Author Topic: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)  (Read 1426 times)

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Offline olicat

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Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« on: December 12, 2022, 03:53:33 PM »
Hi!

The WN1980C is apparently intended as the successor to the WN1910C.
An unexciting evolution with slight improvements without major surprises.

Obvious is the slightly increased height (which is due to the touch buttons below the display on the front - the display area for weather data as well as its structure remains identical) and a USB-C socket for power supply (until now the power supply was via a hollow plug).
The device now measures 12.7 cm in height and 10.4 cm in width (in contrast to the WN1910C with a height of 11 cm). Again, there are 2 holes on the back for wall mounting - again, I would have preferred ONE central hole to allow mounting with ONE nail. However, the integrated stand can also be used to place the unit on a table.
In addition, there is the foldable sensor for indoor temperature and humidity. Presumably this is only foldable so that it does not require a larger packing size for shipping. In any case, it should only be operated when folded out.

Apparently there were difficulties with the timely delivery of a USB cable with an angled plug. In any case, I can't imagine that the USB plug should actually protrude from the side like that. That looks absolutely strange and is annoying both when the console is mounted on a wall and when it is placed somewhere on a table.
Later buyers will certainly receive such a cable. I'll ask Ecowitt about it.
Alternatively, you could perhaps buy an angled cable from the accessories - such as this here. However, there is not much space around the USB-C socket - it may not fit and a specially designed cable is needed!
I'll give this a try ...

According to another user who can directly compare the WN1980C with the WN1910C, the display background is darker which improves the contrast.
Personally, I didn't like the colour diversity of the WN1910C - I like the WN1980C with its uniform dark background much better. That's why I can only compare the WN1980C with the WN1900C.
The display of the WN1980C is clear and crisp and the numbers are still so large that you can see them easily even from a distance of 5 metres.
The screen layout is identical to the WN1900C/WN1910C - so not all the values of the supported sensors are displayed. As with the WN1900C or WN1910C, all sensors of the Ecowitt universe are recognised and, if necessary, sent to weather services (also via custom server).
However, only the time, date, wind, rain, the internal temperature of the built-in sensor, a forecast icon (presumably based on air pressure) and a field for external temperature and humidity/WH32/WH31 are displayed.

The brightness of the display can be adjusted in 5 steps from bright to off by pressing the LIGHT button when using an external power supply. In battery mode, the display switches off automatically after approx. 10 seconds and can be reactivated for these 10 seconds by touching the lower right corner of the display.
At the brightest level, the console consumes 140mA - 150mA if the web interface is used at the same time. In the other display brightness levels, it is 120, 110 or 90mA. Interesting: even when the display is switched off, my meter measures this 90mA.
Unfortunately, there is no timer control like on the HP2551C. So the console is always lit - even at night.
I wish Ecowitt would make the control via GW1000-API controllable by command and via WLAN, then I could make the display dependent on the motion detector and otherwise save the power. Or just switch it on and off time-controlled.
A pulsing/flickering of the backlight, as I experienced with the WN1900C, does not take place here (there is no backlight).
Unfortunately, the display is still only available in English. So you have to live with the usual Anglicisms like FORECAST, OUTDOOR, INDOOR, PRESSURE or RAIN or the English abbreviations for the days of the week.
At least the units commonly used in Europe are supported.
I will make a new attempt at translation. Ecowitt saw no need for localisation of the WN1900C because it was a low-cost station. However, the WN1980C is now also sold in a bundle with the WS90 and could therefore perhaps be positioned somewhat differently.

Speaking of power supply and consumption.
Here, two AA batteries are inserted, which serve as a backup - for example, when the console is moved. Even data transmission works without an external power supply.
However, I would not recommend using these batteries exclusively for longer periods of time. At 2.6V, the power supply apparently breaks down and a boot loop occurs - without any warning being shown on the display beforehand. This is annoying - especially as there is a corresponding icon at the bottom right of INDOOR area.
But presumably not many users will want to operate the unit without an external power supply - the power consumption of an ESP32's WLAN traffic is simply no fun with batteries and is ecologically unacceptable!
Perhaps even with slightly better batteries there would have been an advance warning.

