e-book Trouble-Free Wireless Weather Station Setup And Maintenance - The Definitive Guide

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There are caveats, though. Typical residential locations simply do not have a spot for proper siting of the equipment. I have the station about 6 feet above my roof, so … the trees on my lot and surrounding lots tower a good 40 feet above the station, and I know that my observations of wind will probably not be as accurate as the observations from the weather station about 5. But should such considerations keep you from investing in a personal weather station? For this guide, we focused on models for beginning enthusiasts.

This gave us a good idea of what brands and models weather enthusiasts are using. With the list whittled down to 16 models, we dug into user reviews. Then, based on all of the above, we settled on a few important criteria to determine which weather stations to test and how to judge them:. I installed three of the weather stations in a clear area of my backyard in Montgomery, Alabama, within a few feet of one another in order to ensure parity of data and also to test out the wireless connectivity of all the stations.

That put all of the sensors approximately 70 feet away from the room in which their wireless consoles or hubs were installed, with four walls one exterior in between.

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So both went in my front yard. I tested during the month of March, since it tends to be one of the most meteorologically interesting and diverse months in Montgomery: Temperature swings from freezing into the 80s Fahrenheit tend to be the norm, and that proved to be the case during testing. I mostly left the stations alone to collect data, then pored over that data once the testing period had ended. However, on a couple of randomly selected days, I also checked the stations several times around the heat of the day and first thing in the morning to compare current readings with my outdoor thermometer.

I also made a point of checking them on days with rapidly changing temperatures; on rainy days I compared rainfall totals against my physical rain gauge; and on days when my wind chimes started clanging, I made sure to check wind readings.

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Of the models we tested, the Netatmo Weather Station , with its add-on Wind Gauge and Rain Gauge , proved to be the simplest to configure and install, and combined with its app it provides a reliable and accurate big-picture overview of local weather trends. Instead of one big integrated sensor suite, the Netatmo system is composed of separate wireless modules, each of which is small enough to be held in one hand.

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The main Weather Station has two components, one indoor and one outdoor; each of the Wind Gauge and Rain Gauge is a separate unit. Pairing the included indoor module, which measures barometric pressure, indoor temperature, humidity, and CO 2 levels, with its outdoor modules involves little more than a few button taps in the Netatmo app and on the modules themselves. Adding the sold-separately Wind Gauge and Rain Gauge to the app is also a snap, and since both are compact and battery-operated, mounting them is a breeze.

The Netatmo app has the most modern and intuitive interface of all the apps for weather stations we tested.

Trouble Free Wireless Weather Station Setup And Maintenance The Definitive Guide

You can access current indoor and outdoor conditions via the simple swipe of a finger, as well as your local seven-day forecast. Switching from a current snapshot of local conditions to a historical overview is as simple as rotating your mobile device from portrait to landscape orientation. Generally speaking, the Netatmo just has a cool, smart-home vibe about it that the other stations lack, thanks to its more-modern user interface and intuitive navigation.

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On March 22, for example, we had a series of rapid temperature drops that in the records of our other picks accurately appear as a succession of stairsteps. The Netatmo system also missed some momentary gusts of wind although it captured sustained winds accurately , and it was a few tenths of an inch low on accumulated rainfall on the rainiest days, pre-calibration. Calibrating the Netatmo rain gauge did bring it into closer agreement with the Davis and our physical rain gauge, but we were never able to get them to match perfectly.

But the modular design of the system means that when components do wear out or get damaged, they can be replaced at a reasonable expense without scrapping your entire weather-monitoring system and starting over from scratch.

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If you want to be able to do deep dives into local meteorological data and need for that data to be as accurate as possible, or if you simply want the most durable weather station you can buy without getting into crazy-expensive territory, the Davis Instruments Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station with WeatherLinkIP is a better pick for you. The was the only model we tested with a radiation shield, and as a result the Vantage Vue wireless system delivered perfectly accurate temperature measurements throughout our testing period, despite being installed in direct sunlight.

We also found that the Vantage Vue was more sensitive to lighter and shorter duration wind gusts than any other station we tested, and although its rain measurements differed from those of the Netatmo by just 0. But since the Vantage Vue also reports annual accumulated rainfall, over time those sorts of tiny differences add up.

Its LCD console also refreshes current weather conditions like wind speed every few seconds, whereas the Netatmo app reports only every four or five minutes.



Setup of the integrated outdoor sensor suite, indoor console, and WeatherLink IP can be a bit of a bear, since you have to flip back and forth between two beefy instruction manuals—one for the sensor suite and one for the indoor console. In our experience, the company has prompt and expert customer service. It also offers a one-year warranty. Like the Davis system, its outdoor unit contains wind, rain, temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors all in one unit.

But unlike the Davis, it truly does install in minutes—in fact, it took only a little longer to install and configure than the Netatmo. The AcuRite Access hub also proved to be reliable, never losing connection with the sensor suite located about 70 feet and four walls away. But if you want to quickly see what the rainiest day last month was or how much precipitation had accumulated by The Sky2 is a simple and popular solution that measures temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and rainfall rate, though not accumulated rainfall amounts. In short, we loved nearly everything about the Sky2 itself, especially the time-lapse video of the sky that pops up on the app at the end of each day.

The problem is that the Storm add-on, which elevates BloomSky to genuine weather-station status, is far less reliable than the main unit. Unlike with the Sky2, the network setup of the Storm was frustratingly difficult, its range was limited, and customer service was unable to help us identify a particularly strange networking issue.

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However, company representatives refused to speak to us about their products, and in reading through the few mixed or negative reviews we found, we noticed some customer service interactions that gave us pause. As mentioned above, the Davis Instruments Wireless Vantage Pro2 with Hour Fan Aspirated Radiation Shield is the solution most frequently recommended by professionals and redditors alike. We gave some serious thought to the Peet Bros. Ultimeter as a potential upgrade pick, since it gets glowing user reviews and its modular design is intriguing.

A few redditors did mention frustrations with all the wiring required , though, and nearly everyone we interviewed expressed a strong preference for wireless units. It can be difficult choosing a weather station, even after spending hours on the internet reading all the weather station reviews, recommendations and comparisons.

Choosing a Weather Station – The Insider's Guide

What is the best weather station? Which weather station should I buy? Which weather station is right for me? What factors should I consider? These are very basic stations designed for casual use and if they have an outdoor sensor it is at most a temperature and humidity sensor the Aercus Instruments WS is an example of one of the more feature rich desktop stations. Typical weather variables measured are temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. Most have clocks with alarms and some have a short range forecasting capability.

The rest of this article addresses complete weather stations which are stations with the full array of outdoor sensors which includes wind and rain sensors. The mid-market brands include: We have also found them to be equally robust as each other, with fault rates not differing widely across the brands.

Fortunately these are plug and play and as long as you have bought from a reputable dealer a replacement part can often be sent out fairly swiftly without the need to return the unit.

The Best Home Weather Stations

The main higher spec brand that is priced economically is Davis. So given the similarity across the mid-market brands how do you decide which mid-market weather station to buy? Semi-Complete Wireless Weather Stations First of all, in terms of functionality there is one big dividing line.