Author Topic: DIY Cellular Weather Station?  (Read 1123 times)

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Offline colemanmorris64

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DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« on: August 07, 2021, 11:02:23 AM »
Hello everyone! This is Cole from Savannah, GA. I'm very interested in setting up my weather station network on cellular service. If anyone has any tips/trick/concerns about some of my ideas below, I'd love some feedback, especially if anyone has attempted anything like I detail below.

Power/Internet service at my home has been spotty, and I often lose power/internet during severe weather (the times I'm most interested in recording weather measurements), and I want to put my weather sensors on a cellular network to record/report weather data. To do this, I know I need backup power (solar, battery, etc.), as well as a cellular-capable wifi device. I tried to make a block diagram to explain my intended setup.

Power:
- Considered solar panels, but due to size, am leaning towards a UPS Battery Backup. Based on quick calculations, the below UPS could power my devices for over a week.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HDC236Q/ref=ewc_pr_img_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Data/Internet:
- Reporting to WeatherUnderground and Ambient Weather on most frequent reporting intervals would use less than 250MB of data per month by my estimates.
- Considering a device like SkyRoam to act as a dedicated cellular transmitter for my weather network.
- https://www.skyroam.com/solis-lite
- With Skyroam's pay-as-you-go plan, I'd use 3GB of data a year (only $24/yr).
- https://www.skyroam.com/wifi-pricing

I'm currently using the AmbientCWOP service to send my data to CWOP, however I'm considering adding a WeatherBridge to my network which would handle reporting to CWOP.

A few notes:
- I have considered the Ecowitt WS6006 to do all of the above, but I don't know how the data from that station can be reported to CWOP.
- If the WeatherBridge arrangement works in my block diagram, I would strongly consider replacing my Ambient Osprey sensor array with Ecowitt sensors (so that I can mount my rain sensor and anemometer separate). Ecowitt also appears to have a few more durable sensors (I'd like to measure water temperature from my dock).

Any insights would be appreciated!

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline chief-david

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2021, 12:56:48 PM »
This may be an option

https://rainwise.com/mk4-c



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Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2021, 03:31:55 PM »
Thanks, chief-david. I actually did look at the Rainwise model as well. At $1,300, the RainWise MK4 it is a little hard for me to stomach, which is why I'm attempting to configure a network that is expandable, compatible with my existing sensors, and capable of supporting any future sensors I might buy.
- UPS Battery Backup: ~$75
- SkyRoam Solis Lite: $119. $24/year for data
- Weatherbridge (if desired): $144

What I am unsure about is more on the networking side. I've never used a Weatherbridge before, and don't know if it can be used with a hotspot like my block diagram shows. Is the ethernet port on the Weatherbridge needed only for setup of the WLAN, or needed continuously?

Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2021, 05:22:04 PM »
Well, I decided to go ahead and purchase a WeatherBridge. After it arrives later this week, I'm going to attempt to have both the WeatherBridge and my GW1000 use the mobile hotspot feature on my cell phone. If that works, then I'll probably pursue a permanent mobile hotspot and UPS.

I'm the unfortunate person that has two cell phones (personal and work), and just trialed the mobile hotspot concept out on the GW1000. With my 1st cell phone acting as the mobile hotspot I was able to use my 2nd cell phone to configure the GW1000 to use the SSID/Password of my 1st cell phone. When I tried using the 1st cell phone to configure the GW1000, nothing appeared to work (I guess because the 1st phone isn't "connected" to the same network, even though it is acting as a router). This appears to confirm that a dedicated mobile hotspot would work.

Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline davidmc36

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2021, 07:03:51 PM »
I renamed and changed password on my phones mobile Hotspot to match my home network.

If I need to take network down, devices connect to my phone and don't know what even happened.

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2021, 08:54:02 PM »
I renamed and changed password on my phones mobile Hotspot to match my home network.

If I need to take network down, devices connect to my phone and don't know what even happened.

Thanks for the suggestion. That's a pretty smart idea! I'm going to adapt your idea and setup a dedicated Wi-Fi extender to serve only my weather station devices. I'll have the Wi-fi and 4G network SSID/password set identical (this will keep other household devices from auto-joining the 4G device and using up a lot of data).
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline WA4OPQ

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2021, 11:49:01 PM »
- With Skyroam's pay-as-you-go plan, I'd use 3GB of data a year (only $24/yr).
- https://www.skyroam.com/wifi-pricing

Thanks for mentioning this. I'm investigating possible remote WxStn locations using 4G. Skyroam has one plan where you pay by the gig with no monthly fees.  I read somewhere that WeatherUndergound uses approximately 19MB a month, that's about 4.4 years per Gig. I'll have to go read all the fine print, it sounds too good to be true.

