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Old 06-01-2016, 07:25   #16
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Re: inexpensive weather station

I ordered from ebay a Chinese build weather station with external wireless sensor for about $30 and 2 years so far still does a great job

the only issue is that when I run the aircon the atmospheric pressure is not very correct as the station is in the saloon but this is expected
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:12   #17
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Re: inexpensive weather station

I bought a cheap weather station from Canadian Tire for my lake boat. For mounting I'm assigning forward as North so it will always read wind in reference to the boats direction.
Mostly I got it to read wind speed on the dock before going out to help build my knowledge and compare with "gut" readings.
The water is a little too hard to install it yet, but I have played with it at home. It seems to refresh wind speed and direction about every minute or so. I doubt it's going to be of much help on the water. But I can't wait to find out.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:24   #18
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Now I am new to sailing so take this with a grain of salt, and you will probably laugh.
But I have a three foot or so piece of yarn on one of my stays one each side of the boat, I do have wind instruments, but find the yarn is at least as useful.
I would not want to have to do without my depth though, so much so that I have two of those.

I want a recording barometer, an electronic one, not an old mechanical paper drum type, but haven't been able to find one that is not real expensive


I think I learned more from my pieces of yarn than I ever did when an instrument told me what was going on. I had yarn at the top of the stay and then again at about 6 foot off the deck. I would watch them for hours and try to figure out what they were telling me. I still like the instruments and rely on them (probably unnecessarily or too much) but I have an understanding of the wind beyond them due to those silly pieces of yarn!
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:00   #19
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Re: inexpensive weather station

Its worth pointing out that if you are carrying a new iphone in your pocket (6 or newer) or an ipad air 2 (or better) it has a built in barometer. There are all sorts of barometer apps available.

Combined with a vaavud wind sensor you have most of what you need and since its portable you can keep them out of the elements.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:01   #20
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Re: inexpensive weather station

I believe a weather set is fun on a boat but no more even though the predictive/visual barometer interpretations could be useful. I must say I really enjoy my ray marine sd 60 hooked up to the autohelm it follows the wind shifts and has an alarm for major changes . Cassette tape also works well as a streamer on shrouds
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Old 06-01-2016, 15:27   #21
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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Cassette tape also works well as a streamer on shrouds

And if you have anyone visiting from 1985, they can bring you some!

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Old 06-01-2016, 16:32   #22
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Re: inexpensive weather station

The Airmar PB200 / WX200 is a great unit and I know several that have stood the test of time in very harsh conditions.

It's ultrasonic (no moving parts).

Has a GPS, rate gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, compass, air temperature and barometer. That all means that it can go at the top of the mast and the accelerometer takes care of fluctuations in wind speed and direction due to mast movement. It looks like a standard GPS antenna, but a little taller.

Use the NMEA 0183 output to get full resolution on the barometer as N2K only outputs whole HPa which isn't much use for weather forecasting. Just discovered this issue after battling with N2K settings on my unit for ages and not getting much sense out of Airmar ( Now I have found a contact there who seems to know what they are talking about ) .

Not the cheapest solution but not the most expensive either - of course you need to display it on your instruments ( I use Furuno RD33 multi displays ) and of course the PC.

Whilst bits of string (I prefer a windex) are fine for sailing for proper weather monitoring you need a record of true wind speed/direction and a recording barometer - you get both with one of these.

I think there are other similar devices but I have no experience.

Rotating cup wind transducers (at least the ones provided in home weather stations and by the various yacht instrument inevitably fail and often will not record reliably at more than 40 knots about when it gets interesting.

Bottom line is that my advice is go for a solid state wind monitor.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 06-01-2016, 16:59   #23
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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And if you have anyone visiting from 1985, they can bring you some!

Mark
O yeah Pet Shop boys herer we come
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Old 06-01-2016, 17:18   #24
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
The Airmar PB200 / WX200 is a great unit and I know several that have stood the test of time in very harsh conditions.



It's ultrasonic (no moving parts).



Has a GPS, rate gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, compass, air temperature and barometer. That all means that it can go at the top of the mast and the accelerometer takes care of fluctuations in wind speed and direction due to mast movement. It looks like a standard GPS antenna, but a little taller.



