I have two weather stations - a Davis VP2 that I've had up for 15 years and an Ambient WS-5000 that I've had for just a few months. Both are good to very good. I'm not particularly concerned with wind readings since I live in trees below a small, protective ridge. Wind readings would not be useful to anyone for "official" reasons. Other siting requirements would be more concerning if the readings were "mission critical" to anyone but me I use them because I want to know what's happening on MY roof at MY house. Both stations are connected to CWOP and various other networks as well. These are my impressions of both stations:
- I trust the readings more. I really have nothing to compare it to except my Ambient and their numbers differ slightly.
- Davis will maintain the station (at a cost of course). in 5 years I've sent the sensor array in for refurb once and the send it back completely cleaned and recalibrated to NIST standards.
- It has been very reliable and parts are replaced at no net cost.
I've had to replace my anemometer several times and a sensor controller board at no net cost.
- The wired anemometer I have is detached from the sensor array so I can mount it on my roof, well away from the sensor array.
- Every weather network accepts data from the VP2.
- Expensive. This goes from initial cost to optional items and sensors. They're all pretty expensive.
- Relatively few optional sensors. They're limited to soil and temp/humidity.
- Old "looking" console. There may be newer ones but I haven't looked.
- No "dedicated" Davis Weather Station site for data collection.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Additional sensors are reasonably priced and there are several. Additional sensors include temp/humidity, lightning, Air Quality (indoors and outdoors) and soil probes. I have them all.
- Much nicer looking console with more information displayed.
- Dedicated Ambient Weather Network. I got this station so I could monitor weather at my children's homes after I bought them Ambient Weather Stations (lower end).
- Ultrasonic Anemometer. I'm not sure it's better but there are no moving parts that would require replacement.
- Installation, setup and configuration is a breeze
- Smaller rain gauge collector. It doesn't hold as much snow.
- Anemometer is integrated into the sensor array so it can't be mounted on the roof unless I mount the entire array there and I don't want to do that.
- I've only had the station a short time so I don't completely trust the accuracy - yet. The temp is usually within a degree or so from the Davis but has been 5 - 8 degrees different.
- I don't know what the long-term reliability is and I don't know what it would take to get it repaired.
If the WS-5000 had been available 15 years ago I probably would have started with that. I'm very happy with the VP2 and trust the readings I get. If you are a serious enthusiast, the VP2 might be a good choice. If you're a moderate to serious enthusiast and want lots of options at a relatively low cost, the WS-5000 would be better.