Console display layout
The Vantage Pro 2 console enables the simultaneous display of many different parameter values and of additional graphic and text elements; it represents a considerable enhancement on the very limited display possible with the older Davis stations.
Essentially, the screen operates in five different modes:
- Current Weather;
- Highs and Lows;
The Current Weather mode is the heart of the display and therefore the one we concentrate on here.
Units can easily be switched between a number of options for several of the parameters (eg mph, kph, knots and m/sec for wind speed) at any time by pressing the Units button.
The actual layout of the screen is fixed but while some display elements always relate to the same parameter, other areas of readout vary according to selections made with the control buttons. The operation of these buttons is straightforward, after a little familiarisation with the wide range of data readings that can be displayed.
The various areas of the screen are explained in the description below, which covers only the main functions of the display. There are a number of additional functions and niceties not covered here but which are fully covered in the comprehensive manuals supplied with the station.
NB The digits in red have been added to this image to mark different areas of the LCD screen as explained below. This image actually shows a VP1 console screen but the layout of the VP2 display is identical.
- The wind rose area shows the current wind speed and direction. The wind rose graphic can show additional information such as the last 6 10-minute dominant wind directions.
- See area 10.
- This icon shows one of a set of 8 images representing the current phase of the moon (based on a calculation from date and longitude/latitude entered during Setup).
- Current date and time
- This fixed display area shows three primary parameters as three separate fields: outside temperature, outside humidity and pressure. Immediately to the right of the barometer label is an iconic arrow, denoting the current pressure trend.
- This display area serves two functions. Inside temperature and inside humidity are generally shown in the first two fields. The third (right hand) field varies according to the selections made most recently. Available parameter values include eg: wind chill, dew point and heat indices.
- (and 8) This area primarily displays data relating to rainfall, but does also display other parameters, such as solar radiation, depending on the current mode. The left hand field (7) generally displays rainfall in the current day (ie reset to zero at midnight each day). But rainfall in the last 24 hours can also be read out through the ticker (see below). Field 8 can display a number of other rainfall-related values, including: rain rate (ie during a current period of rainfall), rain storm total, monthly and yearly rain. Field 8 is also the location at which readings of eg solar and UV radiation can be found, if those sensors have been fitted.
- See area 7
- The graph area: This is an area where a trend graph covering 24 points can be displayed. The manual claims that over 80 different graphs can be presented here, but I’m not quite sure what makes up that total! Any of the standard parameters can be set to display on the trend graph and most commonly the time scale will be set to cover one day (ie 1 hour per point). Typically the barometer trend over the last 24 hours might be chosen to be displayed. However, a trend period covering 24 days or 24 months can also apparently be set, when the plotted parameter will represent the high or low value of the selected parameter for the month or day. (Clearly these longer term trends will only work when data has been accumulated for the period in question). For users without a linked PC, this trend graph is undoubtedly a useful new feature and, within its limits, is a powerful tool. However, users familiar with the large, detailed and colourful trend graph displays possible by using the Davis Weatherlink option to link their station to a PC may be a little disappointed by the small size and eg lack of axis labelling on the console graph, though the immediacy of generating a particular trend graph at the press of one or buttons on the console is still a positive feature.
- Area 10 is a text ticker which is most commonly used in conjunction with the icon in area 2 to provide a forecast! However the ticker is sometimes used to display other data such as rainfall in the last 24 hours and various notification and other messages eg low battery warnings. The ticker forecast only displays (and then only for a period of some seconds) when activated by the Forecast button.
This forecast is not supplied by any external agency, but is generated from an algorithm built into the console which looks at the current value and trend of certain parameters and produces an extrapolation of likely conditions a few hours hence. (Experienced meteorologists will, quite reasonably, be sceptical of this readout and it’s best regarded as a not uninteresting curiosity. However, reports from various users suggest that it is, perhaps surprisingly, tolerably accurate more often than not, if somewhat limited in its prognostications.)
Weather parameter readings available on the VP console
Current Weather Mode
The standard VP2 station provides for the display of 17 distinct types of weather reading in Current Weather mode, as listed below. This is more than can be accommodated by one button per function (especially if additional sensors are also present) and so typically this is managed by grouping related values on to the same button and allowing consecutive presses of that button to cycle through the available values. For example, repeated presses of the TEMP button will cycle through all the installed temperature readings – which for the basic station is just inside and outside, but if any additional temperature sensors are installed their readings will also be included in the display sequence.
This table is also a convenient place to include accuracy data for the VP2 stations. Important: These are true measurement accuracy figures and should not be confused with display resolution figures, which may be all that are quoted for some other makes of stations but which in reality have little or no relevance to accuracy and are often wildly optimistic relative to true accuracy specifications.
|Standard||Heat Index||±1.5°C||‘Apparent temperature’ on hot/humid days|
|Standard||Wind chill||±1°C||‘Apparent temperature’ on cold/windy days|
|Standard||Inside humidity||±5% (0-90%)|
|Standard||Outside humidity||±3% (0-90%)||±4% (90-100%)|
|Standard||Dew point||±1.5°C||Temp at which mist forms on cooling|
|Standard||Rainfall to date||±4% (>5mm)||Separate totals for daily, last 24 hours, monthly and yearly periods;|
|Standard||Storm rain||±4% (>5mm)||Total rainfall during an extended period of rain|
|Standard||Current wind speed||±5%||Updated every 2.5 secs|
|Standard||10-minute mean wind speed||±5%|
|Standard||Recent mean wind direction indicators||–||Visual indicators of progressive wind direction changes|
|Standard||Date and time etc||–||Includes eg sunrise/sunset times and moon phase|
|Standard||Forecast||–||Extrapolation based on current parameter trends|
|Solar sensor||Solar Radiation||±5%||Sunshine intensity/brightness|
|Solar sensor||Evapotranspiration||±5%||For users in agriculture; a measure of ‘reverse rainfall’ ie water evaporation
from soil on warmer days
|Solar sensor||THSW Index||±2°C||More sophisticated measure of Heat Index (qv)|
|UV sensor||UV Radiation||±5%||Measures current UV level|
|UV sensor||UV MEDS||±5%||Measures cumulative UV dose received per day|
|Temp station (6372)||Air/soil/water temperature||±1°C||Actually measured to ±1°F accuracy
Up to 8 additional locations (one per station)
|Temp/hum (6382)||Temperature plus humidity||±3% (0-90% RH)||As suppl temp station plus additional humidity reading (one per station)|
|Soil moisture / leaf wetness (6345)||Soil moisture||–||(Up to 3 or 4 sensors)|
|(6345)||Leaf wetness||±0.5||(Up to 2 sensors – 6345 only)|
|(6345)||Soil temperature||±1°C||(Up to 3 or 4 sensors)|
- Only certain combinations of additional sensors are permitted. Enquire for further details of soil moisture/leaf wetness configurations;
- The data above applies to the VP console display. There may be variations in data passed to the Weatherlink data logger. Note that only 3 x 6372 units or 2 x 6382 units are loggable;
Other display modes
Besides the Current Weather (described above) and Set Up (used only when configuring the console) display modes, the VP2 console can display data in four additional modes:
- Highs and Lows – allows stored maximum and minimum values over different periods to be displayed;
- Alarms – an audible console alarm will sound if a parameter passes a preset threshold;
- Graphs – allows a 24-point graph of any stored parameter to be shown in the display’s graph area;
- Wireless reception diagnostics (relevant only to wireless VP stations);
The Highs and Lows, Alarms and Graphs modes all provide for the comprehensive display and monitoring of specific weather parameters. There’s no space here to describe these in detail – please enquire for further information.