Author Topic: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?  (Read 1469 times)

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Offline alanb

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With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« on: July 15, 2019, 07:48:29 PM »
I was trying to find an appropriate thread to post this in, but nothing seemed to fit quite right, so forgive me if starting a new thread is a "no-no". I am a weather hobbyist at best, definitely not an expert or even an enthusiast.

My main question relates to all the complaints and predictions of the pending demise of Weather Underground. I have been participating in this forum for a couple of years, but don't yet own a weather station. I have been waiting for the Acurite Atlas to be released before I decide what to buy. I want something that is reliable, accurate, and more or less "plug and play" that can be publicly  accessed on the internet by me and my neighbors without me having to put in a server, establish and maintain my own website, install a Raspberry PI or jump through a bunch of hoops to configure and do the daily management of the system.

When I first started checking into this, it seemed like a Ambient or Acurite product with easy connection to WU was a perfect solution. But now it seems like the "experts" on this site are discounting WU as a legitimate long term option. The other options sound like they are way more effort than I am willing to invest using the consumer grade products like Ambient and Acurite.

So experts, what do you think? With the predicted downfall of WU, should a weather hobbyist like me just stay out of it? I do monitor 2 or 3 nearby stations on WU within a couple of miles of me. Unfortunately, a neighbor 2000 feet away from me who had a very reliable Ambient 2902 recently moved, so I am now missing having access to that close by station. I don't mind spending the money for a decent station, but I don't want to spend my life managing it.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 07:52:35 PM by alanb »
Alan

Offline Theo

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 07:55:41 PM »
The only value I get out of Weather Underground is I can capture the packets from my AcuRite access so I can still run WeeWx.  I love hyper localized weather and give 0 craps about WU.  I don’t understand why people get so whipped up about a free service working poorly. 

I had an AcuRite 5n1 and really loved it and got bit by the “hey, we are discontinuing that device you just bought 6 months ago” debacle, so I jumped to a WS-2000.  Frankly, I never could get the WS-2000 to give me my weather information in the way that I wanted, so I installed weewx and SDR and used Pat O’Brian’s awesome Belchertown skin, but I had constant trouble with the array dropping out and it just really did not do what I wanted, so I went back to the Atlas and I am liking it.  The only downside is I now love having all of my extra weather data in weewx, and AcuRite does not well support it and I really don’t want to use AcuParse.

TL:DR:

Weather hobbiests love seeing the weather in their back yard.  It is a cool and interesting hobby and I highly recommend getting your own weather station, it is sort of addicting.  Forget about WU, they mostly suck and have for the past several years.  It is .001% of my weather hobbies experience.

Offline txweather.org

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 07:57:24 PM »
For get about WU, Do not let WU be your deciding factor. There is many ways to get your data and that are better than WU.
I say go for it!

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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 08:00:23 PM »
WU came around some 15 years after my first weather station. I've always done it for my own interest. Being able to share was just icing on the cake.
Randy

Offline chief-david

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 08:07:26 PM »
I now have two stations reporting to WU.  \:D/.

It is not about WU-but the love of weather data and graphs. I love sharing data with the neighborhood. I love the graphs. I use it as an educational tool at school.

Weather is a conversation starter.

I have given up caring about what happens to/at/with WU. I like the fronts map and radar with advisories and tracks. But beyond that. I am indifferent.

Both stations have a website that I can access and push to the people that want to see it.
There is more to this hobby than WU.

and 3 inches of rain at home in the last 3 hours.
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Offline CW2274

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 08:08:50 PM »
Quote
With the predicted downfall of WU, should a weather hobbyist like me just stay out of it? I do monitor 2 or 3 nearby stations on WU
Buying a PWS just so you can post your data online to me is completely not why you should buy a PWS. I bought mine for my own satisfaction and knowledge of knowing what's going on outside my own door. I owned my VP2 for ~4 years before I decided to post my data. If that came to a screeching halt for whatever reason, so be it, I still have my PWS, for me.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 08:12:02 PM by CW2274 »

Offline alanb

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 09:13:39 PM »
Thanks so much for the quick responses to my question. They are very helpful, and I think I need to expand/clarify a bit. I have some simple devices to check the weather in my back yard when I am home … an analog rain gauge, indoor/outdoor digital thermometer/hygrometer (although the hygrometer no longer works so I need to replace it), wind vane, an ancient analog barometer that still sort of works. So I can check the weather in my back yard (sort of anyway) when I am home and can walk out in the back yard. My main motivation for wanting a weather station, other that just replacing my old outdated devices, is to be able to check the weather in my back yard when I am not at home, and also to share it with distant relatives, friends and close by neighbors. Weather is a great conversation catalyst, and it is fun when others can check on your weather conditions.

So for me, being able to access my back yard weather from afar is the whole motivation for having a weather station. Without that, I can just replace my old simple devices with newer more reliable ones. That is why Weather Underground or something comparable is important to me. I am guessing I am not alone, and if WU is no longer viable, I think it will have a terrible impact on Ambient, Acurite … probably even Davis.

