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The Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless is a sophisticated weather station that provides a wide range of data and flexibility, but also easy to set up and install. The wireless Vantage Pro 2 includes Vantage Pro2 console/receiver, integrated sensor suite (ISS), and mounting hardware. The Integrated sensor suite includes rain collector, temperature and humidity sensors, anemometer, 40' (12 m) anemometer cable, and solar panel. Electronic components are housed in a weather-resistant shelter. Sensor suite is solar powered. Console may be powered using the included AC-power adapter or with three C batteries (not included).Addtional sensors to meaaure Solar and UV radition are availaible and can be easier added to the ISS
Wireless range is up to 1000' (300 m) outdoors, line of sight. Typical range through walls under most conditions is 200' to 400' (60 to 120 m). Add wireless repeaters for distances up to 1.7 miles (2.7 km).
The ISS pictured below contains a rain collector, temperature sensor, humidity sensor and anemometer and best of all is solar powered, the unit includes a small recharable battery to power the unit after dark. The temperature and humidity sensors are mounted inside a passive radiation shield which reduces the impact of solar radiation and improves the accuracy of the readings.Finding a suitable location to house this type of weather station can be tricky enough without having to worry about running cables to the console unit which you will probably want inside your house. The Davis the Vantage Pro 2 series uses frequency hopping radio technology which gives the transmitter a range of 300m which should be more than enough for most people's requirements. The wireless version of the Vantage Pro 2 is more expensive, price start from a little under £650.00 from Red-Onions.com.
Building and installing.
The Vantage Pro 2 ISS arrived complete and beautifully boxed, with only the anemometer and radiation sensors needing to be connected to the ISS unit. The anemometer is the only part of the system which is linked by cable, and the one supplied is 12m long allowing the anemometer to be installed in a different location to the main unit.
The rainfall gauge arrives with a converter if you want to record rainfall using metric rather than imperial units. Installing this converter very easy.
Once the assembly is ready, all that is required is to find a suitable outdoor location. The assembly is quite heavy, and ensuring it is firmly and securely attached (possibly to a post or pole) is very important. I installed my ISS and anemometer on the west facing wall. Ideally the anemometer arm should be facing directly north. As I was unable to do this with my installation I needed to recalibrate the unit. This is not difficult and the process to follow is clearly explained in the documentation which is provided. The anemometer arm was then fitted at the end of a 2 meter pole to raise the sensor above the roof line and connected to the ISS unit using the supplied cable.
Once the ISS is installed, configuring the Vantage Pro 2 console is dead easy. The console will automatically search for wireless senor stations in range, once detected the onscreen menus guided me through the process with most required inputs being self explanatory. A couple of things we needed to know was our elevation, latitude and longitude. The set-up also enables you to set the units of measurement for each of the different weather variables, such as the unit for the measurement of temperatures either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Using the Vantage Pro 2
Once configured my Vantage Pro 2 was ready to use. One of the best aspects of the product is the ergonomic interface on the console unit which means that you can quickly locate the data you want. The LCD screen is large and so capable of displaying all the data which most people will require on a daily basis.
The Vantage Pro 2 offers both current data and historic data and the LCD screen can represent this graphically, for example displaying amounts of rain recorded during the last day, month or year. Options to display Hi/Low values for the day and time, as well as the ability to set alarms for when certain conditions have been reached.
The Davis Vantage Pro2 can also be connected to a PC via Weather Link software, enabling the user to view information via their PC as well as upload it to the Internet details of which follows.
The modern weather station console will display a large set of readings, it is difficult to overstate the additional benefits from linking your weather station to a PC and experiencing the resulting power and flexibility in using the stored weather data. For anyone with access to a PC, a data logging/software package has to be the number one accessory for your Vantage Pro station.
Linking a Davis station to a computer is a straightforward and simple process that requires the Davis Weather link option; the contents of this package consist of two main parts: a data logging module and a comprehensive software program. The data logger attaches to the weather station console and its output connects to a standard RS232 serial port or USB port on a computer. The logger's main function is to act as an always-on intermediate data store between console and computer that can, for example, store up to several weeks worth of data while the linked computer may be switched off.
The Davis Weather link program possesses a large number of features, including: