Home weather stations


I didn’t see any topics about this in particular so I decided to start one since I just put one up last Sunday on Feb. 19. Bought an Acu-Rite model 01079 for $166. on Amazon late Jan. and just got my butt around to installing it. If I waited a couple of more weeks I could have got it for $133. when they were having a daily lightning special but at this point it didn’t matter since I already bought it.

The installation was to be done as a one man operation which was myself and had to be factored in to where and how I was going to install it. The best that I could come up with will be pictured below. I used a 10’ and 5’ piece of 3/4" galvanized steel pipe, a union and instead of using conduit straps, I opted for using conduit hangers. The conduit hangers helped quite bit in holding the conduit up on it’s own while tightening up the bolts for it. The sensor unit fits perfectly on to a 3/4" steel pipe which I drilled and tapped two holes in to secure the sensor to the pipe. The screws included with the sensor installation kit won’t cut it because they are too short. I have seen some people use just 1 screw to secure it but I went with 2 anyway. What is needed are a #4 and #6 screw both being 3/4" long. And here’s the photo of my setup.

If anyone is wondering what the wire is coming down the pole and going to the box that is mounted on the side of the deck, it’s an optional remote battery pack for the sensor that costs $20. Included is 30’ of wiring that plugs directly into the battery compartment under the sensor and is self contained, wire ties to hold it the pipe and screws for mounting the remote battery pack. Sorry, they don’t include 4 Lithium “AA” batteries which supposedly are good to use in down to -40F here in the north. It’s said that Alkaline batteries are only good down to around -4F.

Before I go on to the display, I did test the rain gauge which takes 20 mins. or longer in the procedure that they provide before putting it up and it was right on the nat’s *ss! Also so far with having up to 21 mph winds I have yet to experience a ghost rain event with my setup. We had rain last night and it is close to my LaCrosse rain guage(which is dying after only 8 or 9 months) and to other weather stations in the area that are on Wunderground.

The display is fairly easy to setup and I had no problems with the units communicating with each other. There were some calibration adjustments I had to make for the indoor and outdoor temps. The display comes with an AC adapter for it’s main source of power and uses 3 “AA” batteries in case of a power outage. Also included with the display is a USB cable for connecting to a computer. I don’t have the display connected to a computer right now so don’t ask me any questions about it.LOL

Guess that is it for now. If anyone else has any questions, photos of their stations and setups you can post them here.


Nice setup. Anyone using Davis?


I have a Davis WeatherVue station, but it’s not working properly. We even tried to re-home it, so it would get more sun on the solar cell, but it still is cutting out around 11:00 pm or thereabouts.

Patty S.


Sorry to hear that Patty. As you know I’m a hardwired kind of guy.


Nice setup @ljkewlj, nothing like getting a new tech toy to play with, ay?

I have a simple indoor/outdoor LaCrosse system as a gift from my wife, it just measures temps and humidity, and kinda gives a forecast based on past conditions. Has the usual atomic time feature on it, and color display. I am sceptical of getting one with all the bells and whistles, seems more things to break down. I have a cheap rain gauge on the front deck, works for me. I also use a really cheap Acurite indoor/outdoor to monitor temps inside our food cellar during cold spells.

Here is what we have now:


Sorry, mis-typed. It’s called Vantage Vue. Been a while :slight_smile: I need to really check out the new location to see if it’s getting more shade than my hubby anticipated. If so, that’s the easy answer and fix. If not, I’ll need to call the folks at Davis to see if they can help me problem-solve the issue. The product is very easy to set up and use, and has a wireless interface. I also added their WeatherLink with data logger, so I could log my data to their web site, and compile my weather data. By doing that, you get an online ID, and you can sign into the http://www.getchill.net/ web site (Tom Economous’ awesome web site that calculates chill hours per WunderMap weather stations which you can join, then plug in your ID to calculate your CH’s). The combination is very reasonably priced I think, and the folks at Davis are very nice and very helpful. The reason I selected the Davis system was because it’s solar powered (no electricity needed, as long as the solar cell gets enough sunshine), and it communicates via your wireless router to your computer. And, you can then log your data online is you want, with the WeatherLink data logger. Those were actually my 3 requirements for any weather station: solar-powered, wireless communication, and the ability to communicate data to the Interent, so the Davis system met all 3 criteria, and it was also reasonably priced. Lance’s system looks very nice, as well.


Are you all connected to wunderground? The most useful feature on that site (perhaps the entire internet!) is being able to see all the amateur weather stations in my area along with their web cams. I track about half dozen stations within three miles of my orchard. While I’m sure the accuracy on each one is rough, looking at several allows me to triangulate conditions and weather history (eg rainfall over last 24 hrs, rolling seven days, etc). Better than relying on the closest official station which is fifteen miles away. Until I get my own station set up, it’s a pretty useful alternative.


I used the closest WunderMap station to get my chill hours, like Patty mentioned on the chill hour site. It gives several test results, which is the most accurate?

It has a Utah, below 45, between 32 and 45 model, positive Utah, and dynamic models. All of them show at least 1022 hours, since Nov 1. It shows 61 chill portions, whatever that means.


