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Automatic Weather Stations

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Automatic weather stations offer certain advantages over older models of weather instruments. Those new to the market may be interested in taking into account the capacity to automate in some digital weather stations. Also, if you own a weather station already and are wondering whether or not to take a step toward automation, you may be excited to learn that automation isn't as difficult as it sounds.

The basic model of weather station generally includes two units: a base station, which is the data organizer and monitor unit (also referred to as the "weather station"), and the sensor unit, which is sometimes called the "sensor suite." The most common setup involves placing the sensor suite outside and the weather station inside. The addition of one tiny unit inside can turn simple home weather stations into automatic weather stations.

Using Home Computers to Control Automatic Weather Stations

The simplest method for automation involves purchasing an antenna for your home computer that is capable of receiving data from the sensor suite. Though computer antennas aren't available for all weather stations, many manufactures offer computer connectivity on models in and above the middle range of the product line. Along with software from the company, the antenna allows your computer to monitor the same data as the weather station does, but it also allows your computer to keep detailed records of the weather, post data automatically onto the internet, and save "snapshots" of data from specific times and dates.

Some antennas connect to your home computer via a USB cable, and some use the older serial, or ADB, option. Drivers for current operating systems are available from the manufacturers, and installation is easy. If you're looking for a little more out of your weather station, consider computer control a powerful option.


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