Recommends for new station under 300

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Nick Kavanagh

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Aug 10, 2022, 9:50:13 AMAug 10
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I have been running an Acurite 5n1 since 2018, using sdr, as well as multiple esp-8266 with been or bmp280's using matter. The 5n1 has given up the ghost. 

I would like to replace it with something similar, as I already understand sdr use within weewx. However, I am also interested in using more accurate technology. 

My budget is somewhat limited, so I hope to bring the cost in at under $300 (US).

I am open to all recommendations, and would also, if possible, like to know WHY you might recommend a particular unit or group of products. If it would require a change in driver's, etc., please indicate that (if you just say it would, I'm glad to do the research on how to implement them).

Finally, the main product I have researched at this point is the Acurite Atlas.

Thank you in advance, 

Nick

Tom Hogland

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Aug 10, 2022, 10:50:07 AMAug 10
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I've used a Davis Vantage Pro2 for years and would highly recommend it. Anemometer has 100' of wire to attach itself to the base sensor suite, so it can go up on a roof-mounted pole (for example) while the main sensor suite is mounted somewhat lower - it does require occasional cleaning and replacing the CR-123 backup battery. Also includes a wireless console so you can see current weather easily. Mine has been in continuous use since 4/2003 - an excellent value :-) Needs a Weatherlink Live or Weather Envoy to connect to weewx (or anything else but it's console). Uses the Vantage or Weatherlink driver, I believe. Mine uses a Envoy hard-wired to the server so no issues seeing data.  https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ak/wasilla/KAKWASIL2

The Vantage Vue is popular - all-in-one sensor suite and same console. Needs to be mounted up high to get good wind readings so tougher to clean. I haven't used one so can't speak to their setup.

Barring that, I'd recommend a Weatherflow Tempest - a single unit, so mounting requires more thought to ensure accurate readings, and cleaning can be more difficult if it's up on a roof etc. Sensor is completely solar w/battery backup - I don't know where you live, but here in Alaska it won't make it through our long dark winter without running itself flat. However, they do have an external power adapter that can supplement the solar with either AC or battery power. Sonic anemometer, UV/solar included, and haptic rain sensor rather than a tipping bucket so no moving parts to clean. No console (you use their app to see current weather - , but comes with the receiver to upload to Tempest and WU - weewx uses the WeatherflowUDP driver to sniff out the packets. I have one running up on the roof with the AC adapter - looks like it's pretty much as accurate as the VP2, and under $400 retail (they have sales - mine was just a hair over $300).  https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ak/wasilla/KAKWASIL365 and https://tempestwx.com/station/64100/ (click the little station in the upper right to see the raw data)

I've seen the VP2 and Vue show up used on eBay for $300 or less - right now there's a few available. The VP2 needs a console or Envoy plus the Weatherlink datalogger, or a Weatherlink Live in order to pull data into weewx - some eBay items will only be the sensor suite. Tempest is self-contained - everything you need is in the box. None on eBay - I'd get it from the mfg. If you want accurate I'd go VP2 - Davis offers NIST-certified sensors for it, and I know at least one private airport using one as their official weather service. If you want close, then go for the Tempest.

Feel free to ping me if you have specific questions - Davis model #'s can be confusing :-)

Tom Keffer

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Aug 10, 2022, 11:00:27 AMAug 10
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If you can stretch the budget a bit, the Vantage Vue is one of the best. About $350.

If you can't, it's hard to beat the Ecowitt GW series. As little as $180 for the GW1101.

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storm...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2022, 11:25:30 AMAug 10
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vince

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Aug 10, 2022, 11:56:34 AMAug 10
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And https://www.scientificsales.com - both places have good prices and provide nice customer service... 

Bob Atchley

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Aug 10, 2022, 12:36:57 PMAug 10
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If you can get one of these Weather stations in your location:

Bresser PC 5 in 1 - 7002571
Logia 5-in-1 PC - LOWSB510PB

They are well below your budget, buffer 50 days worth of data, are reasonably accurate and have usb connection for PC (and hence weewx support).
Make sure the console supports the PC connection (lots of very similar models are wifi only)

Bill Arthur

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Aug 10, 2022, 1:17:28 PMAug 10
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If you aren't concerned about a console you can get set up for half of your $300 budget. In fact you can buy two systems. (Keep one as a spare)
I use the Ambient Weather WS-2902 array ($132) and the Ecowitt GW-1100  ($30)
The array is accurate, has spare parts readily available and is well supported. The weewx driver for the GW-1100 is excellent.

