I did it, ordered a PWS... question about wind...?


#1

Well I love my new Iro so to further step up my game I ordered a PWS, the Ambient Weather WS-1400-is all-in-one with wind, rain, temp, humidity, solar, and uv sensors (key for me since Rachio uses these values if you have them for ET calculations.) I will have its wireless box the “ObserverIP” connected to a Meteobridge that will allow posting not only to Weather Underground but also PWSweather so Rachio can see it.

Question:

When buying an all-in-one PWS (vs. something like a Davis Vantage Pro 2 which can have its sensors spread around your property) you really have to pick and choose what matters to you most in terms of siting the PWS. For me I will mount the PWS about 7 ft. above the ground so temp, rainfall, humidity, solar, and UV should be quite accurate. I will have LESS accurate winds however vs. the national weather service recommended height of 33 ft. above ground level. Does this hurt my Rachio calculations? Shouldn’t it in a way make it more accurate because I’m reporting the lower level winds my yard is experiencing anyway or is the problem that the Rachio calculation accounts for the fact winds are reported at 33 ft typically so with my siting it will hurt my accuracy of ET calculations? Hope that makes sense but I’m still pretty happy because I feel with accurate rain, temp, humidity, solar and UV right on property I am getting pretty close…

Thanks!


#2

Love the questions. Wind is used in our ET calculation (if we have it). In your case, I’m assuming where you have the station installed is good enough. The most important factors are solar radiation (if you have it) and temperature.

:cheers:


#3

I’ll have both! Having done a bunch of research on this it seems if you want all the regular metrics PLUS solar radiation and UV you have really two realistic choices…

Davis Vantage Pro 2 + with the solar and UV add ons that will bring the cost near or over $1000 OR the well rated Ambient Weather 1xxx units that cost between $150-550 depending on the package. The package differences relate to the console in your house and where and how it can connect to the internet but the hardware outside your house remains the same.

The cheapest cost to make this work with Rachio was getting the Ambient Weather WS-1400-IS “Observer” station which leaves out the indoor console (which I don’t care about because I’ll view the data on Weather Underground and in any series of apps on my computers, iPad, and iPhone) and adds in a small box called the “ObserverIP” which can connect to ONLY Weather Underground out of the box for just $150. You then order a small $30 tiny router and add $70 in software to it to create a “Meteobridge” that connects with the ObserverIP box and allows you to take that data which once could only be sent to WU and now allows it to be sent to every major weather site on the internet including PWSWeather which you guys use for the Iro. That brings the total cost (not counting mounting hardware) to just $250 for a PWS that is rated almost as accurate as the Davis stuff. It seems if anything is lacking it is the toughness of the hardware vs. Davis but to get a Davis with solar and UV I would pay more than 4 times the cost and in the future if something breaks to replace JUST the outdoor hardware alone is only $109 for the entire PWS unit so even if I replace it every 3-4 years instead of 10 I come out way ahead.

PS: The Acurite 5-in-1 that you mention in your “How do I setup a PWS with my Rachio?” FAQ doesn’t have solar or UV I believe and seems far less well rated (#1 complaint is the unit breaking quickly) by most compared to the Ambient Weather 1xxx series.

We shall see… wxforum.net is a great place for discussions about PWS models.


#4

congrats! That’s the same model I’m looking at. Just haven’t pulled the trigger because I can’t figure out where to place it on my house/property for the best readings. Please post back here with you setup/install experience and share your weather station ID when it’s up and running. Good luck!


#5

I plan on setting up everything early next week so I’ll work up some pictures and experiences…


#6

crazy question on placement… My house takes up most of my lot. Based on calculations, I think I’d have to put it on the roof to get accurate readings. Only other choice to avoid obstruction from the house or from the 20ft + burm/shrubbery in the back would be in the front yard almost in the street, which is probably against some HOA reg and wouldn’t be desirable anyways.

Has anyone ever installed these on a tile rooftop (FL)? No chimney, VERY hesitant to pull tile and drill through subroof. Just not sure I have other options.

Any opinions welcome…


#7

can you place it anywhere on your property between 5-7 ft. where it gets a clear view of the sky (for rain, solar, and uv) and is above grass not a hot surface? you would surely sacrifice wind velocity but everything else should be great and those are the most important for the Iro. If you place it high on the roof the winds will be much better but rain accuracy gets worse (wind + rain hurts accuracy) and temps may read high due to the roof material. plus its a darn pain to get on the roof for maintenance.


#8

Ditto @johnny2678! Please post your experience here! I appreciate your write up, as I’m toying with doing my own PWS (my closest one is almost 6 miles from my house). The landscaper who recommended Rachio to me has his own weather station, but it cost him over $1K. But a $250 solution sounds doable! I’m looking forward to what you have to say.


#9

That’s great. Sounds like you have hit on a winning package for this audience. One of my concerns is the range on the 915 Mhz transmitter – in my situation, the signal will have to travel underground part of the way and the website says it doesn’t travel through earth. Would really like to hear your experience on making the wireless connection work to the Observer IP module. Good luck!


#10

Thanks. They claim Observer IP has 300 ft line of sight and closer to 150 ft if you have a bunch of obstructions. For me the distance from my planned mount point to my router room is 82 ft with 36 ft of that being my wood/drywall construction home so I should be good. Since the meteobridge is a wifi point itself once you have competed setup (during which you have to be wired to your router) you can place your observerIP box connected by wire to your meteobridge in an area of your home closest to your PWS and then have the meteobridge wirelessly connect to your router in another room. So in theory I could reduce my 82 ft to around 46 ft if I need to.

