There are tons of backyard weather stations out there. Still it pays to take a trip through your local home-improvement or agriculture-supply warehouse to note exact model numbers on display for further research. Sadly, most of these don’t speak “computer,” and you’ll probably wind up ordering online.
The one I bought was just the cheapest thing. My impression is that the AccuRite SmartHUB was the heart of a componentized system that polled multiple devices, which could be purchased separately to appeal to commercial users, but the Ambient device I bought is for homeowners and has only two parts: outdoor and indoor. Both are battery-operated and communicate wirelessly through some kind of proprietary handshaking. The indoor unit is connected to my PC through a USB port, and the PC does the polling with the weeWX software. My PC is not always on, so the indoor unit caches observations and the PC fetches them, massages them and updates its database whenever I do turn it on. Mostly it works. Occasionally, there is a reading or two missing from the cache, but that’s frustrating only for the developers who wrote the weeWX Fine Offset drivers, not for me.
Is weeWX easy to work with? (Are you a programmer/IT person by trade?) … I can always get through about 75% of the software setup … and I can’t get it to work and then I’ve spent 50 bucks down the drain.
You mean you’d spend $50 for the “pi.” Yeah, too bad, but you could dual boot your Windows machine with Linux on the second partition, and it wouldn’t cost you anything.
I’m a geek. I’ll cop to that.
Is weeWX easy? It’s free. What can I say? If you install Debian Linux or one of its clones like Ubuntu, then weeWX is just another app in the standard distribution and installs like cake. During the installation, a number of probing questions come up such as make and model of your weather station, your lat/lon/elevation, etc, so configuration is at least partially automated and you should see results. Then, there’s always the weeWX Users’ group on Google.