The Weatherflow Air module sensor is an elegant solution for monitoring temperature,barometeric pressure and probably most interesting it includes a lightning sensor with a capability of detecting lightning strikes at a distance of 40km or more depending on surrounding enviroment. In the test period throughout the summer months here in Istanbul distances were detected far greater than 40km albeit the direction was at a sea view with no nearby disturbances or interference from electrical components or devices.
The Air module will also display and measure the Humidity along with Dewpoint and for the wind surfing fanatics or sportsmen/sportswomen you can measure and display the Air Density via the dedicated App or browser access.
The process of setting up the any of the module sensors is really a straight forward 5-10 minute perhaps just familirazing yourself with the setup process you would be up and running recording data with minutes , literally minutes.
It doesnt get any easier than this ,there is no requirement for a computer to be used 24/7 or any other device once it is setup , the HUB simply connects to your home router via wirlesss and does the rest for you .
Days of running
lenghthy cables and having all sorts of extra additional components to achieve the smoothest way to see your recorded data at any time you wish are now classed as a very dated method .
Most manufactures will be playing catch up to adapt to this technology . In this day and age viewing data from weather station hardware does not have to be a complicated process the technology is simple and you would expect most manufacturers to have this has a standard method .WeatherFlow does exactly that and provides many ways of distributing your data to online resources or your own smart devices be it Apple(IOS) or Android based .
Mounting the Air Sensor .
Having established your devices and confirmed they are connected to the HUB (best to do this prior to mounting sensors outdoors). Firstly position the AIR sensor module in a shaded area(this particular one is located in a 90% shaded area under the apex of a roof, only at sunrise during the months of late July and the whole of August it is exposed to direct sunlight during sunrise). Like all sensors in any hardware if you live in an enviroment where summer heat is relatively hot or extreme summer you need to think about the best practice or position to avoid any directly sunlight anomalies.
The 4 x AA Lithium batteries(Energizer brand) have so far lasted 6 months and a few days it is highly recommended to use Lithium type AA batteries.Standard Alkaline batteries will work fine but life is shorter so the strong advice
use Lithium type Batteries.
Mount the Air Sensor Module vertically as shown in the photograph below .The weight of the product is so light it has no threat of causing any stress on a simple fixing . Facing the ventilation towards the best windflow area will keep the temperatures in line and acceptable without any additonal practices of using a solar radiation shield or aspirator. However if you are an experienced keen weather enthusiast with a past of using hardware you will undoubtly be fully aware the benefits of using a shield/aspirator .Even the professional based high cost hardware benefits from this practice.
Lets See some real innovation at Work
The Sky Sensor .
Mounting the Sky sensor is as relatively simple as mounting the AIR sensor module , somewhat slightly heavier as expected but not to the point of where you can't handle it in one hand steadily it is obvoiusly designed without creating a load . Using 8 x AA Lithium batteries and the supplied mast fixing cap or you can use the
simple screw fixing cap just like on the Air Sensor. The photograph below shows it in use with the additional supplied mast fixing cap used and highlights how easy it is to simply mount on a mast . On this occasion we have an existing mast aproxiamiately 6 inches apart from the adjacent existing station(Now re-positioned some 6 feet(aprox 1.8m) above roof top and on a solid mast). However in the photograph it looks somewhat closer.
This was for test purposes only for a few days, allowing us to simply reposition and access the unit to make any improvements or recommended ideas from Weatherflow themselves,it is now positioned and mounted on its own mast some 30 feet away and 6 feet(aprox 1.8m) above the roof top on a solid fixing with a lightweight pole.
1.use a solid mast fixture in the first test period our mounting position(shown in photograph) was not ideal and not recommended ,the movement and swaying loosely on a somewhat light pole caused misreadings during a strong storm(60-70kmh winds at sea view) that happened during that period.
2.mount with a 360 degree view of sky and above any nearby buildings/trees and other objects.
3.connect to your HUB and verify device is connected prior to mounting outdoor if out of regular serviceable reach.
4.Birds may find this an attractive perch , think about a solution to avoid it becoming a resting perch . Possibly cause mis-readings in rain and block UV/Solar radiation readings.
I am unable to reveal to much about the specifics of the additional SKY unit at this stage as it is still going through a rigorous testing period and ultimately this process of testing can only
be of benefit to anyone considering a weather station that uses innovation and embraces modern methods of obtaining and displaying data . Whether we like it or not technology is advancing and sometimes it is hard to move away from traditional methods or methods of technology we have become accustom to and understand. But here is my findings without going into to much detail and that will come in time rest assured .Since repositioning we are able to see the smallest amount of windflow detected 0.8kmh(0.49mph) the smallest I have measured or seen on my main station has been 1.3kmh(0.80mph) , not a significant difference but enough to determine the sensitivity is greater on the Sky sensor.
One of the first impressions it made on me was the rain detection , my wife and I sitting on the balcony in the evening suddenly we hear rain falling on the balcony roof that theraputic sound we like to hear, and then both my iPads
pop up an alert as seen below . Now my traditional hardware which I like and trust would need the tipping bucket to fill before I would notice any awareness of rain beggining . Yes we can hear it if we are sitting on the balcony but
what it does for you is alert you of rain beggining anywhwere you are be it at home or out and about somewhere.If your smart device like phone,iPad,tablets etc are setup then the information alert is instant. Some may say too much information but then some will want that facility.So where ever you are your weather station data is with you..
Wind Detection this is currently making my main station look unsensitive at very very low speeds the wind sensor of the SKY unit is sensitive to the small amounts of wind flow once the wind speed is increasing both
stations even out nicely albeit the main station wind speed/direction is optimally positioned above the roof so I dont think it is a true valid opputunity to draw a comparison at this stage. So that is as much as Im going into wind sensor speeds ,the direction is impressive and it really made me look into this technology a bit deeper , there is a good learning curve to understand the technology but the more you read and digest the more it becomes clearer and you realize it is no so different in the end result it achieves from a weather station hardware you may be accustom to.
UV/Solar Radiation detection is once again very sensitive particularly the solar radiation values almost instantly at sunrise on a clear to relatively clear sky.
Pros and Cons
Pros (14 valid points)
1.No moving parts, no bearings to wear and fail .
2.Lightweight unobtrusive appearance adaptable to all enviroments.
3.Easy setup falls into modern methods of device setup .
4.No need for 24/7 computer running , No need to pay for additional software.
5.Innovative design and technology .
6.Installation methods to suit any enviroment.
7.Lightning sensor opens up an easy way to be alerted of nearby incoming storm.
8.Simple HUB method to use in the home does not look ugly or industrial(wives will be happy mine is), no masses of cables or computer connections.
9.No cables to turn your back yard into a danger zone (dogs cant chew threw it) or make it look ugly , no danger to children who like to play and run around the back yard.
10.Easily mistaken for a security object.
11.Backed up by a company http://weatherflow.com with a wealth of knowledge and experience in weather station hardware .Need support and trust then you may just have well found it.
12.Data available for personal or professional website , numerous methods to suit be it server or web application.
13.Dedicated Free Apps for Apple(IOS) and Android devices along with the traditional browser access.
14.Use more and add an array of sensors around your enviroment.