Rainer Lang

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Aug 10, 2022, 1:20:37 PMAug 10
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You want to learn more about the FineOffset / Ecowitt weather station and sensor "ecosystem", look up https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0

For prices of stations/combinations check www.ecowitt.com - depending on your location there may also be resellers of the same hardware with a different branding
(this is also explained in the above link)

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Invisible Man

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Aug 25, 2022, 5:51:18 AMAug 25
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I'm considering the purchase of a EcoWitt HP2551 : it has a console + a 7-in-1 sensor. Just not totally sure how to integrate it with Weewx.
People said here to use the Ecowitt GW-1100 driver, right? But EcoWitt HP2551 does not have that GW1100 gateway. Will the driver work nevertheless?
Basically, I'm not sure the EcoWitt HP2551 (or 2552, or 2553) has a USB cable. So how would I connect it to the RPi on which Weewx runs?
Thanks.

Greg Troxel

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Aug 25, 2022, 6:38:46 AMAug 25
to Invisible Man, weewx-user

Invisible Man <axelle....@gmail.com> writes:

> I'm considering the purchase of a EcoWitt HP2551 : it has a console + a
> 7-in-1 sensor. Just not totally sure how to integrate it with Weewx.
> People said here to use the Ecowitt GW-1100 driver, right? But EcoWitt
> HP2551 does not have that GW1100 gateway. Will the driver work
> nevertheless?
> Basically, I'm not sure the EcoWitt HP2551 (or 2552, or 2553) has a USB
> cable. So how would I connect it to the RPi on which Weewx runs?

I am unclear on details but am heading down the path of figuring out
which EcoWitt station someone else should get. I lean to EcoWitt
because it seems to be reasonable quality at very low prices and they
seem to be open-source and local-access no-cloud-required friendly. So
many things are cloud-only which I consider a total fail -- the
interceptor driver is an impressive hack but it's a bad situation that
it's necesary.

The GW1100 is included with a number of display-less stations. As I
understand it, there's a local API and the driver is just talking to
that API and injecting to weewx. Thus it should work if the internet is
down (or if the GW1100 is firewalled to keep the data from being sent to
their cloud), but I'm not 100% sure as sometimes devices have code that
phones home and stops if that doesn't work.

Reading

https://shop.ecowitt.com/products/hp2551

it looks like there is the equivalent of the GW1100 inside the console,
because it says it uploads to similar places, and there is a list of
optional sensors that seems to match. It would be sane to offer the
same API and for them to reuse their code and circuit design, just
sharing the case/etc. -- and doing so would be consistent with my
impression of EcoWitt's approach.

However, skimming the driver github site I don't see direct confirmation
that the HP2551 is wire-protocol compatible. With any luck someone will
post that they've used the driver.

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Bill Arthur

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Aug 25, 2022, 9:36:54 AMAug 25
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I don't know about the HP2551, but I know a bit about the GW1100 phoning home. 
I first found it on a solar powered station with no internet.
The GW1100 doesn't stop, but it resets it's WiFi every 10 minutes if it can't touch home.
The community was great with helping to find a solution. I spoofed it to using a local server,
and I also had to provide a local time server in order to get rain measurements.

Invisible Man

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Aug 25, 2022, 9:55:10 AMAug 25
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>The GW1100 is included with a number of display-less stations. As I
>understand it, there's a local API and the driver is just talking to
>that API and injecting to weewx.

Right. And the GW1100 is plugged by USB to the weewx server, right? or can weewx read GW1100 over wifi?

>it looks like there is the equivalent of the GW1100 inside the console,
>because it says it uploads to similar places

I have the feeling the protocol will be the same too. Same reason as you.

The main issue that might occur is whether weewx GW1000 driver is able to operate via wifi too or not? Looks like the HP2551 console does not have a USB port (not sure though, couldn't find a photo). And I wasn't able to find any info on Wifi connection on https://github.com/gjr80/weewx-gw1000 nor about support for HP2551 or HP2552 or HP2553.

Anybody from GW1000 driver can answer?

