Author Topic: External antenna required  (Read 330 times)

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Offline NormanW

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External antenna required
« on: March 02, 2020, 07:31:02 AM »
I have had an IROX Pro-X weather station [http://link.hvar-digital.com/dolsv84a8b], with 5 additional sensors, for fourteen years.  Right at the start I had the problem that many people had with IROX of signal dropout so did the modification to the control box of an external antenna.  Although occasionally a signal will still get overwhelmed by RFI, for the last 14 years, in two countries I have updated weather every 5 minutes.

The UV sensor has failed and replacements are no longer available.  This week the anemometer has also become unreliable so I am thinking about changing to a new system.  More than a decade in the heat of the Middle East and Mediterranean is not bad for any unit.

Being in southern Europe I need a system that I can get here and which is supported, not something imported from the US at exorbitant cost and with no EU agent.  I am looking at Ecowitt/Frogitt units but need advice.

My home is an ancient farm with external solid stone walls that are more than a metre thick.  I am a little confused by the Ecowitt manuals, which variously state that certain units are WiFi and others connect on UHF.

Has anyone got experience with using a unit that has the capability to attach an external antenna or with Fine Offset products that will work through dense, thick walls.  I have installed an external router because WiFi will not pass through the walls, so I have outdoor WiFi capability.

Thanks for reading..

NW

Offline Waimarie

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Re: External antenna required
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 01:22:40 AM »
Hi
My station is MiSol (FineOffset) plus Ecowitt.  I like the build quality for the price and buy direct from MiSol/Ecowitt in China.

I live on a farm as well but here in New Zealand, the walls are timber so no problem for radio.  The main problem you will have is the RF connection between the station and the console.  In NZ we use 433MHz which has marginally better range and penetration than higher frequencies (868 and 915MHz) and I get 100m easily plus at least half a dozen timber/plasterboard walls.

You only need wi-fi to connect the console to the internet, so your external wi-fi is of no help I'm afraid.  The connection will be from the console to your router.  In my case, they're both in the same room so easy.  The connection is only required if you use one of the web based services such as WU, WOW etc.  (or if you use a GW1000 to connect to a PC eg for using Cumulus MX).

Hope that helps for a start

Ian
Fine Offset WH3081 (Deceased)
Mi.Sol  WH2900C
Ecowitt GW 1000 915MHz
Ecowitt GW 1000 433MHz
Ecowitt WH 31
Ecowitt WH51
WU: IFEATH6
WOW: 910486001
Weathercloud: d4523488549

Offline NormanW

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Re: External antenna required
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 01:44:14 AM »
Thanks Ian,  That information helps.

It's back to looking for something with an external antenna then.  The walls are simply too thick for 868MHz to penetrate, I've tried even from 10 metres through a single external wall.  Being the Mediterranean, windows are small for warmth in winter and coolness in summer - No AC in the 1870's :lol:

NW

Offline Waimarie

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Re: External antenna required
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 02:18:56 AM »
Thanks Ian,  That information helps.  Being the Mediterranean, windows are small for warmth in winter and coolness in summer - No AC in the 1870's :lol:

NW
Amazing how the early settlers in NZ missed that fact.  Our place was built around 1875 and has massive windows and weatherboard walls with zero insulation.  We probably have a similar climate to yours but it's hotter indoors in summer than it is outside and good heating in winter is essential.... we have 3 woodburners.   

Good Luck with the quest to get wireless through the walls.  Stick around for a few hours, our friends in the US may have some ideas for you  :-)

Fine Offset WH3081 (Deceased)
Mi.Sol  WH2900C
Ecowitt GW 1000 915MHz
Ecowitt GW 1000 433MHz
Ecowitt WH 31
Ecowitt WH51
WU: IFEATH6
WOW: 910486001
Weathercloud: d4523488549

Offline NormanW

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Re: External antenna required
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 02:55:28 AM »
Hi Ian

I just have one wood burner, and a whole forest of timber behind me up the hill!  This winter I have had needed the stove from 1st week of December until mid February.  We have had no temperatures below 0C this winter, but also little rain since November.  Just 15mm in January and 20mm in February, against an average of 80 for January and 110 for February, so this year will be difficult.  But still, my peaches and apricots are covered in blossom, I'm still harvesting citrus and there are lots of flowers on all the oranges, lemons and grapefruits.

Thanks for your interest.

Norman

Offline Mandrake

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Re: External antenna required
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 04:18:01 AM »
Hi Norman, there are some options.
The very latest sensors from Ecowitt/Fine Offset are higher output and so can transmit further to the base station.

The HP2553 (HP2551 with the Ultrasonic Anometer sensor array) can reach nearly 300M
So its possible that this might be strong enough to get through your fortress walls especially if you purchase 433Mhz! (which by the way is legal in Europe as well)

Failing that on the Ambientweather/fine offset clones forum if you search for antenna you will find that some folks have undertaken mods to their Consoles to increase the receive sensitivity and allow reception in marginal situations. So it can be done if you don't mind playing a little with your kit.
Very Old Maplin N96Y/FO Weather station

Ecowitt HP2550A (Wunderground: IGUILDFO67)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Wunderground: IGUILDFO68)
Ecowitt GW1000 (Mk2) test environment
Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture Sensor
Ecowitt WH41 PM2.5 AQM Sensor
Ecowitt WH31 Thermo/Hygro Sensor
Ecowitt WS80 Ultrasonic Anemometer (pre-prod test)
Ecowitt WH57 Lightning Sensor (pre-prod test)