But, again thanks for the responses to my question … it is indeed helpful and gives me pause about investing in a weather station. I look forward to more comments.
Alan

Offline galfert

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 09:22:40 PM »
I have been waiting for the Acurite Atlas to be released before I decide what to buy.

You mean you've been waiting for the Atlas Elite?... because the Atlas is out.

WU is but one of several online sites. Out of the box myAcurite and WU is all that Acurite gives you. If you don't want to deal with other software to capture the data like WeeWx or Acuparse then you could give Ambient a try. Ambient gives you Ambientweather.net, WU, WeatherCloud, and PWSweather without anything extra required. But you can add an Ecowitt GW1000 (you gain Ecowitt.net and Met WOW) and a Meteobridge and then you have practically all the other options easy.... CWOP, AWEKAS, Windy, Windguru....and more. You didn't mention Davis so perhaps that means it's not within your price range. With Davis you can easily upload to anywhere I mentioned easily with even more options on devices to send data.

But even if you decided you want an Acurite Atlas and you need help setting up and maintaining a Pi to do more, well you've got this great community to help.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 09:58:25 PM by galfert »
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Offline Theo

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 09:25:32 PM »
AcuRite allows you to share your weather with friends (they need a myacurite account), but it works.  For the same price point (or less) you can get as full WS-2000 from ambient weather and have fully shareable weather without worry and you can add support for a bunch of different ways to share your weather. 


Offline alanb

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 09:36:18 PM »
I have been waiting for the Acurite Atlas to be released before I decide what to buy.

You mean you've been waiting for the Atlas Elite?... because the Atlas is out.
Yes … Atlas Elite.  Thanks for keeping me honest. The Atlas has looked pretty good to me as well, but would probably go with the Ambient 2000 as I don't think the Atlas has enough advantages for the extra cost over the Ambient. I don't have anything to base it on other than what I have read in this forum, but I am not a fan of the Acurite Access … hoping the self contained Elite will measure up to the original hype that was generated when it was first announced two (or is it three?) years ago.
Alan

Offline Theo

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 10:00:32 PM »
I have been waiting for the Acurite Atlas to be released before I decide what to buy.

You mean you've been waiting for the Atlas Elite?... because the Atlas is out.
Yes … Atlas Elite.  Thanks for keeping me honest. The Atlas has looked pretty good to me as well, but would probably go with the Ambient 2000 as I don't think the Atlas has enough advantages for the extra cost over the Ambient. I don't have anything to base it on other than what I have read in this forum, but I am not a fan of the Acurite Access … hoping the self contained Elite will measure up to the original hype that was generated when it was first announced two (or is it three?) years ago.

I just got my Atlas this week and I like it.  It was super easy to set up, but I too have an issue with the Access.  The old smart hub was super reliable, we will see how this goes.  I have my WS-2000 still up, so I can compare the two.

Offline WSWeather

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 10:27:29 PM »
My first weather station was/is an Ambient WS-2080, which is probably considered a toy by most of this group.  It still works after being outside for seven years and even though it has been discontinued for awhile they still support it.  I use Cumulus, running on a cheap ($110) Windows netbook which reports to WU, PWS Weather and others as well as to a website generated and uploaded by Cumulus.  WU was the easiest and best option for online viewing (mostly because of all of the data from PWSs in the area) but alas those days are long over.

I use mine to monitor distant property as well as my home (having indoor temp and humidity is crucial for remote-control property management) and really don't rely on WU for anything anymore.

You'll find that there is a lot more to this hobby than WU.  Go ahead and do it. :)

Offline noctilucent

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 01:07:10 AM »
It's actually pretty dire at the moment. I'm using Meteohub to read data from my Davis which, unless you buy their extremely expensive hardware seems to be more or less abandonware, you need to scour eBay for hardware ancient enough to be able to run it, feeding to WU, which is, well see other threads here. I'd jump ship in a moment, if there was anything viable to jump to.

Offline josecmorales

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 08:06:14 AM »
For get about WU, Do not let WU be your deciding factor. There is many ways to get your data and that are better than WU.
I say go for it!

So true!

Offline noctilucent

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 08:21:15 AM »
I've been looking at WeeWX to drive my setup (see my previous post) since there's drivers for the Meteostick.  Problem with that is that you need to host things yourself, one benefit of WU is that it's being hosted on someone else's servers.  Yeah, I know I can put it on AWS or something, but it is awfully convenient to just point your client at WU and have them do the rest.

Offline Jasiu

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 10:18:39 AM »
So for me, being able to access my back yard weather from afar is the whole motivation for having a weather station. Without that, I can just replace my old simple devices with newer more reliable ones. That is why Weather Underground or something comparable is important to me. I am guessing I am not alone, and if WU is no longer viable, I think it will have a terrible impact on Ambient, Acurite … probably even Davis.

