Ever wonder what happens when the sight of your newly installed 5-in-1 weather station interrupts your loving wife's lovely view? Well, I can tell you exactly what happens.
The saga of our weather station, a practical but not very aesthetically pleasing technological addition to our home's exterior, began with big plans some months ago. What started with the purchase of a few AcuRite temperature sensors and a communication hub quickly expanded. This all happened when I realized that I was routinely checking the WeatherBug or The Weather Channel app to see the current temperature, wind direction, and other related information at our new house when we're not there. However, each time I checked I had to remind myself that the nearest reporting weather station was a good distance from our home and therefore was not entirely accurate.
In addition to this, I have dreams of someday building a vegetable garden in our front yard and would love to know how the specific micro-climates in our town will affect how those fruits and veggies will grow. And in order to really understand this, I wanted to have some solid historical data so I could watch the trend over time.
In short, since I already owned an AcuRite hub and a few temperature sensors, I went ahead and purchased one of their 5-in-1 Pro+ weather stations to add to my existing system. This would allow us to monitor temperature, rainfall totals, wind speed, wind direction, and humidity.
Once I had the weather station up and running on our network (which really only took about 10 minutes to setup using the AcuRite app), the next most important piece of the equation was coming up with the all important decision of where we'd mount the unit. As of right now I'm most interested in the weather down on the water, so I decided to mount the weather station to the first piling on our pier.
I was especially keen on getting the weather station in place ASAP last weekend with Tropical Storm Hermine spinning just off the coast a somewhat short distance from our home. I really wanted to see how fast the gusts of wind were getting up to. We had friends visiting for the night, so with our ideal destination in mind, my friend Matt and I took our tools down to the pier to mount the weather station.
There's two dudes being super productive right there.
The device comes with a mounting post that's the same diameter as 3/4" PVC. So if I wanted to I could get a longer length of PVC in the future and mount it directly to that, such as in the middle of a vegetable garden.
After our weather station was successfully mounted I sat back on the porch and began configuring the app to make sure it was still reporting. The weather station needs to be within 300 feet of the base station for it to work correctly. Everything was looking good, we were getting readings, and I took pride in a job that was not only done well, it was done quickly. That's when it happened.
Wendy (followed by Matt's wife, Tracie) came out on the porch with a drink in her hand and exclaimed in a shocked tone, "What is that awful thing on the first piling of the pier?"
"Uh, it's the super awesome 5-in-1 weather station!" I replied.
The ladies conferred and quickly came to the same conclusion. The verdict? "Yeah, that thing is not staying there, I can tell you that right now. I mean, it's all I can see when I look out towards the water."
As you can see from the (very one sided, in Wendy's opinion) photo above, this may have been a slight case of the Princess and the Pea, or maybe the Woman and the Weather Station. Wendy could see only the weather station among all of the beauty of her view from the porch. She also couldn't stand seeing it.
I thought that maybe I'd be able to ignore her insistence that it must move immediately, and perhaps relocate the install location at some point in the future. But it seemed Wendy had different ideas. She decided that the only suitable location for install of our jaw dropingly beautiful and functional piece of meteorological technology was not on the first, second, or even tenth pier piling, but rather on the lone piling in the water set away from the pier.
Not only was Wendy's mind made up on where to mount the weather station, the date and time of when this must occur was also set in stone. Apparently that date and time was "then and immediately." Knowing that I wasn't interested in jumping in the kayak in nearly gale force wind (a fact I was able to confirm by looking at the windspeed readout from my weather station that reported a 30 mph max wind speed), Wendy decided to call my bluff. She grabbed the drill and kayak and started to act like she and Tracie would be moving the weather station themselves.
Now, I was 100% sure Wendy wasn't about to go down to the pier and unscrew the weather station from the first pier for the purpose of moving it. I mean, I know Wendy is stubborn and likes to have things happen her way, drives a hard bargain, and won't accept no for an answer. Okay, on second thought, I was about 85% sure that the weather station was staying put until I would move it at a later date.
I'd say my confidence was about 62% that as long as I held my ground, she wouldn't jump in the Kayak and paddle out with the drill and weather station to mount on the further piling. The more I thought about it I'd say I was probably about 43% sure that Wendy would stop well before she even dragged the kayak down to the water wearing her jeans, Wellies, and holding a glass of wine in one hand and drill in the other.
Besides all of this, I was absolutely 24% positive that she wouldn't be mounting it, with proper south facing orientation to ensure proper function on wind direction...Ahhh dammit, this was not going to end well, so I sucked it up and grabbed the kayak, drill, and weather station to start "project relocation."
We loaded in the kayaks, amidst the high tide, white caps, and treacherous conditions to brave the high seas, all in the name of aesthetics.
Form over function was my co-captain and we made our way around to the final destination of the weather station (not to be confused with Final Destination...which might be an appropriately set scene given the circumstances). Lulu was (understandably) concerned.
I delicately worked my way into a standing position, which I'm pretty sure resembled a newborn giraffe trying to take its first steps. From this standing position I'd be able to properly align the weather station in a south facing manner.
Matt wrangled my tools and handed me the critical items at the appropriate junctures, offered words of encouragement, nuggets of warning, and enough tough love to will me into bringing Wendy's vision to life.
Wendy looked on in amazement, wondering not only how she had gotten lucky enough to marry a man with such cat-like reflexes and balance, but also one brave and caring to risk life and limb to fulfill her wildest dreams.
It was a bit of delicate balancing to get it all in place, but I was assured by the fact that if I were to fall overboard I'd be able to stand in about shoulders' deep water while assessing my failure.
As I mounted the weather station on the piling I remembered something very important. I'd eventually need to replace the batteries in the unit, which may well be a pain if I have to venture out on a boat. But then I realized that the weather station takes four AA batteries to operate, and are supposed to last for two years before they need to be replaced, so it won't be a frequent significant effort. The weather station also has two solar panels to power a small interior fan, which keeps temperature readings accurate.
When all was said and done the weather station had been re-located, my swash buckling friend Matt and I had survived our ordeal on the high seas, and I was able to sit back and relax with the phrase "happy wife, happy life" playing on repeat in the back of my mind. To celebrate, I invited Lulu into the kayak where we took a victory lap around the pier before navigating our ship back to shore and enjoying the rest of the night.
Wendy was very happy with our joint decision to move the weather station, and was very happy with the new location. However, on testing once my land loving legs were back on terra firma, the base station no longer had contact with the weather station. It seems the move was just far enough to take the device out of the 300 foot max range. I had to do a little fiddling with the hub inside and was able to move it closer to the device, which was now on Siberia near the edge of the Earth.
After all was said and done I updated the firmware on the hub and got the latest "MyAcuRite" app on the phone, which offers a great new interface and the ability to share my weather data with friends and family. Overall I'm very happy with the weather station thus far and can't wait to see how it works over the course of the next few years.
How about you, do you have any experience with weather stations? If not, do you have any experience where your significant other makes crazy demands and forces you to call their bluff when implementing those demands? Do you live by the mantra, "Happy Wife, Happy Life"? I'd love to hear your opinion.