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Good Weather Station to buy?

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there is no difference between the products. Its like going to shop at target and walmart. One of the stores is going to have a better price, but its the same product. Np, i dont have it mounted on my weather station. Its mounted on my roof. My camera is good, a lot of the cameras out there are indoor cameras, this one is outdoor and pretty cheap.

So you recommend that camera? Also, you think it is better not to mount a camera on a weather station? Thanks for your help.

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So you recommend that camera? Also, you think it is better not to mount a camera on a weather station? Thanks for your help.

no you can mount it on your weather station if you would like to, i just didnt. I have never had a problem with that camera, but i would shop around and see if you can find anything better.

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If I were getting a new one, knowing what I know now and starting from scratch, this is what I'd purchase.

  • 6153 - VP2+ with 24 hr FARS, Solar and UV sensors )wireless)
  • 6332 - Wireless Anemometer Kit (for remote mounting of the anemometer)
  • 6510(USB)/6520(Serial) Weatherlink and datalogger

I would also like

  • 6345CS - Soil and leaf sensor suite
  • 6372 - Remote temperature sensor (3)

As far as software, everyone has their favorite. There are a few major software packages that will end up doing all the background tasks and record keeping. The major players are in no particular order:

  • Virtual Weather Station (VWS) - This was my first software. You need the Internet Edition to publish to the Internet. IT also handles uploading to Weather Underground, Hamweather/Weather For You, and with a piece of free add-on software, to CWOP. It also does real-time uploads (mine is every 5 seconds) and allows us to run AJAX scripts to do real-time display updates of the current conditions on our web sites. I still use this for my real-time updates.
  • Weather-Display (WD) - Probably the most flexible of all the packages and has more secondary script support than any of them .Daunting interface to say the least and it takes the longest to figure out how to do things. Lots of support on the software forum, even from the guy that has written it. Steep learning curve but worth it in the end. I run this also.
  • Weatherlink - I've only used it to setup my console but many people use it and it's bundled with the serial and USB dataloggers.
  • Cumulus - Once again, haven't used it but quite a few like it. Oh, and it's free.

All of these packages have web page templates to get you started publishing immediately. There are also some AJAX templates for both VWS and WD that are very nice and have a lot of script support. Scripts... ahhh, what we all search for like a treasure hunt. We're always looking for the next coolest script that will enhance our site and there are hundreds out there and more being developed daily. And the best part is almost all of them are free.

You'll want to send your data to CWOP, where from there, assuming it passes their quality checks, it moves along to MADIS and the other data collecting agencies. Also, be sending your data to CWOP, you will be able to monitor your data quality.

Cameras are a whole separate item that can be integrated in many different ways to your site. I use an IP camera that is entirely self contained, it has its own built in web server, ftp server, will stream three totally separate streams, 640x480, 320x240, and a mobile stream, all simultaneously. It detects motion and can take snapshots on motion, with the addition of a SD card, it also acts like a DVR and can do continuous recording which mine is doing. It has built in support for dynamic DNS so you don't have to worry about your IP address changing. I have the inddor version but the outdoor version has IR good up to 40 feet. Mine is wired or wireless (running wireless right now).

I could go on and on. Hope this helps

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If you look at my opening page, I have multiple scripts operating the page. The alert box is a script, the cloud conditions image is a script, the weather extremes in the top right corner is a script, all of the current conditions (except for two or thee) are automatically update via an AJAX script. You can watch as the conditions change without having to refresh the page. The wind rose is AJAX operated. And there are scripts that rotate the banner and maps. There are probably 50-100 different scripts that do different things. All of my Google NEXRAD radar pages are scripts, I have Flash scripts and Javascripts for satellite image loops, and the list goes on. Make my head hurt.. arrowheadsmiley.png

Oh, and this banner below is generated by a script.

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As an FYI on software - If you have a Mac and you are hoping to run WeatherLink, forget about it if you have Mac OS 10.6 - I had serious trouble with it, and just gave up. The software CD can just be used as a drinks coaster!. The data logger is the key piece of hardware you need, dump the software and look for an alternative:

My suggestion is go with Lightsoft Weather Center 2 (LWC2) - It is far more superior and it was effortless to set up and integrate with weather underground.

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So, do any of you guys have the rain gauge heater for the VP2? Is it accurate? Should I spend my money on it?

I have one. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. If you get a lot of cold and snow in the winter

it's not too bad. Heavy snowfalls, it melts the snow in there kinda slow.

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I have one. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. If you get a lot of cold and snow in the winter

it's not too bad. Heavy snowfalls, it melts the snow in there kinda slow.