Besides WU (which I never look at), I post my data to pwsweather.com and Ambient. I never look at those sites either.  Instead, my weather nerdness has merged with my coding nerdness and I've just made (and continue to make) my website give me the information that I want (or quickly link to other sites that have it).

If you want a time-consuming hobby and have any sort of coding experience (or want to learn), look at the various templates discussed on this site. It's a great way to fine-tune what you are looking for and you lessen your dependence on other organizations.


Offline Bushman

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 11:34:10 AM »
It's actually pretty dire at the moment. I'm using Meteohub to read data from my Davis which, unless you buy their extremely expensive hardware seems to be more or less abandonware, you need to scour eBay for hardware ancient enough to be able to run it, feeding to WU, which is, well see other threads here. I'd jump ship in a moment, if there was anything viable to jump to.

Not sure I understand this.  Meteohub feeds a lot of weather services so what hardware from Davis are you missing?  If it is Meteohub, then swap your license to Meteobridge and use Wifi logger (a fraction of Davis logger cost).  Et cetera...
Need low cost IP monitoring?  http://wirelesstag.net/wta.aspx?link=NisJxz6FhUa4V67/cwCRWA or PM me for 50% off Wirelesstags!!

Offline konz

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 07:59:53 PM »
I use weeWX and think it's great.  I currently upload to PWSWeather (contributor to AerisWeather.com, a direct competitor to WU), Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP), WeatherCloud (another competitor), and AWEKAS [Automatic WEather map (german: KArten) System] weather out of the box.  And, for now, I upload to WeatherUnderground.  There's one or two other services but I don't use them.

I also purchased my own domain to host my uploaded weeWX pages and wxcam - updated every 3-5 minutes.  It's a little more difficult to get user traffic, but quite fulfilling to build your own site.

My eventual goal is to get near real-time updates to my online mySQL database, but that's going to take dedicated time; I'll save that for retirement.

I can enable or disable my upload by changing the enabled tag from true to false and restarting the service.

Offline noctilucent

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2019, 11:40:41 PM »
Not sure I understand this.  Meteohub feeds a lot of weather services so what hardware from Davis are you missing?  If it is Meteohub, then swap your license to Meteobridge and use Wifi logger (a fraction of Davis logger cost).  Et cetera...
You can't swap a Meteohub license, or even a Meteobridge one (" license transfer from standard Meteobridges is not planned"), you need to buy the Meteobridge hardware, which is damn expensive (I mean the Pro, not the reflashed TP-Link mini-router/AP, which in any case requires the Davis console to work).  I'm currently running a Meteostick with hacked Meteohub software on obsolete hardware with no upgrade path, thus the plan to go to WeeWX, which supports the Meteostick, and also runs on current hardware.

Offline Bushman

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 12:24:07 AM »
MB Pro does not require a console  - that is the Nano. 
Need low cost IP monitoring?  http://wirelesstag.net/wta.aspx?link=NisJxz6FhUa4V67/cwCRWA or PM me for 50% off Wirelesstags!!

Offline noctilucent

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2019, 12:26:57 AM »
MB Pro does not require a console  - that is the Nano.

Yes, that's exactly what I said.

Offline Bushman

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2019, 12:42:37 AM »
So exactly what is your complaint?
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Offline Mattk

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2019, 03:21:12 AM »
Gee why would anybody be justifying buying or not buying a weather station just because WU has gone to crap? Move on, WU is not the only option and obviously not the best option either.

Offline antstrafer

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2019, 11:05:15 AM »
Gee why would anybody be justifying buying or not buying a weather station just because WU has gone to crap? Move on, WU is not the only option and obviously not the best option either.

OK, name a free service that has rapid fire.   My camera needs replacing:NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  My Davis pro2 is leaking, has corrosion, fan is shot.  Whole unit need replacing:THAT'S
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.   The best I can get is 1 minute updates with a pay service.  I think I will point one of my security cameras at my Davis console and call it quits.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 11:49:34 AM by antstrafer »
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CWOP FW5142    PWS THAI817    MADIS F5142
WU KTXTHALI2    AWEKAS           weatherobs

Offline txweather.org

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Re: With all the WU complaints, why buy a weather station?
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2019, 11:09:06 AM »
Not sure I understand this.  Meteohub feeds a lot of weather services so what hardware from Davis are you missing?  If it is Meteohub, then swap your license to Meteobridge and use Wifi logger (a fraction of Davis logger cost).  Et cetera...
I'm currently running a Meteostick with hacked Meteohub software on obsolete hardware with no upgrade path, thus the plan to go to WeeWX, which supports the Meteostick, and also runs on current hardware.

Is this by choice? Meteohub runs on any of the Pi versions. (Not tested on Pi4)
So you do not need hacks nor obsolete hardware to run Meteohub. Another note is that Boris is still sending updates out for Meteohub so it still under support.
Annnnnnd You can also run Meteohub on a VM :)

Back to the main subject. To all please keep it civil with our new comers and lets not derail too much from the main subject :)

Thank you all!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 01:27:33 PM by txweather.org »

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