Author Topic: Migration from VWS to other software, keeping historical data - recomendations?  (Read 496 times)

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Offline BrianLehan

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Last year the many changes to the Weather Underground site, and the feature outages that caused for VWS users, combined with the lack of development and or bug fixes of the classic VWS software from Ambient pushed me to look at updating my weather hobby site sooner than later to something stable on all fronts.

My first step was to abandon the once slick and feature rich VWS website builder and templates for something modern on my website. I picked the Saratoga Weather templates. This of course caused me to have to upgrade my webserver and install php and learn enough to keep it running. I survived that task and really enjoy the new look and feel of the site.

My next issues were that the entire VWS and GRLevel3 software packages were running as a virtual Windows XP instance on a server in my test bench environment and had so since the original PC the station was connected to since it arrived died. That machine ran 24/7 for 20 years, starting as a Windows 98, then 2000, then XP machine. They don't build them like that anymore. I migrated it to a real Win 7 machine when internet security protocol standards changed last year and I had to upgrade GRLevel3 to a Win 7 compatible version. VWS has been stable on Win7 but only because I schedule a reboot every day. If I don't it stalls often.

In my reading of moving VWS to Windows 10 it seems that it either works fine or it doesn't with little method to the madness for people. Granted I still love VWS but I am only using one feature at the moment and that is generating a broadcast jpeg. I would think that any other software package can handle that task as well right? So I think I would benefit greatly by making a change in WS software at the same time as migrating my Davis Pro2 to Windows 10.

I want to keep using the Saratoga scripts, and hope I can migrate the minor customizations I have made to any other template for new software that Ken offers. So I'm only looking at the software packages that can use these scripts. So far I have researched CumulusMX, and Weather Display. I see that many people run both, and wonder why this is so?

CumulusMX seems simple enough to install and configure, I already use my public website and the Davis console on the desk to check most of the readings, so access to a local software installation is not an issue. Once upon at time I did load VWS on my desktop and connect to the master to view, but I think that was back in the Windows 2000 years. LOL So managing Cumulus seems manageable. What does Weather Display do that CumulusMX doesn't? 

Whichever package I go to is there a method of exporting VWS data then convert/import it to Cumulus to use? If not is there a way to export the VWS data into a standalone MySQL database capable of supplying data for script pages? 

Those of you who have already left VWS behind, did you even attempt this data transfer?

What software did the majority of you former VWS users go to? Should I be looking at something else out there?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations, advice and time.

Brian 
Davis Vantage Pro 2 plus
VWS 15x on Windows 7
Sarasota-Weather Template
Gr3 Radar

Offline Yfory

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A FEW IDEAS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2020, 03:03:16 PM »
TO BRIAN AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN WEATHER GRAPHICS DISPLAYS

This comment, by one person, is about the loss of VWS and what the future holds for modern weather displays – weather in the home and weather outside the home.

THANK YOU VWS...

First of all, VWS made a real contribution to weather tracking, records, and graphic displays of weather, adjustable to each weather client. I deeply appreciate the effort and massive coding required to create and maintain, VWS – I admire the work – I am a coder. Thank you VWS coders for all you did for weather displays of thousands of sensor output numbers generated everyday around the world.

TO DAVIS:

To the Davis people, I have been a Davis advocate and Davis instrument missionary for 25 years. But - It is time for a new look.
With modern screen graphics and Weather displays – your are not even close to a weather person’s need to view all weather variables and sensors.

Davis you have been deeply deficient in your attempt to summarize a day of weather events on a tiny, primitive, $10, 1980s screen, hard coded, and as bland as a weather display could possibly be displayed.

BETTER DISPLAY SYSTEMS AND NEW SENSORS

In this time, there are large, full color screens available at very low costs ready to display weather in a powerful, more dynamic and more sensor inclusive way. There are some very creative and beautifully done individual efforts around the world. But all Davis, AcuRite, etc can offer as a standard display is a simplistic, child-like graphics display of minimal sensors.

NEW SENSORS

There are many new sensors of value to observers all over the world. A simple but excellent sensor such as the SHT31D, is available from Adafruit, (please forgive the commercial here), for less than $10. This sensor is ASTONISHING! I have studied the measurement of temperature and humidity for 20 years and this sensor will deliver accuracy of both measurements to 1% in most cases.

There is a need to include whole new classes of sensors such as air quality, UVA, UVB, magnetic fields, seismic activity, and many air pollutants both outside the house and inside the house.

Some people need dangerous air pressure changes shown and tracked, some wind speed directions need to be shown by the hour, minute and even second to second. Even magnetic readings are of value to some.

Many communities need weather variables displayed in a quick and easy translation using colorful graphic styles – not for nice color but for life and death changes in their communities happening in minutes. Some people can digest numbers others need graphic displays of events. Some people are visual, others verbal, some are both.

All of this need for numerical and graphic atmospheric and earth science variable change needs to be on a simple 1000 pixel by 800 screen (or larger) and this kind of simple screen is available for a few dollars from specialty supply centers such as DigiKey or  Mouser or other reputable, reliable, professional, electronics supply centers. Or the simple use of an old monitor will work as a weather display device.

CODING

Developing the coding for such displays requires specialized knowledge of modern languages such as JAVA or C++ but is not nearly as difficult at it sounds. There are “basic” versions of these compiled languages available to the common coder such as me.

I have included a basic display I have been working on for the past 6 months. My example is crude and personal to me – it is for my use in my area – please do not mistake my example of a system ready for the market. In fact it is primitive and has as many mistakes in the code as accurate displays.

My example is simply a statement to Davis and other weather display companies to demonstrate a need to modernize – get a grip, times have changed in the monitor and sensor and language display systems. There are easily 10 or 20 NEW sensors now useful in the 20s.

