Afternoon (UTC) Presentation
I came into the office one morning at 0730 hrs (1430 UTC) to sit through a presentation by a big-business weather equipment company. They invited me to a sales pitch for a new product that has not yet been released. (I always find it frustrating when a company tries to sell something that isn’t available.)
Nevertheless, the presentation was interesting and their marketing department created a highly-produced video that employed all of the popular buzz words like “micro-climate,” “future-proof,” “cyberattack,” “cloud computing,” and “IoT.”
Big-Weather’s Small Features
This new cost-optimized, professional weather station from Big-Weather is targeted to commercial users that only need one or two weather stations, want something easy to use, and don’t want to spend $10,000 USD. The basic weather data is automatically sent to their cloud service over a cell phone connection. The end solution is as plug-n-play as you can get in something that doesn’t come from a big-box store.
The system includes an integrated weather sensor suite that provides basic measurements of wind, temp, hum, precip, and pressure. This is accompanied by a solar panel, electronic control box, and separate cell phone box. The system does not have any configurable settings, no sensor options, no measurement interval option, no data cable connection, and no wireless communication options.
One interesting design choice was the system has only one day of autonomous power from the internal lead-acid battery. And, like the other features, there is no battery expansion option. But, should you need to run the weather station longer than one day without solar input, you can supply it with external power from an AC mains source.
By the end of such a fancy presentation you might be asking: “What’s the price for this easy-to-use, no options system?”
And: “Do all of the sales reps have European accents?”
To get answers to those questions, you have to call your Big-Weather representative (because the price is a secret). You will also be informed that the system is not available until March 2021.
A Better Alternative from Dyacon
I apologize if I am being a little pithy and sarcastic, but us little guys have to make the best of what we are given and Big-Weather’s new product is an interesting benchmark. I am guessing that this new product was in development before the demise of Campbell Scientific’s WeatherHawk product line. Maybe now there’s a market gap.
Whether from Campbell Scientific or a European company, these easy-to-use systems made by big weather companies often bear the cost burden of their legacy products. These simplified products are also intentionally limited in features so as not to compete with the high-end systems from the same organizations. Fortunately, this leaves ample opportunity for Dyacon … and our customers.
So, if you want
Basic weather station and the ability to add other sensors,
Real-time wind gust capture,
Calculated values, such as dew point, 2 and 10 min wind averages, heat index, and so forth,
Autonomous operation of one week and the option to expand the battery and solar capacity,
DyaconLive web portal with user access control, optional public visibility, report generation, alerts, and maintenance management features,
Configurable local logging intervals from 1 to 60 min and DyaconLive upload intervals of 1 to 60 min,
Cell phone that allows users to install their own SIM,
Wi-Fi alternative to cell phone,
Modbus RTU port for cable connections to an external computer, PLC, BAS, SCADA, or other automation equipment,
Windows PC software for local weather display,
Aviation-specific features such as density altitude, estimated cloud base, two aviation web portal options, and redundant cable connection,
Sales and support direct from the manufacturer,
.. and more,
you should probably chose a Dyacon weather station.
We like to be open with our customers, providing the information that professional users need to make an decision efficiently. To this end, our prices, manuals, videos, and configuration software are all on our website. You can also give us a call to discuss your needs. There is no screening, not tiered support plans, no exclusive dealer territories, and no European accent.
Dyacon may not be the oldest or biggest weather instrument company and we rarely wear white lab coats, but we do make one of the best professional weather stations for commercial, industrial, agricultural, and aviation users. And, yes, we also sell equipment to “research” users.
If you need a network of weather stations or just one, please check out our products. I think you will find Dyacon to be a compelling alternative that is available now.