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Amateur Radio Data Transmissions - For discussion of all modes used to send data such as APRS and packet.

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Old 12-07-2013, 9:57 PM
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Default APRS Weather Station ???

Hi all.

I've been playing with aprs tracking via the android app from http://www.apprsdroid.org the app can be found in the play store as well.

While looking at radios for mobile. (I dont have one) and aprs came into play in my decision.

During all of this I keep getting tempted by the wx stations. I've looked at a couple of commercial units but it all seems like there has to be some underlying costs above and beyond.

I looked at the map and found there is not a wx station closer than 7 miles to the east and the rest are over 25 miles to the North, West, and South from our farm. So... this may be helpful to the rest of the World for me to set one up.

I have very little knowledge of the technical side of this.

The Internet connection to the farm is about the speed of a T1 line via a long range WiFi network so bandwidth is an issue as it will interfere with speed and add to the frustration created by the systems problematic rfi issues. Blame the the powers that decide which company has the right to sell me service. I can not get dsl from a local company because a national chain offers service through an air card. So something connected to the Internet isn't the best option.

I have successfully connected to the aprs via my HT and Android. There is an I gate somewhere nearby.

My folks would like to be able to look at a screen and see the information. So a stand alone computer unit won't work and I want one that connects to the aprs system some how preferably via rf as that way the skywarn folks have a shot of picking up the info if they're equipped.

So does anyone have any favorite systems that may work for me and survive temps below 20° F and wind upto 50 mph? I'm trying to set my budget for the next year and need to shop now. I just need a starting point.

Thanks in advance.



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Old 12-08-2013, 9:29 AM
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I'm not aware of any stand-alone weather devices that are easy/simple to connect with APRS. That certainly doesn't mean that there aren't any, I'm just not aware of them.
You might take a look at the 'Byonics' site, he used to have a weather thingy for APRS, not sure about now. Not much help, sorry...
- 'Doc
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:34 AM
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Having deployed several, I would recommend the following setup:

-Davis Vantage Pro or Vantage Vue station: Quality wireless weather stations and software for home, education, and hobbyists by Davis
-Davis WeatherLink for APRS: WeatherLinkŪ for APRS, with Streaming Data Logger by Davis
-Byonics TinyTrak3 TNC: Byonics - TinyTrak4 GPS Position Encoder
-Motorola Maxtrac VHF radio

Alternatively, if you don't need as advanced an instrument:

-Peet Bros Ultimeter 800: ULTIMETER 800 Weather Station
-Byonics WXTrak: Byonics - WXTrak - Weather Station Encoder
-Motorola Maxtrac VHF

The later can be put together brand new for under $400.00. Neither option requires a computer or internet connection and both options provide a small display box to view weather parameters.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:45 AM
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Of the weather stations that appear on the APRS.fi map in the immediate area of Baraboo, Wisconsin, it appears that most of them are using Internet connections, even the stations run by amateur radio operators. The problem with that approach is that only users with Internet connections can see them. The users with only RF connections to the APRS world cannot see the Internet users.

If you would like for weather data from "the farm" to be available to RF users, then you need to set up an RF-based APRS weather station. For that, you'd need weather equipment, such as from Davis, Peet Brothers, or Oregon Scientific, and an APRS radio. It's possible that a 5-watt APRS radio with a decent antenna would be able to be heard by digipeaters and I-gates in the area. The digipeaters allow the originating station to be heard over a wider geographical range. The I-gates gate your APRS reports into the Internet (APRS-IS).

Both Argent Data and Byonics make APRS devices that can accept RS-232 data from a weather station. With Argent Data, you could use one of their T3-301 radio/tracker combos or you could put a T3-135 inside an Alinco DR-135T mobile radio or you could mate an OT3m with any 2m radio. With Byonics, you could use their WxTrak mated to any 2m radio. Both companies can be found on the web. Alternatively, shop the used market for a Kenwood TM-D700. This APRS radio has been off the market for several years, so the used prices should be reasonable, but it still has the ability to take input from a weather station.
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Old 12-08-2013, 1:51 PM
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I looked into APRS, but the complexity of all the interrelated parts was too much - for the simple desire to publish my weather. I finally opted for a Davis Vantage Pro2 connected via the internet to Weather Underground. Despite having to have a computer running 24/7, it's been flawless since 1997. If I recall correctly, APRS wx reporting also doesn't include all the parameters that other protocols allow, and that was also a big decider for me as well.

