Author Topic: Update interval is too restrictive.  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline Jorginho

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Update interval is too restrictive.
« on: August 22, 2020, 04:34:02 PM »
I know this is not a real question, more a remark and a viewpoint. But we are here to help also, not just to  ask.

When I look at Barani, a few things come to mind:
- It is for a reason they compare to Davis Vantage Pro2 and not truly professional station. So I guess this is a target market for them.
- Weatherunderground provides rapidfire. for a reason.
- Sigfox (I  did not look into Lorawan nor NB Iot or what it is called) offers a max of 140 messages/datatrafers per day if I get that correct.

Now the last point means a few things. First of all suppose Barani is taking that as basis and it certainly seems so given their 5/hour datatransfer. I mean; 24 x 5 is 120 messages per day and 6 times means you cross that line.
Another thing happens: just sending so few messages means your transmitters have a very  long off time, so you save a lot of power there I guess. So you can do with pretty pedestrian batterypower...Which is huge advantage.

Sure enough it is how the WMO works...Every 10 minutes an update with in it all the extrema, the averages etc.

But I don't think it is how weatherhobbyists work. I think a pretty good analogue are mobilephones versus DSLr/mirrorless cams....We have computational tech on the phones but they cannot come close to DSLR/mirrorless. You cannot get the IQ out of a pinhole lens versus a true lens 50 times the size. Impossible. Look at the marketshare of those cams: plummeting and plummeting. There is one reason for this: convenience and the wish many users have. They want their pics fast and share them fast.

And weatherbuffs are no different: they want good data for sure, but they too want it fast preferably live. It is where rapidfire comes into play. I don't think  Barani offers anything like that kind of data, and if I am wrong all of what I wrote can  be thrown into the bin. But if I am right, they need to tackle it. Not only does it mean a much higher rate of data transmission, but this in tiself means you need to be extremely efficient with  the batteries you have on board.

So in my view and surely for me personally this needs to be adressed in the future. I can see myself using a Barani system for myself and use wow for it. While I also keep my Davis for Wunderground etc. But others who can not or do not want to buy/maintain two full fledged setups need to chose. I think many would go for the Davis. The data quality, like image quality on  phones, might be worse but getting the data is so much faster that it probably is a decider for 80% of the usergroup I think.

I wonder if I am correct about the maximum of 5 times/hour datatransmission and I also am interested how others feel about all of this.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 05:49:05 PM by Jorginho »

Offline johnd

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2020, 04:59:34 AM »
I wonder if I am correct about the maximum of 5 times/hour data transmission and I also am interested how others feel about all of this.

I'm no expert but AIUI, that sort of limitation is correct. SigFox in particular seems to have the lowest bandwidth of any of these LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) technologies - it's inherent in how SigFox works. You maybe able to get somewhat faster update rates but it's always going to be a tradeoff between the message size and its frequency.

More generally: Leaving the cheap Ecowitt-type stations to one side, the main market for weather stations is not hobbyists (ie 'weather buffs'), it is more general users especially in farming and horticulture, but a wide range of other applications too such as education, research (not weather research for which high-end stations would be used, but eg ecological studies where a background weather record is important), noise monitoring, weather-dependent outdoor activity clubs etc. Very few of these users need or want very frequent data updates. Offhand I can't think of one such application where WU Rapidfire has ever been requested for instance.

But the potentially big market - and the one that I'm guessing Barani may be aiming at - is agriculture and here an update every 10 minutes is more than enough.
Prodata Weather Systems
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Sorry, but I have no time to 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 Jorginho

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You are right that shose are important too
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2020, 06:37:01 AM »
I completely forgot that Davis is seriously tapping into these markets and indeed there 10 minutes updates are usefull too.

Otoh:
- This is a forum that seems to be squarely aimed at weatherbuffs and we have a reseller (I  guess?) mauro who is pretty avid in  answering questions and explaining things.
- Weatherunderground is currently the only such service supported by Barani which seems to be squarely aimed at hobbyists.
- W ehave Mauro who says a complete revamped interface between the  weatherstation and wunderground, wow etc is now in the works I  think in no small part because of what hobbyists want.

Regardless: if they want us as group of customers, I think 10 minutes does not suffice. Sure there are those using ecowitt, fine-offset, netatmo users who will probably not buy these. But there seems to be a pretty large proportion  of Davis users and these in general ar eperfectly  capable of buying these stations.

I wonder if there are other networks that can get us live data or they can come up with version that works more like a Davis (so a sending and receiving unit).

Offline johnd

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Re: You are right that shose are important too
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2020, 06:55:19 AM »
- This is a forum that seems to be squarely aimed at weatherbuffs and we have a reseller (I  guess?) mauro who is pretty avid in  answering questions and explaining things.

