What is the difference between SayWeather and SayWeather Pro systems?
The Pro2 system includes a solar-powered fan-aspirated temperature/humidity radiation shield, so it can more accurately measure temperature and dew point in sunny locations. This higher accuracy is needed to report density altitude. The Davis Vantage Vue-based SayWeather does not report density altitude.
What does the included weather station look like? How accurate is it? Do you have a specification sheet for the weather stations?
Please see the weather station manufacturer's specifications for details.
Why use Davis weather stations?
Simply, great value! We chose Davis Instruments as our weather station providing partner because: the product is of high quality and durability; they have available parts and calibration support, they are renowned for use in commercial applications, and they have been making great products for over 50 years. They are also reasonably priced, so your weather advisory system doesn't cost a lot. Davis sells and support their weather stations worldwide.
What is the annual cost for SayWeather and the online publishing?
SayWeather™ is affordable to buy, install, and maintain. Generally, there are minimal recurring costs. Once you purchase the system, there are no fees associated with retrieving your data. We publish data to Weather Underground, the world's largest source of online personal and private weather stations. There is no fee to set up an account or view your data. Cleaning debris from the rain bucket debris filter and yearly replacement of the weather station backup battery (ca. $3). Airport operators may perform periodic NIST calibrations ($230 + shipping to Davis Instruments in CA) of their weather station to ensure windspeed, temperature, humidity, and barometric sensors are performing to specification.
This looks like a great capability. What do the regulations say about its use?
Using SayWeather™ is like asking an airport attendant to provide a landing advisory over the UNICOM. The difference is that SayWeather provides an AWOS-like advisory and operates, on-demand by the pilot, 24 hours a day... not just when the airport is attended. The Code of Federal Regulations, 47 CFR 87.219, addresses the use of automated systems at airports not having an operational ASOS/AWOS. Relevant frequencies are addressed under 47 CFR 87.187(y)(3), and multicom frequencies, 122.850MHz and 122.900MHz, are addressed under 47 CFR 87.237 thru 241.
The use of automated UNICOM systems is also noted in the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual 4-1-9.a.3: Many airports are now providing completely automated weather, radio check capability and airport advisory information on an automated UNICOM system. These systems offer a variety of features, typically selectable by microphone clicks, on the UNICOM frequency. Availability of the automated UNICOM will be published in the Airport/Facility Directory and approach charts.
How frequently is the weather information updated?
SayWeather™ retrieves weather from the weather station every 5 seconds and reports current information on the console's LCD display, and to the pilot over the VHF radio when queried. Wind speed and direction are reported as 2-minute averages. Gusts are reported as 10-minute peak wind speed.
How does SayWeather differ from an AWOS?
An AWOS is an Automated Weather Observing System. Weather observations made by an AWOS are derived through use of weather sensors that must meet certain specifications and must undergo regular calibration. SayWeather™ is a weather advisory system. An advisory system differs from an observation system in that its sensors are not required to meet the same specifications, or undergo the same calibration, that observation systems do. An AWOS can provide information to the National Weather Service whereas an advisory weather system does not. SayWeather uses the same algorithms that AWOS' use to process weather data and report an advisory. However, SayWeather has the benefit of allowing users to adjust certain parameters related to the processing of weather data. For example, the AWOS algorithm for reporting wind gusts indicates that gusts are only reported if they are over 14 knots, which might be too restrictive for light sport pilots. SayWeather can be user-adjusted to report gusts at any selectable threshold.
Does the SayWeather system include weather sensor head mounting poles, tower, etc?
The user's mounting requirement are unique, so mounting poles or tower are not included in your kit. Please refer to the Davis weather station documentation for guidance on mounting your weather sensor. Please contact us to discuss special mounting requirements.
Why doesn't the +REC-1 option include a video camera?
Since users may want different camera features and resolutions (standard, HD, wired, wireless, etc.), we offer them as an accessory. The SayWeather/REC-1 option includes a 6-pin RJ-12 (telephone jack) connector that produces a switch closure between two of its contacts. This is often all that is needed to trigger a camera having external 'alarm' input capability. Contact us if you have additional questions regarding cameras.
I already own a Davis Vantage Vue (or Vantage Pro2) weather station. Can I just use that instead of buying another?
Yes- or you use the new weather station that comes with SayWeather™ and keep your existing one as a spare. SayWeather™ connects to either a Vantage Vue or Pro2 (with fan-aspiration) weather console. If your Davis console is connected to a personal computer, it instead must be connected to SayWeather™ via a special 9-pin Serial (RS-232) adapter cable. If your computer is currently used to publish weather data to wunderground.com and you wish to maintain that feature, you will need to purchase a SayWeather Pro or SayWeather™+PWI-1 option. Please contact us for pricing and to discuss configuration options.
I have a spare aviation radio. Do I really need a new one?
SayWeather™ is only compatible with the Yaesu FTA series transceivers (included with each system). We've found Yaesu FTA transceivers to be reliable, responsive, and a great value. Included with each SayWeather system is a Yaesu AC power adapter and secure wall-mount for convenient location of the radio.
Can SayWeather control the lights at my airport?
Yes, both SayWeather™ and SayWeather Pro™include options for airport lighting. Two lighting options are currently offered, PAL-1 (one-zone) and PAL-3 (three zone) lighting controllers. The PAL options use UL recognized relays to provide 120VAC to 277VAC control of loads 10 amps to 20 amps, depending on lighting type. The relays include integrated override switches for manual activation of airport lighting. Mic keys activate the lighting controller and the number of mic keys can be user-selected for almost any combination of control options. SayWeather also provides a unique feature - the pilot's mic keys to activate lighting is acknowledged over the transceiver with an audio announcement "airport lights acknowledged". This lets the pilot know that additional keying is not required if by chance the airport is obscured or otherwise not seen by the pilot. The PAL series lighting controllers are connected to SayWeather via a low-voltage, flat 6-conductor telephone cable, up to 1000 feet from the SayWeather system. The PAL series controller are housed in electrical cabinets that are approved for indoor use only.
Where can I get a sound file for my airport name, or speech in other languages?
When you purchase your SayWeather™ system, we'll contact you to customize your unit for your airport. If you need to later make changes you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request, and we'll send you your customized sound files. You can also make your own using a variety of software tools. SayWeather uses ".wav" audio files to produce speech.
SayWeather's standard warranty is one year. Are there extended warranty options?
Yes. If at any time after the one year warranty, your SayWeather unit is damaged or fails, the unit can be returned to our factory for repair. The cost for repairs is covered under our current "flat rate" repair fee policy. A loaner SayWeather unit can be made available at additional cost if needed during the repair. SayWeather™ is also available for purchase with two-year and three-year extended warranty options - please contact us for details.
Do you have a list or map of airports that have installed SayWeather?
This link and map below show SayWeather installations in north America. If the airport publishes to the internet, a web link is provided to view real-time and historical weather data.