Weather Stations at Starlight Cascade Gardens & Observatory
Page Created: 2003 September 03
Page Last Updated: 2018 September 19
Our Weather Station(s):
Davis Vantage Vue (2013 Jan-present) -
Oregon WMR968 (2007 Jan - 2012 Dec) -
Radioshack WX200 (2002 July - 2006 Dec)
We have been running an internet capable weather station since 2002. The actual hardware has changed over the years.
We have also attended many Environment Canada CANWARN storm spotter training sessions over the years and plan to add at least one weather webcamera in the near future.
The current weather station is sited well away from the house and other structures, actually in the middle of a vegetable garden, about 2-3m above the ground.
The current data logger is a Raspberry Pi model 2, utilizing very low power and is amazingly stable, at one point in time running for 367 days steady!
The new Weewx software is the data logger and it also automatically uploaded to the data repositories : Weather Underground, the Personal Weather Stations (PWS) site
and to this website as well.
Other sources of weather for our area:
(Clear Sky Clock for Starlight Cascade) and
The Weather Network:
Kingston Forecast *
Yarker Forecast *
Canada Hurricane Centre
SOHO Solar Image
Ontario Road Conditions -
Other Weather Underground Local Weather Stations
IONTARIO51 Yarker Ontario Canada
IONTARIO1065 Varty Lake Stone Mills Ontario Canada
IONTARIO557 Amherst Island Ontario Canada
IONTARIO338 Kingston Yacht Club Ontario Canada
IONTARIO340 Kingston Ontario Canada
XGY Grimsby Mountain, ON
Browse for a weather station near you
Weather System Log
20180629 - System got borked again in storm. Recovery involved power cycling the base receiver, then issing a command on the pi to clear the weewx database and rebooting it. All of these steps may not be necessary.. will experiment more the next time it goes down.
20180615 - The system got Borked due to power issues and lightning storms over the last two days. Looks like we had to wipe the David Vantagevue station clean along with the weewx data and then it restated OK.
20180214 - The Weather Underground has messed up our account with them so we have created another on the PWSweather.com site with a station ID of YARKER1.
THere apepars to be no widgets to display current info on our own site, so you have to go to them to see https://www.pwsweather.com/obs/YARKER1.html
20180208 - corrected many typos on the page, will track down a mercury or alcohol thermometer to calibrate temperature sensor in the near future as well.
20171231 - after several nights of no data in the early morning, and low battery transmitter errors, we replaced the 3v CR123 lithium battery in the outside weather station. To be fair it was hitting -30 to -35C those mornings. Seems to be working well now.
2017Oct29 - reinstalled weewx v3.6.1 and cycled power on weather station around 09:30 and all is running and uploading again.
2017Oct28 - The weatherpi aka raspberry pi running the weather station, dropped off the network yesterday after 374 days up. A power cycle restarted it this morning. It was also time to update from v3.6.1 to v3.7.1 There have been a few issues since the upgrade but we are working through them
2017Oct24 - The raspberry pi has now been up and operational for 371 days continuously without any interuptions! Weewx software has been running for 355 days continuously! Wow. And then today we noticed that the rainfall measured was zero when it was teeming rain outside. The rain gauge is probably plugged up with hornets nests, earwigs or other bugs. Will check it out later in the day.
*update* now repaired. insect cocoon had blocked the bucket sensor from moving.
2016Oct18 - Had some data issues the last few days, with corrupt datetimestamps for Davis Vantage Vue Station, receiver and the weewx software. Wiped and reinstalled the Raspberry Pi Jessie Raspbian distro, weewx and cycled power on the station. Finally deleted the database file and now all is running again, with uploads to the Weather Underground and to our own page here.
Updated to weewx v3.6.1
2016Sept 17 - Raspberry Pi Model B (2xUSB2, 512MB, 700MHz, 100Mbps ethernet) now running Davis Vantage View Weather Station data logging under the WeeWX software.
2016 Sept 12 - Big lightning storm rolled though Sat/Sun and the data logging computer has seen its last days. Will be working on a replacement using the raspberry pi Model B.
2016 January 10 - 2007 computer datalogging the weather station failed yesterday morning. Weather station down until this morning around 09:00. Replaced it with another 2007 era desktop with a pentium 4 cpu and windows xp.
2015 July 31 - touched up this web page, removed dead local weather station.
2015 April - switched from Davis software to Cumulus v1.9.4 (1099)
2015 March 12 - redesigned web page
2013 May 23 - some big storms have rolled through in recent days but the wind speed numbers are anomalous. Peaks of only 8kph? seems rather low.
2013 May 01 - upgraded software from Weatherlink v6.0.0 to v6.0.3
2013 March 17 - replaced radioroom computer with newer, faster one. Moved davis vantage vue receiver into radioroom and hooked up with USB cable. Added weather underground module and logged in and started transmitting data again. Sensor unit mounted on 6' 4x4 post in Veg4.
2012 December 26 - a new Davis Vantage View wireless all-in-one weather station with weatherlink v6 arrives for christmas.
2012July26 - outdoor temp/humid sensor failed again. Checked 2AA batteries in transmitter, 1.6v each. still good. Opened up sensor, filled with hundreds of earwigs. Cleaned out. Brought sensor off tree and closer to receiver. Still no signal, restart receiver again.
After cleaning out the bugs and restarting with the transmitter within 4m of the receiver, it works. Perhaps the bugs were shorting it out? Now.. to reassemble and how to figure out how to keep the bugs out.
