Author Topic: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface  (Read 637 times)

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Offline tasar

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UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« on: February 02, 2021, 06:56:48 AM »
I am looking to replace an Oregon Scientific WMR180. Sadly, Oregon Scientific no longer seem to be making weather stations.

The weather station needs to be suitable for the UK (433/868 MHz). It should have the usual measurements, ideally with a UV sensor option.

I need the weather station to have a computer interface (preferably USB). This is because I log and analyse the data with my own programs. I'd prefer direct access to this data rather than having it sent to the cloud or a remote server.

Instead I would like to run a server on a Raspberry Pi. I'd prefer not to use a WiFi link as I normally don't run WiFi 24/7. However that might work if the weather station could buffer data while WiFi wasn't on.

The closest I can come to meeting these requirements are the Bresser, Davis, Froggit and Watson ranges, but don't know how reliable these are. Are there particular makes and models to consider? Thanks for any advice.

Offline broadstairs

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 07:28:05 AM »
It really depends on  your budget a Davis VP2 could meet all your requirements but at  a cost of probably around £1000. Not sure any of those stations will buffer like the Davis so you will probably need a PC 24x7. Others here may know better.

Stuart
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Offline tasar

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 07:58:00 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I'd be willing to spend up to £500, so £1000 would be more than I'd want to pay.

Offline johnd

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 08:03:42 AM »
It really depends on  your budget a Davis VP2 could meet all your requirements but at  a cost of probably around £1000.

Davis stations are not that expensive (unless you you're buying a high-spec model). For anyone happy to do without a display console and rely on a data feed to a computer from a Weatherlink Live (WLL) receiver/interface/uploader then we currently have a Vue sensor suite +WLL for £399 and a VP2 ISS + WLL for £649. (VP2 being the better long-term option if the budget will stretch that far.) Or a VP2 with console and a USB logger is £749. Prices include VAT & within-UK shipping. Many other combinations available of course.

Weatherlink Live has many plus points, including the option of network connection via Ethernet or WiFi, but the one feature it lacks is 'buffering'/logging of historic data for local downloads, though that's less of a problem if you have a Pi continuously connected of course and are running CumulusMX or Meteobridge or some homebrew software.

As ever with this sort of question, https://www.weatherstations.co.uk/pc_linkage.htm is relevant reading.

As for Davis vs all the Chinese import 'brands' - that's inevitably down to budget and personal choice, but I suspect that most here would vouch for the extra quality and support offered by Davis.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 09:42:02 AM by johnd »
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Offline tasar

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 08:35:20 AM »
Good advice, thanks. Ethernet to the Pi via a hub could be a good solution. It sounds like Davis would be good for quality, although somewhat more expensive. I'll look at the link you posted.

Offline TraderGary

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 09:07:31 AM »
I've had a couple of recent power outages that lasted several hours each. My Davis WeatherLink Live 6100 has its own internal battery backup and during the outage continued to store data from its wireless connection with my Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus. After the outage was restored, the 6100 then uploaded its stored data to my WeatherLink cloud weather database. This is one of the many reasons I added the WLL 6100 to my Davis system and I couldn't be more pleased with its performance.

I can vouch for what Johnd says. With a Davis system you really do get what you pay for.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 09:09:44 AM by TraderGary »
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Offline tasar

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 11:23:58 AM »
That's good to know about the WeatherLink, and is what I hoped might be the case (especially since I don't normally run WiFi 24/7).

Offline johnd

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 11:37:14 AM »
That's good to know about the WeatherLink, and is what I hoped might be the case (especially since I don't normally run WiFi 24/7).

Yes, but be clear: What TraderGary was referring to is the fact that uploads to the weatherlink.com cloud platform are buffered, but local uploads eg to a Pi are not buffered. If you have the Pro subscription to weatherlink.com then you can in principle retrieve historical data from weatherlink.com (this is what CumulusMX does to cover any network outages). It's certainly possible but not totally trivial to do this with your own software.

