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Review of Davis Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station

Description of the Davis Vantage Vue Weather Station.

The new Davis Vantage Vue weather station combines Davis’ legendary accuracy and rugged durability into a compact station. It’s very easy to set up and use (see the video below). The Davis Vantage Vue includes a sleek but tough outdoor sensor array and the distinctive LCD console. Its unique Weather Center function provides additional information on each weather variable being measured.

In addition, Davis has made Vantage Vue radio-compatible with the flagship Vantage Pro2 stations so you can mix-and-match most components. This is a fantastic feature because sometimes a mix of sensors will give you better coverage, or you may have old sensors lying around that you’d still like to use.

Applications:

Home weather watching and gardening. The Vantage Vue is ideal for this, allowing you to measure the microclimates in your garden.

Schools and universities. Ideal for educational uses, where meteorology may be taught as part of the curriculum.

Marinas and vacation homes. Keep tabs on weather conditions that might effect safety and movement of vessels and while at sea.

Fire fighting and emergency response. In responding to alarms, it will be useful to know details of the local conditions to allow optimum response tactics.

davis vantage view instrument head showing anemometer, rain gauge and thermometer screen

Vantage Vue Specifications:

Updates every 2.5 seconds (up to 10x faster than the competition). The update speed can be vital if you are visually monitoring rapidly changing channels such as windspeed. It gives far more of a ‘real-time’ feel to the weather. The speed indicated will coincide with your roof slates rattling in the wind!

Wireless transmission up to 1000 ft. (300 m) is 3x farther than the competition. Wireless transmission distance gives so much flexibility if you need the sensors more remote from your Davis base station. This is in fact crucial to a correct weather station installation because the sensors need to be as far away as possible from buildings and obstructions that may modify the readings. By giving a greater range, the Davis Vantage Vue should ensure that doesn’t happen.

Records wind speed as low as 2 mph (3 km/hr) and as high as 150 mph (241 km/hr). That is a phenomenal range, and means the Davis Vantage Vue can be used in a greater range of extreme conditions. Gust speeds of 150mph are not recorded in low level locations in the UK. You can be safe in the knowledge that when the weather gets really wild, the Vantage Vue weather station will cope. In more extreme situations like direct hits from Hurricanes in the USA for example, the Davis Vantage may still function, but the structure it is fixed to may have blown away. It will probably be the least of your worries.

Solar-powered with stored energy backup. Although weather stations have been independent of power sources for a good while now, the bane of the installation has often been the need to change the sensor batteries. The Davis Vantage Vue gets round this by having a solar charged battery and a reserve that is trickle charged using the same source. It is unlikely that the sensors will not receive enough sunlight to keep them charged, the only place I can think of is if the installation is in the Arctic or Antarctic Circle where the sun isn’t visible for long periods. This obviously won’t happen elsewhere. Even in the cloudiest conditions you’ll still have enough juice to keep things going.

Easy-to-read, backlit LCD screen at 3″ x 4-3/8″ (8 x 11 cm). The LCD screen on the Davis Vantage Vue is easily big enough to read. Sometimes weather stations cram so much data onto a small screen making things impossible to read properly. Sometimes we just casually glance at the display to get a mental snapshot of conditions. The Davis Vantage Vue display makes sure this is always possible. The backlit screen is vital in low light and Davis has made sure it’s there for us.
Features: Displays indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall and more.

Sealed electronics in the integrated sensor suite provide protection against the elements. In some cheaper weather stations the weather gets into the electronics, typically after a few years out in the elements. Cracks develop, glue is compromised and the station will suddenly fail, leaving you with no data, or data that starts to be corrupted by compromised circuitry. Not so the Davis.

Glow-in-the-dark keypad for night viewing and domed buttons for better feel. Sometimes you just need to sneak a peek at your weather dashboard, especially if the weather you are interested in is going down in the middle of the night and you don’t want to disturb the rest of the house. The Davis Vantage Vue has a night viewing option, accesses by the LIGHT button to the top left of the keypad. The domed buttons are also so much more tactile and a keypress is so much more positive, getting rid of that ‘did I or didn’t I’ feeling.

Frequency-hopping spread spectrum radio for reliable data transmission. We see this kind of thing more often than not in Wifi router settings. The Davis will automatically look for and switch to a more reliable connection to it’s sensors if it detects that a particular channel is not giving optimum connectivity. This means you can be confident the base station is always using the strongest possible channel to get it’s data from the instruments. This is particularly useful if your installation is in an area that is particularly prone to radio noise, like a factory or other industrial site.

50 on-screen graphs for comparing current and past weather. That’s the versatility of the Vantage Vue console. Almost every combination of graphs are there for you as a standard part of the operating software.

22 alarms to warn of dangers such as high winds, possible flooding and more. One of the great facilities is to have audible alarms to alert you when you can’t be looking at the display.

Radio compatible with Vantage Pro2. This means you can use Vantage Pro2 sensors with your Vantage Vue weather station.

Optional WeatherLink software for extensive weather analysis and data storage. PC, Mac and Internet versions. All of the great onscreen information can be enhanced even further by interfacing with your computer. The Weatherlink software allows for the generation of monthly and yearly reports in standard NOAA format.

