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824 posts

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Topic # 189588 5-Jan-2016 14:35
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I am interested in purchasing a Personal Weather Station and wonder if anyone has information on best brands and where to purchase from. I want one that can automatically upload to a website like Weather Underground or even to my own website and is fairly straight forward to operate. So any information that will help me I would appreciate. The only item I have seen locally is jaycars who sell a nameless brand?? at around $700.00. It seems that we don't have any other shops around Auckland that stock such things which is a pity. 
Thanks




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  Reply # 1461702 5-Jan-2016 14:51
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I have tried 2 here, the problem is they all use 433MHz as the link between the outside part and the inside one, and that is a really bad band for things with all sorts of power meters, alarm systems and similar all just blasting out over it.

The stations would lose sync with the base within 2-3 days all the time and need the button on the outside unit pressed to get them back in sync again. Not a fun idea when it is on the roof and that means going outside etc.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1461707 5-Jan-2016 14:53
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Thanks for that information. maybe there are some that have a cat 6 connection to house?
Is you outside unit close to house?




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  Reply # 1461725 5-Jan-2016 15:00
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I was having the second one drop out in the same way before even putting it up on the roof, so range was not the problem.




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  Reply # 1461754 5-Jan-2016 15:30
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If you are so inclined this is the perfect way to get started with Arduinos and the like, and build your own. There are a tonne of tutorials and guides online and buying the parts from somewhere like Aliexpress will only set you back $40-50 total. I use an Arduino clone called a Moteino which has is designed for low-power RF. You can program as if a normal Arduino and hook up DHT22 temp/humidity sensors, barometer sensors, and rain gauges etc.

Would require a bit of tinkering and time, but is very rewarding and a great way to get into the *maker* movement.

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  Reply # 1461756 5-Jan-2016 15:38
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I've got one similar to this one on TradeMe

It's a pretty generic, cheap and cheerful model re-branded in various guises. I bought mine off EBay from an Australian crowd at about $175 shipped

Works OK with no wireless drop-outs for me, it does have a couple of quirks though:
*It has a known design flaw whereby the USB connection locks up every week or two (depending on update frequency between it and the computer it's connected to). This means disconecting it and removing the batteries, then having to manually reset the time and date
* The outdoor unit has rechargable AA alkalines, 1.5v, recharged through a wee solar panely so very inconsistently. These batteries now no longer hold their charge and i will need to find some replacements, which is proving harder than I thought it would.

I run weewx software on a Raspberry Pi to upload to Your Weather on the NZ metservice (via the UK one). It contains scripts/config files for easy upload to all major weather site incuding Weather Underground.

This thread is worth reading:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumId=48&topicId=160249





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  Reply # 1461768 5-Jan-2016 15:54
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Just put solar light nicads into it to replace the alkalines. I had a light up house number that had rechargable alkalines in it and they died pretty quickly, the nicads were still going strong when it filled up with water because it was crap and I threw it out.




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  Reply # 1461777 5-Jan-2016 16:11
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richms: Just put solar light nicads into it to replace the alkalines. I had a light up house number that had rechargable alkalines in it and they died pretty quickly, the nicads were still going strong when it filled up with water because it was crap and I threw it out.


I was just thinking of trying that.  I was thinking perhaps the voltage difference might cause it to not work.  No (serious) harm in trying I guess so I will do that tomorrow.





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  Reply # 1461779 5-Jan-2016 16:14
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Its just that NiMH will die in that use case, and there are issues with cadnium in some countries so its easier to just pack them with alkalines. Which dont seem to vary from other alkalines in any way I could tell when I tried normal energizers in it, but they only lasted 3-4 months like the ones that came with it.




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  Reply # 1461884 5-Jan-2016 19:32
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See thread mentioned above.

There are a number of people here with Davis vantage pro 2 stations.
Not cheap but good quality. I bought one in 2007 for $1300 which lasted until this year when transmitter board on sensor failed which I replaced over Xmas.
Www.weatherdata.co.nz have given me very good service over the last year.


A.



