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Good Weather Station to buy?

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Davis has a heater you can add to the rain gauge to at least measure moisture content of the snow. Its not a snowfall measurement by any stretch but its at least something

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So there are no home weather stations that can measure snowfall? Why not?

As someone else posted Davis does make an optional heater add on for the rain collector included with the Vantage Pro 2. It runs around $175. It will melt the snow so that the liquid equivelant can be measured in near real time. Otherwise you must wait for the snow to melt naturally to obtain a liquid measurement. My old Peet Bros station had a heated rain gauge and I loved it. I just ordered the one for the Vantage Pro and hope to have it installed within the week. The one down side to the heater is it needs a power source (as in not solar but and outlet). So you would need to run the 50' included cable (longer ones are optional) to an outlet. According to Davis it will handle 0.25" liquid equivelant of snow per hour which equals snow rates of ~2-4" per hour. If you are just looking to measure the snow itself then a $3 yardstick should do the trick! ;)

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As someone else posted Davis does make an optional heater add on for the rain collector included with the Vantage Pro 2. It runs around $175. It will melt the snow so that the liquid equivelant can be measured in near real time. Otherwise you must wait for the snow to melt naturally to obtain a liquid measurement. My old Peet Bros station had a heated rain gauge and I loved it. I just ordered the one for the Vantage Pro and hope to have it installed within the week. The one down side to the heater is it needs a power source (as in not solar but and outlet). So you would need to run the 50' included cable (longer ones are optional) to an outlet. According to Davis it will handle 0.25" liquid equivelant of snow per hour which equals snow rates of ~2-4" per hour. If you are just looking to measure the snow itself then a $3 yardstick should do the trick! ;)

Yeah, but that is nearly impossible to do when the snow blows and drifts. So you have a VP2? Also, the heater you ordered...it does not measure snowfall just the liquid of it? What is the difference?

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As someone else posted Davis does make an optional heater add on for the rain collector included with the Vantage Pro 2. It runs around $175. It will melt the snow so that the liquid equivelant can be measured in near real time. Otherwise you must wait for the snow to melt naturally to obtain a liquid measurement. My old Peet Bros station had a heated rain gauge and I loved it. I just ordered the one for the Vantage Pro and hope to have it installed within the week. The one down side to the heater is it needs a power source (as in not solar but and outlet). So you would need to run the 50' included cable (longer ones are optional) to an outlet. According to Davis it will handle 0.25" liquid equivelant of snow per hour which equals snow rates of ~2-4" per hour. If you are just looking to measure the snow itself then a $3 yardstick should do the trick! ;)

I made a homemade heater for a lot less using a reptile heat cable, insulated foil tape and a glue gun. I bought an extra cone to swap out in the summer. I added a plug in thermostat so it isn't on all the time. I just couldn't put out that much money for the Davis heater, plus I had the satisfaction of making it myself. Mine worked great last winter and the first snow we had last weekend.

I basically followed these instructions> Homemade Davis VP 2 Rain Gauge heater On page 6 of the thread has an updated version using a glue gun and the suggestion of utilizing an extra spare cone for the summer so the summer heat doesn't melt the glue holding the heat cable to the cone.

I've had my Davis VP 2 since August of 2006. Only had to replace the 3 volt batteries a couple of times. I have the wireless unit with daytime solar powered FARS. One recommendation I have is to mount thwe ISS where you have easy access to do general maintanance.

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Yeah, but that is nearly impossible to do when the snow blows and drifts. So you have a VP2? Also, the heater you ordered...it does not measure snowfall just the liquid of it? What is the difference?

Snowfall is how deep the snow is when it lands on the ground and piles up. The heater melts whatever lands in the rain gauge as if it had been rain that fell instead of snow. There's no way for it to tell you six inches of snow fell, but it can tell you that 0.40 inches of liquid equivalent fell. 0.40 inches of liquid equivalent could be 3-4 inches of heavy wet snow or it could be eight inches of dry fluffy snow. Some people use a chart that matches liquid equivalent and temperature to guestimate snowfall.

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It can't measure snowfall. There's no home wx station equipment that I know of that does.

For the serious home wx observer I always recommend the Davis VP2 with FARS (fan aspirated radiation shield). The reason I am against the Vue is because you cannot separate the anemometer from the rest of the sensors.

I have the VP2+ w/ FARS. The plus version gives you UV and solar radiation. You can also add additional stations that can give you soil moisture, soil temp, and leaf wetness measuring capability.

I do most of my Davis business through provantage.com

Good thread everybody. I'm struggling with what to purchase also. I love the idea of the 24 hr FARS - pointing to the VP2. But my property is so full of trees that measuring wind is kind of a pointless exercise, and, basically, I'm cheap - pointing to the Vue. The other factor is that my CoCoRahs gauge is mounted in the front yard because of the tree problems, and I'd like to have the weather station mounted on the same post (angled away as to not interfere). While it is a safe residential area, I'm a little skeptical of putting a $500+ weather station up in full view of everybody that passes by.

