Author Topic: Chinese clone weather station set up tips and connection to weather underground  (Read 821 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
I recently purchased a Chinese clone weather station from Trademe (local trading website). It is a model WH2950 Maxkon WIFI Wireless Home Weather Forecast Station Outdoor with Solar Charging Panel. I think it is a rebranded Fine Offset like the one seen in this wxforum post https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=34926.0
Here’s some info that might help others set it up to send to the internet sites such as Weather Underground. The installation instructions with the weather station to get it going with the console mostly worked OK, but see my comments below about southern hemisphere calibration.
To get it working with internet sites such as weather underground or weatherbug the instructions say to use WSTOOL. I downloaded this onto my android tablet from Google Play. This WS tool app does not work on my android tablet. The WS Tool app would not find/setup the weather station on WiFi. A tip from someone else pointed me to the Ambient Weather Osprey Tool app on Google Play, but it only worked if I did the following. First set up the Weather station console as per set up guide. As part of the first time set up sequence the console goes into wifi setup mode (wifi icon blinking fast). I couldn’t get Ambient Weather tool to work at this stage, so out of frustration I left it for a few hours and noticed the weather station console ‘Timed out’ trying to make the wifi connection (i.e. the wifi icon went off). Then I initiated the Wifi connection again by pressing Rain and Alarm simultaneously on the console for 3 seconds (wifi icon flashing fast). Next run the Ambient Weather Osprey Tool app again and it worked first time connecting it to Weather Underground! I had previously registered for Weather Underground, but I think you can do it as you set up the device. Hope that helps someone else not waste the time I did.
Southern Hemisphere calibration. Because the weather station has a solar panel you have to face it north for the panel to face the sun. Unfortunately the unit has been designed to face south (northern Hemisphere) and this means the default calibration for wind direction is 180 degrees out if you’re using it in NZ i.e. the console says southerly wind when it is blowing a northerly. There are instructions at the back of the manual on how to recalibrate it for southern hemisphere. The bad thing about this is you have to climb up to the weather station and temporarily tape the wind vane pointing north, then use calibration mode on the console to adjust the reading 180 degrees. That is sort of OK if you only do it once, but if you ever ‘factory reset’ the console then you’re back up the ladder to redo the calibration. This is very poor software design – it should just be a setting for southern hemisphere.

Now can anyone help with another wifi problem I have. I have subsequently found that the weather station console will not reconnect to the Wifi router if the router is powered off and on (e.g. by power cut). This means my weather data is not going to Weather Underground. Very frustrating. So far the only way I have found to get it going is by ‘factory resetting’ the weather station console and doing all the setup again, including the cumbersome wind direction calibration. Does anyone know how to get it to reconnect to the wifi router without doing a factory reset?
According to the Ambient tool the weather station console uses easyweather1.2.0 firmware.

Offline galfert

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
After you get it going with the Ambient app then switch and use the WSTOOL app and check for firmware update. I'm not saying there will be an update...but just maybe, and that might fix your problem. I would report the issue to both Maxkon and Fine Offset and hope that they issue a firmware update to address the problem.

You could also return it and get instead the newer WH2900 which uses the same display but different outdoor sensor array. This new version has the solar panel on top and it doesn't need to be oriented toward the sun.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 05:47:26 PM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 7029
    • Eagle Bay Weather
Try assigning the unit a static IP address.

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Thanks for the tips. I'll try the static IP when I get a fine day so I can climb up the ladder to re-cal the wind direction after doing the factory reset.
I'll let you know the outcome.
Re the firmware, the Ambient tool tells me I am running easyweather 1.2.0 and shows a link to upgrade it to 1.1.4. which is a lower number. So i'm not confident about trying that in case it is incompatible.

Offline galfert

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
.
Re the firmware, the Ambient tool tells me I am running easyweather 1.2.0 and shows a link to upgrade it to 1.1.4. which is a lower number. So i'm not confident about trying that in case it is incompatible.

No, try the the firmware update with the WSTOOL app. I know it didn't work for setup. But now that it is configured on the network run the WSTOOL app and see what it says for firmware.
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Try assigning the unit a static IP address.
Hi, early indications are that setting the static IP has resolved the problem, so thanks for the tip.
I also registered on Weathercloud and noted that it starts showing my weather station updates straight away, whereas Weather underground took an hour or 2 to start showing my weather station updates.
After Static IP was set and the weather station wifi set up again via Ambient weather osprey tool I waited half a day to verify it was working on both Weathercloud  and WU. Then I powered the modem off and on. When I checked Weathercloud  a few minutes later it was reporting. WU took about 30 mins before it started reporting (I didnt time it).

