This is my first time setting up and running a weather station. It is for my school, Advent Home Learning Center, a school for boys with...*ahem*...behavior and educational issues.
My science budget at the moment is about...zip...and I have been lobbying for a new weather station for three years. Been in contact nearly every month for the last three years with the guys at WeatherBug, but even though their stuff is perfect for an educational program like mine, it's WAY outside my modest budget of $0, like $17,500 outside my budget. Tried to get funding for it but at most could only shave $2,500 off the price, making it still way outside my budget. Then a miracle, just happened to find one inside my chemistry closet while cleaning it out (how did one get in there?). Of course it is NOT the awesome WeatherBug system, but the super cheap wm-918 weather station going for about $50 or so these days. The device can be pretty accurate, but it needs software calibration which I was able to accomplish by downloading the free Cumulus program (great program!). It doesn't have a lot of frills and thrills, but I spent over three weeks calibrating the devices with grade A laboratory equipment, and using statistical methodology and a lot of math, was able to make the devices really accurate. I also read a lot of gripes and complaints online about the device and it's issues, so I made some adjustments for those. For example, some complained that the water gets inside the rain gauge housing (imagine that!) and kills the components in short time, as well as all the other components. I fixed that little problem by putting 100% silicone outdoor sealant on all the exposed components (except the temperature and humidity sensors, for those I only covered the contacts to the pcb), and to reduce external emf interference, I jury-rigged a slab of silicone with wads of steel wool grounded on the grounding nut of the station to prevent our wireless signals from disrupting the device (like a cheapo Fermi cage).
Buddy of mine who is also a teacher here at this school helped my put it on the roof of our building and it has been working great ever since.
Only two problems I have at this time are this:
1) I can't seem to get Cumulus to save the weather data on the local computer or make that data available through our local intranet (security issues)
2) I don't have a copy of the coding for Cumulus to improve the program myself. Since I have been coded for a gazillon...days....I probably wouldn't know enough about the code to improve it anyway but it might be nice