New Personal Weather Station Owner

By: Greenosity , 5:17 PM GMT on April 22, 2010

I recently purchased a Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus with an additional Wireless Temperature Station which I now have uploading to Weather Underground and my personal web site.

Being a newbie to personal weather stations and the available software, I've been learning a lot - like the fact that there's no single software package that will do everything I want. Since I have an additional temperature sensor, I want to be able to view not only its current reading, but also the daily, monthly, and yearly highs & lows, and I want to post those readings to Weather Underground and my personal web site. Although Weather Underground accepts "temp2f", I can't find any software that will post it - not even Weather Underground's own WeatherLink plug-in. From a response from Weather Underground: "At this point in time, we do not have accommodations for a second temperature reading. This is something that we may add in the future, but it is low priority. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Hmm, they *accept* temp2f but their own software doesn't post it. And what if I find software that has the ability to read my additional temperature sensor (another frustrating issue itself) and post its reading, will Weather Underground do anything with it?


Davis' own WeatherLink software has the ability to generate a web page with all kinds of readings using their 'tags'. For outside temperature, there's tags for 'hiMonthlyOutsideTemp', 'lowMonthlyOutsideTemp', 'hiYearlyOutsideTemp', and 'lowYearlyOutsideTemp' but when it comes to additional sensors, all they have are 'hiTemp2' and 'lowTemp2' (3, 4...); no monthly or yearly tags.


On the subject of additional temperature sensors, I've tried a few applications that I initially like (Lightsoft Weather Center and Cumulus, for instance) but neither has the ability to read additional sensors. They have a *MUCH* better UI than other applications but I simply can't use them because they lack the ability to read my additional sensor.


And speaking of UI, most of the PC applications have HORRIBLE UI's. WeatherLink looks like it was designed for Windows 3.1. Virtual Weather Station isn't much better. Have these developers ever studied User Experience Design? I imagine, though, that user experience is a very low priority for them. Because I have a PC and Macs, I'm open to either platform but so far nothing has both an excellent (or at least good) UI and full support for all Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus accessories. I want both!


I set up some current and historical web pages using WeatherLink's templates for the first time last night. Here's another item that needs a complete overhaul. As a web developer, I cringe when I see HTML like Davis uses in their sample templates. It's an example of bad HTML from the early days of the web in the 1990's. Using HTML elements such as: font, center, small, br, attributes such as bgcolor, bordercolor, nowrap, align, and doing things like putting multiple paragraphs (p) in a table cell or repeating the use of font and other deprecated elements over and over and over instead of using CSS is really, really old school. C'mon people, learn some new technologies. There's better ways of doing things (CSS) here in the 2010's. And don't get me started on the scrolling ticker written in Java. How about using the marquee and blink tags, too? Those were cool in the mid-1990's - but ANNOYING!

I just tried Virtual VP and had it working with WeatherLink until I tried the web page upload from WeatherLink. WeatherLink will not work with Virtual VP for web page upload so I scratched Virtual VP. I like Lightsoft Weather Center (2) but it doesn't support IP connection to the Vantage Pro2 that Virtual VP allows.


Here's the reason that the additional temperature sensor is important to me. I live in Texas where it gets very hot in the summer. Like most houses, mine had a dark asphalt shingle roof. We all [should] know that something with a dark color left in the sun gets very hot. Why are we all putting dark shingles on roofs that will be in the hot summer sun? My roof was nearing 16 years old and I was ready for a new one - a cooler one. I began monitoring my attic temperature last July using a wireless outdoor thermometer bought at Home Depot. For most of July and August, my attic high temperature ranged from the 130's degree F up to 146 degree F while the outside high was usually 30 to 40 degrees F cooler! This had to stop. In February of this year, I had my old shingle roof replaced with a highly reflective, Energy Star rated, white standing seam metal roof installed over Polaralum thermal barrier. In addition, I had ridge vents installed on three ridges which dramatically improved my attic ventilation. Bring on July and August! I use the additional Davis wireless temperature station in my attic so that I can monitor the daily attic high compared to the daily outside high. The current daily readings are available on my personal web site. (I've got to get rid of that annoying scrolling ticker...)

I'm continuing my search for the best weather station software. Is it out there somewhere?

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1. mcn3ill
6:09 AM GMT on October 25, 2010
I am interested in the Vantage Pro2 as well. How easy was it to set up to link to Weather Underground?
Member Since: November 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 0

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