Davis Vantage Vue Overview of Console Video

(Durhamweather.co.uk will receive a fee if you order a Davis Vantage Vue through this link)

Vantage Vue Technical Details

Product Dimensions 48.3 x 38.1 x 17.8 cm ; 3.18 Kg
Part number 6250

Display

height 6 inches
length 14 inches
width 9 inches
weight 3.18 Kilograms
Material type Plastic

The Vantage Vue Keyboard

davis vantage vue keyboard layout

Use the keyboard to access and scroll through current and historical data for individual variables, set and clear alarms, enter calibration values, set up and view graphs, and view detailed weather information available for each variable.

The keyboard consists of 12 command keys and four navigation keys.
A weather variable or console command is printed on each command key. Just press a key to select the variable or function printed on that key.

Each command key also has a secondary function which is printed above the first row of keys or below the second row of keys. To select the secondary function, press and release 2ND and then immediately press the key for that function.

After pressing 2ND, the 2nd icon displays above the moon phase icon on the screen indicating that all secondary key functions are enabled. Keys resume normal operation after the icon disappears (about 7-8 seconds).

The + and – navigation keys along with the < and > navigation keys are used to select command options, adjust values, and to provide additional functions when used in combination with a command key.

An arrow appears next to the variable selected in the display.

In Current Weather Mode, the display shows the time and date, the likely forecast within the next 12 hours, current moon phase, and weather information for up to 8 different weather variables at a time. It also displays additional information pertinent to a selected variable in the Weather Center in the bottom right section of the console screen.

The Screen Display and Layout of Modes

davis vantage vue console display layout and modes

Powering up the Vantage Vue console

The Vantage Vue console does not require the use of an AC adapter. You may use the included adapter if you wish, but three C-cell batteries (not included) should power a wireless console for up to nine months. You can use either of these or both together, with the batteries providing backup power for the adapter.

The console will display messages if any of your system’s batteries are low.

LOW CONSOLE BATTERIES: Replace the console batteries

LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER (ID#): Replace the battery in your outdoor Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) or any optional transmitting station you may have added.

Installing the Batteries

The battery compartment is located on the base of the main unit

davis vantage vue battery installation location

The Davis Vantage Vue can also be powered with an AC mains unit which connects to the right hand side, in a recess just behind the main console. The manual warns not to use any other AC mains adapter as it may damage the unit.

Console Location

Place the console in a location where the keyboard is easily accessible and the display is easy to read. For more accurate readings, follow these suggestions.

  • Avoid placing the console in direct sunlight. This may cause erroneous inside temperature and humidity readings and may damage the unit.
  • Avoid placing the console near radiators or heating/air conditioning ducts.
  • If you are mounting the console on a wall, choose an interior wall. Avoid exterior walls that tend to heat up or cool down depending on the weather.
  • Avoid positioning a wireless console near large metallic appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, heaters, or air conditioners.
  • The console antenna does not rotate in a complete circle. Avoid forcing the console antenna when rotating it.
  • Be aware of possible interference from cordless phones or other devices. To prevent interference, maintain a distance of 10 feet (3 meters) between the Vantage Vue console and a cordless phone (handset and base).

Using the Davis Vantage Vue Weather Station

The console LCD screen and keyboard provide easy access to your weather information. The LCD display shows current and past weather conditions as well as a forecast of future conditions. The keyboard controls console functions for viewing current and historical weather information, setting and clearing alarms, viewing and/or changing station settings, setting up and viewing graphs, and more.

The Vantage Vue Console has 5 different modes

davis vantage vue mode of operations table

All of these are explained in great detail in the manual, which is excellent.

Some Questions and Answers about the Davis Vantage Vue Weather Station.

Can the console be connected directly into the router via usb and if so, what size is the usb connection on the console end ?

No, the USB connection is only for connection of the console to a Windows PC. You would need a third part product such as Meteobridge and a receiver to allow this to read data directly from the weather station sensor suite.

Does this need the data logger to connect to a pc? or can you just use a usb cable to connect and view on cumulus or similar?

Hi, the original data logger was through a USB cable from the console to your PC. I had this system but found that sometimes the USB port went down (or some other glitch) and you would find the weather software ( I use Weather Display) wasnt up to date. Plus you had to leave your laptop on all the time if you wanted to send your date to Wunderground, Noaa, PWSweather etc. I found the solution. A company called prodata Sytems developed a Wifi solution. A small card fits into the Console port and it communicates with your internet router. It sends all the info to the external places and you dont need your pc running all the time.

Can the censor be fixed to the gable end of the house facing west where the prevailing winds come from?

Can be mounted anywhere on the house…the higher the better.The solar panel must point south to get the sun all day….rise in the east and set in the west.Just to let you know the whole unit freely moves to measure the wind from what ever direction it comes from

Conclusion

This is for anyone wanting to set up a weather station that is a) a little bit more robust and b) a little bit more professional, the Davis Vantage Vue is really the model you should buy. It is easy to set up, and get the sensors connected. It is reliable because of the wireless channel switching capability, and Davis is pretty much the industry standard now for amateur weather station technology.

(Durhamweather.co.uk will receive a fee if you order a Davis Vantage Vue through this link)

Website created by D.K. O'Hara Copyright 2018.

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