Inside now works a much better WIFI module (previously Opus and now - according to the MAC address and various strings in the firmware - an ESP32). This supports 2.4GHz WLAN-b+g+n / Wi-Fi 4 - so the tricky WLAN 802.11b mode is no longer necessary - an advantage with modern WLAN infrastructure.
However, this model also shows difficulties with a mesh network - it does not support the 802.11k or 802.11v standards and thus no band-steering. This means that the console always logs on to the WLAN router (mesh master - in my case Fritzbox 7590AX), which may be far away, although various APs are available that are much closer.
I am in contact with Ecowitt about this.
Nevertheless, the WLAN seems to be more stable with the WN1980C than with the WN1900C.
The decision to go with the ESP32 is great - lots of processing power, lots of memory (but I don't know the memory capacity of this model) with low power consumption and low cost. I would imagine that there are significant resources here for future expansion because of the CPU.

The buttons at the back of the WN1900C and WN1910C have now been moved to the front as touch sensors directly under the display area of the weather data. This gives a real advantage in operation - until now I always had to turn the console around to operate the buttons hidden on the back.
With the MODE button you can switch between normal view, view of min/max values, alarm setting Hi/Lo and the display of the MAC address.
With the TEMP button you can select which sensor you want to see as temperature in the lower left corner. Possible are outdoor, chill, dew, heat and all WH31 sensors 1..8. Cycling of the display is also possible.
The WIND button switches between permanent display of wind or gust speed.
The display in the rain field can be set by the RAIN key. It is possible to display the current rate, the event or the amount of rain per hour, day, week, month and year. If the RAIN key is pressed for a longer time, instead of displaying the rain values, an air pressure display is shown, which can be switched between absolute and relative air pressure.
The key tones can be switched off as with the WN1900/1910: long press on the MODE key until bEEP appears and then press WIND.

The installation is now done via WLAN and in a few steps via WSView Plus - no longer via BLE as with WN1900C/WN1910C.
During my initial setup, it worked absolutely smoothly without any preliminary work (such as switching off 5GHz etc.). I can't remember a station from FOSHK that was easier to set up.

As with the previous generation or the other siblings, Ecowitt, WU, Weathercloud, WOW and dispatch to a custom server are used as weather services. An SD card for saving the incoming data as a data logger is unfortunately also missing here.
Interesting:
The WN1980C supports the same access options as, for example, GW1100 or GW2000 - so you can access real-time data via GW1000-API as well as via http-API (output as JSON - see attachment WN1980C-httpAPI.json.txt). Also the web UI or the type of update method is identical to the GW2000.
So it almost feels like a GW1100 or GW2000 with display.

The console was delivered with firmware v1.0.8 - the app then also immediately found an update to v1.1.0. During an update, the abbreviation OTA flashes in the upper right corner next to the time to indicate the ongoing update.
Sending the extended sensors in the WU protocol (leafwetness, tempNf, soiltempNf) is not yet implemented here - but I assume that this will follow very quickly now that other stations have already received this update. There are also references to Ambient Weather in the firmware - so I would expect that there will be such a device from Ambient Weather in the future.
In Ecowitt format, the console reports as model=WN1980A (probably also as B or C, depending on the frequency).
There is a new key for the battery voltage of the console: console_batt=3.00. Why they took a new key here and not use the ws1900batt, I don't understand. Unfortunately, during my tests here I could not determine at what voltage a warning is shown in the display - here the console went into a boot loop at approx. 2.6V - probably because the current for the WLAN transmitter module was not sufficient.

In the wind display, the unit is missing if you output the values in m/s. I think this is a bug - after all, if you select kph (kmh), this is also displayed. So why not for m/s?
When restarting, the default display mode is activated instead of the last one. So if you want to have the air pressure instead of precipitation in the display, you first have to activate this mode after a restart. The firmware should simply save such things in the NVRAM and restore them after the start.


I consider the WN1980C to be an extremely good choice if you have little space or the display is actually only used for operational testing or it is only the displayed values that matter.

