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Protocol Changes

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
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Spider-Vice
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat 24 Sep 2011 2:46 pm
Weather Station: PCE FWS-20 (Fine Offset)
Operating System: Windows 10

Protocol Changes

Post by Spider-Vice » Wed 18 Feb 2015 3:21 pm

So I have a question. My FO has (definitely this time) bit the dust, and I have the chance to order a replacement sensor for the termo-hygrometer sensor. I bought my FO in late 2011, and I remember reading by that time that FO had already changed their transmission protocol by then. The "manufacturer" of my station has warned me of this issue, but I'd love if someone could confirm me the time when this change happened, so I can see if I can order the replacement sensor without a hitch. My console has the quality assurance date of April 2011 in the battery compartment. I got a replacement sensor circa late 2012 (which died too but for different circumstances) and that still worked, so...
Edit: Also after reading a few posts around, I must say my console has the big RF receiver "card", not the small one.

Thanks.

AllyCat
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by AllyCat » Thu 19 Feb 2015 12:13 am

Hi,

I don't think the protocol change was made at a specific point in time; FO make a large number of different versions of their stations and appear to have been manufacturing both versions at the same time. Also, some stations might have been stored in a warehouse for a significant time.

I believe the "new" protocol may have been first used on the non-touchscreen and/or Solar Data (308x) models and then later introduced perhaps for "cost reduction" purposes on the older (108x) models. The "Maplin" (434 MHz, non-RCC) version changed several years ago whilst the "Clas Ohlson" (868 MHz, with RCC) has changed here only in the last few months.

But to answer your question, it does seem that the "old" protocol uses a multi-pin intergrated circuit directly on the PCB, whilst the "new" protocol uses a separate OOK/ASK receiver module with just 3 or 4 pins. If you have suitable test equipment, the old protocol has a data burst of about 50 ms. the new protocol is over 100 ms (also apparently with every second burst sent twice).

Cheers, Alan.

Spider-Vice
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat 24 Sep 2011 2:46 pm
Weather Station: PCE FWS-20 (Fine Offset)
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by Spider-Vice » Thu 19 Feb 2015 3:25 pm

I don't have suitable test equipment but I can provide a picture of my module. Disregarding the wiring for an antenna mod, this is how mine looks like.

Image

868 Mhz version.

AllyCat
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by AllyCat » Thu 19 Feb 2015 10:49 pm

Hi,

Yes, I believe that board receives the "new" protocol. It appears to have only 3 or 4 pin connections (supply, ground/enable and the decoded carrier signal).

A receiver of the "old" protocol is shown in post 1 of the "... inside of ...." sticky thread. Note that the receiver has 12 pins, none of which appears to carry a recognisable "decoded carrier" signal.

Cheers, Alan.

Spider-Vice
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat 24 Sep 2011 2:46 pm
Weather Station: PCE FWS-20 (Fine Offset)
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by Spider-Vice » Thu 19 Feb 2015 11:31 pm

That's what I thought too after seeing the info and pics on the other topics. It's 3-pin. Thanks! :)

aurion45
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun 22 Jan 2012 5:30 am
Weather Station: WH3081
Operating System: Windows 8.1, Raspbian
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by aurion45 » Wed 25 Feb 2015 5:58 am

If anyone interested here the Communication Protocols for the "Weather Station PCE-FWS 20",
located here: http://www.pce-italia.it/html/software/ ... -FWS%2020-[Com.Prot.].zip
You need to coy and paste the url including -[Com.Port.]zip

Actual PCE-FWS 20: http://www.pce-italia.it/html/dati-tecn ... -fws20.htm
This look to be the same as the WH3081.

AllyCat
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by AllyCat » Wed 25 Feb 2015 10:01 am

Hi,

Your first link appears to be broken / corrupted.

The second link shows a "touichscreen" version which AFAIK only has Solar charging (not data). That probably would make it a 1081 or possibly a 2081 (since I don't see any reference to the Radio Controlled Clock function of the 1080 / 2080).

The 3080/1/3 all use a more "rectangular" Console with pushbuttons. The protocol is (now) the same as the 108x/208x (11 bytes including run-in and CRC), but there are additional packets for Solar data (8 bytes) and RCC (11 bytes) from the 3080.

Cheers, Alan.

aurion45
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun 22 Jan 2012 5:30 am
Weather Station: WH3081
Operating System: Windows 8.1, Raspbian
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by aurion45 » Thu 26 Feb 2015 8:10 am

Try like I said: http://www.pce-italia.it/html/software/ ... -FWS%2020-[Com.Prot.].zip

WHICH I SAID YOU NEED TO INCLUDE THE UNDER HIGHLIGHT URL


Well I'm wrong, sorry.

AllyCat
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by AllyCat » Thu 26 Feb 2015 10:53 am

Hi,

The URL was still corrupted (at least) on my screen by "...." in the middle of the URL. I've managed to patch it to:

http://www.pce-italia.it/html/software/PCE-
FWS20/PCE-FWS%2020-[Com.Prot.].zip

(broken into two lines to avoid the "...") which seems to work for me.

However, the documentation appears to refer to the "Memory Map" of the Console (i.e. the interface via USB) not to the Wireless Protocol (i.e. the Modulation / Data carried over the RF channel) which differs between "old" and "new" stations.

The .DOC appears to refer to blocks of 16 bytes of data, which again suggests it is for the 108x / 208x stations. I believe the 308x stations use blocks of 20 bytes, to include the Solar Data.

Cheers, Alan.

digbym
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 01 Mar 2016 12:16 pm
Weather Station: PCE-FWS 20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Exeter

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by digbym » Tue 01 Mar 2016 12:40 pm

Hi, I know I'm replying to an old post but it is close the the question I have. I am looking to permanently connect my PCE-FWS 20 weather station to the internet so I can have it live on Wunderground, BUT I don't want to leave my PC on all the time to do this. I also don't want to have to climb up my roof again. Should never have gone up there first time !

So, I'm wondering whether I can get something that will read the 'data bursts' (that are being sent to the controller) from the sensors and send them to Wunderground.

I don't want to have to go buying a whole new weather station, and worse still, go back up the roof to install new sensors, just to get it on the internet.

thanks, digby

AllyCat
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by AllyCat » Thu 03 Mar 2016 3:42 am

H,

Sorry, I'm not at my desktop PC at the moment, but if your Station/Transmitter is a "badged" normal Fine Offset (108x, 308x, etc.) station less than about 3 years old then look for threads on the Raspberry Pi forum. Also, Kevin Sangalee (?) has posted some details on this forum.

Cheers, Alan.

andrewinpopayan
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri 19 Mar 2010 10:03 pm
Weather Station: N96GY
Operating System: Suse Linux 11.2
Location: Wyke, Bradford BD12, UK

Re: Protocol Changes

Post by andrewinpopayan » Mon 11 Apr 2016 6:26 pm

Aha, protocols, they could be studied using an RTL-SDR dongle on 433MHz. I have an energy monitor that uses FSK and there is plenty of software to read the ENERGY meter transmitter fron it's raw date.

Just an idea

Andrew

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