In addition to configuring WeatherLink, I also purchased the base edition of Virtual Weather Station from Ambient Weather.
Here are the steps I did to initially configure Virtual Weather Station:
- Configure WeatherLink software first and configure for USB connection
- Install software
- Start software
- Register software
- Set Communication to Davis Vantage Vue (USB Interface).
- Software will automatically shutdown
- Go back into Communication Setup and set the Communication Rate to 30 seconds
- Update Database Settings and accept the defaults
- Run Assistant at Help –> Assistant
- Take defaults except for:
- Station Settings
- Enter Station Description, Station Location, Latitude, Longitude, Altitude and Time Zone.
- JPEG File Settings
- Change folder location to drive letter:\root
- Update Timer – 5 minutes
- Settings –> Program Settings
- Start Program Hidden – check
- Launch Program at Windows Start up – check
- Modify Display –> Broadcast image
- Change Title 1, 2 and 3
- Display Weather icon – check
- Display Image – check
- Browse to single image created by Willing WebCam
- Display Image Timestamp – check
- Size Image to Control
- JPG Filename – woicik_weather_conditions.jpg
- Modify Display –> Cable TV Slide 1
- Title – CURRENT WEATHER
- JPG Filename – weather_current.jpg
- Modify Display –> other displays
- Modify each displays until the desired display are showing
- Confirm other display JPGs are being created in “root” folder.
The manual for Virtual Weather Station is a great resource.
My Vantage Vue weather station is made by Davis Instruments. In order to transfer the data from the Vantage Vue console unit, you need to purchase their WeatherLink device which includes the data logger and software. I purchased the USB version from Ambient Weather.
Here are the steps I did to configure WeatherLink with a Vantage Vue:
- Install the software from the CDROM
- Install the data logger
- The manual states to put the console in Setup Mode to save the current daily weather data to memory.
- The manual also states to remove both the power cord and batteries to prevent damage to the data logger.
- Station Setup
- Start WeatherLink and create a new station.
- Setup Walkthrough – Take the defaults except for:
- Set Communication Port to USB and Test
- Auto Download – Select All at a 5 minute offset
- Set elevation
- Archive Interval – 1 minute
- Set Latitude and Longitude
The WeatherLink Getting Started manual doesn’t provide much guidance on Setup Walkthrough or what to do next. However, the online Help file does appear to be very complete. It is a typical Help file and goes through every Menu and Toolbar command. I will list my settings below as I went through the Help file.
- File Menu –> Download
- How to manually download records
- File Menu –> View Log
- Good to check if the Auto Download is working
- Report Menu –> NOAA Setup
- Enter City, State, Elevation, Latitude and Longitude
- Enter Normal Mean Temperature and Precipitation
- This information can be found on Weather.com for cities by going to the monthly tab and then the Averages and finally the Table Display.
- Reports –> Yearly Rainfall
I read through the Vantage Vue Quick Start manual. The basic features of the console were intuitive especially to view the current conditions like temperature, wind speed and rain. However, there were many additional functions. I also liked the stored data for the different parameters over the day, week, month and year. I was very impressed.
The Vantage Vue arrived. Inside the box was the Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) and the console. I also ordered a pole mounting kit.
The Integrated Sensor Suite was basically pre-assembled and looked a lot better as a single unit than my previous weather station. There was a brief assembly process to attach the wind cups, wind vane, debris screen, rain collector tipping spoon assembly and the battery. It went together very quickly.
I next added three “C” batteries to the console unit and followed the initial startup procedures. The only thing that I had to look up was my latitude and longitude. Once it was turned on, the console and sensor suite started communicated wirelessly.
I took a look at the pole mounting kit. It was basically two interlocking metal tubes. The manual said it was designed to connect to a wood post. However, I was going to mount next to another metal post that is part of a chain linked fence in my backyard. So, the next day I went to a hardware store to get a longer metal pipe. The requirements were the post needed to be between 1” and 1-3/4”. Their mounting kit was 1-1/4” so I figured that was the best size. I had a slight issue thinking about how to get a 10’ metal pipe into my SUV. But, it fit.
The next day I cut the 10’ pipe into two sections to make it easier to wrap the bottom section around the existing fence pole and secure that with straps. I then used a coupler for the top section. I took the top section and attached the sensor unit. I then took that whole assembly outside and attached it to the bottom section. It looked great!!!
I checked the console unit and date was flowing in. I took a quick glance at the console manual and found the command to reset all the data. My next step is to read the console manual and figure out all the features.
I started to do some research for a new weather station. I wanted something the next level higher than my previous weather station. I started doing some research and found Davis Instruments. They had a full range of products but at first I didn’t think this was the right company because of the price. But, then I found the Vantage Vue.
The Vantage Vue had all the features of my previous weather station but was much better. First, the outdoor sensor unit was integrated into one unit. It also looked more rugged. Second, the console was bigger with a better layout of buttons and data. I liked what I saw. I found it on Amazon (Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station ) and the price wasn’t too bad but not in the budget right now. But, given the last weather station lasted so long, I thought this would be a good investment. I put in on my Amazon wish list along with the Davis Instruments Mounting Pole Kit and the Davis Instruments WeatherLink USB Software.
I was interested in the WeatherLink software because you could download the weather data to a computer. I thought it might be nice to store this data. I looked at the IP version which had a network port and could upload directly to a website but the price was almost double. The USB version still said you could upload to the Internet but needed a computer. I have a few older Windows XP computers around the house so I figured the USB option was the way to go.
I waited a few months and monitored the price on Amazon. It fluctuated a few times but still no money in the budget. Finally, the budget was available. I started to re-think ordering from Amazon because it was being sold by a few different vendors. I did some searching and found Ambient Weather. I liked the fact that they only sold weather related products. They didn’t have a price but you could email for a quote. The quote was a lot lower than Amazon. So, I ordered the weather station and mounting pole. I need to wait a few months to save up the money for the software.
In my browsing around the Ambient Weather website, I noticed some products for weather cameras. I hadn’t thought about doing weather pictures but since I was going to use a spare computer, I thought I should research this topic more.