Of course, if you need a console, I would always recommend the HP2551C first (unfortunately, I don't have the HP2560C in the house yet).
But those who can actually manage without a console and therefore wanted to buy a GW1100 might find the small surcharge of about 30USD tempting.
After all, the WN1980C can do all the things a GW1100 can do. Custom server, GW1000-API, http-API, WebUI.
The only difference is that this console also has a display.
I think the current price is slightly too high. It will probably be possible to reduce the current price by 10USD after the WN1910C is sold off. But of course I don't know.

If you have any questions about this console, please feel free to ask. If I have anything exciting to report about this console, I'll just add it here.

Regards, Oliver

Offline giusCB

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2022, 02:18:23 AM »
the biggest problem of this displays (also for 2550,2560) is the ultra low RF reception (from the outdoor sensor, not the wifi). In normal condition there are problems at 6-7 meters of distance
i don't know why ecowitt don't want to improve this thing

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Offline kheller2

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2022, 03:37:11 AM »
the biggest problem of this displays (also for 2550,2560) is the ultra low RF reception (from the outdoor sensor, not the wifi). In normal condition there are problems at 6-7 meters of distance
i don't know why ecowitt don't want to improve this thing

Not wanting to derail this thread, but, my outdoor sensor array is at least 30m from my console(s), some are 40m plus and none have that issue.  I do have problems picking up a multichannel T/H at times on the opposite side of the house, going through multiple walls and floors at a diagonal to a console. 
Ambient Consoles: WS-2000, WS-1900, WS-1200, WS-2902C, WS-3000-X3, WS-0900-IP(observerIP), WS-1001-WIFI
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Offline olicat

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2022, 05:49:54 PM »
Hi!

I received the first answers from Ecowitt very quickly today.
Once again, proof of excellent customer support:

Quote
1. unit setting 
If you set the unit for m/s on its embedded webpage, or via wsview plus live data page unit setting, it will follow. m/s unit is not available on the display, so the unit is not displayed if you set to m/s on its webpage, and the actual data displayed is in m/s.
But I have to ask again why the "m/s" - the unit itself - cannot be displayed on the LCD. Surely it should not be a problem to display "m/s" in the wind block instead of the string "" for this unit?

Quote
2. Default setting memorize
We will implement this feature with the future firmware upgrade. It will be saved for the display mode upon last selected.
Very nice. In the future, the display will remain at air pressure instead of rain, if you have set it that way. Even after a restart of the console.
That's how I imagined it. Thank you!

Quote
3. WPA3
Our console supports WPA3 encryption already. You may test this. We have tested this and it is working. Can you try?
In fact, I haven't tested WPA3 for a very long time and just assumed from the absence in the changelogs that WPA3 is not yet supported.
I will test this and report back.

Quote
4. custom mode for wu protocol
We will support the extra sensor data upload in the next upgrade same as the GW1100.
Wonderful. This would make the WN1980C an excellent alternative to the HP2551C/HP2560C for all Awekas users (and other weather services based on WU format), or even for those who might otherwise be satisfied with a GW1100.

Quote
5. Console battery
All new console will start to use consolebatt for battery status. This is to meet the new definition while still keeping the old symbol untouched.
More a hint for developers - the "normal" user does not need this knowledge.
But anyone who wants to access the battery status with their own applications should know this.

My questions about the USB cable with angled connector, about controlling the display brightness/backlight via a software API, about the possibility of localisation in different display languages and about mesh compatibility according to 802.11k/v are still open.
Oh yes - and from which voltage value the console displays the change battery symbol.

However, I expect answers shortly and will share them here.

Oliver

Offline olicat

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2022, 12:25:01 PM »
Hi!

Quote
Alternatively, you could perhaps buy an angled cable from the accessories - such as this here. However, there is not much space around the USB-C socket - it may not fit and a specially designed cable is needed!
I'll give this a try ...
I have now tried out such a cable and am thrilled. The plug still sticks out a little on the side - it's hardly possible otherwise due to the design.
But the cable disappears very well behind the console and the "hump" on the right side is not very big.
I would expect something like this when Ecowitt delivers it.

Oliver

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2022, 12:41:06 PM »
You can find the adapters on Amazon, Ebay, etc. I have a few now. Basically the male at whatever angle you want , short cable, then the female end.

