Frequently Asked Questions
HOW FAR CAN THE WIND SENSOR BE FROM THE KEYBOARD/DISPLAY UNIT?
The longest working installation we know of is 650 feet. The cable normally supplied with a system is 40 feet. Longer lengths can be supplied on special order. Customs lengths can be provided with about 2 weeks lead time. We also offer optional 40 foot extension cables.
HOW HIGH SHOULD THE WIND SENSOR BE ABOVE MY ROOF?
When wind strikes the side walls or sloping roof of a building, it is deflected upward, creating a turbulance that tends to reduce the horizontal wind speed above the roof. To minimize the affect of turbulance on your readings, try to mount the wind sensor at least 5 feet and desirably 8 to 10 feet above the highest part of your roof.
EXACTLY HOW DOES THE DATA LOGGER WORK AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
ULTIMETER weather stations put out a more or less steady stream of data records in serial form. The rate varies from about 10 to 15 records per minute for the ULTIMETER II to 60 to 90 records per minute for the ULTIMETER 2000, 800, and 100. A cable included in the data logger package connects this serial data into the serial port of your computer.
The logging portion of the Data Logger software receives these records through the serial port and retains the highest wind gust and the direction from which it came. Every 5 minutes it appends a log file with the highest gust and associated direction over the last 5 minutes together with the instant value of all other, slower variables. The log file is written in a highly compressed format. Because data is always recorded at 5 minute intervals, you can count on having great detail even when an unexpected weather event occurs while you're away from your weather station.
The viewer portion of the Data Logger software has two basic capabilities:
Note that although data is always logged at 5 minute intervals, you can select whatever output reporting intervals you wish, from 5 minutes to 24 hours. When two or more 5 minute data values are to be combined in the output, you can select whether you wish the output to reflect the highest, lowest, average, or median of the combined 5 minute values.
WHY MUST MY COMPUTER BE TURNED ON TO LOG DATA?
Some weather stations require a relatively costly special purpose data buffer in order to store data, even if you have a computer available. ULTIMETER systems are designed so if you wish, you can connect them directly into a computer to log data. The computer needs to be left on, but many experts believe leaving a computer on actually extends its life. This approach has two major advantages:
HOWEVER - if you prefer not to leave your computer on, you can use your ULTIMETER system with a buffer. The very best will be our soon-to-be-released "Weather Buffer". It will provide completely seamless operation ("just plug it in") and enough storage capacity for the most demanding applications. With an ULTIMETER system, the choice is yours.
WHAT TYPE AND LENGTH CABLES ARE USED IN THESE SYSTEMS?
Sensor cables are unshielded 4-conductor 24-26 gauge modular telephone cable. Serial Data Cable and Weather Picture Cable are 6-conductor 24-26 gauge flat modular cable. Peet Bros. cable is a UV resistant type suitable for outdoor use. Standard sensor cable lengths and terminations are given below.
CONNECTORS ARE MODULAR PHONE TYPE UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED?
HOW CAN I GET THE WEATHER DATA FROM A REMOTE SYSTEM?
Peet Bros. now sells WeatherVox which is a unit that hooks up to the ULTIMETER II, ULTIMETER 2000, ULTIMETER 800, or ULTIMETER 100 and your phone line. You call into this unit and it gives you all of the weather readings by voice. Another possibility is to connect the weather station to a modem at the remote location. You can call that phone from your home computer and display the remote weather data on your home display. Several independent software developers offer computer programs that permit you to do this very easily. For details, please see our lising of 3rd party developers.
ULTIMETER II SERIAL DATA OUTPUT
The following information is provided for those who may wish to write their own programs to use serial data from the ULTIMETER II.
The ULTIMETER II provides serial data output at a nominal 2400 baud rate. This a one way data flow with no handshaking. The serial output rate averages about 15 records per minute. The serial output is briefly interrupted at times while the microprocessor attends other functions. If an output record is interrupted, the balance of the same record will be output following the interruption. Each record starts with an asterisk (mph) or pound sign (kmph), and ends with a carriage return and a line feed, in the sequence shown below:
* or # START OF RECORD (1BYTE)
ULTIMETER MODELS 2000, 800 (pre-2004) & 100 (pre-2004) SERIAL DATA SPECIFICATIONS
DATA LOGGING MODE - RECORD STRUCTURE
*Some instruments may not include field 12, some may not include 11 or 12. Please contact Peet Bros. if this presents any problem.
PACKET MODE - RECORD STRUCTURE
*Some instruments may not include field 13, some may not include 12 or 13. Please contact Peet Bros. if this presents any problem.
COMPLETE RECORD MODE - RECORD STRUCTURE
*Some instruments may not include field 115. Please contact Peet Bros. if this presents any problem.
This mode is not available on the ULTIMETER 100/500/800. Any command input will cause the Model 2000 to enter MODEM MODE.
The command header is >n where n=A-K. The header is immediately followed by from zero to eight digits (all decimal except barometer correction value).
SERIAL PORT PIN OUTS & SERIAL CABLE WIRING CAUTION:
Regulated voltage is brought to the serial output receptacle on the ULTIMETER 2000 and 100/500/800. The regulator is likely to be damaged if you accidentally reverse the sequence of serial cable wires. If you plan to make a serial interface cable, we urge you to take the following steps to avoid malfunction and possible damage when wiring a modular/DB-9 or modular/DB-25 adapter:
HOW OUR SELF-EMPTYING RAIN GAUGES WORK
Inside the rain gauge is a "see-saw" mechanism. On each side of the fulcrum is a collector shaped like a miniature coal shovel, with high sides and an open end. There is a vertical divider along the fulcrum, between the two collectors.
Rain water is funneled into whichever collector is "up". When enough water has been funneled into the "up" collector, the mechanism tilts the other way. The water previously collected spills out and new rain start collecting in the opposite collector, which is now up. Each time the mechanism tilts the other way, a magnet brushes past a reed switch, sending a signal back to the control unit.