This is all theory for now but I get everything this Sunday and plan to have it up in the first half of the week so stay tuned.

PS: measuring distances on google maps is easy. Zoom in and right click and choose measurement then click two points on the map and it instantly gives you the distance between them.


#11

My question regarding a PWS is, how quickly would someone make their money back on purchasing a PWS along with a Iro? This is probably hard to estimate but would be interesting to know.


#12

This is why it’s tricky… the shrubbery lining the road south of the house is 20+ feet high. The magnolia at the north east corner by the street is 15+ feet. The roof at it’s highest point is 26ft. I don’t think there’s any grass on the property that I can put it that meets the 4x rule unless I put it at the top of a flagpole… :slight_smile:

Still, happy to hear suggestions.


#13

what did u end up ordering? do you have links?


Netatmo as PWS for Flex Schedule
2016 Flex chronicle (aka eating your own dog food)
#14

well tomorrow is the big day… the PWS goes up… here is where I am…

I bought this PWS:

Ambient Weather WS-1400-IP Link: http://amzn.com/B00O9YIEJW

This all in one weather station is unique compared to competitors because it is the only one in its price range that includes solar and UV sensors which are used by Rachio to help calculate more accurate evaporation rates. Of course it also includes the standard wind, rain, temp, humidity, and pressure sensors. By itself it will transmit to a small included box called the Observer-IP that will send your data to Weather Underground (AND ONLY WEATHER UNDERGROUND, at least out of the box… stay with me…) or you can optionally later add a console for your home with an LCD screen. For me I plan on viewing the data on my computer, iPhone, and iPad using a variety of apps.

I then purchased a small personal router:

TP-LINK TL-MR3020 http://amzn.com/B00634PLTW

This small router will then be flashed with software from Meteobridge: http://www.meteobridge.com/wiki/index.php/Home that turns it into what is called a “meteobridge”. The software is free to try for 14 days but then requires a payment of $70. You then plug the small Observer-IP box that came with the weather station into this meteobridge and the meteobridge will then update not only Weather Underground with the data but basically every other major weather site of your choice including the PWSweather.com site that Rachio uses to display weather stations. It will also update a personal website if you have one. It does all this WITHOUT REQUIRING a computer to be on. This basically means I can leave the Observer-IP box, meteobox, and my home’s wi-fi router router running and I get 365 24/7 updates of weather data even if all my personal computers are off.


Tonight I dug a 28 inch deep, 6 inch wide hole using a post hole digger and tomorrow morning I will purchase a galvanized chain link top rail that comes in a 10.5 ft size, but I will cut 18 inches off the bottom: http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-1-3-8-in-x-10-ft-6-in-17-Gauge-Galvanized-Top-Rail-328913DPT/100322532

This rail will go into the hole with Quikrete leaving about 7 ft. above ground which will plug directly into a 5 inch metal pipe that comes with the weather station (connected to the bottom). So essentially the bottom of my weather station will sit about 7.5 ft above ground level and the top about 8.5 ft above ground level.

By tomorrow night I hope to have everything running and within a few days I hope it appears on all the sites that Rachio sees. I’ll try to post some pictures and what I learned when its done.

Total cost of the project will be about $300 including everything.

Thanks!


#15

Did I miss it…Where’s the question about wind? BTW I just bought a Ambient Weather WS-1400-IP, I’m going to install it on top of my patio cover on the corner…basically over the lawn.

Back to the missing wind question…does the gen2 unit have the capability to NOT water if the wind is above a certain speed?

Boy do I feel like an idiot…When I clicked on this post I thought I was looking at the whole thread…Guess I was only looking at the last two posts. sorry about that.


#16

well it’s up! couldn’t have gone more smoothly. bought the 10.5 ft pole I mentioned, had home depot cut it for me to be 9 ft 3 in. put some gravel in the bottom of the hole i dug yesterday, put the pole in and got it plum then poured in 1 1/4 bags of quikrete fast set mix and added about a gallon of water on top. Four hours later it had set-up quite a bit and I mounted the WS-1400-IP on top and the included extension slide perfectly over the long pole I had set in the ground. after setting it due south i drilled a hole all the way through the joint and put a stainless steel screw all the way through with a lock nut on the end. i have only setup the weather station with Weather Underground so far but tomorrow I’ll setup the meteobox and get registered to have PWSWeather.com also get the data so in a few days it will appear on the Rachio app and I can start using my own data for my Iro.

So far all the data is dead on compared to surrounding weather stations except mine is one of the only with solar and UV data! Tonight I should get a bit of rain so I am hoping the rain gauge appears accurate.

Here it is… I’ll post a new thread with pics and more details once 100% of everything, including the Rachio integration is complete…

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KILPLAIN41


#17

You’ve pretty much sold me on getting one. Thank you for the great posts!

The only thing I’m going to initially try differently is using the shell script that’s floating around on a thread here to try and pull the WU data and post it over on PWSWeather. I already have a RaspberryPi running 24/7 already so if that turns out to be reliable, I’ll skip the Meteobridge gizmo.


#18

great job @boldblue737! More excited than ever to get mine up and running. There are too many microclimate variations here in FL to rely on any of the surrounding stations. Just have to figure out placement…


#19

Perhaps THIS.


#20

@boldblue737 Going to do the same thing, will let you know how it goes!