered, but the batteries do last a very long time.

What do you expect to get with wireless? Mine is wireless back to a base unit, that is required to be plugged into a PC.

As for Mac? No idea sorry, I am Windows based, and use Cumulus by Sandaysoft for collating and uploading all of my data.
If you have a raspberry pi, should work on Mac also, you could look at something like weewx.



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  Reply # 1089931 16-Jul-2014 13:20
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I'm after wireless (not so much WiFi) from the main unit back to the base station that can then be plugged into a Mac to see the data.
I'd like the sensor unit away from the house (the house is slightly behind a hill).

Budget .. not sure, still getting ideas on cost.

Thanks!

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  Reply # 1089953 16-Jul-2014 13:46
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I got a WS3083 off TM. There are punters there bidding away at $5 increments, if you blow them out of the water fairly constantly with around a $250 bid (close to retail), eventually you'll walk away with a good deal.

Basic fine offset clone, with UV and battery charging onboard. Ships with Alkaline rechargables. I get patchy reception to the base and it sometimes goes offline (but auto recovers), but workable and may be due to the insulation/walls it goes through. As long a you can find some mac SW that allows 'fine offset' stations you will be sweet with most the ones on the market.

(The particular user I got mine off sends the other bidders a buy-now offer at whatever it went for too)

If you want better accuracy, can't go wrong with a davies instrument, or High end lacrosse.

In all, most the full wireless logging stations are build with the same guts, and output but different sensors.

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  Reply # 1089977 16-Jul-2014 14:13
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Mark: I'd like to get a weather station at home, anyone on here a guru on the topic ?

I'd like something wireless that will send the stats back to the Apple Mac and be solar powered/charged.

Thanks!


There's some very nice RaspberryPi and arduino options in this space at the moment.  I like the look of this http://airpi.es/ personally.

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  Reply # 1090014 16-Jul-2014 14:51
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 I've got a Davis vantage pro 2 which I bought 2007 for about 1800.
That's a lot but it's still going 8 years later which is more than I can say for the 2 computers I have bought for more during the same time.

The sensor array is outside and wirelessly transmits the data to a base station which has liquid crystal screen. The data is then forwarded via serial-usb cable to pc where the data is collated/graphed etc for display to weather underground (which I access on phone app) as well as ftp to my webpage.

Software I use is called weather display and is written by guy up Auckland way.

One option is to look aground your neighborhood on weather underground site for personal weather stations near your house and see if you can contact the owner for a look / chat.

Also look at weather display forum for other equipment options.

A.

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  Reply # 1090017 16-Jul-2014 14:54
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If you are using one of those WH108x stations then pywws is definitely worth a look. I had this running on a RPi (connected to the base station by USB) and it worked very nicely. Could tweet weather updates and even managed to integrate it with my home automation software (openHAB). I got my station as a birthday present a few years ago but recently it died and the outdoor unit refuses to sync with the base station anymore.

I am in the process of attempting to build a custom weather station using Arduinos and the various (cheap) sensors available...

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  Reply # 1090031 16-Jul-2014 15:19
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afe66:  I've got a Davis vantage pro 2 which I bought 2007 for about 1800.


Davis are king when it comes to weather stations, unfortunately this comes at a price. They're a bit cheaper in the US but unfortunately they operated on a band that we can't use here. You can find them for sale here, they're not cheap: http://www.davisnet.co.nz/6/vantage_pro2_weather_stations/ It's an additional $150-ish to get the data cable to hook it up to your PC.

I've had a La Crosse 2355 in the past (dropped out all the time) and currently have the 3083 mentioned previously (bought from Australia for NZ$170), it's OK but I also have dropout problems occasionally. I have weewx running which puts all the data into a MySQL database for me which I then use in an app I built as well as publish the data up to Weather Underground.