Yes, but you were asking about Sigfox (amongst other things I know). These LPWAN technologies are not for users who want very rapid data updates - I think you need to stick with traditional broadband Internet technologies for that.

There are software technologies that support rapid updates (over broadband) like MQTT, which are available on several local data devices including WiFi Logger and some of the weather programs like CumulusMX (IIRC). The problem is that the popular weather platforms do not currently accept data via MQTT. It's not necessarily difficult to do, but it needs a decision by the platform how to handle data like this. For example, very rapid data probably does not need to be stored by the platform, so you end up with two kinds of data: real-time data (displayed but not stored) and archive/summary data uploaded eg every 5 minutes or whatever that is stored. It's no coincidence that this is how the Davis LOOP and archive data formats work.

Addendum: It's an interesting problem actually. Ideally, you don't want an online weather platform that belongs to a specific manufacturer - for the obvious reason that they are probably not going to welcome data uploads from from different makes of station. But developing and maintaining a good weather platform costs quite a chunk of money and so realistically it cannot be free (or at least fully free, ie it could be a freemium model like weatherlink.com). We have talked in the past about whether it might be possible to do this on an open-source basis, ie with developers contributing their time for free, though there would obviously still be some commercial costs for hosting the platform. But I'm not aware that any progress has been made on sucha  project.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 07:21:01 AM by johnd »
Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Cambridge UK

Sorry, but I have no time to 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 mauro63

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Re: You are right that shose are important too
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2020, 09:03:35 AM »
I completely forgot that Davis is seriously tapping into these markets and indeed there 10 minutes updates are usefull too.

Otoh:
- This is a forum that seems to be squarely aimed at weatherbuffs and we have a reseller (I  guess?) mauro who is pretty avid in  answering questions and explaining things.
- Weatherunderground is currently the only such service supported by Barani which seems to be squarely aimed at hobbyists.
- W ehave Mauro who says a complete revamped interface between the  weatherstation and wunderground, wow etc is now in the works I  think in no small part because of what hobbyists want.

Regardless: if they want us as group of customers, I think 10 minutes does not suffice. Sure there are those using ecowitt, fine-offset, netatmo users who will probably not buy these. But there seems to be a pretty large proportion  of Davis users and these in general ar eperfectly  capable of buying these stations.

I wonder if there are other networks that can get us live data or they can come up with version that works more like a Davis (so a sending and receiving unit).


- This is a forum that seems to be squarely aimed at weatherbuffs and we have a reseller (I  guess?) mauro who is pretty avid in  answering questions and explaining things.



just a small clarification on this point

I am not a Barani reseller, I have no commercial interest with this company, I like their products and their philosophy and for about 3 years we have had a form of collaboration, totally free of charge, in which I try to be the point of contact between the company and the consumer
this is a very important aspect, few companies are able to listen to the needs of users, collect their criticisms, their suggestions and treasure them to improve their products

that's all
Mauro

Offline Jorginho

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2020, 09:37:58 AM »
Thxx for the clarification Mauro. I think it is great you dod that and also that Barani listens to people. Other companbies should take an example I guess...

Offline Jorginho

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What is send to WU?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2020, 03:21:10 AM »
Hi Mauro63,

I looked at your station on  Montemarciano, which is easy to spot since it has Meteohelix in its name. I looked at the values and sure enough it are 10 minute values. But what is less nice is that every day I checked the minimum and the maximum are those extrema that WU received at the 10 minute spot. So it seems obvious the real minima and maxima are in fact not sent to WU at all. If so, this is a big downside for those who depend on  WU (Barani does not offer anything else) to get their data online. What use is it when you have this very accurate equipment but only get the 6 values per hour that than will be used to get the extremes? We can be pretty sure that in between the temperature has been several tenths of a degree higher and lower.

It might be that Barani cannot support rapid fire, I don't know exactly how WU works but I bet they determine the extrema based on the data they received. So may be with Wu this cannot be fixed.

I already had contact with Jan and asked him if we could build our own sender/receiver (Xbee or something similar) so we can obtain data in that way. I have  seen this working and pretty easily with Davis Vue/VPro stations and may be it can work with Barani stations too?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 03:30:07 AM by Jorginho »

Offline mauro63

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Re: What is send to WU?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 08:22:56 AM »
Hi Mauro63,

I looked at your station on  Montemarciano, which is easy to spot since it has Meteohelix in its name. I looked at the values and sure enough it are 10 minute values. But what is less nice is that every day I checked the minimum and the maximum are those extrema that WU received at the 10 minute spot. So it seems obvious the real minima and maxima are in fact not sent to WU at all. If so, this is a big downside for those who depend on  WU (Barani does not offer anything else) to get their data online. What use is it when you have this very accurate equipment but only get the 6 values per hour that than will be used to get the extremes? We can be pretty sure that in between the temperature has been several tenths of a degree higher and lower.

