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  #1  
Old 01-12-2020, 09:39 PM
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Default Airport Weather Station

I will be based at an airport without weather reporting station. It is in rural area (Intermountain Utah 33U) and aviation weather is very unique. I am wondering if there is a portable weather station on the market I can buy and install in the immediate vicinity? I understand there maybe some sort of FCC permit required. Did anybody install similar at your private strip or knows the process? Would appreciate any intel or reference.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2020, 10:01 PM
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I used to have a Ambient Weather WS-2902 and it was pretty good and simple to use. I don’t have it anymore because the state is going to install a super system that measures a ton of things here so I’ll be able to get way more info than we’ll ever need.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:05 AM
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Thanks Carlos. WS-2902 doesn’t transmit. I would like to receive basic wx report while airborne.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:37 AM
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Default The AWOS Alternative for Your Airport

Saw SayWeather at OSH. Kinda pricey but it is a scaled down AWOS but no cloud height. From what I remember, it was around $4,000. They say the mind is the 2nd thing to go and I cannot remember the first.

If all you want is your local weather on the internet, a PWS is all you need to connect to your home ISP and get the weather on the internet. Study up on which manufacturer is best for you. When I researched, I did not find much difference in reliability between the cheap and expensive units. I went with a cheap unit using a remote battery. Pressure is not accurate but rainfall and wind speed are. My personal weather station data can be read online at Wunderground.com. The biggest problem I have with weather station operation is lightning in the vicinity drops the wireless signal and requires that I cycle power to restore operation. Cycle power means remove and reinstall batteries.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:46 AM
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As previously noted, the challenge will not be with the weather instruments but rather with the radio transmissions. I'm not fluent on FCC/FAA license requirements for automated radio transmission.

If you could avoid transmission power that is regulated and avoid radio bands which are licensed, then you have some flexibility.

Alternative: what is cellular data coverage like in the area? It could be possible to interface the weather instruments to a webpage (assuming internet connectivity at the airport).
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humptybump View Post
As previously noted, the challenge will not be with the weather instruments but rather with the radio transmissions. I'm not fluent on FCC/FAA license requirements for automated radio transmission.
^^^ THIS ^^^

I can tell you that getting an FCC license for any commercial (this is considered commercial) transmitter is not a simple task. It isn't impossible, but not something you can do in a few minutes. My recommendation is to contact the FCC office for your area and see how hard/easy they will make it for you.

After that, actually setting it up only depends on how much $$$ you want to spend.

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  #7  
Old 01-13-2020, 08:28 AM
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Vlad,
I would second the idea of Weather Underground. Like the ADS-B hobbyists... there are thousands of home weather stations that are linked to their web site. Rather than the bother of radio transmissions, I would first search for a hobbyist that might be situated near that airport.
Then, figure a way to receive internet via cellular while flying. I notice from your photos over the years that you have no hesitation to fly low.
So, maybe cellular internet (even a booster on the plane??? 12volt powered) would get you access to the web site. You then have the airport marked as a favorite. Cellular modems are common on air medical helicopters... as they use cell connections for tracking much of the time. When out of range, they switch to iridium. A common box is the Flightcell from New Zealand. It is pricey though. I would cobble something together for data receive only.
The low power, non licensed radio bands set aside for hobby by FCC are pretty range limited as well. When you get past amateur band stuff.... it would be unrealistic to ask the FCC to approve a local anemometer on an airfield.
Some of the automated ASOS machines are affordable if the entire user base at the field get together for a purchase. Those stations co-share the unicom frequency and are activated by clicking the mic. They are smart enough to listen first, to prevent stepping on other transmissions. The FCC and FAA commonly approve those.
Anyway, you could always move to my town... where the weather is always nice... and just fly anytime you want! Cheers.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2020, 09:00 AM
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Default FCC License

Vald:

I was not thinking about you getting another FCC license. You could connect a 2-meter ham radio in your EXPERIMENTAL airplane and pickup APRS CWOP Weather. A handheld 2-meter ham radio may even work in your airplane. Your ham license should also allow you to setup a Wx Station connected to APRS Weather Station to get the data out.

This would help you as a HAM Radio aviator but other aviators that are not hams would miss out on this.

APRS.fi shows a Wx station in Vernal, UT and many around Salt Lake City.
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV6_flyer View Post
Vald:

I was not thinking about you getting another FCC license. You could connect a 2-meter ham radio in your EXPERIMENTAL airplane and pickup APRS CWOP Weather. A handheld 2-meter ham radio may even work in your airplane. Your ham license should also allow you to setup a Wx Station connected to APRS Weather Station to get the data out.

This would help you as a HAM Radio aviator but other aviators that are not hams would miss out on this.

APRS.fi shows a Wx station in Vernal, UT and many around Salt Lake City.
If that works then other a pilots wouldn’t need to be ham operators because they’ll only be listening and could do that with any receiver.
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:19 AM
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Pilot135pd Pilot135pd is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
Thanks Carlos. WS-2902 doesn’t transmit. I would like to receive basic wx report while airborne.
It doesn’t transmit on any aviation band but it’ll transmit to the internet and you can see the info on your phone or iPad while in the air all over the world (don’t have to wait until you’re close to the airport like AWOS or ASOS) and everything at less than $200. I don’t think there’s anything cheaper than that.

https://www.ambientweather.com/amws2902.htm

The only problem is if the airport doesn’t have internet available then that would increase the cost a little bit. Lots of options then like talking a neighbor with internet into letting you install it at their house.

It all depends on how much you want to spend. As Galin said getting an FCC license is uphill expensive and very time consuming. I got a Unicom license for my private airport and they told me not possible THREE TIMES but I kept insisting with facts and after many calls and over a year of back and forth with many returned and resubmitted applications I finally got 123.0 licensed. And all of that with me being the airport property owner, if not it would have been impossible with the permissions they ask you for. I guess that’s why so many private airports just grab a handheld and transmit (not legal by the way).
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Last edited by Pilot135pd : 01-13-2020 at 10:22 AM.
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