Author Topic: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?  (Read 1728 times)

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Offline chalker

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For many years, I've enjoyed my Lacrosse WD-3307U unit which displayed 'professional' forecasts via the Weather Direct service.  Now that they've officially turned that off, I'm wondering if anyone has any alternatives?  I've done a bit of searching and nothing obvious popped up.  Ideal features include:

-A battery operated LCD/OLED display unit (for long battery life and so it can be hung on a wall)
-3 plus days of future forecast pulled from a professional source (e.g. NWS, Weather Underground, etc) via WiFi

It doesn't need to be able to interface with local external sensors, but that would be nice.  I'm also happy to DYI / hack something together if anyone has any suggestions.

Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 07:04:07 AM »
For many years, I've enjoyed my Lacrosse WD-3307U unit which displayed 'professional' forecasts via the Weather Direct service.  Now that they've officially turned that off, I'm wondering if anyone has any alternatives?  I've done a bit of searching and nothing obvious popped up.  Ideal features include:

-A battery operated LCD/OLED display unit (for long battery life and so it can be hung on a wall)
-3 plus days of future forecast pulled from a professional source (e.g. NWS, Weather Underground, etc) via WiFi

It doesn't need to be able to interface with local external sensors, but that would be nice.  I'm also happy to DYI / hack something together if anyone has any suggestions.

What is your Budget? I take it that a full blown Weather Station is not necessary and a Console that will read data direct from the NWS, WU ect...ect..ect?




CoCoRaHS: NC-JH-80

Offline chalker

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 08:25:37 AM »
For many years, I've enjoyed my Lacrosse WD-3307U unit which displayed 'professional' forecasts via the Weather Direct service.  Now that they've officially turned that off, I'm wondering if anyone has any alternatives?  I've done a bit of searching and nothing obvious popped up.  Ideal features include:

-A battery operated LCD/OLED display unit (for long battery life and so it can be hung on a wall)
-3 plus days of future forecast pulled from a professional source (e.g. NWS, Weather Underground, etc) via WiFi

It doesn't need to be able to interface with local external sensors, but that would be nice.  I'm also happy to DYI / hack something together if anyone has any suggestions.

What is your Budget? I take it that a full blown Weather Station is not necessary and a Console that will read data direct from the NWS, WU ect...ect..ect?

Budget can be pretty high, since this is something my family has come to regularly rely on.  However I'm not sure I've seen ANYTHING that meets either of these requirements?  I've looked at several full blown Weather Stations and can't find any that display 3-5 forecasts from a professional internet source (let alone would mount on a wall and be battery operated).  And I'm not sure what you mean by a console that will read data direct?  That sounds like exactly what I need, but some quick Google searching hasn't pulled up anything.

Offline dupreezd

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 08:48:52 AM »
What about this one
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/c84428-wifi-connected-professional-weather-station

Brochure says it displays forecasts from NWS.

Quote
When Choosing to use the connectable feature, you now open your station to the enhanced features, which includes weather information from the National Weather Service (NWS) with detailed forecast information including the low and high temperatures of the day, change of precipitation as well as 8 additional forecast icons to keep you up to date to the weather to come.

WS-1200-IP | ObserverIP | Meteobridge 3.6
WU, PWSWeather - KTXCONRO61
CWOP - FW0717
Blitzortung 2100

Offline chalker

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 09:48:02 AM »
What about this one
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/c84428-wifi-connected-professional-weather-station

Brochure says it displays forecasts from NWS.

Quote
When Choosing to use the connectable feature, you now open your station to the enhanced features, which includes weather information from the National Weather Service (NWS) with detailed forecast information including the low and high temperatures of the day, change of precipitation as well as 8 additional forecast icons to keep you up to date to the weather to come.

Thanks for pointing that out.  Per the user manual (http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/media/catalog/product/c/8/c84228_web_082717.pdf) it actually doesn't meet any of the basic requirements I'd set:  the display console must be plugged in (battery backup only keeps the date and time, and doesn't update the wifi data) and it only displays today's forecast from NWS (e.g. not 3+ days like the old system I had did). 

In a pinch I might use it, but I'm digging into a possible DIY solution with an Arduino and E-Ink display.  I'd appreciate any additional suggestions or input though.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 10:10:25 AM »
What about this one
http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/c84428-wifi-connected-professional-weather-station

Brochure says it displays forecasts from NWS.

Quote
When Choosing to use the connectable feature, you now open your station to the enhanced features, which includes weather information from the National Weather Service (NWS) with detailed forecast information including the low and high temperatures of the day, change of precipitation as well as 8 additional forecast icons to keep you up to date to the weather to come.

I think this is the one currently being offered at Costco for $75

Offline mwall

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 10:27:47 AM »
In a pinch I might use it, but I'm digging into a possible DIY solution with an Arduino and E-Ink display.  I'd appreciate any additional suggestions or input though.

the following is DIY, but not very difficult to do.

you could build a forecast-only system with a raspberry pi, weewx, and the weewx-forecasting extension.

no need to run the weather station parts of weewx - you can run only the forecasting stuff if that is all you need.  it stores the forecasts in a local sqlite database, with a user-specifiable retention policy (on some installations i retain the forecasts for years so i can do analysis and comparison of forecast quality from the various forecast sources)

then you can put up any number of displays, anywhere you want.  each display just needs a network connection (wifi or wired) to the pi.

put the pi on a small ups and it will go for hours without mains power.  or put it on a battery with solar panel if you don't want any mains connection at all.