It might be that Barani cannot support rapid fire, I don't know exactly how WU works but I bet they determine the extrema based on the data they received. So may be with Wu this cannot be fixed.

I already had contact with Jan and asked him if we could build our own sender/receiver (Xbee or something similar) so we can obtain data in that way. I have  seen this working and pretty easily with Davis Vue/VPro stations and may be it can work with Barani stations too?

Hello Jorginho,

sorry for the delay but I had my grandson's baptism and we had a lot of preparation for the party  ;)

I agree with you,
personally, I do not use Wunderground, due to this problem that, actually, cannot be solved
I can say you that Barani is in the middle to the process to realize a new web interface, that surely will be more attractive and with a lot of new option, with great attention to this point
is of this morning a news that I've received from Barani, regarding this process, news that I paste below

"Dear customer,
We would like to inform you that we will be updating the allMETEO cloud platform to our new inhouse designed server database this week. We have taken every measure to make sure that all data is backed up redundantly and safeguarded and all new data that will arrive during the update process is received by multiple servers to make sure that you will not notice anything. Nevertheless please keep an eye on your allMETEO (MeteoHelix, MeteoWind, MeteoRain) account, and please report any unusual activity, should you notice any.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience as this first step the allMETEO update process will ensure that in the near future we can bring you new services and solutions as part of the allMETEO weather portal like the new wireless MeteoRain IoT Compact.

Sincerely yours,
Jan Barani and the BARANI DESIGN Technologies team"

Mauro

Offline Jorginho

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Well, isn't this your station then?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 11:13:10 AM »
Hi Mauro63,

I think you forgot that you actually do upload data to wunderground. Or is this not your station? https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/IMONTE151
I thought it would be too coincidental that a station near you (I think this is near you?) has the exact same weatherstation. I guess you once setup up but nevr looked back may be.

I think it isn't just me who is interested in how the current interface of Barani works. It would be appreciated if you could find the time and show some printscreens may be?

Also very interesting is if Barani will get us much better support for existing third party weatherdata sites and/or is this a wunderground/wow look alike with only Barani station on it? In the latter case it of course helps but again it is restricting and not so flexible I think.

It seems I do not need to convince you basically, but to show you how restrictive a 10 minute intervall is an example of last night. The lowest 10 minute value on WU on my station was 9,8 C. But as it accepts rapidfire all other minima are stored as well...And that minimum was 9,5 C. So that is 0,3 C difference.

I appreciate that you already spend a lot of time answering all those questions, so sorry to ask even more! Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 11:15:15 AM by Jorginho »

Offline mauro63

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Re: Well, isn't this your station then?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 01:00:24 PM »
Hi Mauro63,

I think you forgot that you actually do upload data to wunderground. Or is this not your station? https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/IMONTE151
I thought it would be too coincidental that a station near you (I think this is near you?) has the exact same weatherstation. I guess you once setup up but nevr looked back may be.

I think it isn't just me who is interested in how the current interface of Barani works. It would be appreciated if you could find the time and show some printscreens may be?

Also very interesting is if Barani will get us much better support for existing third party weatherdata sites and/or is this a wunderground/wow look alike with only Barani station on it? In the latter case it of course helps but again it is restricting and not so flexible I think.

It seems I do not need to convince you basically, but to show you how restrictive a 10 minute intervall is an example of last night. The lowest 10 minute value on WU on my station was 9,8 C. But as it accepts rapidfire all other minima are stored as well...And that minimum was 9,5 C. So that is 0,3 C difference.

I appreciate that you already spend a lot of time answering all those questions, so sorry to ask even more! Thanks in advance!


Hello Jorginho,
no, no it's mine Meteohelix, simply I do not use WUnderground to check data, that's all ;)
Usually, I use the allmeteo portal data, where I can find all the data, the transmission is every 10 minutes but the sampling time is 1 second for Meteowind and, if I remember well, 5 seconds or less for temperature and humidity, the allmeteo portal contains the minimum, maximum and average data for every parameter of all the samplings

I can export all data in a csv format and after this step I can make graphs, analysis and every needs in a spreadsheet.

