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Thread: Weather stations

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Weather stations

    I like the remote outdoor weather instruments that allow you to see the current weather measurements from an indoor monitor.
    I've had several over the years that provide information such as temperature, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, etc.

    The last time I purchased one of those units it was on sale at Tractor Supply company and it was a closeout. I think I got a good deal. It has a clock and calendar function, stores events such as rainfall and temps, and has a lot of functions.

    These are residential weather stations and I understand they are not top end devices. My current device is working well (Acurite) but the outdoor unit is showing its age. I think it's about 3 years old.

    None of these units seem to hold up over time.

    Is it worth buying a better grade or do they all have a limited lifespan?
    When this one dies I don't want to lay down a lot of money for a "high quality" rig that has the same short life span.

    Anyone have experience with remote weather instruments that hold up over time?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The grandsons found my out side unit. It became a phaser or something ( little boys imagination is wonderfull ) and now it cant be found to replace its baterries. LOL

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    My experience putting plastic let alone electronics outside hasnt been going well. I havent tried a weaterstation, but I have game cameras, and I would be thrilled to get one to last 3 years.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I had the outside sensor on one from Lowe's that lasted several years.
    It was on the porch, tucked up under the eve so it didn't get full sun or rained on.

    The base unit still works, and its got to be about 8-10 years old.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I have had a Lacrosse unit at my cabin for some 9 yrs. +
    It is limited to inside/outside temp, humidity and barometric pressure. I hang the outdoor sensor under the overhang of the wood rack to keep it in the shade and protected from rains etc. Still going strong with annual battery changes.

    I had a more complete weather station with rain gauge, wind meter, and more information that I knew what to do with. The outdoor sensors were on an array that looked like a complicated Microburst antenna. It worked well until a particularly violent storm defeated my homemade mounting system and busted the plastic parts to pieces. I wasn't sorry to see it go...it was way too complicated with alarms that went off for every "record" event. I never did figure out how to use it all...oh and it downloaded all the info to my computer too.
    My unit lasted maybe 5 yrs. before it was broken. My brother has a similar unit and it is still going strong...perhaps 10 yrs now. He has much more patience than me trying to figure out how to use it all.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I have several good weather app on my phone that fill my needs.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The units that had a simple outdoor temperature sensor are the most durable. I mount the sending unit under a deck rail so they are out of direct sunlight and rain.
    The units with rain gauges must sit out in the weather for obvious reason (wouldn't do much good to put a roof over a rain gauge ). Those units take a beating and they don't appear to be built well to start with.

    Is there something between consumer grade and professional grade?

    My options seem to be, buy inexpensive and replace them every few years or get a mortgage and buy some professional weather station.

  8. #8
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I got one for my wife a year ago Christmas. It works very well, but the indoor display chews through batteries like no tomorrow. Aside from that, we enjoy having it and would get another unit if it ever fails. Would probably upgrade next time too.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I have not had one in a while, but I would be interested in picking up another!
    Don't let America end up like California...
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    In 1982, I bought my first house. My older brother and his wife gave me a weather station for the back yard. It was a painted sign with the image of a donkey that had a jute twine tail. The sign said 'if the tail is wagging, it is windy. If the tail is wet, it is raining. If the tail is dry . . .' you get the picture.

    That being said, my wife did get me a weather station that had more features and readings. It has been a dandy unit with the 'station' being solar and the base being plug in using a wall wart. I intend to replace some of my blood sucking transformers to be linked with a battery array fed by a solar panel. My south facing roof is at a perfect azimuth for solar electric and water. Next winter, I hope to have completed the heat exchanger so that the garage and shop are heated by the sun. Summertime, circulation fans should help cool the are as well.

    My brother is also retired, and all he has is an indoor thermometer/barometer/humidity gauge and an outdoor rain gauge. He checks his rain gauge at noon every day as it is right outside his kitchen window. We both also use a phone or computer to check the weather.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I think when the current unit dies I'll look for something a bit simpler. An outdoor temperature sensor and an automated rain gauge are the main outdoor functions I want.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Hi...
    I have a Lacrosse weather station mounted on my deck here at The Estate.
    It has worked well for about 10 years. No rain gauge or wind chill function but the temperature, pressure, humidity and wind speed functions work quite well.
    When it fails, I would like to upgrade to a unit with a rain gauge and wind chill indicator.

  13. #13
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    Next one I buy is going to be this https://www.ambientweather.com/dain62vavuew2.html $399 so not cheap, and another $132 for the USB computer interface. But I provide weather updates to the NWS and my current station(a Lacrosse) has given up the ghost. Only the temp and humidity sensors are working and I need functional wind in the summer.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
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    MaryB - That looks like a nice unit, maybe more than I need. I would feel better about those devices if the outdoor unit wasn't plastic
    Not all plastic is the same and some types are very durable but the exterior unit seems to be the downfall of these devices. Sunlight and temperature swings do bad things to plastic.

    I'm sure that fiberglass or some ceramic would be cost prohibitive but there's has to be a better material than hard plastic that doesn't cost a fortune. I wonder what is used in remote locations such as mountain tops or marine environments ?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    There's a professional one on the building I work out of to report back to the weather people. It seems to have given them plenty of trouble. I'm not sure if the make/model. Then again, maybe it's all the salt in the daily sea breeze.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    MaryB - That looks like a nice unit, maybe more than I need. I would feel better about those devices if the outdoor unit wasn't plastic
    Not all plastic is the same and some types are very durable but the exterior unit seems to be the downfall of these devices. Sunlight and temperature swings do bad things to plastic.

    I'm sure that fiberglass or some ceramic would be cost prohibitive but there's has to be a better material than hard plastic that doesn't cost a fortune. I wonder what is used in remote locations such as mountain tops or marine environments ?
    Davis is tough stuff, very well built and the plastic is designed for outdoor use. That exact weather station survived a Cat 5 hurricane and provided the top winds at that location of 190+ MPH. These are semi professional units, they have optional parts like radiation shields etc that I would add on.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
    Davis is tough stuff, very well built and the plastic is designed for outdoor use. That exact weather station survived a Cat 5 hurricane and provided the top winds at that location of 190+ MPH. These are semi professional units, they have optional parts like radiation shields etc that I would add on.
    That's encouraging, thank you

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    la crosse user here. I got one "free" when redeeming "Rewards" credits as issued by my Credit Union for using their credit card. The Unit I have is equivalent to their $100 model https://www.lacrossetechnology.com/v...ather-station/.

    PROS
    A.) Hurricanes here are an interesting phenomena and watching the wind speed ( sustained and gusts ) and accumulating rainfall is a way to pass the hours.
    B.) It is nice to confirm that the house AC is maintaining the relative humidity and temperature as displayed on its thermostat.
    C.) At a glance we can tell it is going to be another beautiful day in Paradise.
    D.) The company stands behind its equipment. With photographic evidence at their request, they shipped me new sensors to replace weather damaged ones that properly engineered should not have been damaged in the first place. Still, that is good Customer Service and I applaud them for it.

    CONS
    i.) Plastic does not last in the elements outside.
    ii.) Batteries get wet and short out. Batteries in general are tough on EVERY device when they caustically erupt.
    iii.) Tree debris, whether wind blown or gravity assisted, clog rainfall indicators.
    iv.) Does not connect to a PC and the Base Station internal tracking of data is a PITA to retrieve or use. I had an older la crosse model that did auto-connect to my PC. It recorded all sorts of weather related phenomena hourly, daily, cumulatively, etc. I was really impressed with that unit. Not so much this unit.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

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