Author Topic: In-Built Automatic Firmware Updates for Ambient/Ecowitt Weather Station Consoles  (Read 600 times)

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Offline WeatherEnthusiastNZ

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Do you think that the Fine Offset (Ambient, Ecowitt, etc) Weather Stations models will ever get in-built updates (either automatic or manual)?
Also is there any security risks or other if such a technology was developed?

It seems that having the consoles (via internet) update from an in-build system, would be more convenient than having to download new software to a USB each time and manually update it (of course still allow manual updates or changing to older versions. I'm not talking Windows 10 forced updates. But at least a setting which one could toggle on to allow the console to automatically update to the latest software (firmware & wifi software) without the need to do it via USB). Or would doing updates like so result in lost data?

Interested to hear what you think. :)

10 Jan 2020
Update: Updated the title to include the word "Firmware"

Offline Mandrake

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I think that its certainly possible in future devices.
The GW1000 for instance has a single firmware that covers both the sensor and internet connectivity, so could for arguments sake be coded to auto-update if there is enough space in the device memory wise and processor wise. But, that's the key thing. At the moment this overhead is undertaken by your phone etc leaving the device to be bare bones and minimum cost to do what it was designed to do.

If you want the device to have more power and capability it add to the costs.

Likewise the consoles such as HP2551/WS2000 could in future iterations go down a similar path but that does take more engineering. Today the firmware for the sensor/display management is different to that of the network connectivity and so needs a manual update path. With more engineering and more cost this can definitely go away and I am sure in time will do so as things inevitably reduce in cost.
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt GW2000 (Test)
Ecowitt WS90 Wittboy - Test
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 -test
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35) + Davis 7714 Screen
Ecowitt WH45 CO2/PM2.5/PM10 -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Soil Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN35 Leaf Moisture

Offline galfert

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I don't think a weather station is a device that should be upgraded automatically. I've never seen a change log mention any updates for security purposes. All updates are for either adding features or for fixing bugs. These are things that should be done manually. The reason is because the owner/manager of the station should know when changes are introduced to be on careful watch for newly introduced bugs. It would be pretty terrible if a system updated automatically and you had no warning that such an update occurred only to find out a problem days or weeks later and now your data is corrupted (bad data). Certainly an automatic update notification could be part of the solution. But for many people if it isn't broken then it doesn't need fixing. I for one am one of those that never jumps on new firmware. I wait at least a week to see if others report problems. I don't want to be the guinea pig. I don't want to add frustration or have data loss or data corruption. Sure if I have an existing problem and I read the change log and I see it addresses my existing issue then I might jump on it sooner. Some firmware updates you can control and go backwards if needed, others not. I'm especially cautious on those that can only go forward.

TL;DR Automatic Updates generally stink especially for non critical systems that are not a security concern.
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 Mandrake

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I dont disagree with you Galfert and do think that folks should always be given a choice.
I think the most obvious indicator of poor firmware management is the mess that Bose seems to be making of its headphones either deliberately or by accident depending on who you listen to!
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt GW2000 (Test)
Ecowitt WS90 Wittboy - Test
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 -test
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35) + Davis 7714 Screen
Ecowitt WH45 CO2/PM2.5/PM10 -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Soil Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN35 Leaf Moisture

Offline galfert

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I dont disagree with you Galfert and do think that folks should always be given a choice.
I think the most obvious indicator of poor firmware management is the mess that Bose seems to be making of its headphones either deliberately or by accident depending on who you listen to!

"Depending on who you listen to!", haha ...no pun intended right?  :grin:

I'm not familiar with the Bose situation. Please provide a brief summary, sounds interesting. Haha...I can make puns too!  \:D/

EDIT: I did a search and found this well made video. Does this summarize the Bose firmware conspiracy? Is there more to this? Is there an update?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyC9QStmzcA

This is pretty bad coming from a company like Bose. Surely they must fix this and soon or at least have come out with some PR verbiage on the matter. Hopefully they aren't tight lipped like Davis regarding their SHT31 issues. I have their speakers in my home theater (speakers only). My parents have one of the Bose all-in-one systems. But that is about my extent with Bose. I've tested the noise cancelling at Costco. Impressive but I have no need for noise cancelling.

Edit 2: Here is follow-up video on Bose (not looking good)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2JYUDCvHkM

Sorry for the Off Topic tangent to the OP, but I think this is rather interesting to discuss. It is sort of related though. Imagine an automatic firmware update that you know you don't want because it causes a known issue. If I had those Bose headphones I surely would have not done the update, until a follow-up update was made available that fixed the issue. I've experienced numerous situations with different things where I've held off on updates because of known issues.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 11:53:11 AM by galfert »
Ecowitt GW1000 | Meteobridge on Raspberry Pi
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Weather Underground Issue Tracking
Tele-Pole

Offline Mandrake

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yep, that YouTube is pretty good summary with some reasonable tests.
I was on the fence around the QC35's and then the 700 series came out and they magically managed to sand bag the old QC35's with a firmware that actually reduced the noise cancelling performance.
It has so put me off Bose that I am still not committed to a set of noise cancelling ear phones.
I am in no hurry anyway since I would only use them for long distance air travel.

But the point still stands that firmware can be a backwards step. In the case of Bose they still seem to have not rectified it, which amazes me as I would have thought legal cases would be served on them for this malpractice.
G1ZFO

Ecowitt HP2551A + WH65 Tri-Wing (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment driving CumulusMX on a RPi 3b
Ecowitt GW2000 (Test)
Ecowitt WS90 Wittboy - Test
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 -test
Ecowitt WH32-EP (SHT35) + Davis 7714 Screen
Ecowitt WH45 CO2/PM2.5/PM10 -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Soil Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN34 Water Temp Sensor -Test
Ecowitt WN35 Leaf Moisture

Offline K5GHS

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Honestly I'm on the fence about updates.  In some ways they are good, especially with the novice or semi novice user.  Most of them probably wouldn't even notice the difference if it automagically updated like their phone, computer, etc.  But having said that....

....if you get a bad update, something breaks, etc...then you'll probably be having a bunch of people having to "send in" their product, because they have no idea how to fix it, how to revert it back to the prior code, etc.  This will cause problems, delays, screaming, and lower star ratings on Amazon. 

And that is probably why they don't.  If someone is savvy enough to upgrade firmware, they are savvy enough to follow some instructions on how to revert it back to "last known good." If they aren't that savvy, the version they have is hopefully stable and hopefully works, and no problems or RMA's, bad reviews, screaming on websites like this for help, etc.

Those who want the features will seek them.  Those who just want it to work will pull it out of the box, slap it on a pole, slap the thing on the wall, plug it in, and be happy.
Joshua
K5GHS
http://www.k5ghs.radio

Collin County, TX  Grid: EM13qd  CWOP: AV590
Skywarn Repeaters:  147.180 Primary 146.740 Secondary
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Ecowitt GW1000

Offline KenW

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When I went into WSView the other day to check my customised settings, it wanted to update the firmware on my WH9350 WS.
I let it.  All seems OK.