Not trying to make this sound complicated because it's not once you've decided on a particular station configuration, but there are important subtleties and pros and cons to be aware of with different configurations.

Also, just to repeat: Weatherlink Live units will happily connect via a cabled Ethernet/network connection as well as WiFi.

NB Be wary of this word 'Weatherlink' - it's used in many different Davis contexts, but with different meanings: for hardware, as in Weatherlink loggers like the USB one; in the name of Weatherlink Live (which is not a logger by some definitions); the weatherlink.com cloud platform; and the legacy Weatherlink software (for Windows or Mac). If you just see the word Weatherlink in some text then you need to stop and think exactly what it might refer to.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 12:07:18 PM by johnd »
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Offline TraderGary

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 01:50:40 PM »
And to further clarify my situation, I decided to purchase the Davis WeatherLink Live 6100. ($180 USD) Read all about it here...

 https://www.davisinstruments.com/weatherlinklive/

And to further clarify, I have a WeatherLink Live Pro Subscription ($49/yr USD) on automatic payment. This gives me the all important off-site automatic backup, storage, and retrieval of my weather data that I want.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 01:58:15 PM by TraderGary »
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Offline Mandrake

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2021, 03:42:34 AM »
I am looking to replace an Oregon Scientific WMR180. Sadly, Oregon Scientific no longer seem to be making weather stations.

The weather station needs to be suitable for the UK (433/868 MHz). It should have the usual measurements, ideally with a UV sensor option.

I need the weather station to have a computer interface (preferably USB). This is because I log and analyse the data with my own programs. I'd prefer direct access to this data rather than having it sent to the cloud or a remote server.

Instead I would like to run a server on a Raspberry Pi. I'd prefer not to use a WiFi link as I normally don't run WiFi 24/7. However that might work if the weather station could buffer data while WiFi wasn't on.

The closest I can come to meeting these requirements are the Bresser, Davis, Froggit and Watson ranges, but don't know how reliable these are. Are there particular makes and models to consider? Thanks for any advice.

Greetings!
I thought I would offer a different viewpoint. Whilst Davis kit is very robust its also very expensive especially in the UK.
As a consequence I would strongly advise that you look at the current generation of FineOffset stations and sensors. The fineOffset kit these days has a own brand called Ecowitt and they will deliver to the UK with no problem. Frequency wise you can choose, though as most folks would order 433 or 868Mhz for the UK to stay legal.

Take a look at the weather stations and sensor options/bundles at www.ecowitt.com
The top end station is the HP2551 console or there is a headless version based on the GW1000
If you are not keen on ordering overseas then the only UK options are what you can find on Amazon or NevadaRadio in Portsmouth which sell a rebadged version of the HP2551 (Watson)

The only issue you may have is the USB requirement. This has largely been dropped these days and the data is transferred via network connections. The HP2551 can upload sensor data to a custom server of your choosing or predefined web services such as WunderGround, Met Office WOW, Ecowitt.net etc
If you can get a GW1000 you can natively 'read' the data to a device such as the Pi running software such as CumulusMX or WeeWx etc This is a really rich solution and most go with that option.

Happy to help, please PM me and in meantime take a look at the Ecowitt forum on this site which is massive and has full of helpfull folks!
Retired: Old Maplin N96Y/FO Weather station
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt WH51 (x6) Soil Moisture Sensor
Ecowitt WH41 PM2.5 AQM Sensor
Ecowitt WH31 (x8) Thermo/Hygro Sensor
Ecowitt WS80 Ultrasonic Anemometer (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning Sensor (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35) + Davis 7714 Screen
Ecowitt WH45 CO2/PM2.5/PM10 (production Test)

Offline tasar

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 05:10:53 PM »
That's very helpful thank you. It certainly looks like Davis is the preferred brand for build quality, though of course the price reflects this.

