Observing Conditions from Personal Weather Station


#1

I have just installed a backyard Davis Vantage Pro weather station. Wondering if there is a way to capture weather data from it and feed into SGP via the Environment: ASCOM Observing Conditions Hub. I can’t seem to find an ASCOM driver for the Vantage Pro but perhaps I missed it? Or perhaps there is an indirect way (via WeatherLink, Weather Underground etc?).

DaveNL


#2

@dnube

You would likely need to craft a simple ASCOM driver that parsed the output of the weather station and fed that into the new driver. This, of course, assumes that the output data is easily programatically available.


#3

I abandoned my Vantage Pro - as they wanted crazy money for a proprietary FTDi serial cable and deliberately dongled the connection so you could not build your own (a forum member who complained was allegedly thrown off). The software interface was a bit clumsy IMHO too.
I went the BlueAstro weather stick route for humidity, temperature and pressure (which has its own ASCOM driver) and added the anemometer to the AAG cloudwatcher for safety monitoring which also has its own ASCOM driver.
I use two ASCOM drivers - OK to open and OK to image monitors - one with the obsy controller and one with SGP. These are set to different levels of cloud, rain, humidity and wind level to trigger the safety monitors.


#4

@buzz … lol - now you tell me! Agree the Davis proprietary dongle is a bit of a money grab.

I tried to acquire a BlueAstro Stickstation but it doesn’t look like any have been produced since Per passed away. So instead I have an MBox Meteostation on the way. At some point, will spring for the AAG Cloudwatcher system as well.

I wouldn’t have thought it would be too difficult to parse the Davis Vantage weather station info, but I’m not much into programming so could be way off base there.

DaveNL


#5

Looks like Telescop Express have them:
http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/advanced_search_result.php/language/en/keywords/blueastro/suchdas/OK


#6

@buzz
That’s where I tried to order it. Unfortunately, Teleskop-Express has been trying to order them from their supplier (Baader) since October. Baader is now listing the item as delivery date “unknown”.

DaveNL


#7

As someone who has implemented the Davis protocol (twice…Java and C), I can tell you that it is difficult. Their encoding is riducu^H^H^H^H^H^H less than optimal and the way you query for records involves a loop that is rather difficult to keep track of. Reminds me of 30 year old SCADA protocols…probably is.

If you decide to do this, I would recommend setting up a WView server (free software!), letting it interface with the Vantage Pro/Pro2, and then just querying its database for the info you need for ASCOM. That is on my list of things to do, but it’s way down on that list…

– Shane

PS: Here is my weather station running WView with a Vantage Pro2: http://www.kor-astro.net/weather


#8

@kor @buzz @ken … thanks for your insights and perspectives on this. Unfortunately I’m not skilled enough to take on a project like that. So will park the idea for now. Will wait for arrival of MBox and AAG and see how I can get on with those options.

@kor - that’s a pretty nifty presentation of weather data. Especially like the wind distribution graph …

DaveNL


#9

perhaps this would be helpful.https://github.com/manojkoushik/Arduino_ObservingConditions/blob/master/Arduino_ObservingConditions/ReadMe.pdf


#10

Yes - have seen this before. Looks like a good project. However, the soldering aspect has scared me off (so far) lol ! :grinning: My soldering is pretty ugly …

DaveNL


#11

I use the AAG cloudwatcher with SGP - using ASCOM OK to Image device - setting the wind, cloud and rain settings for ‘ok’ for imaging.
The weatherstick is more of a nice to have - I use it for humidity and pressure information and temp sensing for the focuser (though I could use the temperature reading from my focusing system too)

My roof controller has an independent Hydreon HG11 rain detector and uses the humidity too, along with the AAG cloudwatcher as a safety monitor ‘ok to open’ . The roof controller works autonomously for safety reasons and if the mount is parked, will shut the roof if it starts raining. My observatory controller will block ASCOM roof commands if the mount is not parked, or it is raining / misty.

At one time, I thought there may be a way to interface the temp/humidity/pressure in real time to the Paramount ProTrack model - but it does not seem to be on the agenda. I will send an email to Baader about the stick- they worked very closely with Per and I would have thought that the many products he was developing with them would be continued.


#12

I know I’m chiming in almost a year later, but I too have a Davis Vantage Pro that is sitting doing nothing. I’d love to find an ASCOM driver to make it work… and I might have.

I found this…
Wise40 Observatory Ascom Drivers

It looks like they wrote an ASCOM driver to run the observatory at the University of Tel Aviv. Not sure what to do with it from the repo, maybe one of you more advanced coding types could make use of it?

@Ken @Jared ???


#13

Do you have the serial link? I seem to recall this company wanted a ridiculous amount of money for a USB to serial adaptor and actively blocked anyone making up their own cable.


#14

Yeah, I’ve got the USB one from Davis that they sell along with the unit. I got it as a package along with the wireless console and a lensatic compass from Ambient Weather.


#15

I sell a weather station with ASCOM support for Sequence Generator PRO with sky meter and cloud sensor including a relay option to control an observatory and or alarm. This product is called a SMP-PRO and is very reasonably priced. The link is listed below. Email me at dale@astro-smart.com for any questions.

http://www.astro-smart.com/index.php?p=1_27_Computerized-Sky-Master-Pro-System-SMP-PRO

Thanks
Dale DiDomenico
Owner/Designer
Astro-Smart.com


www.mainsequencesoftware.com