The bandwidth to maintain sending the data is negligible. You don't constantly stream, it's just bursts of data from time to time. I'm in your boat - rural and wifi'd access to internet. The weather stream has never been any kind of issue for me.

To me, APRS is fun, but more about experimenting than a solid path for weather reporting.
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Old 12-08-2013, 2:24 PM
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For several years I fed my weather station using APRS. I'd probably still be doing so but my TNC died and haven't yet fixed it (I could use the sound card instead, but it's in use on that computer). My total cost (software was all free downloads and hardware was mostly already in my junk drawer) was about $80.

I used:
* La Crosse Technologies weather center (about $80 from Costco).
* Heavy Weather Pro software (free download from La Crosse)
* UI-View 32 (free download from APRS Client for Windows - Official UI-View Home Page - donation requested to your local cancer society)
* UI-Weather (free download from Addon UI-View and UI-View32)
* Old Azden PCS-3000 transceiver (from my old radio stash)
* PK-232 TNC (from my old radio stash)
* Old Dell PC (from my old computer stash)

Note, you can use your PC's sound card instead of a TNC using AGWPE (free download from AGW Programs)
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Old 12-08-2013, 2:24 PM
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My biggest woes from my internet connection is interupted streaming. The connection speed is one thing but there is interference. The enteepreneur that started the service started out as a Ham operator and then figured out the licensing to charge for it. I don't have my notes but I think its around 2.4 or 2.5 GHz that they transmit on. Theres RFI everywhere out here.

Perhaps there is an option for both. I just wont be able to use back up power to run it. I was hoping to make a stand alone unit with a readout we can hang on the wall. I think Davis offers one like that.

The Ares/Races net is tonight so I'll have to ask what they would use for skywarn.

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Old 12-08-2013, 2:31 PM
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The Lacross is interesting. Especially because those are usually on sale this time of year.
I read in a forum somewhere that they didn't hold up as long. If I cold interface with one of thos boafung uv-52 or one of my old bendix kings and a homebrew antenna that may work.

I'm new to the hobby so my junk box is limited.

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Old 12-08-2013, 2:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC9ZNV View Post
The Lacross is interesting. Especially because those are usually on sale this time of year.
I read in a forum somewhere that they didn't hold up as long. If I cold interface with one of thos boafung uv-52 or one of my old bendix kings and a homebrew antenna that may work.

I'm new to the hobby so my junk box is limited.

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Mine have held up quite well. My older system has been working for over a decade and the newer one (got because sensors are all wireless, not wired to the temp/humidity sensor like the old one was) has been up for over 3 years.

The interface to the rig is speaker audio and mic/PTT so nearly any 2 meter radio can be used. For fun, I once rigged my setup up to my HT just to see if it would work and it did just fine using the external speaker/mic connection (although signal strength was an issue). My original setup was using my dual band radio through the built-in packet DIN connection, but later wanted something more dedicated (I kept changing frequencies when I talked on local repeaters) and pulled out the old Azden.

Once you get things setup, you may want to find an old (but working) radio at a hamfest to make your setup dedicated to packet. Often the old radios (especially those that lack PL tones) can be had for a song.

Last edited by n5ims; 12-08-2013 at 2:43 PM..
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Old 12-08-2013, 7:20 PM
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Ok the I just talked the net and I guess they usually use just internet for skywarn. Ive got to do my training for fema and skywarn in the next coouple of weeks so that may shed some light upon it. Thanks for the direction thus far. I wasnt sure of all of the manufacturers and many folks turn out components so now I have a starting place.

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Old 12-10-2013, 11:53 PM
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Just some other options.........

I use a Davis Vantage 2 along with Cumulus software. Cumulus is free (shareware actually) and is very powerful compared to other pricey weather software.

The integration of the Davis weather station with Cumulus was quite easy. Cumulus has a "configuration" screen which allows (among other things) putting your weather info onto APRS (you can find mine on APRS.fi via WB6JWB), Weather Underground, WeatherBug, WOW, Twitter, and PWS. These are all a simple matter of putting checkmarks in the desired boxes.

Anyway, just wanted to share the goodness of Cumulus since it's easy to use and powerful software with a large online community.
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Old 12-11-2013, 9:32 AM
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I would reccomend the Microsat - WX3IN1. It's a very easy to use piece of equipment that will allow you to set up an iGate, Digipeater and Weather Station with one box.