Let us know how your experiments go.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 11:51:14 PM by WA4OPQ »

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2021, 11:05:12 PM »
Hey everyone! So I'm in the process of attempting the weather setup mentioned above, with a few modifications.
- 27000 mAh 5V USB UPS power bank instead of a UPS system ($50). I've been running a GW1000, Meteobridge, and charging the 4G hotspot for over 24hours, and I'm only down 12%.
- Purchased a small Wifi Extender (2.4GHz only) to act as a the router for my weather network. ($15)
- Purchased a refurbished Skyroam Solis 1 (a 2.4GHz only model). I wanted the 2.4GHz-only model because I have read many comments about needing to disable 5GHz wifi in order for gateway connections. ($60)

I set up the Wifi Extender SSID/password identical to the Skyroam Solis 1 (unable to change the SSID/password of the Solis 1).

I'll start with the good:
- the GW1000 connects up easily to the Skyroam Solis 1, and reports to Ecowitt.net. I had the GW1000 connected to the Wifi Extender, and when I unplugged the Wifi Extender, the GW1000 automatically connected to the Skyroam Solis 1.

I'm a bit perplexed with the behavior of the Meteobridge when connected to the Skyroam Solis 1.
- I had to setup the WLAN with the LAN connection of the Wifi Extender (entered the Skyroam SSID/password).
- While connected to the Wifi Extender, I completed the rest of the Meteobridge setup (station, location, etc.).
- I verified that the sensor information was present from the GW1000 in on the "Raw Sensor Data" tab, and transmitting to Ambientweather.net.
With Meteobridge connected to Skyroam Solis 1.
- When I unplug the Wifi Extender and reboot the Meteobridge, it does successfully connect to the Solis 1.
- I'm able to talk/configure the Meteobridge through the magicip.meteobridge.com link, and then through the remote URL.
- Despite all of the above working as planned, while connected to the Solis 1, the Weatherbridge receives no raw sensor data, and does not transmit anything to Ambientweather.net. (all the while the GW1000's connection to the Solis 1 is sending fresh data to Ecowitt.net).

This is throwing a monkey-wrench in my plan to use the Solis-connected Weatherbridge to upload to CWOP and other services. For now I'm back connected to the Wifi Extender, and the Weatherbridge is receiving raw sensor data just fine again. I'm not a networking guru, but there has to be something I'm missing here.
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline docbee

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2021, 08:03:19 AM »
As long as GW1000 and Meteobridge are in the same WLAN (same class C IP range) and GW1000 has its IP fixed by the DHCP server (router) based on its MAC there should be no problem. Meteobridge will read data from there.
founder of smartbedded.com - home of meteohub, meteoplug, meteobridge, meteostick

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2021, 08:13:17 AM »
Thanks for the comment! It appears like I'm having trouble getting the static IP set on the GW1000. I'll do a little more research on how to set a static IP on that device. For now, I have the correct IP address set up for the GW1000 in Meteobride, and have managed to get it reporting, but that is only for as long as my cellular hotspot is stable.
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline galfert

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2021, 03:49:31 PM »
The GW1000 has no way to set a static IP. The only thing you can do is set an IP address MAC reservation in the DHCP server(router).
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge on Raspberry Pi
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
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Offline WA4OPQ

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2021, 07:13:49 PM »
I may try one of these for a remote wx station next year.

Can you measure the 5v current draw for a (fully charged) Solis?  I want to calculate the solar requirements.

Thanks!

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2021, 07:33:10 PM »
I've just this minute purchased a USB dongle which will let me determine the power consumption of the Solis. I'll report back when I determine the power consumption. It appears to be very efficient.

An intermediate update on my DIY project
- Waiting on a 5V USB powered TP Link N300 to deliver from Amazon (next week) that I will set up with IP Reservation by MAC address for the GW1000.
- Battery Backup: ended up buying this unit from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H8F5HYJ/?coliid=IY8TE7OXURVMJ&colid=9MT3FK8IZX2D&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it ), and with initial tests, it appears it will power my devices for about 6 days. Had to use a USB splitter to power the associated devices.
- I currently do have the Solis 1 connected to a GW1000 (reporting to Ecowitt every minute) and Meteobridge (reporting to Ambient Weather every minute). In 3 days, I've used 20 MB (though I suspect some of this is my data usage with phone/laptop connected during configuration).
- I went ahead and bought 10 GB for $60. At this rate, I'll use less than 3GB a year (though I will probably use more data as I publish to additional services from the Meteobridge that I can't push from Ambient Weather).

