SNMPv3 MicroServer Protocol Adds Security Features

SNMP Weather Station

The Pulsar Weather Station with Weather MicroServer offers SNMP interface, commonly used in the telecommunications industry.

June 2015 -- The Weather MicroServer now supports SNMP v3 which adds privacy and authentication to the Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP is an Internet-standard protocol for managing and monitoring devices on IP networks for “conditions that warrant administrative attention.” 

Developed for a U.S. Air Force technology application, this MicroServer upgrade will benefit any SNMP user who requires a high level of security.

For more information:  Weather MicroServer


One World Observatory Opens at World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

June 2015 -- One World Observatory opened last week in New York atop the Freedom Tower, otherwise known as One World Trade Center. Promising to be a popular tourist destination, the Observatory combines panoramic views of the city with a museum-like experience.

This caught our attention because the control system for One World Trade Center’s iconic Spire Lighting, designed and installed by Barbizon Lighting, incorporates an Orion weather station for environmental monitoring.

Kate Groener of Barbizon explains: We are using a CWS  Orion weather station to monitor weather conditions and trigger safety measures if certain parameters are exceeded. The station sends an XML file with current weather conditions via FTP to Barbizon’s lighting control server every few minutes. Our lighting control server checks that file and reacts automatically to extreme conditions – for example, if the wind speed at the 1,776 feet is above 50 MPH the system will automatically shut down the beacon motor, or if the temperature is below -10 degrees Celsius the lights will automatically be turned on in order to generate heat and keep themselves from freezing over. The weather station is also used for realtime monitoring through the Barbizon Lighting’s custom user interface so that maintenance workers can get an accurate idea of the conditions they are going to be dealing with up above the city.

For more information:


New application page describes noise monitoring installation

Noise Monitoring

May 2015 -- "Weather conditions are the single largest variable factor in how sound travels over large distances," says Steve Bilawchuk, principal partner and engineer at ACI Acoustical Consultants Inc in Alberta, Canada. The company incorporates Orion LX weather stations in their system to conduct environmental noise monitoring for things like road noise, rail noise, and industrial noise.

For more information:


New video shows quick installation of Capricorn FLX sensors

April 2015 --   Our move provided an opportunity to get some video of Nader installing the Capricorn FLX wind sensors on our new facility roof. The sensor assembly is installed on a Universal Mast Mount arm and a smartphone compass helps orient the wind direction vane.

Click here to view video.


Dual Barometric Pressure Sensor Added to Weather MicroServer Options

Dual Barometric Pressure Sensor Added to Weather MicroServer

Weather MicroServer Realtime Display. Inset: BP sensor shown installed with weather shield. 

March 2015 --   We have integrated a dual barometric pressure sensor option for the Weather MicroServer. Developed in collaboration with one of our international representatives for a small airport application, this installation will be a Capricorn FLX Weather Station. The Weather MicroServer can be used with any of our weather station models. (While CWS weather stations are not FAA certified, they are used by many small airports in the US and around the world that are not subject to FAA certification.)

The dual barometer measurements are used to report the two (redundant) pressure readings, the difference between them, and calculated QNH and QFE based on average value of the two sensors. The dual barometer sensor unit includes a weather shield outdoor installation kit. Depending on accuracy requirements, Class A or Class B barometers can be specified.


FAQs Added to Resource Page

Weather MicroServer Direct Connect

Feb. 2015 -- We have reorganized our Resources webpage to highlight FAQs.

The latest tutorial outlines how to establish communication with the Weather MicroServer. 

Be sure to let us know if you have any questions....frequently asked or not!

Click on the links below for more information:


Weather MicroServer Adds BACnet Interface, GSA Contract Renewed 

Jan. 2015 -- Happy New Year! 

In response to requirements from the building automation industry, the Weather MicroServer now has a BACnet interface protocol available through Ethernet. Click here to go to the Weather MicroServer page.

Also, our GSA contract has been renewed through 2019 with some price adjustments and product changes. We've added the Capricorn FLX line and some optional sensors, mounting options and accessories. If you are a GSA customer, check us out on GSA Advantage!


