There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a new or first time weather station such as the weather parameters you want to measure and your budget. On this page you'll find answers to some of the most common questions to help guide you through the process. However; if you require more information please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team.
What weather variables are measured and recorded?
Most weather stations (including the popular ClimeMET CM2000) offer:
> Barometric pressure
> Outside humidity & dew point
> Daily and yearly rainfall
> Wind speed and direction
> Wind chill and outside temperature
> Additional Rainfall Information: 15-minute, hourly, monthly and yearly rainfall and rainfall amounts for the last 24 storms
> Additional Wind Speed Information: 10-minute average wind speed and dominant wind direction, in addition with the Vantage Vue you get 2-minute average speed, high speed and direction in the last ten minutes
> Apparent Temperature: Heat index, and with the Vantage Pro2's optional Solar Radiation Sensor, the temperature-humidity-sun-wind index
> For agricultural users: Evapotranspiration, Leaf Wetness, Soil Moisture & Soil Temperature with the Vantage Pro2 optional sensors
Once you understand the basic measuring capabilities of each weather station you can ask yourself these initial questions:
1. Which brand of weather station should I focus on; what will my budget allow?
2. Do I intend to link my weather station to my computer for data storage and in the future potentially upload to a weather website?
3. Do I want my weather station to transmit weather data wirelessly to my indoor console or via a cable?
You might not know the answer to all of these questions straight away, and working your way through them may lead to further queries; but the following information should provide a good starting point to weigh up the pros and cons of each station type against price.
Which family of weather stations?
There are three main brands of weather stations that Skyview Systems stock for customers to choose from:
> TechnoLine (also known as LaCrosse Technology)
With most stations, you need to install each sensor separately onto a central mounting pole or post; the ClimeMET CM2000 includes a short length of pole for this purpose. The Vantage Pro2 and Vantage Vue are factory-assembled to make setup as easy as possible and fit directly on to a purpose built DAV-7716 Mounting Tripod or DAV-7717 Mounting Pole Kit.
With all weather stations you should be able to complete a few initial assembly steps, insert the battery and you are ready to mount your external sensors. For further information on how to correctly site your sensors check out our online Installation Guides.
What is the maximum transmission distance?
Wireless transmission is highly variable and depends on the lay of the land and possible radio interference in your area. The majority of weather stations have a wireless transmission distance of 100m. The Davis range transmits over a distance of 300m; this can be extended with wireless repeaters.
Cabled stations require one multi-cored cable between the Thermo/Hygro sensor or ISS and the indoor console. The supplied cable length is normally 30m but will vary from station to station. In general cable length can be extended but this can increase the overall expense of your weather system and decrease the integrity of your weather data.
How often is the information updated?
Brands such as ClimeMET and TechnoLine update the console with external data between 30 and 50 seconds. The Davis Vantage Pro2 and Vantage Vue send data to the console every 2.5 seconds. Highly variable conditions are updated with every data packet sent while less variable conditions are updated every 10 seconds.
How much data can be viewed on the console?
With the Davis Vantage Pro2 and Davis Vantage Vue, you can view and graph just about every weather variable, with averages, highs and lows for most, and go back in time for minutes, days, months and years.
Stations such as the ClimeMET CM2000 graph just one variable; barometric pressure, typically for the last 24 hours. The Vantage Pro2 and Weather Centre feature on the Vantage Vue can do many types of analysis, even without purchasing the WeatherLink software package.
In general a ClimeMET or TechnoLine weather station will be able to store around one weeks' worth of data before you need to connect it to a computer for download. If no download is performed the oldest set of data is overwritten.
Is there a computer interface?
If you'd like to do more analysis than the basic console features will allow, look for a weather station which ships with or can be used with a data logger and software package.
The ClimeMET CM2000 comes with basic plug and play weather software. Once you have a day or so of data on your weather console, simply connect it via USB to your computer and open up the software to download available data. Once safely downloaded, clear the memory in your console to start recording the next set of information.
Due to the limited memory in these stations customers often choose to leave their PC on and the weather station connected at all times for continuous data to be recorded. This type of weather software; i.e. Heavyweather or Easyweather, is basic but stores all of your data in a safe place. Raw data can be exported to Excel to generate graphs or tables depending on your specific interests.
The WeatherLink data logger and software package which works with the Vantage Pro2 and Vantage Vue stores data at the interval you choose (from one minute to two hours) for up to six months. Transfer the data whenever you like, or leave your computer on to have it transfer automatically every day. The capabilities of WeatherLink software are endless and allow you to manipulate and record data in countless ways.
What is the accuracy, resolution and range?
All weather stations in the Skyview shop come with specification sheets and manuals. Accuracy, resolution and range vary between brand and with price. A £400 Davis station is going to more accurate with greater sensor resolution than a £100 home weather station.