Campbell Scientific

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Campbell Scientific

Postby Mike Brown » 2013 Feb 01, 14:37

Has anyone any experience of using Campbell scientific CR10 or a variant in weather station? Would just like your thoughts on it if you have before I consider using one myself.

Thanks

Mike
Mike Brown
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 2011 Dec 03, 18:04
Location: Bolton le Sands, North West Lancashire

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Stephen Burt » 2013 Feb 01, 21:23

I've had a Campbell Scientific CR10X logger since 2001. The only time it's ever let me down was when the internal Li-cell battery failed (after 7 years), and because it failed in the evening I lost about 14 hours record until Maplins in Reading opened the following morning. (I now keep a spare handy.)

The programming is a very steep learning curve (more on this in my book), but the kit itself is almost bulletproof. They are an excellent investment if you are looking to go outside of the pre-programmed functions and locked sensors of the Davis midrange units, as they will interface to almost any type of sensor, and configurations can be expanded over several years as budgets allow.

The CR10X is now obsolete, but units occasionally come up on ebay. I've since upgraded to a CR1000 logger, the same as the Met Office use in their current AWS installations: the programming is easier with the CR1000, and there's more memory, but my CR10X is still going strong. My CR1000 supports 20 sensors, most polled at 1 Hz and logged at 1 min. My CR10X used to manage most of those, but now manages just a handful of backup sensors.

I'd have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Campbell Scientific. They are expensive, but the best on the market IMHO. A few other COL members have them too in various configurations - Richard Griffith in Horsham and Bernard Burton in Wokingham that I know of, and Philip Eden in Whipsnade has one to log the sunshine sensors on trial there.

SB
-----
Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire - central southern England
51.4°N, 1.0°W, 60 m AMSL, station grade A - AAAA47R
Records commenced here 1987 - local records available back to 1862
The Weather Observer's Handbook: www.measuringtheweather.com
Stephen Burt
 
Posts: 247
Joined: 2011 Dec 02, 19:36
Location: Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire; a well-exposed rural site, 10 km SW of Reading

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Mike Brown » 2013 Feb 02, 10:07

Thank you so much for your comments Stephen. I have read your excellent book and noted the comments about programming. I currently have built a weather station using a Labjack and DAQFactory software. Attached to the Labjack are professional sensors, anemometers, rain gauges etc. However, I am having some problems connecting up PT100 sensors via Rosemount transmitters. I am considering getting a CR10 when one becomes available. As you say they are expensive, but I needed to know how reliable they were. your comments have answered that question very well indeed.
The whole project has been driven by a need to get away from the 'delicate' build quality of the AWS to something which is more robust, as my increasing disability is making it virtually impossible to start repairing anemometers at the top of masts and the like. It also has the added advantage of being more accurate as well as more robust. In all the project so far has cost me less than a Davis Vantage Pro system (in English money).
meantime I will need to look at programming and see if I can get my head around it before I buy one.


Best wishes

Mike
Mike Brown
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 2011 Dec 03, 18:04
Location: Bolton le Sands, North West Lancashire

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Richard_Griffith » 2013 Feb 02, 11:43

Mike,

Following on from Stephen's post, I've been using a CS CR10x logger in my AWS since 2006. My AWS is based on the Met Office's Climate Data Logger system used my the Met Office prior to them updating / upgrading to the MMS system. The programming software can be a steep learning curve but CS are very good at technical support. Their Application Engineers are very helpful and can talk you through things over the phone if you run into problems. Yes their kit is expensive but for a long term investment with (so far) no real issues it is worth it for the reliability and accuracy of their sensors.

Regards
Richard Griffith
Horsham CDL AWS (Est 1982)
West Sussex
Richard_Griffith
 
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Location: Horsham, West Sussex

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Mike Brown » 2013 Feb 17, 19:15

To some extent I seem to be doing this back to front. I now have a full suite of Campbell Scientific measuring kit, with the exception of the rain gauge which I hope to rectify shortly. Some of it is in use on my existing Labjack setup, the other awaits connection etc. Whilst collecting this I am also collecting data on the system, programming etc. Much of the kit already has sample programs attached to make it easier, however, I am a little concerned as to what i will use for the display software. Loggernet price seems well beyond my reach, and the aims of my work.
Can I ask what others are using please? I would be intersetd in either paid for or better still, free software. I have already got WeatherDisplay, which I believe can handle Campbell Scientific data albeit in an indirect way.

Thanks once again for your advice.

Best wishes

Mike
Mike Brown
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 2011 Dec 03, 18:04
Location: Bolton le Sands, North West Lancashire

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Stephen Burt » 2013 Feb 19, 20:52

I can't really comment I'm afraid, as I use Campbell's Loggernet software.

It's very expensive (£449+VAT on the latest price list I have), but like most of the rest of CS kit it is almost bulletproof. It does provide a good range of graphing options, with up to three graphs available (up to a dozen parameters on each graph), and one can select timescale, two different y axis scales, line weights and colours, etc. What it won't do - rather irritatingly - is rebuild a graph from stored data, unlike Davis WeatherLink; so that if, for example, rebooting a PC after a s/w upgrade a 24 hour graph will take 24 hours before it is 'complete' once more.

It does also handle automated datalogger interrogation and download so that it can be easily configured to download every hour, say. It can also handle multiple loggers: I have two, but keep them to two separate PCs for other reasons.

In the end the choice is, I guess, buy the manufacturer's software which is guaranteed to work, and has technical support to help get it running, to purchase a third-party package which may or may not include the full functionality, or to write one's own. I've been happy with Loggernet, despite the price, but in the end it's a personal choice.

SB
-----
Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire - central southern England
51.4°N, 1.0°W, 60 m AMSL, station grade A - AAAA47R
Records commenced here 1987 - local records available back to 1862
The Weather Observer's Handbook: www.measuringtheweather.com
Stephen Burt
 
Posts: 247
Joined: 2011 Dec 02, 19:36
Location: Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire; a well-exposed rural site, 10 km SW of Reading

Re: Campbell Scientific

Postby Mike Brown » 2013 Feb 21, 13:34

Thank you all for your thoughts and guidance. I think I have two choices. I go with the CS system and Loggernet, or carry on using the Labjack. Finance wise the latter option is the most appealing, also I have the problem that I will have a around 20 sensors and the CR10 can only manage 12. Thus I think I will stay with my Labjack option as it seems to fit the bill and I can cope with the software. One or two difficulties in connecting up the sensors but nothing insurmountable.

Best wishes

Mike
Mike Brown
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 2011 Dec 03, 18:04
Location: Bolton le Sands, North West Lancashire


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