Why is there a monthly data-only charge for sending my data to "free" sites like Weatherforyou, Weather Underground, and CWOP?

WeatherElement is designed differently from other IP weather solutions. It's made for real people, not network administrators. So it's PlugNPlay from the user's end. Your WeatherElement sends your weather data to our server, and we take care of sending it on to the other sites for you, if you want us to. We also store your data on the WeatherElement servers. If you decide to upgrade your service plan, that data will be available to you for trending, research, and download.The nominal monthly charge pays for that.

Can I use other weather station brands?

Not at this time. We at WeatherElement did a lot of research on weather station brands and models. Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2 weather stations are high quality professional units with excellent technical and warranty support, and great documentation. Given the PlugNPlay no-hassle design of WeatherElement, the Vantage Pro 2 is the way to go.

Can I use a Davis USB WeatherLink?

No. Some things are more suited to the good ol' RS-232 serial protocol, and data collection is one of them.

Can I use a Davis WeatherlinkIP?

No. The WeatherLinkIP is made to send to Davis's server, not to WeatherElement.

What's the difference between a Vantage Pro 2 and Vantage Pro2 Plus?

The Plus model adds solar and UV sensors.

Why should I get the more expensive one?

The Plus model is the same as the Vantage Pro 2, except that it adds Solar and Ultraviolet (UV) sensors. If you think you want the UV and solar sensors, we highly recommend that you purchase the Plus model up front. ($360 included, 144 solar, 20 shelf, UV 315) $479 later) $120 more later, plus the hassle of installation.

The solar sensor measures the energy received from the sun (in watts per square meter). That value is used to calculate evapotranspiration (ET). ET is an estimation of the water lost from the soil to EVAPoration by heat and wind, and TRANSPIRATION by green plants. If you have a solar sensor, WeatherElement will use the resulting ET data to calculate the Watering Index. The Watering Index is useful for adjusting your landscape irrigation controller for varying weather conditions. (See Watering Budget.)

The UV sensor measures Ultraviolet radiation (the burning rays of the sun) in the same units that the National Weather Service and others forecasts it. The UV index can be used to help choose the correct SPF sun block for the day.

Watering Budget: If your irrigation controller is fairly new, it includes a "percentage" or "water budget" adjustment. With the Davis solar sensor and ET calculation, WeatherElement can calculate your current local Watering Index. Using that to adjust your sprinklers every week or two will help you save water without underwatering your plants.

Wired station or wireless weather station?

Just to clarify, this is the connection between the display console in your house and the outdoor sensors. The wired outdoor unit is powered by the console, while the wireless one is charged by a small solar panel, with a back-up lithium battery.

Here's how we break them down*:

Wired: Less expensive, harder to install, easier to maintain, no extra sensors
Wireless: More expensive, easier to install, harder to maintain, can use extra sensors.

*Break-them-down Notes:

Installation: The wired model requires the running of a 4-conductor phone cable from the console to the outdoor sensors. 100' is supplied, but it can be extended farther.

Maintenance: The wireless sensors have solar panels that need to be kept clean, and non-rechargeable lithium back-up batteries that require periodic replacement. (Both units need occasional rain gauge cleaning to ensure that the funnel is open and the tipping bucket is free.)

Extra Sensors: The wireless Vantage Pro 2 can add extra temperature, humidity, leaf wetness, and soil moisture sensors. WeatherElement does not yet support extra sensors, bit the console does. If your application needs your extra sensors reported to WeatherElement, contact us for an update on adding them.

Standard or Fan Aspirated?

Cite Davis notes.