Friday, July 18, 2008

The New Weather Station ... Bigger Than My Head

Now that we've moved back to the Midwest, the weather is a much more important topic. In Oxnard, there was very little variation in the weather and when it did change, it rarely resulted in a change in our activities. In Nebraska, watching the weather is a critical necessity when planning any outdoor activity.

While I have been interested in weather for awhile, mostly because it involves data, the Wife has a much deeper knowledge about the weather than I. I have been known, to her chagrin, to refer to the Wife as the Weather Wench. I'm sure this is a result of her growing up in the Midwest. My nine years out of the country and almost 21 years in California has dulled my weather sense.

To correct for that, and at the urging of the Wife, I bought a weather station. I got a pretty good deal on E-Bay. It arrived yesterday. I was planning to wait a while before putting it up but, as I sat on the couch watching junk on TV this afternoon, I realized that I might as well install it. (The Wife predicted that I couldn't resist putting it up and she was right.) It was either this or cleaning the house. The dirt won't go anywhere but the weather ... it's a changin'!

The Wife had called me last night and when I told here that the station had arrived, she asked how big the outdoor sensor was. I was having trouble describing it and she asked: "Is it bigger than your head?" Well, actually ... it is bigger than my head. As a matter of fact it was much larger than I expected. I went to Home Depot and bought some pipe and mounted it to our back fence. I ended up going to Lowes because I came up one pipe short - D'Oh. I decided to punish my carelessness by going through the Dairy Queen drive through and buying a large ice cream cone.

The weather station is a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2. The outdoor sensor measures temperature, humidity, wind direction & speed, and rain fall. The unit shows all that plus barometric pressure, dew point, heat index, wind chill, rain rate, and more. A data lovers dream. It has a small solar panel to keep the batteries charged and talks to the console using frequency hopping spread spectrum. What more could a gadget lover want.

The unit can be connected to a computer but the software costs over $180 which seems a little steep. Since I'm too cheap to buy the software, I won't be posting weather data on Homer's Travels anytime soon. (Sorry to disappoint.)

6 comments:

  1. I say buy the software for the weather station. We all want to know the intimate details of the weather. I am so not kidding.
    We miss you this weekend! But, we will see you soon.

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  2. Aw-right, new geek toys!

    Terribly tough on yourself with that DQ punishment, I see... ;)

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  3. GH: I don't want to be too harsh on myself. :-)

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