The Weather Station

Joan’s old weather station had grown unreliable, so we picked up the “Wireless Weather Center With PC Interface” the other day and spent part of Saturday doing preliminary setup work.  It’s a LaCrosse Technology product with Weather Channel branding, and has some interesting peripherals which provide a variety of information.

But it is by no means “wireless,” despite the name.  The “Thermo-Hygro Sensor”–I think that means thermometer/barometer–does indeed house a radio transmitter which transmits data to the Weather Station proper, but the Wind Sensor and Rain Sensor are both tethered to the T-H Sensor by cables–32 foot wires, to be exact. The only appropriately-shaded location in our yard for the T-H device is between our house and our garage, in what we call The Wind Tunnel–clearly not the place to put the Wind Sensor.  Finding an appropriate location within 32 feet of the shaded location turned out to be an interesting project.  Finding a workable location for the Rain Sensor was similarly problematic, for like reasons; moreover, there’s no mounting device for this sensor, so it will get blown around.  We’re still experimenting with locations for both sensors. Since the current setup is officially temporary, we have telephone wires strung willy-nilly in The Wind Tunnel; we’ll clean that up when we commit to final locations, but it’s pretty ugly right now.  ‘Twould be better if the station were truly wireless.

There’s also a cable to connect to my PC’s serial port, which is already in use.  Truth told, I’d really rather the system just talked to my Airport. My guess is our next iteration will address these concerns. It will likely cost a bit more, too.

Despite these irritants, the system’s kinda neat, and far better than the system it replaced.  Probably next weekend we’ll load the PC software and play with some downloaded data, and see what we can learn from that. Should be interesting….

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