Home Weather Station?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Johnny Angell, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I found this wireless home weather station at Radio Shack for $40. I get home and the instructions say don't let the exterior sensor get wet. Excuse me, its an exterior device and it can't get wet? It's part of a weather station and it can't get wet?

    I didn't bother to install it, returned it right away.

    Has anyone found a good, wireless weather station that can actually stand up to the weather? Please point me in the right direction.
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I got this weather station at Sam's for $99, without the rain gauge. I ordered the rain gauge online for $14. It's really nice, holds up to the elements, and works reliably.

    It's more than what you paid for yours, but it tracks wind speed and direction, as well as rainfall, which the RS stations doesn't.

    Check around the La Crosse web site, and I'm sure you'll find one with similar features as the one you took back to RS (except the La Crosse weather station will hold up to the elements).

    I'm sure you can find a retailer (either online or near you) who sells La Crosse equipment.
     
  3. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Your link points to a weather station not available until 2007. Is it similar to this one. This one mentions some pc software.

    We can spend more, in fact, I guess we have to, to get one that is weather-proof. The wind and rain sensors sounds like a good idea.
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    This one looks interesting: link to live eBay auction removed by moderator - CA
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Though the wind and rain sensors will certainly cost more, you certainly shouldn't have to spend more than $49 for one that will give you wireless outdoor temperature and barometric pressure and still be weatherproof.

    The PC software isn't required to enjoy this (or any La Crosse) weather station. If you don't have a PC, or don't want to hook up your weather station to a PC, you don't have to. The weather station will work just fine without a PC.

    The WS you found on Ebay looks really nice. If you have an Ebay account, I say it'd be worth bidding on.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    One thing I noticed when looking into weather stations is that many can't handle the low temperatures we get here, and most of the sites selling them don't list the maximum temperature ranges. The LaCross systems only go down to -20°F, which is too warm for the coldest weather here, and that doesn't include windchill.
     
  7. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    It may actually read lower temps then that. I have found it's not the sensor thats the probelm at low temps, but the battery gives out.
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    We're in the Little Rock area. Don't quote me on this, but I don't thik we get down to -20F.
     
  9. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Johnny,

    The Lake our sailboat is on, has a web link for a weather station a private homeowner has set up (either at his home on shore or at his nearby marina?)
    I am very grateful to him for posting the results using virtual software.
    I check his web site each time I head out.
    I pulled it up to check the hardware/software he uses as I knew it was credited on the site. Didn't check pricing or products just pulled the name for you.
    His system works well for me!!! [​IMG]

    http://www.ambientweather.com/
     
  10. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    BrianW,

    That La Crosse weather station looks great. How is the wireless reception? I'd probably have mine mounted outside about 60 feet from the house. The manual says it works in an open area up to 330ft, but you know how liberal those estimates usually are. And my signal would need to go through the outside house wall without the aid of a window.
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I wonder if the sensors were AC powered whether it would work, or whether there are software limitations too. Factoring for wind chill, I'd want a unit capable of -50°F. I hope it never gets that cold here, but would want to know if it did. -30°F air temperature is not unheard of.
     
  12. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I have mine about 30 feet from the house, with the signal going through one outside wall. I've never had a problem, but with my conditions better than your proposed setup, that doesn't help you much. It may well be the case that if I move mine out ten more feet, it won't be reliable any more.

    One thing worth noting is that the central temperature sensor is the unit that communicates wirelessly with the base station. The wind and rain sensors are hard-wired to the temperature sensor, and have very long wires (at least 30 feet, as I recall) to connect them. If your 60-foot requirement is dictated by the optimal placement of the wind and rain sensors, then you may be able to mount them 60 feet from the house, and still have the temperature sensor -- which is the part that communicates wirelessly with the base station -- much closer to the house. It's something to think about, anyway.

    The outdoor sensors can be connected (wired) to the indoor base station, but that involves running a wire through the outside wall (probably through a window). Doing so, however, supplies the outdoor sensors with power as well as provides a wired data connection instead of a wireless RF connection.

    I'd like to get mine hard-wired some day, but since its reliability hasn't been a problem, I just haven't gotten around to it.
     
  13. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I bought one for my wife a few years back from Sharper Image. It was the only one I could find that also had a radio and illuminated display - which were required. The sensor is mounted outside our bedroom window. It sits in a little cradle but since it can be very windy out here I reinforced it with velcro. The only problem we have with it is when the sun hits it the temp registers over 100. Not a big deal for us as we are mostly concerned about the temp at night or the morning. We'd mount it under the eave but for a ladder tall enough.

    I dont think it's made anymore as I can't find it on their website.

    If you're looking for a proper weather station I'd concur with ambientweather.com.

    Also, I would suggest wunderground.com's desktop weather station. Weather geeks from all over upload their data live then, using the application, you get select the one nearest to you and get constant weather info, radar, etc. It's really quite cool and we use it frequently since moving to an area that has actual weather (unlike California).

    -paul
     
  14. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I'm wondering how these stations are installed? Are they typically attached to the house and if not there, what do you mount them on?
     
  15. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Johnny, I have mine mounted on an arbor. I don't think the wind sensor isn't far enough away from the house to be accurate, but I care more about monitoring rainfall.
     
  16. Terry Hansen

    Terry Hansen Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually you don't need to factor for wind chill, the sensor would only measure ambient temperature. Wind chill is a mathematical calculation used to estimate what the combined temperature and windspeed feels like to exposed skin.
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Yes, but the unit still has to be capable of reporting it, and most stop where the lower limit of their temperature range is. I've seen a couple of La Crosse units that get down to -39°C, but that is both ambient and WC. You aren't going to get accurate readings for WC when it's that cold.
     
  18. Terry Hansen

    Terry Hansen Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry about that Jeff, I didn't look at the weather station in question.
     
  19. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    My brother and I have GREAT weather predicting systems set up - he broke his wrist years ago and did not seek immediate medical attention. It healed properly, but now he can predict the weather better than NOAA. Every time a storm or other "foul" weather comes along, he knows because his wrist starts to hurt like mad. As for me, I have the beginning of arthritis in both knees, and they do the same thing.
     
  20. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    So I can save some money if I blow out a knee on my next skiing trip?[​IMG]
     

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