Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless) Reviews

Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)

  • Large, backlit 3 1/2-Inch X 6-Inch (9 X 15 cm) LCD display
  • Fast updates every 2.5 seconds (10x faster than the competition)
  • With a barometer, ticker tape weather forecast, inside and outside humidity sensor and over 80 graphs and 70 alarms
  • Optional WeatherLink data logger and software offer additional analyses in a variety of versions
  • Wireless transmission from station to console up to 1,000 ft. (300 m) (3x farther than the competition)

Vantage Pro2 Wireless with standard radiation shield. This system uses frequency hopping spread spectrum radio technology to transmit weather data wirelessly up to 1,000 ft. (300 m) With data updates every 2.5 seconds. Includes Vantage Pro2 console/receiver, integrated sensor suite and mounting hardware. Integrated sensor suite includes rain collector, temperature and humidity sensors, anemometer with 40-Feet (12 m) anemometer cable and solar panel. Sensor suite is solar powered. Console may be

Rating: (out of 30 reviews)

List Price: $ 595.00

Price: Too low to display

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5 Responses to “Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless) Reviews”

  • NewsView says:

    Review by NewsView for Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)
    Rating:
    The Davis Vantage Pro2 is an expensive unit compared to other semi-professional wireless weather stations. Unlike most of its competitors, however, the Davis Vantage Pro2 is considered the among the best a consumer can buy. My experience on two counts, however, has been somewhat of a letdown.

    During Santa Ana wind conditions, reported wind speeds do not jive with averages derived from Weather Underground stations within a two to five-mile radius. Visually, too, wind speed readings do not appear consistent with Beaufort estimation techniques. The wind meter in question is located about six feet above a single-story roof and is not at all blocked so there is really no excuse for an inaccurate reading. Nevertheless, the Davis Vantage Pro2 has failed in three years to record a wind speed over 25mph even though wind gusts at or above this range are all but guaranteed each and every Fall. Last year, for example, a windstorm hit my area that left tree branches scattered about the streets for miles in every direction. The only upside is that my Davis Vantage Pro2 has not been linked up via the costly optional software package to the Internet. I would not want the station feeding erroneous data to the Weather Underground network, and fortunately it has never been set up to do so.

    Iffy wind speed readings notwithstanding, the most frustrating weakness in the Davis Vantage Pro2 pertains to the forecast icon/trend. The unit displays a “Partly Cloudy” icon 95 percent of the time (in notoriously sunny Southern California). It displays this icon all through the summer months — to include a 110-degree Labor Day heat wave with not a cloud in the sky! If the Davis displays a “Sunny” icon at all, it is brief — perhaps two hours or so before switching back to “Partly Cloudy”. It also rarely displays the “Rain” icon even when the rain gauge is collecting so much water that the text read-out says it is “raining cats and dogs”. If the Rain icon appears in advance of a bona fide rainstorm, it is usually so brief that it is easy to miss — as little as one hour before returning to the Partly Cloudy icon. Because the icon changes so little and so briefly, it is easy to assume that the text forecast also remains unchanged, which for the most part is the case. Even so, the forecast icon can be misleading in the sense that it is often a poor visual tip-off to noteworthy text forecast changes such as “Precipitation possible within 24 to 48 hours”. Therefore, it would appear that while the text read-out is tied in to the status of the barometer, wind and rain sensors, the forecast icon seems relatively isolated and unresponsive.

    In my experience, inexpensive weather station forecasting icons tend to be inaccurate for the opposite reason: Barometric changes associated with nightfall, for example, may be enough to fool a poorly designed weather station into forecasting an impending rainstorm. Davis appears to have attempted to compensate for this common problem by making their forecast icon less sensitive to certain barometric shifts. Unfortunately, there is an apparent downside to this approach, too. Perhaps this helps explain, incidentally, why I have yet to see the unit predict fog or frost conditions even though both have occurred in my area over the past three years. Area airports that have not shut down their runways in over a decade have done so due to poor visibility this Fall, and a year or two back a Federal Disaster was declared after California citrus growers lost their crops to record frosts. I, too, lost plants to frost that year, yet the Davis Vantage Pro2 did not warn of such conditions (short of the user programming an alarm, that is). As far as the text-based forecast capabilities are concerned, I am not even certain that the Davis Vantage Pro2 can predict fog or frost.

    For the past three years I have enjoyed the ability to compare the Davis Vantage Pro2 against wireless weather stations at the same location manufactured by Uniden and La Crosse, respectively. The latter displays a more accurate forecast for 1/10th the price (sans wind or rain measurements and most of the bells and whistles). Personally, I find it inexcusable that Davis has so poorly integrated and implemented the Vantage Pro2 forecasting features (especially in comparison to La Crosse). Even on the rare occasion that the Davis Vantage Pro2 predicts wind or rain, it seemingly does so only when correlated to the rainy season (thereby all but precluding a forecasting icon change in advance of an out-of-season storm). By contrast, my La Crosse weather station consistently displays a Rain icon a day or so in advance of any incoming rainstorm regardless of season for an overall accuracy of about 65 percent compared to a Davis forecasting accuracy rate of about 20 percent during the Spring and Summer months, and a 40 percent accuracy rate during the Fall and Winter.

    Contacting Davis about the weather forecasting problem while the unit was still under warranty resulted only in a useless explanation regarding forecasting algorithms, and a comment on the part of the support rep to the effect that, if anything, the Davis Vantage Pro2 should be the most accurate in California because that is where these units are designed. Davis support staff are friendly enough, but no offer was made to take the unit in for inspection while under warranty. I regret that it is now far too late to receive any sort of help. [Jan. 2009 Update: Applying the firmware update to correct the daylight savings problem also seems to have moderately improved the forecasting capacities — but we had to pay return postage for the updater, in addition to the $30 fee to rent it.]

