Author Topic: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design  (Read 474 times)

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Offline BackWoodsTech

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Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« on: January 21, 2022, 10:52:05 AM »
I've been putting this off for too many years now. I've owned several junky home weather stations but I've never been able to attain my real desire to have long-term data logging. After researching forever I've settled on the Ecowitt GW1100 as the 'core' of my system given the flexibility in sensor options. I can add more as budget affords (or so it seems). I'll preface my submission here that I am open to any and all advice and am certain I've made some incorrect assumptions. I'll do my best to layout my idea here and I'm hoping you all can let me know where i've gone astray.

Goals:
  • Display weather data in realtime
  • Log weather data to a database

Objectives:
  • Budget minded
  • Low-power consumption (I live off-grid)
  • Defer purchase of console till later date
  • Data logging persists even with network outage
  • Local network utilization only; internet connectivity not continual (more on this below)
  • Pushing data to cloud (e.g. WU) is not a current objective

Constraints:
  • Home WiFi network is subject to power-down when I'm not home
  • GW1100 & MeteoBridge however would live on a circuit providing 24-7 power

Current Hardware:
  • RockPro64 with OMV5 running on top of an Armbian variant of a Debian distro (for practical purposes, let's just call this a 'Linux box')
  • A TP-Link TL-WR902AC which appears I can flash MeteoBridge to
  • Cellular Router providing WiFi network (can reserve IPs for various devices etc)
  • Ecowitt GW1100 (To be purchased)

Ok so that's where I'm at for starters, how far have I missed the mark!? #-o

So, for a variety of reasons, the circuit which the home server and router live on is shut down. My major concerns are:
  • Can the MeteoBridge enabled device log data locally?
  • Can said data then be programmatically fetched to update a database hosted on the linux server (once network is back up and running)??
  • Since the MeteoBridge is broadcasting WiFi, and I access it directly with my smartphone while my router is powered off?

I really hope I can make this work as I've longed to be able to have my own weather data logging and plan on integrating numerous sensors into this system for both weather, gardening, and semi-smart home management.

BTW, I've lurked reading these forums for years but only just now signed up. I really  appreciate any insight you have, thanks!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 11:14:37 AM by BackWoodsTech »

Offline broadstairs

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2022, 11:02:29 AM »
Welcome to the forum....

I'll leave others to comment on most of your objectives but the one thing I'll add is that you can use an old Android tablet (if you have one) as a console to display data from the GW1100 using Personal Weather Tablet (PWT). I use one rather than buying a separate console.

Stuart
Ecowitt GW1003 with ultrasonic wind gauge, lightning sensor and PM2.5 sensor with Personal Weather Tablet as a console.

Offline BackWoodsTech

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2022, 11:13:12 AM »
Thanks Stuart! That's great to know. I think there might be one of those available to me. For now I was just going to use my phone, but this also makes me think I need to raise one more question, so thanks for that!

Offline Daali

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 12:45:51 PM »
My take on the questions, but no expert:

1. Can the MeteoBridge enabled device log data locally?
Yes, with the correct approved flash memory(on RPI), pro version.

2. Can said data then be programmatically fetched to update a database hosted on the linux server (once network is back up and running)??.

You could push data to the linux server with events or services within meteobridge.

3. Since the MeteoBridge is broadcasting WiFi, and I access it directly with my smartphone while my router is powered off?

if network packets route with the router off-line, then the meteobridge local host would be accessible.  I am not sure if your packets will route though with your router off.  To my knowledge meteobridge does not have an access point for you to log into, your network AP would have to be powered up; my guess is your AP is also your router.


With what you are trying to do, I would look into FOSHKplugin https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=39625.0  It's perfect for ecowitt and runs on your "linux box"
 

Offline davidefa

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2022, 01:21:32 PM »
The 'problematic' part is the 'low power store and forward' step. These are my solutions ( the first is your ; - )
a) if the tp link/meteobridge does what you need you are ok with your solution
b) if not you need a low power linux box ( like rpi0, or those 'funny' wireless sd with linux, Transcend/Toshiba ), always on, to receive data from the 'custom server' of gw1100, store data received in a db or csv file ( meteobridge not needed, but maybe usefull for something else )
c) or you need a board ( like esp32 for example ), always on, to receive data from the 'custom server' of gw1100, store data received on a sd and forward to the linux box when available ( meteobridge not needed, but maybe usefull for something else ) 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 01:27:12 PM by davidefa »

Offline BackWoodsTech

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2022, 03:10:03 PM »
@Daali thanks for your response...it looks like i've hit a dead-end though unless I go the Pro route. I did some scouring and found this under the black-listed features section:
Quote
Meteobridge clients will not store gathered weather data locally. The most recent data to be transmitted to a weather network is available plus some min/max values. Beside that, no data will be stored locally.

so if i had to go the Pro route on a device like Pi board, it makes me wonder if I should go the cumulus route?

