Recording Equipment

Posted by: inclement

Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 12:35

I'm all read out looking for any previous discussion, so please, no teeth-grinding.
Does anyone know of reasonably priced automatic weather recording equipment?
The locals here (Mildura) reckon the BOM only release "tourist weather info". laugh
National TV News gives the wrong info because of compilation time, particularly during DST - I've experienced 7 degree higher temp; OK I'm 10km from the official site, and my measurement is prob a bit out, but not that much.
Ideas gratefully accepted. :wave:
Posted by: Smitty

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 12:43

I recently purchased the Kestral 4000.

Click the link, its all explained their Kestral 4000
Posted by: Smitty

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 15:29

I forgot to mention that is fantastic, It does everything and is very high quality! The Perfect Chrissy gift for the weather buff wink
Posted by: inclement

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 15:48

Thanks CC, amazing stuff. Will check it - maybe later compare notes with you - if I buy. Again, my thanks. :cheers:
Posted by: Michael Bath

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 16:18

Dick Smith Electronics has a weather station on special for $298. Just do a search on weather from www.dse.com.au

It monitors the air temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature (indoors and outdoors), as well as barometric pressure, wind speed/direction, wind chill and rainfall.

AND you can log it all into your PC !

Much cheaper than those Weathrer Wizards from the US and comes recommended by two people I know on the North Coast.

I have one on order.

MB
Posted by: crosswind

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 17:52

I presume MB is referring to the item at
http://www.dse.com.au/cgi-bin/DSE.storefront/2092439048/Product/View/D3960
which is normally $398 and is currently on special for $100 off at $298.
Technical support is available from DSE if needed, ie, they can be repaired if necessary, spare parts are available (or so I am told). DSE's tech support phone number is (02) 9642 9100 or email technicalsupport@dse.com.au

DSE New Zealand has a page up at http://www.dse.gen.nz/public/webdata/weather.htm
if you want a look at their software package, but there is a far better one is available from http://www.weather-display.com/

This unit is a licenced production of the WX200 / WM918 Weather Station for DSE. See http://www.qsl.net/zl1vfo/wx200/console.htm for details, including a guide to other software links and parts etc, if interested.
Posted by: inclement

Re: Recording Equipment - 06/12/2001 21:48

Thankyou One and All,
I hoped for one idea, but am most thankful for your efforts.
I've made enquiries about both equipment packages and have had a reply from the Kestrel people.
Thanks
Posted by: Andy

Re: Recording Equipment - 09/12/2001 19:29

If you (or anyone else for that matter) is looking for software for the Dick Smith unit (WM-918) I have written a freeware application which can be downloaded from http://home.iprimus.com.au/andykeir/freewx.html

[ 09-12-2001: Message edited by: Andy ]
Posted by: inclement

Re: Recording Equipment - 09/12/2001 19:36

Thankyou Andy, The software question is the hardest answer to get from the two orgs I've asked - they are working on it.
I will look at your offering.
Posted by: Anthony Cornelius

Re: Recording Equipment - 10/12/2001 07:43

Chris - have you tested the Kestral 4000 out much? How have you found it accuracy wise?

AC
Posted by: Smitty

Re: Recording Equipment - 10/12/2001 09:55

AC,

I have only tested the humidity sensor and the temeprature sensor. To calibrate the temperature I used the SBE 39 which has a accuracy of 0.002C. Its an expensive piece of equipment that i used for my honours project (over $5000) but its very accurate and havs a high resolution (0.0001C) Click here for the SBE 39

Over an average of 5 minutes i found the highest drift was 0.7C but i blame a 40km/hr wind for that. Usually the kestral is within 0-0.3C.

As for the humidity sensor, it calibrates very well to instruments used at the Adealide Airport. I find the kestral very accurate.
Posted by: James Tilbrook

Re: Recording Equipment - 11/12/2001 23:06

I have a WM 918 and the advanced software. It is located approx 50 metres from my pc which continuously records the info. The software has several screens: graphs, "weathercentre", Data display, and raw data. You can set the recording interval. When it works it is great! However, usually during storms the software stops recording. I have emailed the authors with no luck (has anyone any ideas on how to fix it?)The stand alone unit works fine and I power it with a solar panel and battery (also avail at DSE). As a result of my frustrations I am looking at a Farmscan Meteos (about $4000) the other alternative is a u-beaut MEA/Sentek (about $10k) eek
Posted by: inclement

Re: Recording Equipment - 11/12/2001 23:22

I'm sure I'm about to shocked myself, but did you notice the above post from Andy?
Posted by: Michael Bath

Re: Recording Equipment - 12/12/2001 10:18

Hi Andy,

I've only just noticed your post about the free software. I've just received the DSE weather station and will look to using your program and uploading data to my webcam page.

regards, Michael
Posted by: Andy

Re: Recording Equipment - 12/12/2001 19:19

No worries. If you experience any problem just give a yell .... I'm happy to support the software as my (rapidly diminishing) time allows. smile

My page is at http://203.28.64.14/webcam.html

and another at http://www.midcoastwater.com.au/mcwcam.htm

the second link uses the same WX data but has a somewhat more interesting webcam image smile

Andy.