    Other areas in need of improvement are not as essential, but may be worth mentioning. For the price paid, for example, the Davis Vantage Pro2 ought to contain an atomic clock. Because it does not, however, I experienced a daylight savings problem. As it turns out, the firmware is too old and must be updated at a cost to rent the cable necessary to flash-update the unit (among other bug fixes). An atomic clock would have made a firmware update optional, rather than necessary to the ongoing functionality of the weather station. Worse yet, Davis product documentation is somewhat slim, and the present incarnation of the Davis Web site is equally lacking in relevant FAQs or support documentation. For example, nowhere in the owner’s manual does it warn users that replacing the lithium battery will nevertheless prompt the display to report a “Low battery at Station 1″ for hours on end. It was Google and not the Davis Web site that came to the rescue on that issue.

    Bottom line? The Davis Vantage Pro2 is over-hyped. While I am aware that home weather stations are mostly novelty gadgets despite claims of being “professional”, I expected far better from Davis for a retail price in excess of $500.

  • Ken Smith says:

    Review by Ken Smith for Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)
    Rating:
    We took care of a home in Hawai’i that had a Davis Vantage Pro2 station installed and though I am the “weather nut” in the family, my wife became very interested and checked the full-function console screen every day. Each gust of wind would cause her to ask: “How strong was THAT one?” After five weeks there she was the one that suggested we order one for our home. I never dreamed that I could own one like this but Amazon prices it so that it is possible. The installation was simply clamping it to a 2″ diameter pipe that sits in a cup on the deck and attaches to the eave of the house. I carry the console to the neighbors and show it off. They may purchase their own console (about $300) and read data from my transmitter package (1,000′ range), or I can place duplicat consoles in the greenhouse, garage, or den, with a limit of eight total. Also, each console will re-transmit to another, in a “daisy-chain” fashion. Not only does this device display more current items then you could ever think of, it maintains past data and graphically depicts the previous 24 hours of most items. As an example, for rainfall you will get totals for today, this month, this year, the last 24 years (if it was running then), the current rate of rainfall, and the total rain for this storm. It will also tell you the totals of the last 24 storms. How accurate is it? With the optional software, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will accept your data, (you can read about it if you go to: […]), as well as schools and other groups. Optional equipment will allow you to determine if you should water your plants, to measure temperature in multiple places, and to read solar radiation levels. We are VERY happy with our Davis Vantage Pro2 system and strongly recommend it to you.

  • W. Fisher says:

    Review by W. Fisher for Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)
    Rating:
    I have had a Vantage Pro Wireless for 3 or 4 years. It works very well, and has a lot of data available for a reasonable price. I had a different brand that gave me lots of problems with the hygrometer. So much that they discontinued it. However, the Davis hygrometer has been flawless.

    One worry I had was how well the sending unit would work in the winter when there is relatively low and short light to charge the battery. I have had no trouble at all after several years. One thing is that the signal tends to get a bit weaker on batteries, so at the extremes of range, I sometimes loose the signal overnight. At more reasonable ranges, all is very well.

    By the way, I first got the integrated sensor suite and plugged the anemometer into it. It worked fine. A year (or so) ago, I sprung for the separate anemometer transmitter and mounted it up above the peak of the roof. All continues to be fine with just a little tweaking of the settings in the main unit.

    One thing to pay attention too: Be sure that you are really getting a Vantage Pro II, not the original. Davis has changed radio technologies, and the two technologies are not compatible. They are running out of accessories for the original VP.

    I am a bit unhappy that Davis seems to have discontinued a thing called Weather Echo. It was a cool gadget that allowed you to have a remote reading of the main things (temp, humidity, rain, baro) anywhere in the house. The main unit rebroadcasts the info the the W-E. It is very useful, and I wanted to get a second one, but they are no longer available. Sigh.

  • Ranger says:

    Review by Ranger for Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)
    Rating:
    I have a Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless station and I love it. I’ve had mine for 3 years now and no problems with it. It does everything that Davis said it does the only thing you have to do is once a year you have to replace the outside battery they are cheap so no big deal. I know this station is a good one because the local TV weather station they got the same thing so that says a lot.

  • Joseph D. Farrell says:

    Review by Joseph D. Farrell for Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station (Wireless)
    Rating:
    Item worked fine – I bought the wired version with the data logger in September 2006. I switched to a Mac computer in 2007 rendering much of the software unusable and there is very little out there for Mac for CWOP or Wunderground.

    In October 2008, we had a bad rain storm and the rain and wind sensors stopped working. I climbed up on the roof to check out the connections, make sure things were draining etc and it all looked fine. I checked the sensor suite and the other seals and everything was dry with no evidence of water infiltration.

    During winter 2008 the system begain working only intermittently and the wind direction sensor locked on north but the speed sensor worked. Then the rain sensor failed. Then it worked again = then it failed for good in March 09. Now, NONE of the exterior sensors are working any longer. I called Davis and got the ‘we’re sorry you are out of warranty’ story – but was told it was common in severe weather areas [like New England where I live] for the system sensors to require replacement after 2-3 years.

    So – be careful – this is an expensive system with crappy software, and sensors that they promise years of service but when they fail tell you they only expect 2 years out of them in severe climates. Replacement sensor suite is $260-275 . . .

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