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  Reply # 1090055 16-Jul-2014 15:41
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Thanks for the info!  Lots of good stuff to read up on :-)

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  Reply # 1090066 16-Jul-2014 15:53
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I also have a WS3083 what I used until I moved house last year (currently waiting for me to put it back up at my new place), it worked good and had it uploading to a website so my friends in town could see the data through Cumulus with the Steel Series Gauges as the main web interface.

The Solar charging worked well never had to change the batteries and the base station worked without any issues.

Dion

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  Reply # 1090149 16-Jul-2014 16:56
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Maybe not too relevant to the OP's requirements, but we've run a weather station for many years which uploads current wind info to the Kapiti Boating Club website.  We initially used Davis units but they lasted about 2 years before they tore themselves to pieces.  So I would say they're not really suitable for truly coastal sites if you want no-bother reliability.  We eventually picked up an RM Young unit on Trade Me - these are a whole different thing altogether.  Ours has gone for 11 years with only a bearing replacement about 5 years ago - probably due for another one soon but it's simple to do.

These are beautiful things and definitely not cheap.  But they are a sort of world-wide industry standard and installed in all sorts of places, so there's always a chance of picking one up cheap.  Ours came from a South Island ski field.

When we last researched it we found that the wireless and solar-powered units were very limited by the volume of data they could send. So you don't get accurate gust information, which is important for a sailing club.




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  Reply # 1090163 16-Jul-2014 17:37
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afe66:  I've got a Davis vantage pro 2 which I bought 2007 for about 1800.


Davis are king when it comes to weather stations, unfortunately this comes at a price. They're a bit cheaper in the US but unfortunately they operated on a band that we can't use here. You can find them for sale here, they're not cheap: http://www.davisnet.co.nz/6/vantage_pro2_weather_stations/ It's an additional $150-ish to get the data cable to hook it up to your PC


Ditto  http://www.weatherlink.com/user/stormclouds/index.php?view=summary&headers=1



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  Reply # 1090188 16-Jul-2014 18:24
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Nothing but problems with fine offset stuff.

433MHz is junk, seldom get more than one reliable update thru, hardware yellowed and went brittle inside a year, the USB port on the inside thing was never fully working and the inside thing would lose all the data when you took the batteries out to get it to reset so that the USB would work.

Tried using a 433MHz reciever on a raspi and that was barely getting any usable updates. Never got around to relocating the pi to the loft right under the station to see if it helped.

If there is a quality _wired_ weather station, or a reliable 2 way comms station then that would interest me. one way radio stuff is just not good enough.




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  Reply # 1090189 16-Jul-2014 18:36
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Davis do wired weather stations too and you can buy them from USA.
But the wires are a hassle I would imagine, so I went NZ wireless which has been perfect for me.

A.




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  Reply # 1090198 16-Jul-2014 18:57
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mclean: Maybe not too relevant to the OP's requirements, but we've run a weather station for many years which uploads current wind info to the Kapiti Boating Club website.  We initially used Davis units but they lasted about 2 years before they tore themselves to pieces.  So I would say they're not really suitable for truly coastal sites if you want no-bother reliability.  We eventually picked up an RM Young unit on Trade Me - these are a whole different thing altogether. 



I'm surprised the Davis station didn't last 2 years .

Which model ?What gusts were you recording ? I was getting regular 50 kph gusts for the first 4 years.
I would have taken it back under CGA. The Davis stations are used on ski fields.

A.



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  Reply # 1090449 17-Jul-2014 09:54
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afe66: Which model ?What gusts were you recording ? I was getting regular 50 kph gusts for the first 4 years.
I would have taken it back under CGA. The Davis stations are used on ski fields.


Our first ones were Davis Vantage Pro wired units. The environment is quite severe - right on the beach with lots of sand and salt.  The max gust we've recorded on the RM Young unit is 96 knots (178 kph) - I was in the building at the time and it wasn't pretty. Also >85 knots the night the Convair went down.

I don't mean to knock the Davis units - if I was buying one for home it would be my choice. Just looking at the current models the anemometer may be a bit more substantial now.




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