You can see it here: http://rpc-electronics.com/microsat-wx3in1.php

Also the Microsat - WXeth is available here: http://rpc-electronics.com/microsat-wxeth.php
This one just takes your weather station and sends it to the internet.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Of the weather stations that appear on the APRS.fi map in the immediate area of Baraboo, Wisconsin, it appears that most of them are using Internet connections, even the stations run by amateur radio operators. The problem with that approach is that only users with Internet connections can see them. The users with only RF connections to the APRS world cannot see the Internet users.

If you would like for weather data from "the farm" to be available to RF users, then you need to set up an RF-based APRS weather station. For that, you'd need weather equipment, such as from Davis, Peet Brothers, or Oregon Scientific, and an APRS radio. It's possible that a 5-watt APRS radio with a decent antenna would be able to be heard by digipeaters and I-gates in the area. The digipeaters allow the originating station to be heard over a wider geographical range. The I-gates gate your APRS reports into the Internet (APRS-IS).

Both Argent Data and Byonics make APRS devices that can accept RS-232 data from a weather station. With Argent Data, you could use one of their T3-301 radio/tracker combos or you could put a T3-135 inside an Alinco DR-135T mobile radio or you could mate an OT3m with any 2m radio. With Byonics, you could use their WxTrak mated to any 2m radio. Both companies can be found on the web. Alternatively, shop the used market for a Kenwood TM-D700. This APRS radio has been off the market for several years, so the used prices should be reasonable, but it still has the ability to take input from a weather station.
I don't see your APRS weather station?.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:56 AM
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It would require a dedicated transmitter along with a receiver, but an I-Gate can be bidirectional, RF to internet and internet to RF. That's another possibility.
- 'Doc
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:05 PM
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Argent data systems makes a pretty good weather station. All you add is a 2 meter radio, antenna and power source. https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/p...6u3t2rt4nt5ks1
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KZ9G View Post
Argent data systems makes a pretty good weather station. All you add is a 2 meter radio, antenna and power source. https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/p...6u3t2rt4nt5ks1
Looks like they don't make this anymore. Seemed like a good idea.

What is the current best set up for an RF weather station?
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Old 07-01-2016, 1:39 AM
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Last I heard is that they are making a new version but it is not out yet.
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Old 07-01-2016, 7:17 AM
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I used to run UI-View with a Peet station.

I forget the exact details but I believe I used WX Display to generate a wxnow.txt file which UI-View just rebroadcast.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:40 AM
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The Kenwood TH-D72 will interface directly with compatible Davis and Peet weather stations using a single cable. No computer or software is required.

Not only will you broadcast weather info received from the Davis, but you can read the data on the radio screen as well. I think a couple of Kenwood APRS mobiles will do this too. Other manufacturers might have this capability, but I'm not sure.

I have a Davis VP2 connected to a computer running Weather Display software. I feed data to Weather Underground and the the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) at Citizen Weather Observer Program

aprs.fi displays CWOP data, so if you register with your call and location, an Icon will be shown on the aprs.fi map. Clicking on the icon will display the weather data from your station. But.. This is only available via computer. The data isn't broadcast via RF and can't be seen by radios on the aprs network.

The CWOP weather data also shows up on findu.com. (It is kind of like Weather Underground). You can see current weather and records.

Weather Conditions At VE4CY

Findu has a fancy way of viewing your weather as well: VE4CY
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:05 PM
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Doing pretty much the same - Davis Vantage Vue - using an old laptop, reporting to Wunderground and CWOP (N8PFF).

I have no idea how it shows up with some of the packet programs as I don't run any (anymore). I just donated my PK232 to the local school's shack.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873 View Post
The Kenwood TH-D72 will interface directly with compatible Davis and Peet weather stations using a single cable. No computer or software is required.

Not only will you broadcast weather info received from the Davis, but you can read the data on the radio screen as well. I think a couple of Kenwood APRS mobiles will do this too. Other manufacturers might have this capability, but I'm not sure.

I have a Davis VP2 connected to a computer running Weather Display software. I feed data to Weather Underground and the the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) at Citizen Weather Observer Program

aprs.fi displays CWOP data, so if you register with your call and location, an Icon will be shown on the aprs.fi map. Clicking on the icon will display the weather data from your station. But.. This is only available via computer. The data isn't broadcast via RF and can't be seen by radios on the aprs network.

The CWOP weather data also shows up on findu.com. (It is kind of like Weather Underground). You can see current weather and records.

Weather Conditions At VE4CY

Findu has a fancy way of viewing your weather as well: VE4CY
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