Author Topic: Reliability?  (Read 7616 times)

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Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2016, 05:28:40 AM »
I see no big problem with "reliability".

Customer service seems reasonable.  They issue replacements when something is clearly broken. 

However, I  find them a bit "opaque" as far as technical information goes.  For example, we still have no clear answer about the problems with pressure readings.  I don't understand why they just can't explain what is going on.  It shouldn't be a big secret.

The pressure on my original BloomSky was very wildly off, but the they said it was "in spec".  I'm talking about 40 or so mb (hPa) or worse.

My newer Bloomsky  is better, but still 8 mb off.  There's really no reason it shouldn't be within 1 mb with today's tech. 

Another example is the operating temperature range.  They make claims now that the unit only goes down to -4F, but that doesn't jibe with their original specifications and battery upgrades that go down to -40F.

In short, I wouldn't call their equipment "unreliable", but I'm not pleased that they aren't answering technical questions satisfactorily.

I agree...thanks for the post.

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2016, 05:41:26 AM »
I see no big problem with "reliability".

Customer service seems reasonable.  They issue replacements when something is clearly broken. 

However, I  find them a bit "opaque" as far as technical information goes.  For example, we still have no clear answer about the problems with pressure readings.  I don't understand why they just can't explain what is going on.  It shouldn't be a big secret.

The pressure on my original BloomSky was very wildly off, but the they said it was "in spec".  I'm talking about 40 or so mb (hPa) or worse.

My newer Bloomsky  is better, but still 8 mb off.  There's really no reason it shouldn't be within 1 mb with today's tech. 

Another example is the operating temperature range.  They make claims now that the unit only goes down to -4F, but that doesn't jibe with their original specifications and battery upgrades that go down to -40F.

In short, I wouldn't call their equipment "unreliable", but I'm not pleased that they aren't answering technical questions satisfactorily.

Hmm, I see your point and I agree, though I also think this product is unfortunately unreliable. I mean, look at the number of people that use it here and compare that with the number of people who have problems, their station does not work at all. The percentage would be quite high and IMHO unacceptable for something to be labelled as "reliable". Yes, you could argue that it is something new and you would be right, and Im not saying this not understandable, however that still does not mean it can be said it is reliable. I also do not accept the argument "look how many people elsewhere use it" - well yes, but we do not know how many of those have problems and how many other people use it and it does not work for them so they are not even on the map.
There is obviously no reason why the percentage of people who have problems in general should be substantially different from the percentage of people who have problems on this forum with it.

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2016, 08:04:31 AM »
Hmm, I see your point and I agree, though I also think this product is unfortunately unreliable. I mean, look at the number of people that use it here and compare that with the number of people who have problems, their station does not work at all. The percentage would be quite high and IMHO unacceptable for something to be labelled as "reliable". Yes, you could argue that it is something new and you would be right, and Im not saying this not understandable, however that still does not mean it can be said it is reliable. I also do not accept the argument "look how many people elsewhere use it" - well yes, but we do not know how many of those have problems and how many other people use it and it does not work for them so they are not even on the map.
There is obviously no reason why the percentage of people who have problems in general should be substantially different from the percentage of people who have problems on this forum with it.

You must be seeing something I'm not.  I'd have to see some actual numbers to support your statement.

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2016, 08:13:54 AM »
OK lets put it this way, I have cooperated with two people to create the plugin for my template, because I myself do not have it. Now I am using a third person´s API key because both of the two I had previously currently dont have any data and their cam does not work.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2016, 08:16:29 AM »
I think this is a case of the 'haves' and the 'haves-not'.... :grin:

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2016, 08:43:00 AM »
OK lets put it this way, I have cooperated with two people to create the plugin for my template, because I myself do not have it. Now I am using a third person´s API key because both of the two I had previously currently dont have any data and their cam does not work.

Have those people mentioned their cameras not working in the forum?

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2016, 09:19:33 AM »
Yes

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2016, 10:08:04 AM »
OK, so like I said, I'm not seeing much of an issue presenting itself here.

It's a new product, and bugs are inevitable in a new production line.  So far they seem to be handling the issues well, and I expect they're analyzing the returned cameras so as to improve future production.

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2016, 10:22:20 AM »
Yes, but I said, I agree, I am not saying it is a "bad product" - it is new, it has bugs just like any other new or even tested products, yes they are dealing with the issues, improving... however, all I was saying is that despite all that, it is (currently) an unreliable product, which does not mean it cannot change. And I hope it changes before they run out of money, because obviously they cannot afford to be sending replacements for free indefinitely.