Home air quality is a simple example.

AGAIN - I have shown, in my attached, full size screen, what must be understood as one person’s idea. A good display system MUST be a community and local effort. For my air quality, I am using the amazing BME680 again from Adafruit. Spark fun also has a great array of new sensors.

On the subject of weather displays - each screen should be custom structured, as VWS was, but updated to and with modern displays. I can not emphasize enough, how important each room in a house must be monitored for pollution and health hazards. Modern new homes in the northern latitudes are so well built, especially in northern Europe; the outside doors are hard to close because of air pressure issues. So what are the CO2 issues in such a home in the dead of winter? How much fresh oxygen is being allowed into the home, etc? Where are the intake systems? Are they clean?

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I will attach an explanation to my graphics example, attached, – if appropriate. If there is no interest in graphics updates, there is no need for more discussion. Some of my comments are written directly on the screen grab of a live example attached.

I live very near the northern California coast, in a 100,000 acre redwood forest. My personal blood oxygen is often at 100% saturation because I am in a sea of pure oxygen produced by millions of trees and 5000 miles to the nearest city considering the prevailing NW winds over the Pacific.

More ideas after a few views of my attachment…

Please let me know either publicly or privately – good and bad reactions. If there is a predominance of good reactions, I will talk about the reality of complex coding and how easy it can be for amateurs like me.

Steve (Wtronics)



Online galfert

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Nice write up. 100% agree.
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Offline casacota

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Written a long time ago, maybe this can help? http://www.atmos.cat/perl?num=1215351351

I don't remember anymore how I have this coded. Use at your own risk!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 05:33:07 PM by casacota »

Offline BrianLehan

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    • Grace C Lehan Memorial Weather Station
Written a long time ago, maybe this can help? http://www.atmos.cat/perl?num=1215351351

I don't remember anymore how I have this coded. Use at your own risk!

Thanks I'll take a look at that if I go the WD route.
Davis Vantage Pro 2 plus
VWS 15x on Windows 7
Sarasota-Weather Template
Gr3 Radar

Offline waiukuweather

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WD does have a built in VWS import (see under action)

Offline SteveFitz1

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VWS has been stable on Win7 but only because I schedule a reboot every day. If I don't it stalls often.
Brian,

As a long time user of VWS, I completely agree with your comments. Nearly 10 years I began running Cumulus to complement the shortcomings I found with VWS. And today, I'm still running quite well with the both of them.

I, like you, have found that VWS likes to stall or crash on occasion. That used to be a big issue for me. However, once I started using the freeware called StartWatch, I'm now able to continuously monitor VWS. If it stalls or even crashes, StartWatch will terminate VWS if necessary and bring up a new copy. This probably occurs once or twice a week, but the only way I know it occurs is if I happen to look at my Weather PC. This auto restart runs flawlessly.

If you're not using something like this now, you might take a look at this option to at least make life with VWS easier until you move to something else.

Steve

Offline casacota

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Well, I'm running VWS since almost 20 years (always same version 13), and during all the time I have had at most 2 or 3 stalls - only a lockup ever couple of years. Everything on Windows XP 32bit that runs also flawelessly.

http://www.atmos.cat/perl?num=1287945249

It may not be true for everyone, but I'm surprised how well VWS does...

Offline BrianLehan

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    • Grace C Lehan Memorial Weather Station
VWS has been stable on Win7 but only because I schedule a reboot every day. If I don't it stalls often.
Brian,

As a long time user of VWS, I completely agree with your comments. Nearly 10 years I began running Cumulus to complement the shortcomings I found with VWS. And today, I'm still running quite well with the both of them.

I, like you, have found that VWS likes to stall or crash on occasion. That used to be a big issue for me. However, once I started using the freeware called StartWatch, I'm now able to continuously monitor VWS. If it stalls or even crashes, StartWatch will terminate VWS if necessary and bring up a new copy. This probably occurs once or twice a week, but the only way I know it occurs is if I happen to look at my Weather PC. This auto restart runs flawlessly.

If you're not using something like this now, you might take a look at this option to at least make life with VWS easier until you move to something else.

Steve

Steve Thanks for the information and observations. I currently am just running a script that reboots the machine regardless of a crash or not so I will check out StartWatch to see if that is a better solution for me.

Nice look to your public pages, whos scripts are you running?

Brian

Davis Vantage Pro 2 plus
VWS 15x on Windows 7
Sarasota-Weather Template
Gr3 Radar

Offline BrianLehan

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    • Grace C Lehan Memorial Weather Station
Well, I'm running VWS since almost 20 years (always same version 13), and during all the time I have had at most 2 or 3 stalls - only a lockup ever couple of years. Everything on Windows XP 32bit that runs also flawelessly.

http://www.atmos.cat/perl?num=1287945249

It may not be true for everyone, but I'm surprised how well VWS does...

Yeah mine was pretty stable in XP and if I could have found a way to get the GRLevel3 radar to be able to connect security wise I would have left VWS on it.

Brian
Davis Vantage Pro 2 plus
VWS 15x on Windows 7
Sarasota-Weather Template
Gr3 Radar

Offline SteveFitz1

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    • Tyler Texas Weather

Steve Thanks for the information and observations. I currently am just running a script that reboots the machine regardless of a crash or not so I will check out StartWatch to see if that is a better solution for me.

Nice look to your public pages, whos scripts are you running?

Brian
Brian,

I use some scripts from the 'regular' developers (ie., Ken True, Curly at Michiana Weather, Murry Conarroe at Wildwood Weather, etc.) In addition, a large number of my scripts are ones I've written myself.

Steve

 

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