Thanks,

ewhain...@gmail.com

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Aug 25, 2022, 1:00:51 PMAug 25
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The IS a USB port on the drawing. I found the manual here: https://www.ecowitt.com/shop/goodsDetail/1#

Manual & Software tab, Page 7 in the manual, however it also states it is for firmware updates only...

Rainer Lang

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Aug 25, 2022, 1:10:33 PMAug 25
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The HP25x0 consoles do not have an API and cannot be queried via the GW1000 API/Ecowitt Gateway driver.
You either use a GW1x00/GW2000 instead (receive the same sensors in parallel) with the Ecowtt Gateway (GW1000) driver,
or you will have to use the weewx Interceptor driver with the HP25x0 console custom server functionality
The interceptor driver as available on GitHub from M. Wall covers only the basic sensors (T/H indoor, outdoor, rain, wind, solar).
If you have more sensors, you need to use a modified interceptor driver. Some users here have developed an extended version which covers all recent Ecowitt sensors.

The communiation from HP25x0 and GWyx00 console goes via WiFi into the local LAN.
Weewx will pick up the data via local LAN (LAN or WLAN) depending on the server on which weewx runs and its network interfaces.

There is no USB connection between consoles and weewx
The USB port on the GW1x00 consoles/gateways is for power supply only. The USB port of the HP25x0 consoles is for factory use initial device firmware only.
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Invisible Man

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Aug 26, 2022, 2:49:20 AMAug 26
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Woaw, thanks this is extremely helpful!

The interceptor driver (https://github.com/matthewwall/weewx-interceptor) looks cool. Except that I suppose the interceptor needs to be placed where it can read all wifi packets (from the wifi the weather station uses), right? 
That's not very convenient in my case because the WiFi is created by the Internet box. The Internet box is from my ISP. I don't have any control on it, can't install a weewx driver on it for instance ;-)
Or can the interceptor be placed on *any machine on the same wifi as the weather station* ? 

So, let's investigate the option where I get a GWyx00 console:

>The communiation from HP25x0 and GWyx00 console goes via WiFi into the local LAN.

Ok, so you said that the USB connector on the GWyx00 console was for power only. Then, the data from GWyx00 is emitted on WiFi. 
My weewx host (a Rapsberry Pi) is on the LAN. They can ping each other and communicate if they wish, no problem.
But will the GWyx00 directly send data to the weewx host: is that configurable? Can I configure the GWxy00 console to communicate with a given IP address? I fear that the GWyx00 console will rather directly send its data to an external Internet weather server. Then, same issue, my weewx host can't "intercept" the data.

Thanks very much for your help!

Invisible Man

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Aug 26, 2022, 3:12:19 AMAug 26
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From the GW-1000 weewx driver README.md, I read: 
"The Ecowitt Gateway driver utilises the Ecowitt LAN/Wi-Fi Gateway API thus using a pull methodology for obtaining data from the gateway device rather than the push methodology used by other drivers".

So, if I understand correctly, the GWyx00 does not talk to the Weewx. It's the other way round: the Weewx communicates with the GWyx00 gateway. I suppose we configure in the weewx driver the IP address of the GWxy00 and it questions it to get weather data.

Later the README.md says:
"Note: If necessary you can specify the device IP address and port using the --ip-address and --port command line options."

Not sure whether this is the IP address of the GWyx00 console, or the IP address of the Weewx host. The former, I think.

If so, that answers the second question of my previous post :)

Rainer Lang

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Aug 26, 2022, 3:30:45 AMAug 26
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the Ecowitt Gateway driver works on a pull procedure, i.e. requests the data from the GWyx00 console, whereas the interceptor driver works with data pushed by the console via the custom server functionality.
In both cases the consoles communicate via WiFi/WLAN into the local network, and weewx requests/pulls (GW1000 API) or  catches (interceptor) via the network. (in case of a GW2000 this can be completely LAN based without WLAN).
For the Ecowitt Gateway driver the IP of the console is entered into weewx.conf [GW1000]
for the interceptor driver the IP of the weewx server is entered into the console for the custom server.

the interceptor doesn't need to be "placed" somewhere - that's a strange wording imho. It's just installed with weewx.
If you want to see a picture how this works - and get also some more understanding of your EW console hardware,
read through https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0 (chapter 7. data flow, but all chapters are worth reading)

Invisible Man

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Aug 26, 2022, 4:15:41 AMAug 26
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Okay :) So, then both options should work :)
  • HP25xx console + Interceptor
  • or GWxx00 console + gw1000 driver
I guess I'll experiment more closely when I receive the weather station :)
Thanks very much!