Important Company News: New Address and Closure Schedule 

Merry Christmas

Dec. 2014 --  We are growing and moving! Effective December 15, our new address will be:

Columbia Weather Systems
5285 NE Elam Young Parkway, Suite C100
Hillsboro OR 97124-6640

All other contact information remains the same.

We appreciate your patience as we transition.

Annual Closure: Our facilities will be closed December 25 through January 1. Phone and email messages will be monitored in case of emergency.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and prosperous New Year!


Industry Trends in Weather Monitoring: Data Centers 

GoDaddy Weather Station

Orion Weather Station at GoDaddy Data Center. (Photo courtesy of GoDaddy.)

Nov. 2014 --  The relatively new field of DCIM (data center infrastructure management) employs weather monitoring to help manage operations, improve efficiency, and plan for the future. GoDaddy, a leader in internet domain sales and web hosting, and Vantage Data Centers both use weather stations from Columbia Weather Systems to accomplish these objectives.

Justin Harp, Director of Operations Engineering for Vantage, reports, “In the Data Center industry, accurate monitoring of weather conditions is crucial to operate the facility within ASHRAE specifications, while maintaining low PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness.)”



Sensors added via Weather MicroServer 

Particle Monitor with MS Real Time Screen

Particulate sensor shown with Realtime Display screen.

Nov. 2014 -- Two sensor options have been added for the Weather MicroServer.

1) Particle Concentration: A laser optical sensor is used to detect and measure particulate concentrations up to 100 milligrams per cubic meter. The continuous flow optical sensor is combined with purge air to ensure accurate measurements in adverse environments.

2) UV Radiation: Measures ultraviolet radiation between 250 and 400 nanometers. The measurement includes both UV-A and UV-B radiation to provide a total combined measurement.

The Weather MicroServer can be used with any CWS weather station model.

Click for more information:  Weather MicroServer


Local HazMat Team Uses Orion Weather Station 

TVF&R HazMat Weather Station

Oct. 2014 -- As a global company, it’s not often that we get to meet our customers face-to-face. Last week we had a visit from Aaron Randall of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue with their HazMat vehicle which boasts a nine-year-old Orion VM Weather Station.

This particular crew is part of the Oregon Fire Marshal’s HazMat team and is responsible for Western Washington County through to the coast which includes a section of an important pipeline as well as several large manufacturing plants.

Randall reported that the HazMat crew conducts drills and responds to incidents about twice a month, the most recent being a semi-truck fire with fuel spill on Hwy 26 between Hillsboro and Beaverton.

TVF&R HazMat Vehicle


You've come a long way, baby! 

Original Capricorn weather station

Sept. 2014 -- Just about the time we introduced the Capricorn FLX, this weather station console came in for repair from a customer in California. It's an original Capricorn weather station pre-1980.

Says the owner: "Thank you for taking the time to even look at these Vintage units. They were the best you could buy at one time and they worked great." Unfortunately this one can't be repaired, but we should be able to fix up his 1980s Capricorn II.

Legacy Weather Stations


New Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station Continues Flagship Brand 

New Capricorn FLX weather station

Capricorn FLX Weather Station showing standard sensors with Control Module, plus optional rain gauge and optional Weather Display Console.

For more information:

Capricorn FLX Weather Stations

Capricorn FLX Vehicle Mount Weather Stations

Pegasus FLX Portable Weather Stations

Capricorn FLX 420 Weather Stations

August 2014 -- Introducing the Capricorn FLX™ – the new generation modular weather station from Columbia Weather Systems. Replacing the Capricorn 2000EX model, the “Flex” maintains the modular system of individual sensors with mechanical wind speed and direction.

Sensor options include:

  • wind speed and direction
  • temperature (up to four ambient air, soil, and/or water)
  • humidity
  • rain gauge (tipping bucket)
  • solar radiation sensors (up to two) 
  • barometric pressure (in Control Module)
  • two general purpose analog channels for additional sensors.

The updated control module takes advantage of new technology to minimize power consumption. Its automated output does not require polling. The new model also allows for 4-20 mA signal output for applications that require it.