Resetting the receiver also clears out the daily rainfall.
Failed again. will try resoldering all solder points and see what happens.
Oregon WMR968 no longer manufactured. Spare parts also hard to find.
Maybe time to start looking at new weather station.
Resoldered all points, sensor working again! Wrapped in mosquito screen mesh and put back out in the tree and still working a week later! Good thing too.. new weather station are not cheap! $400 and $600 to start.
2012March26 - wind speed sensor spinning but not registering data since March 16th.
New sensors around $100. - changed 2 AA batteries and reset. still nothing. restart software, still nothing. reset weather station receiver. Success! We have wind speed data!
2012March07 - another big windstorm with gusts up to 52kph.
2012March03 - outdoor weather sensor still getting some direct sun under the leafless maple tree. Plan to build a small Stevenson screen in the spring to keep direct sunlight off yet allow lots of good airflow.
Biggest windstorm on record.. 60kph gusts on Saturday March 03. Neighbour lost m
any shingles. Several power outages.
2011 October 09 - moved outdoor temp/humidity sensor off deck and onto a maple tree, sensor on the north side about 2m off the ground and the solar panel on the south side about
1m off the ground helping to power the unit.
We noticed that the temperatures were a little higher when the sensor was near the deck, it being a massive heat sink after all.
2010 Aug 16 - new temperature/humidity sensor installed and operational.
2010 Aug 10 - The outdoor temperature/pressure/humidity sensor/transmitter is broken until
a replacement is found.
2011 March - reconfigured the weather data archive above and uploaded data into 2011February. Would still like to find another software package that generates better local data rather than rely on The Weather Underground for a web page summary display, as they have been up and down of late.
2010 August - the sensor stopped transmitting three more times and finally died.
The freewx software does not seem to send data up to the Weather Underground if there is no outside temperature either. So the station will be down and offline until
we can purchase the replacement $85 part, an Oregon THGR-968 Cable Free Solar Powered Thermo-Hygro Sensor.
2010 July - the thermo-hygrometer sensor was no longer being received by the receiver
so we moved it from the observatory mount (about 40m and two house wall away),
to a shady spot near the deck about 8m away and no house walls to contend with.
The data started to flow again!
The system consists of:
The thermo-hygrometer sensor with a range of -58F to 158F and resolution of 0.2F.
Humidity range is 2% to 96% RH with resolution of 1%. Updates oiccur every 37 s
econds. Powered by a solar cell with akaline battery backup.
The anemometers operating range is up to 125mph with resolution of +- 0.4mph. Data updates every 14 seconds.
powered by a solar cell with akaline battery backup.
The rain guage uses a self emptying collection unit. Range is up to 39" per hou
r with resolution of 0.04" transmission update every 47 seconds. solar cell an
d battery backup.
the indoor baro-hygrometer meaders indoor temp and humidity. range is 23F to 122F with accuracy of 0.2F, humidity range s 2% to 96% RH with accuracy of 1%. pressure range from 23.48 in HG to 31.01 in Hg with accuracy of 0.03 in hg.
20080606 - updated 2008 data files. Note that freewx-wi is showing signs of age.
For each of the last 5 days it has frozen near midnight when the logs get rotated.
So we are actively looking for a new software data logger and web/weather underground
20071002 - moved wind sensor from observatory to clothlines pole that is more in the
open and less sheltered, and a little higher, from 2 m to 3 m up.
Also moved weather station receiver from basement farthest away from sensors to
upstairs in the middle of the house, a little closer.
20070515 - moved the temperature sensor a little more north into the shade of the
20070427 - updated the website to include some new features from
the weather underground and linked in other nearby weather stations.
20070225 - started uploading data files to the web site.
20061226 - installed FreeWx-Wi software and started uploading
data to the weather underground.
2006 December 25 - installed new Oregon wmr968 wireless weather station in and
around the observatory. The white things are the three sensors (rain, wind, air) and
their solar panels/transmitters. The white bucket is used to shield the
temperature probe, along with the observatory walls, from direct sunlight.
The nearer dome is the first allsky camera,
still under development. The farther dome is the new CONCAM
camera still under development.
2002 October 31 - created weatherunderground account to upload weather data to with a station ID of IONTARIO51 and first data is uploaded
Historical Weather Stations
The outdoor temperature/humidity sensor had to be replaced in 2010 August.
Davis Vantage Vue (2012)
Davis Vantage Vue all in one wireless weather station with Weatherlink v6. Arrived for Christmas 2012. Mounted on a 6' 4"x4" post 50m back in the vegetable patch.
Old Oregon still operating as we have no plan for it yet.
| 2007 January:
Oregon WMR968 weather station
arrived on Christmas Day 2006 and was set up just a few hours later.
It has wireless data capability so the base station has moved from the observatory
and into the house. Remote units cover the greenhouse and the garage.
We used FreeWX-wi v1.01 for software.
The Wind speed sensor also had a broken arm that was repaired in 2008.
2002 - a Radioshack WX-200 wired weather station was installed in the fall of 2002 in the front of the house until the snow and cold started.
In the winter/Spring the cable was extended and the units moved to the back yard and mounted on the antenna mount.
The data cable went into the radioroom. In 2006 June it moved out to the observatory.
For questions or comments about this page /weather/
contact us at kim or kevin (at) starlightcascade (dot) ca