Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oregon Scientific WMR200A Weather Station

 2nd April .
  • Added another 2  with the original batteries to see what happens . Now have 8 running .
  • Put the weather station info on Weather Underground  and if you are interested to see the local weather conditions for Broadwater Northern Rivers NSW    click  on the link below  . 
  •   Broadwater New South Wales Weather
  • Why wunderground , I tried the rest and it suits me "eye" the best.  Each to their own . It usually is updated every 15 minutes when I am on line and I use the "catch up" function in Cumulus when it isn't .

2nd March . Added the 3 new sensors with no problems at all  and since the 2nd of Feb  the gear has  survived winds up to 85 klm and rain fall rates of just under 150 ml an hour . YEP.   The Cumulus software is performing as expected  and now it is all too easy . The guy that maintains it needs a medal . If he ever reads this I hope he gets a laugh . :)

  2nd Feb .   It survived last weeks weather  and  when I could get outside I checked its sensor readings against a hand held  device I own ...
  •  The anemometer reading  was  slightly low  but at winds of 40 to 60 km per hour  I was having a problem standing .
  •  The rain gauge did the opposite , its readings were slightly high but in the same winds .
  •  One of the remote Temp / Humidity sensors reads about 2 degrees high so I just adjusted the alarm to suit
  • I have 2 more TRG810s  on order and  two UVN800 remote UV sensors  as well . Why 2 UV's ?   So I can compare to see if they are as bad as a lot of reviews claim ..  Only my opinion but you seldom see a forum  called  "  Happy Customer "  .

I have been looking for a "small" RF weather station for a while and decided on the WMR200A . Yes I have read a LOT of negative reviews about this product  but have also read some where they have lasted years and get 5 stars  . You figure ?   Anyway my brief was and still is on an ongoing basis that I need something that would cover an acre and have up to 9 remote ( and moveable )  RF Temp / Humidity sensors . I currently have 4 operating .   Yes I looked at the Davis gear  ( it looks great ) then  started adding up the costs of what I needed and  the decision became obvious.

While I was waiting for the gear to arrive   ( from Hong Kong )  even though the site had an AU address  I started down loading  every software program I could find as the supplied software is basically not what I wanted ( read useless) .  Bottom line I have deleted all but one , Cumulus will stay and seems to meet most if not all of my needs at present ( The kiss principle ) . I have visually  modified it to suit my old eyes and love the way the addition sensor information updates on the fly on the main screen.

Initial Setup..

  •  READ ALL instructions BEFORE opening anything . Yes I know , anal ..
  • Opened  and connected all the components including putting  in new Lithium batteries  NOT the cheapies supplied.
  • Fitted a "dummie" pole on a trolley so I could wheel it around to make sure of the correct final location .
  • Took the 4 remote sensors to the worst location and left them there for 24 hours to see if they varied in signal reception , they didn't .
  • The next day was spent "tweaking " settings as the sensors  had to be put in very specific locations and to my surprise  after a few resets  ALL communicated with the base station in a matter of a few minutes .  

To Date ..
  • Even though I come from this bloodline J V Holt & Co  and cant even wire a 240 volt power point I found it very basic and straight forward to set it all up  . READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ..
  • It is all working  to date with 40 C plus days to today when it looks like 200mm of rain is coming down the coast 
  • Sensor 10 (the most extreme location)  used to drop out until I moved the PC , monitor and power supplies as far away from the base station as I could (see photos) . Also "foiled" the aerial as suggested in a forum . This seems to have sorted it .
  •  Replaced the plastic poles with a 3 m  50 mm galvanished pipe driven 900mm   into the ground and concreted . I can modify as and when needed if I want to go higher .
  • Added a standard 150mm rain gauge as a backup  to compare  (see photos)

Summary ..

Time will tell if this gear is rubbish  but to my logic  even if I have to replace some of the sensors or all for that matter   I cant justify spending the huge amount of money on Davis gear.  Just price 9 of their remote RF Temp / Humidity sensors  .   Maybe if I win Lotto ...

 Like I said I may one day have to eat my words.


PS , you can watch it here if you wish   .   Holtys Weather Station 

The pole can extend up to at least twice its current height
JIT . Its pissing down and tonight looks like 200 mm .

I had to make new shelves to get the power supplies as far away from the base as possible.

I will make up perspex boxes  later  but this is a good test . :)

The cradles can swivel on two planes .