My first weather station was an old National Geographic-branded station. I was okay – it provided the temperature, wind direction and speed, and rainfall information. But then I thought wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see this on a computer? Of course, the inexpensive weather station didn’t have any data output capabilities. So, what to do….
After checking out various weather sites around the ‘Net two companies stood out: Oregon Scientific and Davis Instruments. Of course, Davis Instruments was the Mercedes-Benz and I had a Volkswagon Golf budget. Oregon Scientific it was and the WMR-928. This was a nice little weather station: wireless to the base station, individual sensors (mostly) with solar, rechargeable and backup batteries. This system lasted about six years before the sensors started failing and, of course, you could not really replace them without spending what was adding up to a whole new station.
The hunt was on again for a weather station. Of course, Davis Instruments was the choice but I was still stuck on a Volkswagon – albeit a Jetta instead of a Golf – budget. Since Oregon Scientific worked well the first time I decided to go back to them. I bought a WMR-200. I have to say I was a little disappointed with the WMR-928’s replacement – the base station didn’t seem to be up to the quality of the 928’s, the sensors now only had one solar panel with the rain sensor using only batteries. The 200 had USB which was nice as I had a USB-to-Ethernet adapter (and since the weather station workstation was by now a VMware vSphere virtual machine using the serial port wouldn’t work – but that is another story). Unfortunately my Jetta is falling apart after only two-and-a-half years – the anemometer is squeaking and reading low and the rain sensor just up-and-died.
This time I am going for the Mercedes-Benz. I think that it will be the Vantage Pro2 as some it has some features of the Vantage Vue don’t have. Plus, the Pro2’s base station seems a little higher quality. The only thing that I do not like with Davis is the need to purchase an additional – and relatively costly – adapter to connect to the computer. The choices are nice – USB or IP or serial – but you have to buy their WeatherLink software – and I’m not going to use it. Sandaysoft Cumulus is my choice.