A comparison of the Davis USB and IP data loggers for the Vantage-2/Vue line of weather stations

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For many years, Davis weather station owners had no choice but to locate their station console next to their computer in order to download weather data. Also, Davis station owners had no way to upload data to any internet service without having a computer do it. This all changed when Davis introduced their IP data logger that connects to your local area network via Ethernet. Now there are two choices for connecting your computer to a Davis Vantage Pro-2/Vue station:

The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two data loggers.


Advantages of the USB data logger:

  • Lower cost
  • Simplicity of installation


Disadvantages of the USB data logger:

  • Must be located relatively close to your computer (the limit of USB cables.)
  • Should be connected to a USB port on the computer for best reliability.
  • USB data loggers can be more vulnerable to electrical noise (although ferrite clamps usually resolve this problem.)
  • Uses kernel level drivers to communicate with WeatherCat (although these drivers are regularly updated by Silicon labs.)
  • Offers no independent way to upload data to Internet weather services besides your computer.


Advantages of the IP data logger:

  • Does not use a USB port.
  • IP data loggers are less vulnerable to electrical noise.
  • Does not require kernel level software (never need to mess with a driver).
  • Freedom to locate your console anywhere you have an Ethernet connection.
  • Ability to upload data to various Internet upload sites like CWOP and Weather Underground.
  • Store your weather data in the cloud.


Disadvantages of the IP data logger:

  • Higher cost
  • Needs an Ethernet connection, so it must be located where you can plug in. While an Ethernet Wi-Fi adapter such as Apple AirPort Express can be used to get around this problem, that adds to the expense, unless you already have an Express.
  • Somewhat more difficult to set up. Requires some knowledge of local area networks and using IP scanning software (which is free to download).
  • Submission of data to the Davis Weatherlink network can interfere with the operation of WeatherCat (see WeatherCat manual page 61).
  • Must remember to unplug the IP data logger during ISS maintenance to prevent erroneous data readings.


Comparing the Davis IP data logger to the Davis Weather Envoy

If you desire to keep your weather station console in some other location and still get data from your weather instruments there is an alternative solution, the Davis Weather Envoy:

The Weather Envoy is effectively a "headless" console that allows you to plug in the USB data logger and then locate the Weather Envoy next to your computer while placing your station console wherever you desire. The following is a comparison of the Weather Envoy and USB logger solution to the Davis IP logger solution:

Advantages of the Weather Envoy and USB logger:

  • Relative simplicity of installation.
  • Allows a user to relocate an existing USB logger to move the station console.
  • Does not require an Eithernet port to be located nearby the station console.


Disadvantages of the Weather Envoy and USB logger:

  • The combined cost is significantly greater than the IP data logger.
  • Still requires the kernel level driver software
  • Should be connected to a USB port on the computer for best reliability.
  • USB data loggers can be more vulnerable to electrical noise (although ferrite clamps usually resolve this problem.)
  • the Weather Envoy has its own instruments that need to be calibrated.
  • The internal temperature/humidity sent to WeatherCat is that of the Weather Envoy, not the console.


Advantages of the IP Data logger alone:

  • Lower cost.
  • Does not use a USB port.
  • IP data loggers are less vulnerable to electrical noise
  • Does not require kernel level software.
  • Avoids having two sets of instrument for internal temperature/humidity, and barometric pressure.


Disadvantages of the IP Data logger alone:

  • Requires some sort of Ethernet connection or adapter.
  • Somewhat more difficult to set up. Requires some knowledge of local area networks and often IP scanner software.
  • Submission of data to the Davis network can interfere with the operation of WeatherCat (see WeatherCat manual page-61).
  • The cost of the IP data logger and some sort of adapter (like say an Ethernet Wi-Fi adapter such as Apple Express) could exceed the cost of the Weather Envoy and USB logger solution.
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