weewx information is here:

http://weewx.com

information about the weewx-forecasting extension:

https://github.com/weewx/weewx/wiki/forecasting

the forecasting extension can pull data from NWS, openweathermap, wunderground, aeris, ...  it can also do tide predictions.

m

Offline chalker

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 10:44:29 AM »

the following is DIY, but not very difficult to do.

you could build a forecast-only system with a raspberry pi, weewx, and the weewx-forecasting extension.

no need to run the weather station parts of weewx - you can run only the forecasting stuff if that is all you need.  it stores the forecasts in a local sqlite database, with a user-specifiable retention policy (on some installations i retain the forecasts for years so i can do analysis and comparison of forecast quality from the various forecast sources)

then you can put up any number of displays, anywhere you want.  each display just needs a network connection (wifi or wired) to the pi.

put the pi on a small ups and it will go for hours without mains power.  or put it on a battery with solar panel if you don't want any mains connection at all.

weewx information is here:

http://weewx.com

information about the weewx-forecasting extension:

https://github.com/weewx/weewx/wiki/forecasting

the forecasting extension can pull data from NWS, openweathermap, wunderground, aeris, ...  it can also do tide predictions.

m

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'm curious if anyone has actually done anything like this before?  At first glance, it seems like the Raspberry Pi isn't the way to go since it draws a surprising amount of power (1-2W), which means that on any reasonable sized battery you'd only get a few hours of runtime at most - not really comparable to a typical battery operated station that can runs for months at a time on one set of batteries.  And that doesn't account for the displays, which would need their own power supplies.

Offline mwall

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 10:55:54 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has actually done anything like this before?  At first glance, it seems like the Raspberry Pi isn't the way to go since it draws a surprising amount of power (1-2W), which means that on any reasonable sized battery you'd only get a few hours of runtime at most - not really comparable to a typical battery operated station that can runs for months at a time on one set of batteries.  And that doesn't account for the displays, which would need their own power supplies.

you are correct about power consumption.  the pi is not a great choice if you need something that will run for days on a small battery, but there are things to can do to bring the power use down a bit.  no real clock is often a bigger problem, but you can install one to make up for that deficiency.  displays typically consume even more power.  i have no first-hand experience with e-ink displays - seems like those would be perfect for this kind of thing.

we keep the display isolated from the data collection (sensors) and data aggregation/dissemination.  that way you can have any number of displays, whether flat panel on the all, individual phones/tablets, or computers.

for the power, size the batteries/solar for the amount of no-power time you expect to endure.  plug the displays into the mains.

it would be more work, but you could use a beaglebone or other system with power management instead of a pi (for weewx, you just need a python environment - platform does not really matter).  configure it to sleep most of the time and wake up only to grab the next forecast (every 1 or 4 hours, typically).  then coordinate with the display so it does not always have to listen for requests to display the data.

m

Offline smithmal

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 05:40:49 PM »
Signed up to the site specifically b/c of this thread.

I'm shocked that the following product is unavailable at this time:

1. Small weather station display that can easily log into your wireless network and pull internet data
2. Has a weatherproof sensor with good distance, and can work in extreme cold (0F)
3. Has a screen that is visible even in daylight and can hang on the wall
4. Is battery operated
5. Provides a 3-5 day forecast
6. Doesn't cost an arm and a leg

I'm very interested in getting a unit that can provide me with a 3-5 forecast that is accurate and dependable.  These units that use current rising and falling barometer pressure data to predict multi-day forecast are basically useless.  In order to get accurate forecasts your going to have to have a unit that uses internet data. 

The old Bushnell products that pulled data using a radio signal seemed to be a good deal, but now they are toast.  The La Crosse units that used Weather Direct seemed to be a good deal, but now they are toast.  The new La Crosse "Pro" units that use Wifi data are buggy, hard to connect, have dim screens and are overpriced.

I've looked at several of the Raspberry Pi builds that are cool, but require significant tech tinkering to make it work and you are still out a sensor.

At this point, I say the simplest and most affordable is to:
1. Get a Amazon Fire 7 HD - $50 (https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Amazon-Fire-7-Tablet/dp/B01GEW27DA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1516141253&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+tablet)
2. Purchase a bluetooth 4.0 SensorPush - $50 (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AEQ9X9I/ref=asc_df_B01AEQ9X9I5338786/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01AEQ9X9I&linkCode=df0&hvadid=194026055947&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10810067284724609512&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007795&hvtargid=pla-375433369637). 

You'll get internet data and forecasts up the wazoo due to all the snazzy weather apps android has.  If you want to know temps/humidity/trends outside your door, place the SensorPush in a relatively sheltered area (underneath an eave) with the air port facing downward. 

That ticks all the boxes except for it will need to be plugged in.  That being said, I don't think there exists any weather display unit that  pulls in internet data that isn't plugged in. 

What's more, this situation will allow you to:

1. Add multiple sensors
2. Can use "Ok Google" or "Alex" technologies for voice communication
3. Can watch movies/videos/check email

Any thoughts on this?

smithmal

Offline SLOweather

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 05:54:00 PM »

Any thoughts on this?

smithmal

Build one and let us know how it works.

Offline smithmal

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 06:13:27 PM »
Will do!

Offline smithmal

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Re: Alternatives to Lacrosse Weather Direct service / forecast display?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 10:51:55 PM »
Done.  Please check out my thread describing my DIY tablet-sensor solution:
http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=33825.new#new

Thanks,

smithmal