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  Reply # 1461890 5-Jan-2016 19:49
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floydbloke: I've got one similar to this one on TradeMe

It's a pretty generic, cheap and cheerful model re-branded in various guises. I bought mine off EBay from an Australian crowd at about $175 shipped

Works OK with no wireless drop-outs for me, it does have a couple of quirks though:
*It has a known design flaw whereby the USB connection locks up every week or two (depending on update frequency between it and the computer it's connected to). This means disconecting it and removing the batteries, then having to manually reset the time and date
* The outdoor unit has rechargable AA alkalines, 1.5v, recharged through a wee solar panely so very inconsistently. These batteries now no longer hold their charge and i will need to find some replacements, which is proving harder than I thought it would.

I run weewx software on a Raspberry Pi to upload to Your Weather on the NZ metservice (via the UK one). It contains scripts/config files for easy upload to all major weather site incuding Weather Underground.

This thread is worth reading:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumId=48&topicId=160249


I have one of these units too. No major issues. Does the job and got it for a couple of hundred bucks.

Webpage here http://thecheese.co.nz/weather/index.htm

I also have it updating every 10 seconds or so to Weather Underground and tweeting via its own Twitter account regularly.

Have only had to replace batteries in outside unit once, which is easy enough to do.




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  Reply # 1461891 5-Jan-2016 19:53
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I was going to add a 433MHz reciever to a raspberry pi to directly receive my stations transmissions, but a brief test of that was horribly unreliable, perhaps getting one reading every half hour sucessfully.

Even without my 433MHz using power monitoring plugs in use there is too much crap on the band it seems. Perhaps in a RF blackspot you may have ok luck tho?




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1461929 5-Jan-2016 21:02
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I have been through 2 of the fine offset models (WH1080) and (WH3080) , both did not last very long and the WH3080's have a known fault with the uv sensor that freezes up , they sent me a new one but it did the same.

I went left field and purchased an Acurite 2032C which is fully contained in one unit as opposed to the above units which have sensors at different points sticking out from the pole.

I purchased mine off of ebay for $216 NZD delivered and it turned up good as gold.

You can use windows software or there are drivers for linux and WEEWX which you can setup on a pi if needed.

Their is also a pretty decent android/iphone app that you can hook into your station to see whats going on. You can also upload to weather underground.

Ebay link (there are many listed so look around if you are interested)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Acurite-5-in-1-Wireless-Professional-Weather-Station-w-Colour-Monitor-Phone-App-/181898528252?hash=item2a59ff45fc:g:7YwAAOSwofxUej1S

Here is the link to my data going to weather underground.

http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=ICANTERB312


Finally here are a couple of pictures of my setup.

Click to see full size

Click to see full size






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  Reply # 1461938 5-Jan-2016 21:08
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What afe66 said at 19h32.

There is a lot of rubbish - expensive toys, really - on the market. The Davis Instruments units are not cheap but they seem to be a cut above everything else.

One tip: when you order your WeatherLink (interface from the Davis console to your computer), get the serial version, not the USB. If you haven't got a serial port on the computer you're going to use as a weather server, get an RS-232 to USB adapter. Unless Davis have revised the USB version, it's buggy. (Personal experience)

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  Reply # 1461948 5-Jan-2016 21:22
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Just a note on my Acurite setup that it does operate on the 433mhz band , since mine has been up over 3 months now it has not lost contact once.

Acurite also have there own (MBW) my backyard weather site you can upload you info to. You can customize the site and blocks to what ever you want.

Click to see full size

[Click image for larger size]








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  Reply # 1461954 5-Jan-2016 21:26
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The issue seems to be with the fine offset and the other clone type I tried is that they only power the receiver up at the right time that the outdoor part transmits inorder to save battery. Once its missed 3 transmissions in a row it just seems to go into sulk mode and not receive anything. That requires powering it down and up again, and then hitting the button on the outside bit (or removing and reinserting it batteries on one of them I had) to get it working again. Absurd model of failure. Should just widen the time it receives till it gets the transmission again instead of just giving up.




Richard rich.ms

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