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What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?

Posted by Paul Weir 
What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 02, 2018 01:15PM
Hi Friends,

Do you use a PWS at your orchard to help manage and focus your weather related activities?

I have owned a Rainwise MKIII-LR Solar Powered Wireless PWS (Personal Weather Station) for the last 5 1/2 years.

[rainwise.com]

For 95% of that time it has run beautifully. I have it data linked to Weather Underground and the forecasting has been surprisingly accurate being a part of that network of PWS's.

Trouble comes when it fails.

I have had a few failures over the years, all were able to be fixed by myself. Recently though we had a data transmission failure that was unable to be troubleshot remotely and after trying a few parts (ordered & shipped to me), it was still not coming online. . . So, it was decided to send it back to HQ in Maine for their bench techs to have a go at it.

They were confident that they would be able to fix it.

Well I just got the call back from one of their service writers and he said the unit was fixed ($400) but then he recommended that I just buy a new one ($800, includes a $200 trade in credit for my defective core they have already) because the repair would only come with a 30 day warranty and he couldnt guarantee I wouldnt be calling him back in a few months with another failure -- well, there is some high confidence in ones product for you :-/

By the way, he said that the 2018 Rainwise MKIII-LR is all but identical to the 2012 model I own now.

I know other farmers and row crop growers in my region that are using a variety of weather stations to help with their degree day calculations, moisture monitoring, wind, and more.

I wanted to pose the question to our members and guests here . . .

What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use? What do you like most about it (or least) and would you highly recommend it to others?

I am seriously thinking about jumping ship from Rainwise and your feedback will help

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 03, 2018 11:37AM
Hi Paul,
I have a Davis Scientific Vantage Pro 2 Plus weather station that has resided in my orchard the past 3 years or so. It wirelessly connects to my network through the Weather Link ip device and I am VERY happy with it. What I like is it has been a solid device, tho' I did replace the anemometer about a year ago. The all of the readings are accurate as compared to our weather stations around us, it is easily set up to connect to Weather Underground and it has plug in devices for soil moisture, leaf moisture etc. Supposedly, the software package that comes with them will alert you to when conditions are right for pest outbreaks in your orchard. I say supposedly as the part I hate is the devices work only in Windows, not Mac...a major disadvantage as I am a very long time Mac user. I hear rumors that they will fix this but as of late last year, I did not see anything available. Others may have more info about this. BTW, as a beekeeper, the Broodminder hive scale and sensor system I use in my hives will access my Weather Underground account and import the ambient weather data into their app so I have a solid comparison between ambient (WU) and internal ( temp/humidity values and can reference whether it was rainy, sunny, snowy, etc when reviewing my hive data.

Honey Meadow Farm, LLC
Southwestern New Hampshire, Zone 5A
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 04, 2018 07:33PM
I too have a RainWise MKIII, and recently sent it in to be serviced, a month later (and many dollars later) i had an almost completely refurbished unit. Have been very happy with it since then, seems to be holding up well. The biggest draw for me is the NEWA network, [newa.cornell.edu]. Not sure if it has reached the west coast yet, or if you have something similiar, but they exclusively use RainWise units. I am just a backyard grower, but these tools should come in handy this season. Cheers!
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 08, 2018 03:00PM
Hi John & Brian,

Thank you both very much for your shared thoughts and feelings. Much appreciated.

John: Very cool that you tie it all into your honey bees and hives. Davis is solid hardware a long time leader in weather stations.

Brian: Just did a first look into the NEWA Network and it looks fabulous to me. There is some weather work and outreach being done in Eastern Washington, but I am unaware of anything like this for my part of California (Northern Sierra Foothills) . . . If anyone knows different, please let us know

Guys, can you follow up a post here with links to your PWSs?

Though it is offline right now . . . do to my needed factory repairs . . . You can find mine at [www.wunderground.com]

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 10, 2018 07:33PM
When I sent my RainWise in for service, I received the same phone call and opted for the "rooftop refresh" even though it was only warrantied for 30 days, so far so good. I'm assumming with all new sensors that I should get a few years of service out of it. I am sure you will make a great decision, there are so many good options out there. Here are my links:

[www.wunderground.com]

[newa.cornell.edu]
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 16, 2018 03:10PM
Hi Brian,

My final repair quote came back at $315 so I opted for the repair. I could tell the gentleman I was talking with felt I should go with the complete exchange out for the ~$800 cost. Side note: The company's support crew doesnt feel the same as it did to me when we made out initial purchase and when we have had a couple previous minor repair issues. I feel the rest of my unit should hold for several more years and if it doesnt, I doubt I will be going back to Rainwise and will plan to change directions and look into the Davis options available as John recommended.

Thanks for posting your links Brian, I enjoyed checking out your location and weather (past, present and forecast) therein.

Cheers!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 19, 2018 08:39PM
Hi Paul,
Sorry for the delay. I never realized just how busy retirement is! Not a complaint...My weather station link is below. Good luck with your station! Should you ever decide to buy another check out www.scientificsales.com. That is where I bought mine. The prices are good and they understand the value of good customer service.

Cheers,

John
weatherstation

Honey Meadow Farm, LLC
Southwestern New Hampshire, Zone 5A
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
March 24, 2018 09:41PM
Hi John,

No worries, thanks for your thumbs up for working with Scientific Sales. I love the idea of great customer service!

I know I am not alone when I say I dig seeing each of our PWS's -- really gives a bearing to where we are each growing

Cheers my friend!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
April 06, 2018 11:36PM
Any updates to these recommendations or other units people are using?
Check out www.farmOS.org for way to plug into a network of other farmers/orchards to share data.
Re: What type of PWS (Personal Weather Station) do you use?
April 19, 2018 04:35PM
Hi, folks - We use two "WatchDog Weather Tracker" units from Spectrum Technologies, Inc, one in each of our bigger blocks. They are pretty old school and are not linked to anything, so you have to physically go to them to get the data. However we are usually out in the orchard anyway, so it is not that big of a deal. It would be nice to have an easier way of archiving the data, however, so we could compare seasons more effectively.

But they have been pretty reliable over the years, and we have gotten good customer service from the company when we have needed (infrequent) repairs.

Door Creek Orchard
Zone 5a in Wisconsin
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