I'll follow up your recommendation to look at Ecowitt (and perhaps other Fine Offset clones). I'd prefer to buy in the UK if possible. I found the Watson W8686 (= Fine Offset HP2550?) at various UK suppliers, so that may be a possibility.

I am pondering a solution that uses WiFi from the weather station to a custom web server on the Pi, perhaps via a different WiFi router/relay from my main one. I'll also look into a more direct connection to the Pi using the GW1000.

Offline Mandrake

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 03:57:35 AM »
All of thats possible with Ecowitt/Fine Offset.
I use a old router as a AP with a separate Wifi network just for my weather stations and Pi's etc
Retired: Old Maplin N96Y/FO Weather station
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt WH51 (x6) Soil Moisture Sensor
Ecowitt WH41 PM2.5 AQM Sensor
Ecowitt WH31 (x8) Thermo/Hygro Sensor
Ecowitt WS80 Ultrasonic Anemometer (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning Sensor (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35) + Davis 7714 Screen
Ecowitt WH45 CO2/PM2.5/PM10 (production Test)

Offline johnd

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2021, 07:54:04 AM »
Just out of sheer curiosity, could someone educate me please:

All the pictures I see of recent FOSHK stations show the sensors seemingly joined together in a 2-sensor or 3-sensor arrangement. Can the sensors be separated eg at different heights or is this simply another variation on an all-in-one design, eg similar in configuration to the Vue rather than the extra flexibility and hence measurement accuracy of the VP2 design.
Prodata Weather Systems
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UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

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Offline wvdkuil

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2021, 08:04:07 AM »
Just out of sheer curiosity, could someone educate me please:

All the pictures I see of recent FOSHK stations show the sensors seemingly joined together in a 2-sensor or 3-sensor arrangement. Can the sensors be separated eg at different heights or is this simply another variation on an all-in-one design, eg similar in configuration to the Vue rather than the extra flexibility and hence measurement accuracy of the VP2 design.

No, there is much more then the all-in-one versions.
The "starter" version is always the all-in-one.

Separate wind rain temp units are available in different versions and combinations.
Outside temp can be replaced by a separate temp sensor.
Different consoles are available "no-glass" , normal and de-lux versions.

Wim
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 08:09:53 AM by wvdkuil »
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Offline galfert

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2021, 08:08:06 AM »
The WH65 all-in-one sensor array can't itself be separated. (available in bi-wing or tri-wing arrangement, but there is technically no difference)
https://www.ecowitt.com/shop/goodsDetail/1

But most consoles with this all-in-one sensor array can be augmented with separate sensor components that will override the all-in-one. Meaning that if you just get the separate anemometer, then just that sensor is overridden and the console uses the rest of what the all-in-one has to offer. The anemometer is just an example, but you could do the same with any other sensor as there is a separate component part available for any sensor.

Anemometer choices are standard spinning type or ultrasonic.

Or you could just get a complete station with all separate components.
https://www.ecowitt.com/shop/goodsDetail/10

Here are all the parts, all sensors and all consoles:
https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 08:15:52 AM by galfert »
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Offline johnd

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2021, 08:10:07 AM »
OK, thanks. But that seems slightly unhelpful. Does that mean that you cannot separate the sensors (at least not easily) in the starter unit? So if you want the more accurate arrangement of anemometer up high and T/H and rain closer to ground level then you have to buy additional units?

And do the additional units have transmitters in (ie effectively standalone transmitters) or are they wired to a transmitter in the primary sensor unit?
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Littleport, Ely, Cambs UK

Sorry, but I can't help with individual issues by email. Please post your issue in the relevant forum section here & I will comment there if I have anything useful to add.

Offline wvdkuil

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2021, 08:14:03 AM »
OK, thanks. But that seems slightly unhelpful. Does that mean that you cannot separate the sensors (at least not easily) in the starter unit? So if you want the more accurate arrangement of anemometer up high and T/H and rain closer to ground level then you have to buy additional units?

