Our Davis Vantage Pro 2 review looks at a professional weather station that retails for around $200 more than its entry level Vantage Vue, the Davis Vantage Pro2 is Weather Undergrounds most popular weather station.
It improves on the Vantage Vue by using an upgraded design that allows the anemometer to be sited separately to improve accuracy.
It can also be used as a base system that can be expanded with additional weather monitoring add-ons to increase its flexibility.
A Profession weather station that reports:
- Outside Temperature
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- Inside temperature
- Inside humidity
- Barometric pressure
It continues the excellent Vantage Vue build quality by constructing the station using over molded plastic, preventing moisture affecting the electronics.
The station has had a facelift with the majority now colored black to improve the speed the station takes to defrost when iced up. This results in improved sensor readings during times when the weather is at its harshest.
Davis have also included a built in bird deterrent. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it’s the sort of thing you wish you had when constantly having to clean up bird droppings.
A solar panel powers the device during the day, while a super capacitor provides night time energy. A lithium battery is also included for backup purposes.
Overall, Davis have improved the design over the Vantage Vue and increased its long term durability.
This is a serious station for the serious weather junkie.
Like its predecessor, the Vantage Pro2 uses a frequency hopping spread spectrum frequency that ranges from 902 to 928 MHZ that offers a 1000 feet line of site range.
While most people won’t need anywhere near 1000 feet, it provides a far more robust signal compared to non-Davis produced stations.
This gives you far more flexibility to site your outdoor array wherever you want. You don’t have to worry about any reduction in signal strength as the signal will still carry around 400 feet as it passes through walls.
The Vantage Pro2 differs from cheaper weather stations by coming in two main parts, with a main outdoor array as well as a separate anemometer.
This makes installation more challenging.
The main unit installs like any other all in one. Simply mount it to onto a 1” to 1.75” pole.
Davis also produce an optional mounting tripod. Its very well built but isn’t cheap.
However, while the separate anemometer will vastly improve wind accuracy, it does takes a bit more effort to install.
If you follow the recommended guidelines, you will want to install it at 10m (33 Feet).
Once you have found a spot and used the built in bubble to ensure its level, it’s simply a case of plugging in into the main outer array using the supplied 40 feet of wire.
It is possible to forget about the wires completely and also increase the range by purchasing a separate wireless Anemometer sensor transmitter kit.
It is a pain having to install it at this height, but vital in order to gain the most accuracy as possible.
The good thing is you only have to do it once!
So how does it compare to the Vantage Vue for accuracy?
A loss of 30% in wind speed is often recorded with all in one systems due to having to mount the anemometer 6 feet off the ground.
With the anemometer 33 feet off the ground we can finally use a weather station that provides accurate wind speed.
Wind speed is also increased to a maximum of 200 MPH which doubles the maximum of cheaper rivals, and an increase over the Vantage Vue’s maximum of 180 MPH.
Wind direction is the same as on the cheaper Vantage Vue with the Vantage Pro2 showing direction by the 16 compass points and also to a 1 degree resolution.
The Vantage Pro2 follows the Vantage Vue using a self-emptying tipping spoon that measures rain using a 0.01 data resolution.
Most stations can accurately measure rain or sleet whatever the price, so of course this works very well.
Relative humidity on the Pro2 is measured using the range recommended by the CWOP of 0-100%.
A well sized passive radiation shield works well to provide accurate temperatures.
The only way to improve the accuracy is to opt for a shield that houses a fan to blow air across the temperature sensor.
The Pro2+ offers this feature, but for most people the passive shield works very well.
The temperature sensor is in line with the Vantage Vue. Both use a sensor with an accuracy rating of ±1F. So a 16F real temperature will show between 15F-17F.
This improves on Ambient and Accurate models that use less accurate sensors that have a ±2F accuracy.
The jewel in the crown for the Pro2 is the ability to add additional sensors to the base system.
This gives you the opportunity to measure UV and Solar radiation, a feature that is also present in the cheaper Ambient 1001/1200/1400 stations.
The difference is that the Ambient stations come with these as standard, although Davis offer these in their Vantage Pro2+ package.
However, the solar and UV sensors from Davis are vastly superior to the cheaper systems with an increased accuracy rating of ± 5%. The Ambient sensors only produce a ±15% accuracy rating, but are much cheaper so still give excellent value.
Additional UV sensor
If you do require the additional UV & Solar radiation sensors as well as the fan aspirated radiation shield and can afford it, it is more cost effective to look at the Davis 6163 Vantage Pro2
The Pro2 display has been improved over the Vantage Vue.
Davis still haven’t provided a color display, however the newer display does look more modern.
- Time & Date including sunrise & sunset times.
- High & low records
- The eight phases of the moon
- A forecast feature that shows expected sun, cloud, rain & snow for the next 48 hours
- 10 second Outside Temp, 50 second Outside Humidity, 60 second Inside Humidity
- Barometric pressure trends – Shows rises, falls & stable
- 10 Second updates for wind chill & heat index – gives a “feel like” temperature
- 20 second updates for rain totals – Last 24 hours/days/months
- Temperature & barometric comparisons to previous day
- Temperature changes by the hour
- Historical graphs for previous 24 hours/days/months for temperature, rain, rain rate, wind & pressure
- 22 simultaneous alarms to warn of high winds, freezing temperatures, rain etc.
- Wind speed updates every 2.5 seconds, average wind speed for 2 minutes intervals
- Ticker display
- Over 70 alarms
Feature wise, the Vantage Pro2 console provides a similar set of functions to the Vantage Vue.
It also allows you to chain consoles together to increase the range of a fixed weather station by an additional 1000 feet. Handy if you can persuade a neighbor to the value of a weather station, you could purchase an additional display and share the total cost!
In addition to the features shared with the Vantage Vue, for those that purchase the additional sensors (or purchase the Pro2+), the Pro2 includes the ability to display:
- Solar radiation plus highs for each day/week/month & year
- UV Index plus highs for each day/week/month & year
- Leaf wetness
- Soil Moisture
The amount of alarms has been increased from 22 to over 70. My personal favorite is the ability to warn of high UV values – very handy if you want to stay safe while basking in the sun.
Like the Vantage Vue, the Pro2 doesn’t provide any means to transfer the data or upload to the internet for access to weather websites or for use with apps.
So you are left with the additional cost of purchasing either a:
WeatherLink USB for direct PC connection
A WeatherlinkIP to connect directly to your router for automatic internet uploading
The latter option is preferable as it opens up the option to use the brilliant Weather Underground App.
However, this does increase the cost significantly.
Extremely popular professional weather station
Provides very accurate weather data
Can add additional sensors over time
Must purchase additional device to save or upload weather data
Overall the Vantage Pro 2 has a real advantage over other weather stations by providing the ability to site the anemometer high up to achieve accuracy gains of approximately 30%. If you can stomach the price tag, it is a great long term solution for monitoring the weather.