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I have a Vue and love it. Yes, depending placement, wind readings are a compromise. Mine is mounted 9' high on a galvanized fence pole. Right below it is my CoCoRaHS gauge just to verify everything. I would rather compromise on wind rather than temperature. My CWOP ratings are right on the nose so other than wind readings that aren't as high as they would be at 33 feet, I'm pleased.

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The other factor is that my CoCoRahs gauge is mounted in the front yard because of the tree problems, and I'd like to have the weather station mounted on the same post (angled away as to not interfere). While it is a safe residential area, I'm a little skeptical of putting a $500+ weather station up in full view of everybody that passes by.

Your weather geek badge is hereby revoked. The only thing better than you sensor suite being mounted on the roof for all to see is for it to be installed in the front yard for everyone to admire in all its technical glory...

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Getting accurate wind measurements is nearly impossible for most people in the average neighborhood. Unless you can mount it at 10m in an open field you are pretty much out of luck. Most of us don't live on the grounds of an aiport or a farm in the plains so that makes it pretty difficult. I know my experience with Davis was mixed having an anemometer that never worked right even after sending it back (would suddenly give erroneous readings or completely stop working at times). I also found the dewpoint sensor to read too high during warm and humid conditions.

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Wow, sorry to hear about your problems. Knock on wood, I've had zero problems so far. At some point in the future I'll get a VP2+ and get the wireless anemometer option and mount it about 7 feet above the roofline. I can then mount the temp/rain gauge at a lower height (trying to hit 5'). All it takes is money! And for those that are not sure of the best way to measure snow...

Snow is falling outside, but I'm having trouble measuring it!

Is the snow pilling up outside your window? Are you saying to yourself, "Those rain measurements are easy, but I really need some help figuring this snow stuff out." Well don't feel bad, we all find measuring snow a bit tricky at times. Even if you've measured it for a while, sometimes a refresher can be helpful. We'd like to offer some resources to help.

Have you watched the "snow measuring slide show"? This easy to follow guide will help answer most of your questions. It doesn't take that long to view and will be well worth your invested time. To view this resource click here:"Snow Slide Show"

There is also "Measuring Snow" video. The "Measuring Snow" video is a 23 minute instructional video that was prepared by Colorado State University as instructional material for National Weather Service Cooperative Observers. Click here to view the video:"Snow Video"

Finally we have a written section called "A Guide to Measuring Snow" If you have time, please give it a look. We think you will find it helpful. Click here to view the guide:"Measuring Snow Guide"

We will leave the "Five for CoCoRaHS Year-End Fundraiser" and"CoCoRaHS 2011 Rain Gauge Calendar" banners up at the end of these messages this month just in case you haven't had a chance to consider making a year-end donation or order a 2011 calendar yet. Just click on either to do so. We thank you for your on-going support. We have raised over $6,000 so far during the first two weeks of this campaign.

Enjoy the snow . . . and in our southern states, enjoy that wonderful winter sunshine!

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Good thread everybody. I'm struggling with what to purchase also. I love the idea of the 24 hr FARS - pointing to the VP2. But my property is so full of trees that measuring wind is kind of a pointless exercise, and, basically, I'm cheap - pointing to the Vue. The other factor is that my CoCoRahs gauge is mounted in the front yard because of the tree problems, and I'd like to have the weather station mounted on the same post (angled away as to not interfere). While it is a safe residential area, I'm a little skeptical of putting a $500+ weather station up in full view of everybody that passes by.

Nobody knows what mine is as far as I know. I've got the sensors and my CoCoRaHS gauge

mounted together on a post (thanks NWS BGM) and the wind stuff is up on the roof. I'm lucky I guess

that I'm out in the open and get pretty good readings as far as I can tell.

And if you wanna separate your anemometer, you do like I did if you've got a VP2. I got a phone

coupler and wire extension on it. Buried the wire in the yard and ran it to the ISS. Now I just

have to alway remember where I buried it 'cause I've cut it 2x so far

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laugh.gif That's good Tony!!! Maybe you should trade in for a wireless! smile.gif

Well it is almost 6 years I've had the VP2. Sure I've got a few more to go.

Though.....the wife lost her job Tuesday, so my wx spending has come to a grinding halt for now.

If I dont cut that wire, I end up cutting the invisible fence one. axesmiley.png

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Getting accurate wind measurements is nearly impossible for most people in the average neighborhood. Unless you can mount it at 10m in an open field you are pretty much out of luck. Most of us don't live on the grounds of an aiport or a farm in the plains so that makes it pretty difficult. I know my experience with Davis was mixed having an anemometer that never worked right even after sending it back (would suddenly give erroneous readings or completely stop working at times). I also found the dewpoint sensor to read too high during warm and humid conditions.

That's pretty much all cheapo consumer grade humidity sensors. It's impossible to keep them from getting contaminated from dust, pollen, dirt, etc. which are small enough to act as condensation nuclei in moderately humid to near saturated environments. The only way to combat that is using a heated sensor, but I don't see too many people plunking down $600 for one. I've found the Davis sensor tends to read about 2-4F too high on dew points, especially in high humidity as you mentioned or near salt water. It measures temp pretty well, but you really need the shield with the fan.

