[aprssig] Weather station hardware and software

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sat Feb 21 10:27:14 EST 2015

On Feb 21, 2015, at 8:50 AM, Joel Kandel <kandelj at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> Steve, back in the early 2000's Broward Co emergency management received a state grant to put up about a half a dozen Peet stations hooked into the APRS ex network. We put them up in strategic locations like Port Everglades and  number of municipal EOCs. In 2005 Wilma came along and destroyed them all. We wanted to replace them and asked Peet if they would consider manufacturing s more hardened unit, even if it cost more. They said no. So we never replaced the units. 
> I don't understand Peet's marketing philosophy when they know there is Adrian's for a better unit and they refuse to meet it. 
> All the best,

My first weather station was Davis, and it was destroyed in a surprisingly weak tropical depression long ago, but I've heard Davis is much better now. I had good luck with Peet, my anemometer was replaced (for free by them) after Georges, and survived the horrible 2004-5 seasons with just one lost cup in Wilma after recording 104 mph wind, and is still going. 

But as for the company, once Bill Peet sold the company and retired it went downhill. Last year at Orlando I had a long talk with the owner Dave about how far behind Davis they we, and how their fraction of new CWOP signups was decreasing rapidly. I gave him a Pi that showed what could be done cheap now, he acted interested, but never answered my followup emails, and then this year they did not even show at Orlando, the first time I've ever been there and they did not show, they are right down the road in St. Cloud. They do have a booth booked at Dayton, so they haven't given up on hams, but I fear hams have given up on them.

Their sensors are still decent for home use, but to expect them to hold up to Cat 3 hurricanes is a bit much, that kind of hardening is going to cost lot more. I know of two Davis anemometers that did not survive Wilma, my girlfriend at the time had one at her home is South Miami and another on her landscaping business lot in Homestead. The Davis costs $150 vs $100 for the Peet, so if they are going to be destroyed I'd rather have the one that costs me less. From an actuarial standpoint, costing 50% more means the Davis better survive better. Even more so if Peet produced something hardened, that is going to increase the cost greatly and few would pay it so their development costs would be spread across a smaller base.

Was the Adrian's in the last line autocorrect for "a demand"? I'm not sure how big that demand is. I would not pay more, replacing it is just one more tiny, low priority expense in the aftermath of a hit. If I were Peet I would publish a policy that if your anemometer is destroyed by wind we will replace it free. That seems like better marketing. But as I say, they seem to have little interest in moving forward.


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