If you want to improve the knowledge about meteo allportal, you can sign, even if you haven't a Meteohelix weather station or other Barani's equipment, you will have low functions but can be useful, but I'm glad to add here some screenshots, hoping this could be useful

about the last part, do not worry, it's a pleasure for me  ;)

Mauro
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Offline Julius

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2020, 06:04:58 AM »
I wonder if I am correct about the maximum of 5 times/hour data transmission and I also am interested how others feel about all of this.
I'm no expert but AIUI, that sort of limitation is correct.
For LoRaWAN and TheThingsNetwork, which is used for barani IoT devices now, there's not a limitation beyond TTNs fair use policy. And there really is no technical limit as long as you stay under an average of 1 packet uplinked to TTN every 30 seconds per device. So, say you have 4 devices (wind, rain, helix, soil), you can theoretically have update intervals every 2 minutes from each device. LoRaWAN does not limit anything, by the way, just technically it suffers from collissions/delays if one gateway goes beyond hundreds of devices, but who has that? The trouble is with the localized routers the gateways have to use. For the EU there's currently only ttn-router-eu, and luckily many are switching to other systems, like SigFox, so I doubt that it will be overloaded anytime soon.

I think Barani picked 10 minute intervals because it is according to the WMO spec to do so. For the MeteoHelix each 10 minute interval outputs a minimum, maximum and average of the entire 10 minutes (for all values it measures). Contrary to what people then think, it does NOT *miss* any maximum or minimum event within each 10 minute interval. So, to be clear; It doesn't take measurements in 10 minute intervals, it just spits out *all* collected measurement data from each 10 minutes that went by, up to the last second of those 10 minutes.
This is a mistake often made; It's not "designed slower than Davis". To explain this; When it sends out data at 12h12m10s, it tells you what it measured at 12h12h09s still, for example, but without that timestamp. Calculating the average value of the last 10 minutes happens in fractions of millisecs.

Offline johnd

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2020, 06:41:42 AM »
I don't think there's any real disagreement about the capabilities of LoraWAN. Here's what TTN say about data rates for instance:

Sending data from a Node to your Application (uplink)

We want you to create products that are as efficient as possible. This will get the most out of your battery, and doesn’t require you to buy many gateways. If you follow these recommendations, you’ll definitely build an amazing product!


  • Payload should be as small as possible. This means that you should not send JSON or plain (ASCII) text, but instead encode your data as binary data. This is made really easy with the Cayenne Low Power Payload format which is fully supported by The Things Network.
  • Interval between messages should be in the range of several minutes, so be smart with your data. You could for example transmit a min|avg|max every 5 minutes, or you could only transmit when you sensor value changed more than a certain threshold or have it triggered by motion or another event.
  • Data Rate should be as fast as possible to minimize your airtime. SF7BW125 is usually a good place to start, as it consumes the least power and airtime. If you need more range, you can slowly increase until you have enough. You can also enable adaptive data rate (ADR), the network will then be able to automatically optimize your data rate.

Of course it also depends how far your node might be from the gateway, spreading factor etc, so probably best to plan for worst case = low data rate.

Bottom line is that LoRa is not for real-time eg wind or rain data, but all weather data that can summarised succinctly in small packets eg every 10mins is fine.

Prodata Weather Systems
Prodata's dedicated Davis EnviroMonitor website
UK Davis Premier Dealer - All Davis stations, accessories and spares
Cambridge UK

Sorry, but I have no time to 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 Julius

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 05:31:07 AM »
Bottom line is that LoRa is not for real-time eg wind or rain data, but all weather data that can summarised succinctly in small packets eg every 10mins is fine.
That's just not true. I have devices that transfer sensor data over LoRaWAN at ~100m distance from the gateway router. These are packets of around 20 bytes per event. They flash through the router to TTN within milliseconds, and show up on a website a few ms later, which you can F5 to load the most recent data. So, honestly, if you think a delay of 1 second would not be considered "real time" enough, fine, I think it's fast enough.

https://www.rfid-wiot-search.com/istanbul-airport-relies-on-lorawan-for-real-time-monitoring

And, they use LoRaWAN for real-time temperature regulation in datacenters too:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333009598_A_LoRaWAN_Wireless_Sensor_Network_for_Data_Center_Temperature_Monitoring
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 05:54:19 AM by Julius »

Offline Julius

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Re: Update interval is too restrictive.
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2020, 03:02:54 PM »
That's not to say the output interval is indeed quite long.
I really don't know why the 60 samples of 10 secs are only transmitted by the MeteoHelix Pro every 10 minutes.
It does not look like the hardware (or the solar powered battery) could not easily handle doing the same every 150 seconds for example, or at the very least every 5 minutes.
This is a firmware choice made for a reason, but I'm not sure what that would be.. Anyone?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 03:05:16 PM by Julius »