I hope to have a more complete setup by the end of next week.
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2021, 09:26:11 PM »
I may try one of these for a remote wx station next year.

Can you measure the 5v current draw for a (fully charged) Solis?  I want to calculate the solar requirements.

Thanks!

I used my newly acquired USB dongle to measure the power consumption of my fully-charged Skyroam Solis 1. It was not steady, but appeared to average out about 0.6W (5V, 0.12A).

Also, as many of you suggested, I was able to set up IP reservation using the DHCP server on a small Wifi Extender that sits between the Solis 1 and my Meteobridge, and now my small weather network is working beautifully. Thank you to all who helped point me in the right direction (like I said, I'm no networking guru). I'm ready to ride-through the next power/cable outage.

I'm now very excited to install the new sensors from Ecowitt at appropriate places around the property, and even have a 25' telescoping flagpole arriving soon to mount the anemometer on.
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2021, 12:32:11 PM »
I updated my block diagram to show the new network configuration. Now I'm toying with sending automated alerts via Twitter (function in MB).
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline WA4OPQ

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2021, 12:48:20 PM »
Can you drop the amazon link for the TP Link N300 extender? Every one I find is 110v. Is that your DHCP server?
And since you have your dongle, can you measure the current?
Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 12:50:28 PM by WA4OPQ »

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2021, 01:03:49 PM »
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2021, 06:22:01 PM »
I am using the N300 as the DHCP server. It appears to draw between 0.8 and 1W on average
The small Ecowitt 3551 display (used with SD card as data logger) with the backlight off draws 0.75W.
The GW1000 connects flawlessly directly to the hotspot, so the DHCP server only appears to be necessary if you intend to connect it to a Meteobridge.
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline galfert

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2021, 10:06:42 PM »
It appears from the way I'm reading and understanding that on the N300 you turned on the DHCP server (possibly for DHCP reservations). But if the hotspot still has its DHCP server on then you've created a double DHCP server situation on a network. This is not advisable as you could end up with IP conflicts and loss of IP address reservation reliability.

And the GW1000 always needs a DHCP server (Meteobridge or not) as it can't have a static IP assigned.
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge on Raspberry Pi
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
Tele-Pole

Offline colemanmorris64

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2021, 11:17:31 PM »
It appears from the way I'm reading and understanding that on the N300 you turned on the DHCP server (possibly for DHCP reservations). But if the hotspot still has its DHCP server on then you've created a double DHCP server situation on a network. This is not advisable as you could end up with IP conflicts and loss of IP address reservation reliability.

And the GW1000 always needs a DHCP server (Meteobridge or not) as it can't have a static IP assigned.

Hi galfert. I realized that I connected a few more lines in the block diagram than I should have. It may be clearer now in the block diagram attached, which shows two different SSIDs rather than all connected to the same SSID. Unsure if this changes the nature of your concern.

I have the TP Link N300 setup in WISP mode, which lets me setup DHCP Address Reservation. I've power cycled MB, TP Link N300, and my hotspot multiple times, and had my hotspot change service providers (T-Mobile --> AT&T --> T-Mobile), and each time the DHCP Address Reservation appears to be working.

My comment on the GW1000 is just an observation. The GW1000 appears to successfully transmit to Ecowitt.net when connected directly to the hotspot regardless of changing IP addresses when changing cell service providers on my hotspot.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 11:29:23 PM by colemanmorris64 »
Hardware:
Ambient Weather WS-2902A Console & Osprey Sensor Array
Meteobridge/Weatherbridge
Ecowitt GW1000, GW1100
Ecowitt HP3501/HP3500 Console
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp (located at tidal creek)
Ecowitt WS68 Anemometer/Solar (30ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH40 Rainfall
Ecowitt WH31 Indoor Temp/Hum/Press (16ft above MSL)
Ecowitt WH32E Outdoor Temp/Hum housed in RS-0001 shield. (15ft above MSL)

Software: AmbientCWOP

CWOP: FW7647
WU: KGASAVAN162
Twitter: @ShipyardCreekWx

Offline galfert

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Re: DIY Cellular Weather Station?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2021, 07:01:52 AM »
Okay that is clear now. Looks good. The N300 and the hotspot are two different subnets. Unsure why you had to turn on DHCP server in the N300 as it should have been on as a default if it is acting as a router. My point is that when you connect the GW1000 to the hotspot the reason it works is because the hotspot's DHCP server is running. Every network has some device that acts as the DHCP server.
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge on Raspberry Pi
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
Tele-Pole

 

anything