Can it melt sleet/freezing rain? How accurate would you say it is? Would you rather just measure snow with a yard stick?

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I have a Vantage vue and it has worked great the past year. Fyi they do not sell a rain gauge heater for it. Next step for me will be to buy the vp2 wireless anemometer and mount on the roof. You can disable the vue anemometer and use vp2 wireless one with vue console instead.

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Can it melt sleet/freezing rain? How accurate would you say it is? Would you rather just measure snow with a yard stick?

I measure the snow manually as snow spotter. I dont see ever using the rain gauge and heater

as a way to measure the snow. There are some cheaper alternatives some guys Here and Here built if you

want a project and are kinda handy.

Also, I have my rain gauge right next to my CoCoRaHS gauge.

There is a bit of difference in the 2. No doubt about it.

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I have a Vantage vue and it has worked great the past year. Fyi they do not sell a rain gauge heater for it. Next step for me will be to buy the vp2 wireless anemometer and mount on the roof. You can disable the vue anemometer and use vp2 wireless one with vue console instead.

Same here - have had the Vantage Vue since August and I'm happy with it. Only issue was the Data Logger stopped sending data to my computer, but that was more of a WeatherLink bug. I called support, they said this was a known issue and to convert the USB to a Serial Connection. Converted the connectoin with the "USB to Serial Converter" software that came with WeatherLink and changed the port to COM3. After that, the connection is a tad slower to respond, but no issues.

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I measure the snow manually as snow spotter. I dont see ever using the rain gauge and heater

as a way to measure the snow. There are some cheaper alternatives some guys Here and Here built if you

want a project and are kinda handy.

Also, I have my rain gauge right next to my CoCoRaHS gauge.

There is a bit of difference in the 2. No doubt about it.

What is the difference? What made you buy the heater if you can't accurately measure frozen precipitation with it?

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What is the difference? What made you buy the heater if you can't accurately measure frozen precipitation with it?

We built a new house. Wife got her dream kitchen. I got my dream weather station.

Think I got short changed?? unsure.gif

Seriously, I bought the whole 9 yards when I upgraded from my Weather Wizard III.

Bought what I could afford and spent before the wife pulled the rug out from under me.

Glad I did. Just wished I had the UV not instead of the heater.

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We built a new house. Wife got her dream kitchen. I got my dream weather station.

Think I got short changed?? unsure.gif

Seriously, I bought the whole 9 yards when I upgraded from my Weather Wizard III.

Bought what I could afford and spent before the wife pulled the rug out from under me.

Glad I did. Just wished I had the UV not instead of the heater.

So basically the heater is useless? You get a more accurate snowfall measurement if you use a yard stick?

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So basically the heater is useless? You get a more accurate snowfall measurement if you use a yard stick?

i'm a snow spotter anyway, so I've got to measure snow each day already.

You can also cover it for the winter too if you dont wanna mess with the heater.

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i'm a snow spotter anyway, so I've got to measure snow each day already.

You can also cover it for the winter too if you dont wanna mess with the heater.

Do you find it useful for measuring freezing rain and sleet?

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It's better with that than snow I've found.

It is not the best accuracy you can get though right? The best accuracy with frozen precipitation would be to measure manually.

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Yep

I have two more questions for you...

1. Can the regular rain gauge that comes with the VP2 collect snow inside of it, that way you can put a ruler in the rain gauge and measure the snowfall accurately?

2. Can the VP2 show and keep track of the highest wind speed of each day?

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I have two more questions for you...

1. Can the regular rain gauge that comes with the VP2 collect snow inside of it, that way you can put a ruler in the rain gauge and measure the snowfall accurately?

No not really. It's more funnel shaped. Sorta like the CoCoRaHS gauge pictured below but not as steep I guess

2. Can the VP2 show and keep track of the highest wind speed of each day?

Sure. The console itself keeps track of it I believe, but I'd get a good web program.

I'm partial to Weather Display. My site and all the additions on it come from that program,

which spits out a small 5kb +/- text file every 5 seconds that updates it automagically.

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I have two more questions for you...

1. Can the regular rain gauge that comes with the VP2 collect snow inside of it, that way you can put a ruler in the rain gauge and measure the snowfall accurately?

2. Can the VP2 show and keep track of the highest wind speed of each day?

Very simply way to measure snow: a ruler! A heated rain gauge will help melt the snow that lands within the rain gauge, melt it and give you the liquid equivelant. That is how much precip would have fallen if it were rain and not snow. This can also be done manually and is the most accurate way to do it but it is much more labor intensive. The heater can be added on at a later time if you are not sure you want it at this point. I just got one but have not installed it yet.

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