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2016, 10:32:54 AM »
Yes, but I said, I agree, I am not saying it is a "bad product" - it is new, it has bugs just like any other new or even tested products, yes they are dealing with the issues, improving... however, all I was saying is that despite all that, it is (currently) an unreliable product, which does not mean it cannot change. And I hope it changes before they run out of money, because obviously they cannot afford to be sending replacements for free indefinitely.

I think we may be hitting a language barrier.

Calling the device "unreliable" is very harsh assessment, especially if you don't have the stats to back up the claim.

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2016, 10:46:29 AM »
True,

for me "reliable" means certain level of guaranteed functionality. It is of course subjective, but the percentage of failures compared to the number of units (based on this forum), is for my standards "unreliable"

Offline waysta

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2016, 11:06:53 AM »
I think they just went ahead too fast, without enough in-house and beta testing.  Possibly they were driven by excitement, and lack of experience in product testing and production. 

They might also be worried about competition.  Is there some similarity to the Netatmo products?  Netatmo already has indoor and outdoor equipment, including wind speed, but so far no sky camera.  I have no experience with the Netatmo products, other than having looked through the Netatmo website.  They look interesting.

My worry is also related to the apparent lack of concern or lower priority for data integrity.  It might be they have put such concerns on the back burner as fixable later. 

Of possibly more concern, could be that in a near theoretical view of "crowd sourced data", the accuracy of individual units simply does not matter.  In that view of instrumentation, for many tens to thousands of units in a given area, remarkably accurate "local" data can result with a relatively wide spread in the "accuracy" of individual units.

If that were the philosophy (not known, just considering possibilities), it would probably run counter to what many of us seem to want, which is the most accurate and well maintained instruments that we can afford (set in the best practical locations we can individually offer), and then feeding the best data we can generate into a network of amateur sourced data (e.g. CWOP and others).

It is also fun and interesting as a hobbyist or amateur science effort, to have new and different instruments to look at and to work with.  However, if they are terribly inaccurate as individual instruments, with no way to calibrate an individual unit, they might be of less interest, or just plain frustrating.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 12:11:27 PM by waysta »

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2016, 11:11:41 AM »
True,

for me "reliable" means certain level of guaranteed functionality. It is of course subjective, but the percentage of failures compared to the number of units (based on this forum), is for my standards "unreliable"

We're just going to have to agree to disagree.

Offline PaulMy

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2016, 11:58:17 AM »
I have been doing some analysis of my BloomSky Data Portal data table (downloaded the table into Excel and did a time comparison between data rows).  Since Feb 26 I have had 5 data interruptions greater than 1 hour and 9 more that were from 15 minutes to 1 hour.  In these cases the data started to show again by itself.  The WU notices were from about those times that the data is not recorded.
 
I am now assuming that it may be BloomSky server (or whatever they might be doing) that is the cause of those data interruptions and not my camera/sensor unit.
 
Because of my inexperience in setting up the camera and station on WU it was likely my errors that it took several days to get the new PWS and BloomSky camera on WU.
 
The data is mostly recorded at a 04:40 to 04:45 mm:ss interval and a regular 05:45/05:46 mm:ss interval and occasional 02:50 mm:ss or so mixed in.  The camera images appear to be at about 10 min interval (Jachym's BloomSky plugin has most hours at 6 images but sometimes there are some missing, not including the few longer periods when there appears to be no upload to WU).
 
I will continue to monitor the original unit for a while and then maybe replace it with the new unit in a few days (I don't have to return the original unit).  I don't have any negative opinion on this unit and am assuming part of my experiences so far have been lack of experience :oops:
 
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Offline SpringHillWeather

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2016, 12:20:19 PM »
Hello,

I've been working with James from Bloomsky support, and Lijun from Marketing over the last 2 weeks.   

According to them I have an issue that others are also experiencing.   Their engineers are stumped since the troubled devices that were returned are working in their labs.

They believe it has something to do with the users network which they cannot resolve at this time. 
They have given me a DEBUG tool which gathers network data to help troubleshoot the issue but tool was not able to get a DUMP from my network/device.  So I was unable to provide them with diagnostic data.

I believe they are doing whatever they can to help resolve the issue but its taking time. 

After all was said I requested a refund which they provided.
They feel a replacement MAY not fix my issue at this time but they are sending me another device anyway!

I'm trying to remain optimistic since I really like this product and really just want a working BloomSky again  :)

Crossing my fingers that the new device will work.