Greg Troxel

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Aug 26, 2022, 8:21:52 PMAug 26
to Bill Arthur, weewx-user

Bill Arthur <wa4...@gmail.com> writes:

> I don't know about the HP2551, but I know a bit about the GW1100 phoning
> home.
> I first found it on a solar powered station with no internet.
> The GW1100 doesn't stop, but it resets it's WiFi every 10 minutes if it
> can't touch home.
> The community was great with helping to find a solution. I spoofed it to
> using a local server,
> and I also had to provide a local time server in order to get rain
> measurements.

Can you post details of what you spoofed?
If it's ok with gjr80, it would be great to have that explained in the
driver's wiki page.
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vince

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Aug 26, 2022, 9:12:14 PMAug 26
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Agree - a wiki article on this would be great to see.

The one detail I can find is (here) which mentions the URL to fake out, but my recollection from back then is there's also a ntp server it needs to hit periodically to prove Internet connectivity (or else the watchdog reboots it).  The original problem report mentioning ntp is (here) as well in that long thread on wxforum.net.

Guessing Gary knows the short answer and has a two or three-liner to implement it already :-)

Greg Troxel

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Aug 27, 2022, 6:29:34 AMAug 27
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vince <vince...@gmail.com> writes:

> Agree - a wiki article on this would be great to see.
>
> The one detail I can find is (here)
> <https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40437.msg418096#msg418096> which
> mentions the URL to fake out, but my recollection from back then is there's
> also a ntp server it needs to hit periodically to prove Internet
> connectivity (or else the watchdog reboots it). The original problem
> report mentioning ntp is (here)
> <https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40437.msg415148#msg415148> as well
> in that long thread on wxforum.net.

Thanks; that's useful.


Two questions for the list:


1) Have people used the Wittboy/GW2000 combination, and:

does it work with the gw1000 driver?

does it actualy work, in terms of accurate rain measurements? (I
dimly remember that the weatherflow tempest needed some cloud-based AI
to get valid measurements.)

From looking, it seems the GW1101 is the one to get for budget-conscious
people, as it doesn't have a separate rain gauge that needs new
batteries (no solar) as in the GW1102 and GW1103 and doesn't have the
ultrasonic anemometer that needs power to work in the winter
(freezeups).

2) It seems one could get a wifi weather station and also a GW1100, to
be able to have a display and local access. This seems to be the
sensor suite in the GW1101 and I don't see why the GW1100 wouldn't
receive it:

https://shop.ecowitt.com/products/ws2910

has anyone used a WS-series station and added a GW1100?
Or is the interceptor easy enough to deal with that there's no real
reason?

Rainer Lang

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Aug 27, 2022, 9:25:35 AMAug 27
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1. the GW1000, GW1100, WH2650, GW2000, WN19x0 consoles all share the
same APi - the Ecowitt Gateway API aka GW1000 API
the Wittboy = GW2001 station = GW2000 console/gateway + WS90 7-in-1
sensor array
The WS90 outdoor array can be connected to any of the above mentioned
consoles with Ecowitt Gateway API (latest firmware needed)

The haptic rain sensor of the WS90 can be calibrated on five tiers
depending on rain rate.
It has also already undergone several firmware updates to fix issues of
rain rate, rain+wind, dew, non-rainfall "touches" etc. and its accuracy
is growing.
In my case the WS90 readings are between a WH40 and a WS69 rain gauge
readings.
It will need a larger number of different rain events to fine tune the
calibration. It's not out-of-the box accurate yet (for rain), but looks
much better than the "children's diseases" of the Tempest. It doesn't
need a permanent  AI based crowd calibration.
One of the strong features of the WS90 is its stability, robustness and
it doesn't have any moveable parts.
The GW2000 console can be connected via WiFi or via Ethernet (LAN cable)
while all other recent Ecowitt consoles are WiFi only.

The above mentioned consoles GWyx00, WN191x, WH2650 can receive all
existing recent Ecowitt sensors/arrays.
My GW1000, GW1100, GW2000 etc. can all receive the WS90 - so can the
HP25x0 consoles (only they don't have an API) - alone or in parallel
You can factually combine +/- all consoles with all sensors - for model
limitations see https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0
Also beyond the offered packages/stations.
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