Connecting Vantage Pro or Vantage Vue to a Macintosh

The question of how to connect a Davis Vantage Pro or Vue station comes up time and time again.
This page is designed to answer these questions.

One of the reasons why this question is asked so often is because of the multiple ways you have to choose from to connect a Davis Vantage station to a Mac. First you need a WeatherLink cable. This cable plugs into the console and provides a connection option to the computer. There are essentially three versions is the WeatherLink cable: Serial, USB, IP. If you have a Mac get the Mac versions. The hardware is the same but the you get a licenced copy of the the WeatherLink software for Mac.

Serial WeatherLink Cable

You can order this in a PC or Mac version. But the hardware included in each box is exactly the same the only difference between the two products is the version of the WeatherLink software included in the box. But since this software is a "free" download from Davis anyways it doesn't matter what version of the serial cable you buy. Go for the cheapest.

But, Macs don't have serial ports anymore so you need a way to connect a serial cable to the Mac. What you need is a USB-To-Serial convertor cable. My best experience has been any generic USB-Serial cable with the FTDI chipset inside if it. Here's the deal, a company called FTDI make the chips and then a ton of manufactured make cables using those chips and sell them at varying prices. So the trick is to find a cheap one (I've found them for ~$10) using the FTDI chip. But from web sites it can be tough to impossible to figure out if they are using the FTDI chip. Once you have such a cable in hand it is easy to figure out since the information shows in "System Profiler" utility (in your Utilities folder).

Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 9.07.34 PM

Why use FTDI? Because they support and update their drivers that make these cables show up a regular serial ports on the Macintosh and that is important since WeatherTracker can only connect to "regular" serial ports.

If you have a USB to Serial adapter that isn't and FTDI let me know via email and I'll see if I can help you get it working on a Mac.

USB WeatherLink Cable

It used to be that the USB WeatherLink Cables were a bad buy. It was difficult to get drivers for them and the chipset they were using was different from Windows to Macintosh.

But over the years both issues seem to be fixed. So, a WeatherLink USB cable is ok now.

Here is the web page where you can get the driver for the WeatherLink USB cable for Windows or Macintosh.

IP WeatherLink

The last option for a WeatherLink cable if the IP version. Using this cable you connect the Vantage console to your home network using an ethernet cable. Davis has built in software into the cable itself to upload weather data to a Davis hosted website.

But a program like WeatherTracker can talk to the cable over the network and grab the data just as if the cable was connected directly to the computer. The most recent version of WeatherTracker does not yet support the IP WeatherLink but the next version will. I'll update this section when that happens.

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