Thank you BloomSky for doing your best.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 12:25:01 PM by StatenIslandWeather »
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Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2016, 12:42:01 PM »
...just to chime in....IMHO...I think we need to keep in mind what Bloomsky advertises on their home page......and that is...."It's The Story Of Your Sky".  That's it.  To me the data sector is somewhat secondary.  If this was any other station (and I own several from the different makers) and had any of them had the problem with the pressure with no fix, I would have sent it back long ago. 

I do agree that the recent network issue is a bit alarming.  I recall when I first read how the whole operation relies on WI-FI, I frowned.  For me personally I have a love/hate affair with WI-FI.  I do hope they are able to come up with a fix for the network issue. 

As end users, to be able to help Bloomsky, we should provide them with constructive evaluation based on real usage, otherwise move on and go play with something else.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 12:52:51 PM by VaJim »

Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2016, 01:35:40 PM »
I received my replacement a couple of days ago and can say, so far, that it is working flawlessly. I had camera issues within 30 minutes of installing my original BloomSky.

The folks at BloomSky have been nothing but, GREAT!

I think we need to keep in mind, that they are trying to "learn" from the units in the field and believe that is why so many of us have been allowed to "try them out".

Wishing them much success!!!

Joe
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Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2016, 05:51:42 PM »
True,

for me "reliable" means certain level of guaranteed functionality. It is of course subjective, but the percentage of failures compared to the number of units (based on this forum), is for my standards "unreliable"

We're just going to have to agree to disagree.

I agree with all the people who say this is understandable as it is a new product, I agree their level of support is above-average and I agree that they are trying their best to solve all the problems, yet in my opinion, the product - at this stage - is unreliable.

Offline waysta

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2016, 06:00:43 PM »
As end users, to be able to help Bloomsky, we should provide them with constructive evaluation based on real usage, otherwise move on and go play with something else.

I paid for my unit (with the holiday discount!).  I very much enjoy the technical discussion and investigation.  If we can help them by feedback all the better. 

However, I do not feel obligated to advertise for them, nor to put a positive spin on the data or analysis.

Also, I think this assistance should be a two way street.  While there are many reports of great phone calls, there has been no official feedback yet on either the UV numbers or barometer issues here ...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 06:07:58 PM by waysta »

Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2016, 06:26:26 PM »


.....yet in my opinion, the product - at this stage - is unreliable.

...what types of problems have you had?

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2016, 06:34:34 PM »


.....yet in my opinion, the product - at this stage - is unreliable.

...what types of problems have you had?

I personally did not have any because I dont own the device. I said it previously in this thread, while developing the plugin for my template for it, I got an API key from someone else and I had to get API from 3 different people because the first and the second person had problems and the cam did not work.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2016, 07:09:37 PM »

Quote


I personally did not have any because I dont own the device. I said it previously in this thread, while developing the plugin for my template for it, I got an API key from someone else and I had to get API from 3 different people because the first and the second person had problems and the cam did not work.


OK…thanks….no problems…..then we’ll log that as another satisfied customer.

But in all seriousness, if you feel that the product is unreliable based on whatever experience you’ve had or gathered, then that’s fine with me. 

In all fairness, I’ve purchased 3 Bloomskys, and have never felt obligated to advertise only to tell the truth about my experiences, which for the most part have been positive.  If I reach the point of dissatisfaction I simply would not buy another Bloomsky, end of story.  My reason for purchasing the unit in the first place was the HD pic (remember that) and for me the data was never an issue, for I need another device telling what my temps are like I need a hole in the head.
Thanks

Offline Jáchym

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2016, 07:26:32 PM »
Hi.
I still quite dont get the point of arguing about this all the time. I never said it was a bad product, I never said the support was poor, I just agreed with Paul, the author of this thread, that just based on my experience, it is not a reliable device (so far :) ) as 2 out of 3 cams stopped working in the first few weeks and based on some other posts on this forum, these were not the only two cams.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2016, 07:32:39 PM »
Hi.
I still quite dont get the point of arguing about this all the time. I never said it was a bad product, I never said the support was poor, I just agreed with Paul, the author of this thread, that just based on my experience, it is not a reliable device (so far :) ) as 2 out of 3 cams stopped working in the first few weeks and based on some other posts on this forum, these were not the only two cams.

Hi

You're fine.  We're all fine.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Like what nincehelser stated earlier..."we'll just agree to disagree."  Thanks for the chat.  I appreciate it.

Offline denodan

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Re: Reliability?
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2016, 04:40:17 PM »
Well my UV sensor is faulty and the uv info is well off. Should read zero at night, but does not.