The Capricorn FLX Weather Station is available in fixed-mount, vehicle-mount, and portable configurations. The Flex continues the Capricorn tradition, the flagship brand of reliable weather stations for over 35 years.


Extend the Life of Your Orion Weather Station 

Orion weather station

July 2014 -- The Orion is a maintenance-free weather station that will provide you with years of operation. However, there are some simple steps you can take to extend the life of your sensor module.

Periodic cleaning - To ensure the accuracy of measurement results, the sensor module should be cleaned when it gets contaminated. Leaves and other such particles should be removed from the precipitation sensor and the transmitter should be cleaned carefully with a soft, lint-free cloth moistened with a mild detergent. Be careful when cleaning the wind sensors as they should not be rubbed or twisted.

Replacing the PTU module - The PTU module contains separate sensors for pressure, temperature and humidity. Sensors can drift over time and the manufacturer recommends replacing the PTU module once every two years to ensure that your unit meets its stated accuracy. This can be done in the field.

PTU modules are calibrated when they are manufactured. No additional calibration is required.


Mount Your Weather Station Sensors 

June 2014 --  CWS offers several options for mounting weather stations.

  • The Roof Mount Kit includes hardware and guy wires necessary to mount and stabilize a mast to a rooftop. It can be used with either optional 10-foot fiberglass or steel mast, sold separately.
  • The Wall Mount Kit includes the hardware to mount a mast to the side of a building. It can be used with the optional 10-foot steel mast, sold separately.
  • For mounting to an existing mast or tower, the Universal Mount can be used either vertically or horizontally.
  • Our Tripod Mast can also be used for permanent installations.

Click for additional information.

Regardless of mounting, be sure to consider cable lengths needed for your installation requirements. Each weather station and communication option comes with standard cable lengths. Additional cable lengths may be required.

Congratulations to CWS supplier Met One : Oregon Export Leader 

Oregon Consular Corp Gala

May 2014 --  Nader and Martha (left) representing Columbia Weather at the recent Celebrate Trade Gala, a partnership of the Oregon Consular Corp, the State of Oregon and the City of Portland. Thanks to Peter Pomponi (right) of Met One, one of our sensor suppliers, which received the Oregon Export Leader Award. Congratulations!

We are pleased to partner with world-class leaders in the field. 


Price Increase Effective May 1 

April 2014 --  Effective May 1 product prices will be raised to more accurately reflect increasing costs.

Outstanding quotations will be honored through June 30.


Weather MicroServer Supports DNP3 Communication Protocol 

Utility weather station with DNP3 interface

March 2014 -- DNP3 ethernet communication is available through the Weather MicroServer. Distributed Network Protocol is used primarily in SCADA process automation systems used by electric and water utilities. 

Additional information: 


Orion Weather Stations support satellite tracking for Universal Space Network

Universal Space Network uses Orion Weather Station

Feb. 2014 -- Universal Space Network, Inc. (USN) provides ground network services that support telemetry, tracking and control, and data downlink operations for satellites and launch systems. USN uses Orion LX Weather Stations at their operation sites in Hawaii, Alaska, and Australia.

“We use the weather station at our satellite tracking stations to monitor wind speed, barometric pressure and precipitation,” says Don Gittle, Ground Systems Manager. “If wind speed is too high, it could affect the tracking performance of our large dish antennas. This helps us protect satellite data. The other parameters help with determining the atmospheric conditions that are useful for correcting very accurate tracking data supplied to our customer.”

USN is a subsidiary of the SSC Group, a comprehensive space contractor active in many fields of space technology and services from the development of novel space subsystems to launch, tests and operations.

For more information:


New Application Note "Industrial Automation: Interfacing CWS Weather Stations"

Weather Station to Industrial Automation Interface

  Orion Sensor shown with Weather MicroServer

Jan. 2014 -- Columbia Weather Systems has developed interfaces for our weather stations to be used directly with common industrial automation systems such as SCADA, DCS, and PLC systems. These systems are used in industrial manufacturing, as well as government facility and infrastructure operations and maintenance. This new application note describes the options with diagrams. 

"Industrial Automation: Interfacing CWS Weather Stations to SCADA, DCS, and PLC systems"


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