Author Topic: Introduction and a Question: New WS-1002 WiFi User  (Read 226 times)

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Offline mxcrowe

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Introduction and a Question: New WS-1002 WiFi User
« on: September 30, 2018, 06:00:52 PM »
Hi all,
I just joined the forum after replacing my Zephyr PWS-1000TD (same as the Fine Offset 1090, I believe), which I installed back in 2009.  The old system held out quite a long time on the roof, but this WS-1002 WiFi is a significant upgrade in almost every way.  I can only hope it can approximate the durability of the last unit!  With the old unit, I had been using the Cumulus software, which I loved.  For this new unit, my best lead so far is to install the weeWX software on one of my Linux systems and use that for the more detailed historical data analysis tasks.  If anyone has any recommendation beyond weeWX, I'd love to hear it.

The plain old AA batteries on the sending unit for the Zephyr lasted forever!  I think I only replaced them a couple times.  With the new unit, I'm curious about how well the solar panel/capacitor system will work.  Being in San Diego, we get quite a bit of sunlight, but my station will fall into the shade of some pine trees later in the day.  Do any of you have any idea about how much solar radiance is required to fully charge the capacitor?  And similarly, what level of solar flux will effectively run the sensor array?  I'm wondering if my battery backup is having to kick in earlier than the design parameters due to the shadow starting at 2-3pm every day.  It would be great if there were a console screen that showed the charge state of the solar panel/capacitor/batteries!

Glad I found this forum and looking forward to learning more here!

-Michael
Ambient Weather WS-1002-WiFi
KCALAJOL6

Offline galfert

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Re: Introduction and a Question: New WS-1002 WiFi User
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 09:25:03 PM »
Welcome to the forum. You could test running the unit without batteries. That way it only runs off the super capacitor and the solar cells. Do this a few times with a sunny day versus a cloudy day. Then you'll learn if it can make it through the night after a cloudy day and at what time it stops by looking at the data. Sure this won't make for pretty graphs but it might give you the answers you seek.  You could also get a battery tester...a real battery tester that tests battery under load, not a just a volt meter. Then you can pull the battery out every day (for just a second to test) and see how much of it is being used up.

I can tell you from experience that a neighbor of mine got a WS-2902A and set it up in the first week of July this year. Then 2 months later his batteries were dead because he positioned his station too close to trees where he was getting shade by 1 PM every day and he really didn't get sun till about 10 am. So he was only getting 3 hours of good sun each day. Everything seemed fine for those first couple months. But the super capacitor was not being charged and he was wasting batteries. After 2 months the unit started not making it through the night because his batteries were dead and the super capacitor wasn't fully charging. The batteries are supposed to be only used for backup when there has been prolonged periods (days) of cloudiness, and they are supposed to in normal use last at least a 2 or 3 years from what I've read. I don't know how different the WS-2902A unit is from your 1002.

As for options to connect software for your station you do have another option other than Weather Display and WeeWx. You can also purchase the ObserverIP and then attached a Meteobridge.

Just curious...why did you just now get a WS-1002-WiFi instead of a WS-2902A or WS-2000?

« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 09:29:56 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 mxcrowe

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Re: Introduction and a Question: New WS-1002 WiFi User
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 11:45:20 AM »
Thanks galfert!

Ah, that's what I was afraid of...I guess I will contact AW and see if they know what sort of w/m2 level equates to charging the capacitor.  It's 8:15am now and sunny, which correlates to 150+ w/m2 on the solar flux meter and rising fast.  The unit should continue to get direct sun until around 2:00pm, until the pine trees move in the way.  Even then, it continues getting some flux (around 200 w/m2) until about 4:30pm when it starts to tail off until sunset.  So if it's able to charge above 200 w/m2, I'm probably fine.  Otherwise...

I'll have to look into ObserverIP and Meteobridge...my goal is just to replicate (approximate?) the functions that Cumulus provided, which was very good at allowing me to slice and dice the wx data to see how various periods compared one to another.  WeeWx looks like it will do all that, but it appears I will need to connect the unit via its USB port.  If so, I'll have to boot over to Linux on the computer next to the wx console, as I normally run Windows on that machine, but it does dual boot.

As far as the unit choice, I thought the display layout and resolution looked better for the 1002 than the 2902, and even though the resolution is supposed to be better for the 2000, I liked the layout and font sizes better on the 1002.  I work from home, so having the display console right next to my computer is handy and the way I best like to "glance" at wx conditions.  The units all looked pretty similar and at $200 the 1002 looked like it would do everything I wanted.  I think at the time I was also holding out hope that since the 1002 used the EasyWeather software, I might also be able to get it to work with Cumulus, though that does not appear to be the case, and of course, the EasyWeather software leaves much to be desired.  If I can just find a s/w solution for post-processing and visualization, I'll be perfectly happy.
Ambient Weather WS-1002-WiFi
KCALAJOL6