And do the additional units have transmitters in (ie effectively standalone transmitters) or are they wired to a transmitter in the primary sensor unit?

You can order any combination, see link in  @galfert post
The "all-in-one", the "separate"-main sensors  and all extra sensors such as  soil, temp-hum, water, lightning  transmit their data to the console-device(s).  No wiring.

Wim
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 08:23:54 AM by wvdkuil »
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Offline wardie

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2021, 04:37:37 PM »
OK, thanks. But that seems slightly unhelpful. Does that mean that you cannot separate the sensors (at least not easily) in the starter unit? So if you want the more accurate arrangement of anemometer up high and T/H and rain closer to ground level then you have to buy additional units?

And do the additional units have transmitters in (ie effectively standalone transmitters) or are they wired to a transmitter in the primary sensor unit?
My own personal journey on this (Ecowitt/Froggit equipment) is that at first I got an all-in-one sensor (the WH65 in Ecowitt language) but then realised any array like that ends up compromising location too much, so I changed it for separate sensors each located in more suitable locations. If you can afford it I would go with the latter from the start. The all-in-one sensor arrays are what they say on the tin - a single physical thing you canít separate. The individual sensors have their own transmitters obviously. Compared to you requirements up front, you can do it all locally to record onto a Pi and even one of the displays can store its own data on SD card (HP2551-C). But AFAIK there is no wired Ethernet USB type solution its all WiFi. Check this out for components:
https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0
Froggit HP1000SE Pro-C console (HP2551-C)
Froggit HP1000SE Pro ultrasonic multi sensor with Ecowitt EC0002 heater (WS80)
Ecowitt Anemometer 5-in-1 array (WS68)
Froggit DP80 rain gauge (WH40) with spikes
Froggit indoor temp/humidity/pressure (WH32B)
Froggit DP50 Internal temp/humidity x2 (WH31)
Ecowitt Outdoor temp/humidity & RS-00001 shield (WH32)
Froggit DP200 PM2.5 outdoor (WH41)
Ecowitt indoor CO2 PM2.5 PM10 (WH45)
Froggit DP100 soil moisture (WH51)
Froggit DP60 Lightning detector (WH57)
Froggit DP1500 server dongle (GW1000A) x2
Raspberry Pi 4 / WeeWx-GW1000 API interface
WU: IKNEBW2

Offline galfert

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2021, 05:35:10 PM »
There is an Ethernet solution. But I won't even mention its name because it is an old device from Fine Offset and it is terrible and does not support the new API standard.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 06:06:52 PM by galfert »
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge on Raspberry Pi
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
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Offline wardie

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Re: UK Weather Station with Computer Interface
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2021, 05:41:20 PM »
There is an Ethernet solution. But I won't even mention its name because it is an old device from Fine Offset and it is terrible and does not support the API standard.
Ah yes that is what Iíve seen you discuss called the... [Alert - Lightning: strike 1 at 0.0km]
Froggit HP1000SE Pro-C console (HP2551-C)
Froggit HP1000SE Pro ultrasonic multi sensor with Ecowitt EC0002 heater (WS80)
Ecowitt Anemometer 5-in-1 array (WS68)
Froggit DP80 rain gauge (WH40) with spikes
Froggit indoor temp/humidity/pressure (WH32B)
Froggit DP50 Internal temp/humidity x2 (WH31)
Ecowitt Outdoor temp/humidity & RS-00001 shield (WH32)
Froggit DP200 PM2.5 outdoor (WH41)
Ecowitt indoor CO2 PM2.5 PM10 (WH45)
Froggit DP100 soil moisture (WH51)
Froggit DP60 Lightning detector (WH57)
Froggit DP1500 server dongle (GW1000A) x2
Raspberry Pi 4 / WeeWx-GW1000 API interface
WU: IKNEBW2

 

anything