Nov 11, 2012, at 7:58 AM, Sieghard Weitzel <siegh...@live.ca> wrote:
> Hello List,
> A couple of weeks ago I briefly mentioned that I found a weather station which is designed to work with the iPhone. The company is called Netatmo and their website is www.Netatmo.com for those who want to read more about it.
> The basic idea is that you get a wireless weather station which consists of 2 sensors, one for indoors and one for outdoors. The outdoor sensor connects to the indoor unit and the indoor unit connects to your WiFi. You then use the free Netatmo app to access the information provided by the sensors which includes outdoor temperature and humidity, indoor temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide levels as well as indoor and outdoor noise levels which is a bit unusual for weather stations, but I guess it could be interesting if you live in a big city and are curious as to how much noise there really is.
> Currently the station does not measure windspeed and precipitation, but I was told that they are working on that and I assume this may be added later in the form of additional sensors you can buy. The 2 sensor units consist of a perfectly round tube which is made from aluminum, both are exactly the same diameter (about 2 inches), the outdoor unit is maybe 4 inches long and the indoor unit is maybe 6 inches long. Each unit has a plastic lid on one end with a large slot you can use ith a coin and this is where you put the batteries (it’s almost identical to the battery cover on the Apple Wireless Keyboard except that it’s a lot bigger. The outdoor unit takes 4 Triple A batteries (included), the indoor unit takes 4 Double A batteries (not included). Normally it is recommended that the indoor unit is plugged into a power outlet, it has a micro USB port and comes with a standard USB cable and a wall adapter, batteries are optional and meant for backup in case of a power failure. In addition to the Micro USB port the indoor unit also has a USB port like that on a computer which allows you to plug in the iPhone cable.
> Initial setup is done either by plugging your iPhone directly into the unit while it is also plugged into a power outlet, you then open the app and can connect the unit to your home WiFi (this is just necessary once just like when you connect, for example, a WiFi Thermostat. You can also do this initial setup by connecting the unit to your computer and then use a Network Setup Wizard which you can download from the Netatmo website.
> OK, all of this sounds very good and straight forward. However, now comes the problem. Both the Network Wizard as well as the setup screen on the Netatmo app are entirely graphical, neither Jaws nor Voiceover reads anything whatsoever except for the title of the Window “Netatmo Setup Wizard” or something like that.
> I used the Convenient OCR feature in Jaws and was able to read the welcome screen which basically says Thanks for buying the weather station and there is a next button which I was able to click. Then the OCR gave me a list of available networks and I tried to click my WiFi which was there, but I did not get into the edit field where I could enter my password or maybe I did and Jaws didn’t say it because when I repeated the procedure with sighted help Jaws said nothing like “edit field” but my friend told me I could type the password.
> So I finally typed in my password with sighted help and was looking forward to getting this connected to see if the app would give me information Voiceover could read, but the Wizard then told me the station could not be connected to my network and to manually enter static Ip information. I tried everything I could think of and I’m not exactly a beginner when it comes to technology and networking, but no luck.
> I then took the unit to work and we tried to connect it to my work WiFi both using the PC wizard as well as the app always with the same result; it could not connect. I am using Apple Airport Express WiFi access points and rarely have a problem with other devices, my Radio Thermostats both at work and at home connected just fine. At this point I can only conclude that the particular unit I received has a faulty WiFi radio or that the product which has only been released very recently is the equivalent of the waste a male member of the bovine species produces. The sensors actually do have the feel and look of a very well-made product and are packed beautifully, but I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean much.
> I am quite disappointed of course because I have been searching for a weather station that talks to my iPhone for at least a year or more and was excited to find this. At $180 it’s also a pretty expensive weather station especially considering that most wireless weather stations with an LCD display which are fine for a sighted person also measure windspeed and precipitation and that at a lower or equal price.
> I should mention that communication with the company so far has been good, I receive very prompt replies to my emails and was assured that they offer a 7-day money back guaranty, not super long, but I wasn’t worried because I knew I could easily find out within a week whether this would work or not. I should also mention that the app has a “demo mode” and when I tried that I was able to get information from the official government weather station with Voiceover. If you own a Netatmo Weather Station you have access to its data as well as that from the nearest official weather station.
> OK, thought I post this preliminary review or account of my experience in trying to set this up. I am at this point resigned to having to send it back, but before I do so I will try one more thing and that is to go to our local store that sells Apple products and I’ll ask them if they can maybe try to set it up on their WiFi to see if they can get it to work. If I do send it back I think I may not get a replacement unit right away, but wait a bit until they worked out the glitches especially since I still don’t know 100% sure if the app will work with Voiceover once the station is connected and let me review all the information.
> Best regards,
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