If you modify the WH41 PM 2.5 to use USB charging all the time, pretty much requires an angle USB if you ever want to close the case again.
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Offline genius2_2

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2022, 09:58:19 AM »
Do you know if WH32 temp. & humidity can be displayed on the device or only WH31? I know that WH32 data will be send to ecowitt.net;WU; etc… but for the display?

Offline davidefa

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2022, 10:09:30 AM »
Hi!

Quote
1. unit setting 
If you set the unit for m/s on its embedded webpage, or via wsview plus live data page unit setting, it will follow. m/s unit is not available on the display, so the unit is not displayed if you set to m/s on its webpage, and the actual data displayed is in m/s.
But I have to ask again why the "m/s" - the unit itself - cannot be displayed on the LCD. Surely it should not be a problem to display "m/s" in the wind block instead of the string "" for this unit?

The display is an 'lcd segment display' ( and not a 'lcd dot matrix display' ), this means that only 'preprinted' segments can be turned on, in this case ecowitt didn't include the 'm/s' string/segment in the wind block

Offline Gyvate

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2022, 10:32:30 AM »
Do you know if WH32 temp. & humidity can be displayed on the device or only WH31? I know that WH32 data will be send to ecowitt.net;WU; etc… but for the display?
If the WH32 is registered to the console, its T/H values will be displayed.
The console displays the outdoor T/H sensor and up to 8 WH31 sensors in the same place. By manual toggle or by cycling through the display.
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Offline olicat

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2022, 12:42:47 PM »
Hi!

Quote
if WH32 temp. & humidity can be displayed on the device or only WH31?
Just tested: of course this works.

Oliver

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2022, 01:45:26 AM »
Hi Olicat,
I'm going to buy the WN1910 console, prequel of the very new WN1980. Nowhere in the web - but in the user's comparison you've posted - I can find that the background is of those unhappy colours: it seems to be as dark as in  WN1980.
From Ecowitt store too you can't see any difference.
What am I missing? Is it possible that there have been different WN1910 versions?
Thank you

Offline olicat

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2022, 02:07:00 AM »
Hi!

I wouldn't do that.
The WN1980C is much powerful and less problematic regarding WIFI. Newer routers and APs don't support 802.11b anymore. With the WN1980C you get the maximum connectivity and compatibility - besides custom server, the GW1000 API and the http API are also supported.

And at least some photos show the screen as "hectic" I wouldn't love:

https://www.wetterstationsforum.info/viewtopic.php?p=14326&hilit=Wn1910#p14326

Perhaps there're multiple versions - I really don't know.

Oliver


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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2022, 02:47:30 AM »
Hi Oliver,
yes, I've read about possible wifi issues, even if for those too it seems there are different user experiences and so different feedback, it's not easy to have a clear picture.
From your words I guess that also WN1900 has these wifi problems. I'd use it with backlight always on - that which seems possible - because I need something readable also in the dark.
So I'll wait the new console to be sold by Amazon and I'll probably buy that one.
Thank you

Offline Gyvate

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Re: Brief introduction WN1980C (review)
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2022, 04:30:12 AM »
If your WLAN access point supports 802.11b, the WN1910 will be fine. I have one myself (and also an  old access point dedicated to my weather consoles) and I'm fine with the display (see below).
What is a bit  inconvenient is that the buttons/keys are somewhat hidden at the side and the naming is not so easily readable for me. That's where the WN1980 has a clear plus with the keys on the screen now.
The WN1980 definitely is a noticeable hardware upgrade - outside (display with keys) and inside (no WiFi 802.11b, no more BLE)
However, if you want to save the 20 USD price difference and the "shortcomings" are worth it for you, the WN1910 will be fine.
WS2350 1.6.7, GW1000(3) 1.7.7,WH2650 WiFi (2) 1.7.7 (test/backup), GW1100 2.3.2, GW1200 1.3.1, GW2000(3) 3.1.3, HP2551 1.9.6,5.1.6;HP3500 1.7.2,WS3800 1.3.0, WN1910 1.2.3,WN1980 1.2.3;
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