We have exceeded our initial goal of $1,935 with a total of $2,140 raised! After GoFundMe processing fees ($66.88), we brought home $2,073.12.
It took 40 days for the community to fund this project and we are excited to install the station in late April; aiming for 4/30/22.
Photo by Nick Breedlove (2014)
When we first launched this fundraiser, the only remote station available to us was the Davis Vantage Pro 2 for $1,935, tied to a $240/yr cellular data plan and $48/yr data dashboard.
Just as we neared our funding goal in mid January we became aware of the newly launched Kestrel Weather station using a cellular connection.
We reached out to Kestrel to compare stations, asked our weather peers and followers for any insight, and ultimately decided to go with Kestrel for the sole purpose of saving upfront and recurring costs. The KestrelMet 6000 station will cost $1,495.86 after tax and shipping, compared to $2,013.12 for the Vantage Pro 2 after tax and shipping, not including the $240/yr cellular plan (prices have risen since early December).
The Kestrel station has a free one year cellular plan and $50/yr each year following, plus a no cost usage of their weather dashboard, similar in every way to WeatherLink (the Davis version at $48/yr). The Kestrel station also has the same sensors/outputs and a more compact setup. All of these factors plus the cheaper upfront and recurring costs pushed us to try Kestrel (this is not a paid promotion, although we are open to sponsorships from weather equipment manufacturers). See below for our plans with the remaining funds.
Data will be accessible via the Local Yokel Weather and Town of Sylva website or upon request (live page or archived data). Its our hope this station will be used by those who enjoy Pinnacle Park, including those who monitor and conduct environmental research.
Access to data is free and available upon request.
LYW will maintain the weather station annually (life expectancy ranges from 8 - 12 yrs).
LYW will pay the $50/yr cellular subscription costs to maintain live data stream to websites.
Plans for Remaining Funds
The net total from the fundraiser was $2,073.12
The KestrelMet 6000 Weather Station will cost $1,495.86
This leaves us with $577.26 in remaining funds
We propose leaving these funds alone for now and see how the new to market Kestrel station performs. If it meets or exceeds expectations, we can use the $577.26 toward a 2nd Kestrel station, one that is located at the trailhead to create a temperature profile of 1700' or the original donors can vote to use the $577.26 toward a weather station at a different trail system.
Whichever path we take, we'll continue to raise funds and pursue a regional network of weather stations that are located at various outdoor recreation sites to provide a safer and more engaged experience with your surroundings.
We'll circle back to this undecided next step sometime in late May after giving the Kestrel station some time to perform in the field and website.