Use the NMEA 0183 output to get full resolution on the barometer as N2K only outputs whole HPa which isn't much use for weather forecasting. Just discovered this issue after battling with N2K settings on my unit for ages and not getting much sense out of Airmar ( Now I have found a contact there who seems to know what they are talking about ) .



Not the cheapest solution but not the most expensive either - of course you need to display it on your instruments ( I use Furuno RD33 multi displays ) and of course the PC.



Whilst bits of string (I prefer a windex) are fine for sailing for proper weather monitoring you need a record of true wind speed/direction and a recording barometer - you get both with one of these.



I think there are other similar devices but I have no experience.



Rotating cup wind transducers (at least the ones provided in home weather stations and by the various yacht instrument inevitably fail and often will not record reliably at more than 40 knots about when it gets interesting.



Bottom line is that my advice is go for a solid state wind monitor.



Cheers

Chris

So how inexpensive is it?

Mark
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Old 06-01-2016, 19:24   #25
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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So how inexpensive is it?

Mark
I suspect that was a trolling comment because you have access to Google, but here goes

Looks like it has gone up since I bought mine a couple of years ago but Google says it costs about 1000 USD these days best price.

Seems expensive at first but when you look at the price of all the things it supplies wind, fast heading sensor (for autopilots etc), GPS, roll, pitch and the weather stuff it becomes very realistic... and more reliable than many others.

No connections to Airmar, I just like these devices and have good results with them on a few vessels that work high latitudes mainly and really give weather instruments a hammering.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:36   #26
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Re: inexpensive weather station

Littlechay, I agree that a good (and necessarily more expensive) weather station like you suggest is the way to go for main instrumentation on a boat. We have a Maretron ultrasonic weather station which has less functionality than yours, but costs half as much. My comment was only in regards to the thread title and what the OP was attempting to cheat on.

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Old 07-01-2016, 08:42   #27
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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Littlechay, I agree that a good (and necessarily more expensive) weather station like you suggest is the way to go for main instrumentation on a boat. We have a Maretron ultrasonic weather station which has less functionality than yours, but costs half as much. My comment was only in regards to the thread title and what the OP was attempting to cheat on.

Mark
Mark, Fair point.

I almost bought the Maretron but when I purchased had just bought the boat and slapped on the Airmar unit and a Furuno RD33 display as a one-stop-shop so that I had instruments to sail her home.

One thing that I have learnt in my years of engineering is that if you go cheap inevitably you spend more money. If the OP buys a cheap weather station he will end up buying many more cheap weather stations over the course of his voyaging.

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Old 07-01-2016, 08:51   #28
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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We have a Davis weather system, and have had two previous LaCrosse ones (pieces of crap - avoid that brand).

They work fine for basic weather info, but be aware that the wind direction function is useless on a boat. Since they don't have a compass, all of these systems require that the wind instrument be permanently pointed south to give wind direction.
The problem becomes more complex when the boat is underway, even when headed north (or whatever the proper fixed alignment might require). Marine instruments will give both apparent (measured) and true (deduced) wind, which is nice.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:35   #29
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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One thing that I have learnt in my years of engineering is that if you go cheap inevitably you spend more money. If the OP buys a cheap weather station he will end up buying many more cheap weather stations over the course of his voyaging.

Like I mentioned earlier, we are on our third one in twelve years - the second one lasted less than two years. I do like having them on board as general use - the recording functions are nice, and you get to wake up and see how hard the wind blew over night and how much rain fell at what rate, etc. The recording barometer is very useful.

But they aren't boat instrumentation.

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Old 07-01-2016, 09:42   #30
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Re: inexpensive weather station

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I have an Accu-Rite #2010 home weather station, which indicates indoor / outdoor temperature and humidity (/w trend arrows), barometric pressure history chart (12, 6, 3, 2, 1, 0 Hrs) & trend arrow, Forecast of high/low temperature, cloud cover and precipitation ( 4-hour, 4 to 8-hour and 8 to 12-hour ), Time clock and calendar.
$59.99 ➥ AcuRite Professional Digital Weather Center with Forecast / Temperature / Humidity

It works pretty well.
I had similar system, Oregon Scientific, for about $50. Wireless transmitter was mounted on top of radar dome.

As other's have said, you get wind speed and must calculate direction based on how you mounted it.
Great unit for the price. Worked for more than a year, before a flag managed to snag it and toss it overboard.

I miss it when at the dock or anchor. Probably will get another just for that.
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