The FOSHKplugin sounds very interesting and i'm looking at their Wiki...what i'm confused about is if this is a plugin, what is it a plugin for? As in where is this plugin installed to? The GW1100??
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 03:29:23 PM by BackWoodsTech »

Offline BackWoodsTech

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2022, 03:23:35 PM »
The 'problematic' part is the 'low power store and forward' step. These are my solutions ( the first is your ; - )
a) if the tp link/meteobridge does what you need you are ok with your solution
b) if not you need a low power linux box ( like rpi0, or those 'funny' wireless sd with linux, Transcend/Toshiba ), always on, to receive data from the 'custom server' of gw1100, store data received in a db or csv file ( meteobridge not needed, but maybe usefull for something else )
c) or you need a board ( like esp32 for example ), always on, to receive data from the 'custom server' of gw1100, store data received on a sd and forward to the linux box when available ( meteobridge not needed, but maybe usefull for something else )

You summarized the problem better than I could put into words: 'low power store and forward'
the TP Link turns out will not do what I need unless I'm committed to moving my linux box and router to a circuit that runs 24-7 [I need to consider this potentially unfortunately] since it turns out the non-Pro version doesn't do any local data storage/logging.
Next parts: you are blowing my freakin mind here: Wireless SD Linux server!!  :shock: I had no idea this technology existed! So many possibilities here....
The only problem though from what I see whether it's Pi 0 or any other SBC like you mentioned is that both my server and router would be offline so i'm not sure how a WiFi connection would be established without that? Otherwise I'd say you're spot-on with describing the problem.

I may need to just do an updated power audit on the server & cellular router and consider that as a potential solution I guess...kinda bummed right now. I very much appreciate your insight!

Offline vinceskahan

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2022, 08:58:04 PM »
  • Data logging persists even with network outage
  • Local network utilization only; internet connectivity not continual (more on this below)
  • Home WiFi network is subject to power-down when I'm not home
  • GW1100 & MeteoBridge however would live on a circuit providing 24-7 power

My understanding of the Ecowitt gateway is it is not LAN-only and it also requires continual Internet connectivity or its watchdog timers will put it into a reboot loop.   It's also wifi-only.  To me that's probably not a match for what you're looking to set up.

If you upped your price point massively a Davis Vue sensor suite + Datalogger solution could handle the lack of Internet and the desire to be LAN-only.   The logger would save a week of readings at 5-minute archive interval.  Do the math if you make that every 30 minutes or so.

Weewx can certainly interface with either and will catch up to stored readings when available, but I don't know about your power constraints.  You can certainly run weewx on a pi zero but I don't know about your connectivity to Internet which to me is the hard part.

Another option (maybe) is feed something on Internet like a minimal AWS Lightsail VM with MQTT and have that site do the heavy lifting for you, but I'm not sure about how that would work with intermittent unspecified periods of no power and/or Internet.

WeeWX sites:
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  EcoWitt GW1000, WH32 outdoor T+H, multiple WH31 indoor T+H, WH51 soilMoisture (docker)
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Offline doubleohwhatever

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2022, 12:51:09 AM »
The problem might be the requirement of being able to access Meteobridge/WeeWX/GW1100 via wifi when your router is off but then have the Meteobridge/WeeWX/GW1100 connect to your router via wifi when it is on. You'd have to somehow toggle a Meteobridge/WeeWX/GW1100 between Host and AP mode automatically.

Offline BackWoodsTech

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2022, 08:57:27 AM »
Hmm...the plot thickens.
@doubleohwhatever
I read various posts on StackExchange about this topic and apparently the pi zero w is capable of this dual mode state.

 https://imti.co/iot-wifi/
More pondering...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 09:03:36 AM by BackWoodsTech »

Offline Daali

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2022, 09:12:45 AM »
can confirm pi-zero runs in both states as I use them as remote access tools.

Offline doubleohwhatever

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2022, 09:56:29 AM »
Awesome! That's not a concern then.

Offline BackWoodsTech

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Re: Various Ecowitt and MeteoBridge questions- System Design
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2022, 03:40:43 PM »
can confirm pi-zero runs in both states as I use them as remote access tools.
what method are you using to enable both? Just briefly, i'm pretty good about picking up a clue and running with it.

To everyone else, after much deliberation and review of input from all of you, i've decided to go with the Pi Zero W 2 and focus on making that the hub of my home weather system with the GW1100 being what bridges all (yet to be acquired) sensors. On the one hand I really didn't necessarily want to add more computing devices to my environment, but on the other, even though my current ARM based server is quite frugal on power, the Cellular router isn't so much and depending on if/when my starlink setup comes that could drastically increase power use so I cannot say for sure yet that part of my system can ever be on 24-7.

Pi is ordered and my plan is to order teh GW1100 just to get communication protocols established (unless it turns out there's significant savings in bundling a purchase up front...not done the math there yet). Going to tuck this up under a cabinet near the window which has clearest view where sensors will be located.

I've not decided on logging software yet but will likely be Cumulus MX or WeeWx. I've since learned it's possible to establish some kind of synchronization between MySQL and Postgres which would be cool because then I could push updates from the Zero over to my RockPro64 which hosts my main Postgres instance and is well situation for numerous forms of backups etc.

i'll probably be back but over in teh software section with future questions...Like i'm thinking i'll try to just use the minimal RPi OS.

Seems like the perfect February project! Thanks for everyone's help, you folks are great!!