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[wxsig] Quality of instruments?

Mike B kw1nd at comcast.net
Thu Nov 10 00:41:10 UTC 2005

Thanks for the prompt feedback, guys.  Also, the links & CWOP info is 
handy and interesting.

It will probably be a little while before I get any system (most likely 
a Christmas present), so I'm still poking around & learning what's out 
there (much more than I realized).

As a little background information, I'm an Engineering Tech with the US 
Climate Reference Network, run by NOAA out of Oak Ridge, TN (the 
administrative types are in Asheville NC).  I'm not a meteorologist 
(obviously) - I'm one of the guys who has to go to the shop & field to 
get their ideas running ;-)  We have a network of around 80 stations 
now, spread across the US; I spend a lot of time on the road.  Our sites 
range from Barrow AK to Cape Canaveral FL, Mauno Loa HI to Limestone, 
ME. Check it out at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/uscrn/index.html 
- choose 'data' from the left side frame, and 'observations.'

We run a pretty tight ship - nearly 99% data collection from all the 
sites every month, with several consistently at 100%.  The heart of the 
system is Campbell Scientific's 23x data logger, with one MetOne 
anemometer and three aspirated temp sensors, a Kipp & Zonen pyranometer, 
Vaisala wetness sensor, Apogee IR temp sensor and a GOES satellite 
transmitter (forget the manufacturer, but supplied by Campbell).  We 
also have a Geonor vibrating wire precip gauge at each site, with a 
heater system we make ourselves, as well as a Hydrological Systems (?, 
sorry but it's late, but it is Australian) tipping bucket (non-heated - 
their heaters in the past tended to cause frozen precip to evaporate). 
Most sites are run off AC, but several are solar powered.  One of my 
niches is helping to evaluate & setup the solar systems.

I play with the expensive stuff everyday, but can't really afford to get 
it for the house.
Mike Boice, KW1ND
Karns, TN
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