Yup, why I selected this particular weather station, GardenGekko. It’s very interesting to monitor the other weather stations around me. A pretty big difference between CH’s, when I run those through www.getchill.net. Some clearly are not transmitting all their data accurately. MIne has been offline for about a year, haven’t had the time or inclination to figure out what the issue was. Figured out it was just a dead battery in the transmitter unit, which has been changed today, but my receiver still isn’t seeing the new battery, so I have to figure out how to reset the receiver.


In KY chilling isn’t going to be an issue unless we have a lot of warming. You can ignore chilling hrs for all practical purposes.


Thanks, so these calcs are more for folks in generally more warmer areas. But, we have had a lot of days in the 60s this season. I’m not that concerned, tho, because most of my fruit trees are new. We do have some old apple and cherry trees on the farm, but the fruit on them are usually not accessible, and not that great to begin with.

I was just wondering which model folks in warmer areas on here use. Is it the “under 45” one the best?

I am curious, tho, if a certain fruit tree, say an apricot has a CH req of 800, and another has a CH req of 300, does that mean that the tree with the higher number has a better chance of not getting its blooms zapped by later freezes? Is that also a indicator of tree hardiness?

Sorry to sidetrack this thread…


The worst.


I use the a ‘TheWeatherChannel’ branded one, just bought another one off Amazon since I liked it so much. No fancy color display but works well. (debated some cheaper ones off amazon but had mixed reviews or not a nice remote outdoor sensor). The LaCrosse ones also look nice but didnt need a color display.

I actually just used it to compare all my fridge settings (have 3 cold fridges to store my cuttings in) to make sure I store my scionwood in the coldest one (I been storing in a plastic bag outside under some wet leaves but alas the temps are 70+ on east coast past few weeks so brought them inside… I was worried my ‘bar beer cooler’ didnt get as cold as my refridgerator… but alas it does and has much more space for my scionwood).


@ljkewlj nice. Not sure what level of winds you may need to deal with, but if you get big winds you may need some guy wires. The easiest way to do that I’ve found is to loop the cable around the pipe say at the union. Where I am 100+mph winds are a yearly event, so guy wires are not optional for me…

I have a Meade system that is ~5 years old now. It’s worked well and still does everything I want (well except change the weather perhaps), but different sensors are starting to fail and it is hard to find replacements. I’d be interested to hear how this brand holds up over time.


I had a Weather Channel station when we were in North Texas. It worked OK for a couple years then the outside sensor wouldn’t transmit. So, I took a look at the sensor, took it apart, and it was full of small ants! For some reason, they were attracted to the circuitry, and ruined it. Very strange.


Since you didn’t get a decent answer to your question – I’ll answer it. For a quick review these are the 5 models that getchill.net gives you:

  1. Total of Under 45 hours
  2. Total of hours between 32 and 45.
  3. Utah model has partial accumulation outside of ideal temperature, and penalties for warm weather : <35 = 0 hrs, 35-36 = 0.5 hrs, 37-48 = 1hrs, 49-54 = 0.5, 55-60 = 0, 61-65 = -0.5, >65 = -1hrs
  4. Positive Utah, same as Utah model without the penalty for warm temperatures.
  5. Dynamic model: A more complicated, but more realistic set of formulas is used. Cool temperatures accumulate a theoretical intermediate product, once enough of the intermediate is obtained it is irreversibly converted to a chill portion. Warm temperatures can remove the intermediate product but not the chill portion.

The under 45 model doesn’t work very well in mild winter areas, because significant amounts of chill happen between 45 and 55 degrees. But the chilling isn’t effective if the weather alternates between warm and cool days. The chilling is more effective if there is a string of cool days, perhaps briefly interrupted by a warm day. As an example I’m only accumulating in at 220 chill hours under 45 this year, but have 950 chill hours using the Positive Utah model and 45 chill portions with the dynamic model. For reference 40-ish chill portions is enough to get >50% bloom on Lapins Cherry. Chill hours references for Lapins say it needs between 400-500 Chill hours – clearly I’m not getting that, but I am getting enough according to the dynamic model. The dynamic model surely is a closer approximation to what trees need to break dormancy – unfortunately the wholesale nurseries (like DWN) aren’t providing the chill portion estimates, for you to make effective use of the model, probably because the concept is harder to wrap your head around. But the cherry industry is paying attention to the dynamic model.


That’s a very nice explanation, Greg, especially for us in S. California. May I ask what your elevation is out in Valley Center?

Patty S.


I’m at 1550 ft in prime citrus country.


Thanks, Greg, for the explanation. I did read about how the dynamic model was developed in Israel, and seems to be the more accurate one.

To pick your brain some more, in ref to my second question about the relevance of req chill hours for certain varieties and how that relates to bud and tree hardiness. Thanks again.


OK I can take a stab at this – In general if you arrange the cultivars of any given fruit and chart the recommended chill hours against the expected bloom date ( from patent) and lowest recommended zone you’ll see a correlation. For example see this series for peaches:

You get the idea. Higher chill requirement, later bloom, lower USDA zone. The difference between 100 hours and 800 still doesn’t buy you much time to avoid frosts though does it?