[ 12-12-2001: Message edited by: Andy ]
Posted by: Andy

Re: Recording Equipment - 12/12/2001 19:26

To James Tilbrook :

James, Is the console unit 50 meters from the PC? If so, that is probably a bit far for the serial data. If you give me some details of your setup I can probably suggest a few things to try. Feel free to email me direct at any time.

Andy.
Posted by: Daryl

Re: Recording Equipment - 12/12/2001 21:49

I've had the WM-918 since it was last on special, at the beginning of this year. I have found it very good and have tried just about every piece of software out there and find "Virtual Weather Station" is the best for me because of the flexibility of it's screen graphics.
Different pieces of software have their different strengths.
Posted by: Stale fish

Re: Recording Equipment - 12/12/2001 21:56

Hi everyone, just been reading through all your posts in which I have found it intresting to learn that there are numerous weather stations on the market. I will be looking in the future to purchase a station, in which I thought I would get a Davis weather station but now I am not sure whether they are the best with all the other stations that you guys have writen about.
Also I am a bit worried about the station malfunctioning, or losing weather information, or becoming inaccurate dew to bird droppings and debris. Also what is better a Dick Smith Station of $298 or a $2000 weather station like the wireless wizard 2 from Davis, or any of the other stations?
Thanks heaps, Stale fish.
Posted by: Andy

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 09:57

Hi StaleFish,

I guess it would be unfair to compare a $300 unit with a $2000 one. The DSE unit (WM-918) could best be described as a "consumer" level device. While is appears to have quite reasonable accuracy it does not have the resolution of more expensive stations. I suppose it comes down to what your requirements are. If you want the accuracy and resolution of "scientific eqipment" then be prepared to pay for it. Do you want to be a scientist or a hobbyist ..... I guess the answer to that dictates what you need and what you pay.

Andy.
Posted by: TrenthamStormchasers

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 21:25

The Davis Weather Wizard III (cabled version) is $495 (incl GST) atm as far as I am aware. Includes in/out temps, windspeed & direction, windchill. You can add the tipping bucket and get the complete station for $649 (incl GST).
http://www.davisnet.com/weather/help_choosing.asp

[ 14-12-2001: Message edited by: Jane ONeill ]
Posted by: Stale fish

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 22:44

Thanks for that Andy and Jane, One other quick question, would there be any difference in accuracy if you brought the hole lot on the stand set up they have compaired with having to mount all the equipment seperatly?
Posted by: TrenthamStormchasers

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 22:55

Really depends on what your location is like - I would have no hope mounting it all on one stand because of the trees on & around my property, so I have the anenometer on a 10' pole on the end of the garage (I really must extend that), the tipping bucket on top of the dog run roof & the temp sensor under the eaves on the southern side of the house.......

What's your location like? that will be the end determinant of how & where you install it.

Jane
Posted by: Stale fish

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 23:19

Thanks again Jane, I live in a uncompacted suburb with some room to move but my problem is a few trees on our property and on the next doors property, being a little close but over all my set up works. But I have to have the temp in the back yard and the rain gauge is in the front. Also have to have the rain gauge on the fence.
With recording wind is it important to have the anometer on a 10m high pole?
Posted by: TrenthamStormchasers

Re: Recording Equipment - 14/12/2001 23:35

Depends on the location - mine is 1/3 way down a very slight incline to Dandenong Creek & so we are sheltered - I would recommend 10' as an absolute minimum as i can stand with no wind at ground level (as per the Kestrel), 10' I can be recording 12kmh & the top of the trees can be trying to reach the next suburb - consequently I under-record wind speeds. Have a look at the difference next time you have a breeze / land gale & you may see a dramatic increase in windspeed with height. I would like to get the pole up to 20' (but I want to be able to do it without guy ropes).

Jane
Posted by: Dave Ellem

Re: Recording Equipment - 15/12/2001 15:12

Hi James!
I have ordered a WM918 and am awaiting it's arrival. I was looking into getting some software for it and ran into a site listing it's faults. It seems whenever there is lightning in the area (ie during a storm), the cables that carry the data start getting 'scrambled' or something and the result is a loss of data coming in from the sensors. You might want to check out their suggestion to fix it!
http://www.qsl.net/zl1vfo/wx200/mods.htm#Static

Dave
Posted by: Andy

Re: Recording Equipment - 16/12/2001 14:29

Hi all,
As regards any cabled weather station, it is a good idea to add some ferrite chokes to the cables at both the sensor end and the console end. These can be purchased cheaply and are easily fitted by simply clipping then over the cables. This will reduce sensitivity to radio frequency interference .... not just two-way radio but lightning induced as well. The same thing applies to the serial data cable between the console and the PC as interference will screw up the data and could potentially ruin your PC serial ports (read motherboard) if you get a decent induced surge from lightning. It is not a good idea to have long wire "antennas" connected to sensitive electronic equipment .... particularly during storm activity ... unless you take some basic precations.

I let my weather station run during storms and so far it hasn't missed a beat .... which is more than I can say for the PC it is connected to. A couple of weeks ago some mains power surges during a storm trashed the hard drive. It took several days to put everything back as it should be. I've subsequently installed a UPS on that machine.

Just as a PS, if you're thinking of "wireless" type weather staions, you should be aware that some of these use a frequency which is allocated to radio amateurs (hams) and other users. The potential for them to cause and receive interference is significant.

Andy.