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 7029
    • Eagle Bay Weather
For the life of me, I'm not sure why dynamic IPs were ever a "thing".

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Hmm, I know from another job I had during the last millennium that there was some good reasons for dynamic IP, and the 'technologists' who provide IT systems should know better than to deliver technology in this era that isnt robust. However, this isn't the forum to debate that.
At the risk of over extending this forums hospitality I'd like to ask some advice regarding the reason I am using an online weather service, and the best way to achieve out goal.
My aim is to get a week by week and month by month history of rainfall because it affects grass growth, and we run a lifestyle cattle farm. My wife has more than 15 years of manually collected rain data in diaries. Manual readings work well, but with age comes forgetfulness, and she occasionally empties the rain gauge, does something else around the farm and forgets to write down the reading.
The new electronic weather station you've just helped me with records last day, last week, last month and total rainfall, but we can't get data for each month out of it. Weather Underground and now WeatherCloud looked to me like it might provide the history I (she) was wanting. The most important thing is reliability of data gathering. Is there a better way without spending ridiculous amounts of money?
Any opinion appreciated.
 

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
.
Re the firmware, the Ambient tool tells me I am running easyweather 1.2.0 and shows a link to upgrade it to 1.1.4. which is a lower number. So i'm not confident about trying that in case it is incompatible.

No, try the the firmware update with the WSTOOL app. I know it didn't work for setup. But now that it is configured on the network run the WSTOOL app and see what it says for firmware.
Galfert, thanks for the suggestion. Sorry I misinterpreted your original post. Having got the weather station back online using ambient osprey app, I tried using the WS Tool app but it still can't detect my weather station, so it can't tell me anything about the firmware. Or perhaps I am misunderstanding how to do it. Any advice welcomed.

Offline galfert

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
No worries. If WSTOOL still doesn't see the station perhaps it isn't compatible. I would reach out to the manufactureraxkon and ask them how to get a firmware update.

As for your rain totals that you seek, WU will do it. Just scroll down on your station dashboard view to Weather History. The change the focus dropdown to something other than Daily. You can do weekly, or monthly or yearly. And you can even select a custom range to see a previous time frame or maybe 2 weeks etc. The totals get added up automatically in the chart.
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Bushman

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 7029
    • Eagle Bay Weather
...
My aim is to get a week by week and month by month history of rainfall because it affects grass growth, and we run a lifestyle cattle farm. My wife has more than 15 years of manually collected rain data in diaries. Manual readings work well, but with age comes forgetfulness, and she occasionally empties the rain gauge, does something else around the farm and forgets to write down the reading.
The new electronic weather station you've just helped me with records last day, last week, last month and total rainfall, but we can't get data for each month out of it. Weather Underground and now WeatherCloud looked to me like it might provide the history I (she) was wanting. The most important thing is reliability of data gathering. Is there a better way without spending ridiculous amounts of money?
Any opinion appreciated.

I'd use a local database.  Not sold on these cloud things that could evaporate.

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7


I'd use a local database.  Not sold on these cloud things that could evaporate.
[/quote]

Ha ha! I like the pun. Your comment strikes a chord with me, especially after reading some of the negative comments on forums about weather underground. Forgive me if this seems  a naive question but how do I get the data from a weather station like this to a local PC? The instructions for this one and similar devices I read about only talk about connecting to internet systems like weather underground. Thanks

Offline galfert

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
There are a few ways to get the data to a local PC.

- You could purchase an ObserverIP and a Meteobridge. Then the Meteobridge can send the data to an SQL database or FTP.

- Another way is to redirect the data from Weather Underground using a Raspberry Pi with WiFi access point that is running WeeWx or Weather Display...then either of those can save to SQL or FTP.

There are other ways...but those are the most popular.
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Pauatahanuiweather

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Oh Dear!! I thought the problem was all sorted but came home today and find that Weather Underground is saying my 'PWS stopped reporting' last night. BUT Weathercloud is still showing updates from the same weather station.
Either my weather station is incompatible with Weather Underground, or Weather Underground has a software defect. Either way    I am giving up on Weather Underground. I'll stick with Weathercloud and see how reliable that is.
Also Galfert - I discovered Weathercloud allows me to export my PWS data so if that works it means I can keep my rain history on my PC.
Thanks everyone for you help and advice.