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Getting accurate wind measurements is nearly impossible for most people in the average neighborhood. Unless you can mount it at 10m in an open field you are pretty much out of luck. Most of us don't live on the grounds of an aiport or a farm in the plains so that makes it pretty difficult. I know my experience with Davis was mixed having an anemometer that never worked right even after sending it back (would suddenly give erroneous readings or completely stop working at times). I also found the dewpoint sensor to read too high during warm and humid conditions.

The anenometer is not the Davis' fault, and it's a lot easier to fix than you stated. If you own a home or rent a home and get permission, mount the anenometer on the roof and wire it up. I've done this, and my wind readings are very accurate. I have had other problems with the Davis, but this is not one of them.

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With the Vue, they did change the anemometer type, the Vue has a Hall effect sensor for wind direction rather than a potentiometer. It has a higher resolution for wind direction. Otherwise, all the sensors are identical. Oh, the Vue console also does a better job indoors than the VP console.

Davis also sells NIST compatible sensors for even greater accuracy: http://www.davisnet....eather/NIST.asp

Again, it all comes down to siting. Here's a good read about that: CWOP siting Guide

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The anenometer is not the Davis' fault, and it's a lot easier to fix than you stated. If you own a home or rent a home and get permission, mount the anenometer on the roof and wire it up. I've done this, and my wind readings are very accurate. I have had other problems with the Davis, but this is not one of them.

Unless, of course, you have 15 or so 80'+ trees in your not-that-big back yard. D'oh.

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here go to this website. this is where i bought mine they have the cheapest prices i have seen 384 for a wireless vp2 http://www.scientifi...com/Default.asp

Thanks Tombo! :) I have one last question before I buy (hopefully): What is the difference between the VP2 and VP2 Plus?

Also, I took a look at your weather station data and I noticed there is a camera that shows a view of a street. Did you have to buy a separate camera to mount on your weather station?

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Here is a link to Davis site on weather instruments. Should have all the info you need to compare all the available models and options they have!

http://www.davisnet.com/weather/

You cannot go wrong with a Davis weather station. They are by far the largest selling consumer grade weather station. The next step up is professional grade stations which begin at best at $1,000 but more likely $1,500 plus.

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Here are two pictures of my Davis Vantage Pro 2 set up. The anemometer is mouted on a 25' mast thus making it ~35' above the ground. I use the wireless anemometer transmitter kit to connect it. The remainder of the station is mounted on a post at 5' above the ground.

post-2229-0-31858300-1292082109.jpg

post-2229-0-89871700-1292082126.jpg

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VP2 http://www.davisnet.com/weather/products/weather_product.asp?pnum=06152

VP2 Plus http://www.davisnet.com/weather/products/weather_product.asp?pnum=06162

Both are available with or without the FARS (Fan-Aspirated Radiation Shield)

For most of us the VP2 is all we need. If you can spring for the extra bucks and are a stickler for more accurate tempature readings I would get the FARS versions.

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So I should go with the VP2 station?

Let me put it this way, yes! (or if you really can't afford it get the vue)

Any other "professional" grade station like lacrosse or oregon scientific are wastes of money. If you had just wanted a temp sensor or something that would be one thing but if you want a real station with accurate results the davis is the only way to go.

All you need to decide is how many of the extra sensors and stuff you want with it.

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VP2 http://www.davisnet.....asp?pnum=06152

VP2 Plus http://www.davisnet.....asp?pnum=06162

Both are available with or without the FARS (Fan-Aspirated Radiation Shield)

For most of us the VP2 is all we need. If you can spring for the extra bucks and are a stickler for more accurate tempature readings I would get the FARS versions.

So, all I really need is the VP2 and I will be fine? (This will be my first weather station). The VP2 Plus is for more advanced people? Also, I am planning on buying the VP2 here (http://www.scientifi...avis%206152.htm) does this have the FARS that you were talking about? Thanks.

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So, all I really need is the VP2 and I will be fine? (This will be my first weather station). The VP2 Plus is for more advanced people? Also, I am planning on buying the VP2 here (http://www.scientifi...avis%206152.htm) does this have the FARS that you were talking about? Thanks.

Davis VP2 model number 6152 is the base model without a FARS for ~$140 more the VP2 model number 6153 has FARS. Both are available at the place you linked. Just to explain what the FARS does. It is a fan installed within the radiation shield that houses the tempature and humidity sensor. This fan draws fresh air up thru the unit thus reducing the the chance of stall air inside the sensor from become warmer and thus giving elevated tempature readings. It is not a neccessity but it will lead to slightly more accurate and precise readings of tempature and dewpoint. I also believe that the FARS can be bought and added on as an option at a later date. But I would confirm that with Davis directly or with one of there dealers. As far as the VP2 vs the VP2 plus. I would go with the VP2 and the FARS if you can. Again some of the additional sensors included on the VP2 Plus can be added on as options to the VP2 at a later date.

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