Welcome to the Cumulus Support forum.

Latest Cumulus MX release 3.9.0 (build 3095) - 09 October 2020 (please see announcement regarding releases since 3.5.0)
Legacy Cumulus 1 release v1.9.4 (build 1099) - 28 November 2014 (a patch is available for 1.9.4 build 1099 that extends the date range of the NOAA report and Snow Index drop-down menus to 2030)

Use this Wiki link to Download the Software (Cumulus MX / Cumulus 1 and other related items).

Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
wetterfrosch1971
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun 06 Apr 2014 1:15 pm
Weather Station: wh1080
Operating System: windows7
Location: south-west-germany

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by wetterfrosch1971 »

after 2-3 years the hygrosensor wears out.
the humidity is always displayed too dry.
did you make similar observations at your WH1080-station?
I would like to replace the humidity sensor, is this the white modul (look at pic)?
it is it the white module, I still cannot find the right type, the installed type has 2 pins but I can only finde typ with 4 pins.
Has anyone ever replaced this module and knows what type I need?
or what do you do when you notice that the humidity measurement is no longer correct?

many thanks for the informations.
Frank
Unbenanntsensor.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

malc-c
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon 04 Jan 2010 10:01 pm
Weather Station: Maplin N96GY / WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Location: Stevenage, UK
Contact:

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by malc-c »

Apologies for resurrecting an old (anchant ?) thread, but I've been scouring the forums and google to try and find some answers, but to no real avail.

My second Maplin base station failed the other day....but the transmitter and remote sensors are fine. However now that I am more conversant with Arduino programming now compared to 8 years or so ago I'm considering using the Arduino platform as a based to develop my own station using the old Maplin / Fine Offset sensors (wind and rain) and DS18B20 or possibly DHT22 for temperature and humidity. Now I certainly can't be the first to do this, but can't seem to find anything that is complete. Seems this thread and one by Gina (Hi Gina, how's the observatory?) are the most detailed, but it seems the project fizzled out.

My main focus is trying to find decent examples of how Cumulus (in my case 1.9.4) can communicate with an Arduino (or mega) in order to retrieve data from it, effectively replicating the Maplin / fine offset base station. On a pots I made in 2013 (god - that long ago !!) it was suggested that the Davis protocol, being serial would be easier to impliment than any other base station protocol... so this is my intended method.

The concept I have is using an Arduino of some description (possibly a nano or uno, depending on the connections needed) with the Maplin rain gauge, wind speed and direction sensor, DHT22, RTC, and pressure sensor all hard wired to it. The arduino would be housed in an stephenson screen with suitable battery /PSU and a wireless form of serial port used, such as Bluetooth or possibly using nRF24L01+ Wireless Modules. The Bluetooth being the simplest way and a more convenient way to interface with Cumulus as the receivers are cheap and are seen as standard com ports on the PC.

If anyone has any pointers to existing project, any source code, or simply suggest I should forget it an just shell out £80 for a replacement Watson base station (assuming it will communicate with the transmitter I have) and save all the hassle would be welcome

water01
Posts: 1983
Joined: Sat 13 Aug 2011 9:33 am
Weather Station: WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit
Location: Burnham-on-Sea
Contact:

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by water01 »

David
Image

malc-c
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon 04 Jan 2010 10:01 pm
Weather Station: Maplin N96GY / WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Location: Stevenage, UK
Contact:

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by malc-c »

Thanks for the link David.

Seems I visited that site in 2017 as I had an open account - but had never posted... still having issues accessing the code, which hopefully they will sort out. Not sure I would opt for a built unit, it's more expensive than a replacement Wattson base station... and I only need a fraction of the sensors the WeatherDunio offers

AllyCat
Posts: 1076
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,
malc-c wrote:
Fri 09 Oct 2020 2:32 pm
... still having issues accessing the code, which hopefully they will sort out. Not sure I would opt for a built unit, it's more expensive than a replacement Wattson base station..
IMHO the WeatherDuino is not really "comparable" with a Fine Offset (Maplin, Watson, etc..) system, but only with a "home brew" Arduino system (which you indicated you were contemplating). I believe the program code is (now) primarily accessible by that forum's members who have purchased PCBs or assembled units.

It uses the "Radiohead" wireless protocol which is totally different to FO's, but my main "issue" with WeatherDuino is that it's developed in Portugal (and popular in Australia) where solar Energy is much more reliable than here in UK. Even there, to use an off-the-shelf Arduino, a solar panel rated in tens of watts may be needed, and here perhaps 50 watts plus a backup the size of a car battery for the transmitter (or of course hard-wired from a mains supply). :(

The Fine Offset wireless protocol is "known" and partially documented, so you could build any "microcontroller"-based receiver system to use your existing "Maplin" transmitter, but it's likely to need very considerable effort compared with purchasing a (compatible) Base station. Looking at your other thread (last week) I'm not clear if your (T/H) transmitter is located "up with the wind/rain sensors" or if they are on extension cables? Also, you might not be aware that Fine Offset have "morphed" into Ecowitt (which are supported by Cumulus MX), but their products are hardly being promoted commercially in Europe (a few branded as "Froggit" in Germany, for example).

Cheers, Alan.

malc-c
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon 04 Jan 2010 10:01 pm
Weather Station: Maplin N96GY / WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Location: Stevenage, UK
Contact:

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by malc-c »

Hi Alan, thanks for the reply,

I did think that the project wasn't as open sourced as it first appeared, especially when kits and ready made boards were on offer.

Basically I was looking for any alternative to buying a replacement base station, seeing the cost of which is more than the total cost of the complete package when Maplin were trading. I have the wind direction and speed sensors attached to the pole that supports the sky dish at rooftop height. The cable was extended and connected directly to the TX using as was the rain sensor which is attached to a shed at head height. The TX was new in December 2017, and that wasn't the issue. The base using all of a sudden stopped communicating with the PC when Cumulus was launched - On replacing batteries the unit rebooted with all alarms set, and using easy weather it was impossible to update the base unit, but it would initially be detected, but the data was garbage... then the thing would randomly bleep as if the touch screen was being activated.

So my initial concept was to use an ardiuno, and hardwire the existing sensors to it, and use a DHT22 as the external humidity and temperature sensor, and possibly a pressure sensor. But then I would need to come up with ways of saving the readings and having Cumulus interrogate the arduino to download the data...

Personally I think I'll just look at getting a replacement base unit... now that you have enlightened me on the different brandings...

This is the one I found, advertised as a "Watson" https://hamradiostore.co.uk/consumer-el ... creen.html The TX was supplied as a Watson 8681 - HHT - MKII Pass 14, and the base station is listed as an 8681 MKII so they should talk to each other.

AllyCat
Posts: 1076
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,

Yes, Maplin was rather a loss for the area of "spares" availability; the Anemometers that they sold at £2.50 (and I bought a few when they were closing down for £1.50) now seem to cost around £20 if imported from China! And we always knew that they used 434 MHz with no "complications" of a Radio Controlled Clock, etc. Personally, I find the "Watson" numbering scheme to be very confusing; I thought the 868... part number indicated the "European" carrier frequency of 868 MHz, but it appears that some are 434 MHz? It might be worth talking to Waters and Stanton because they do seem to "understand" what they are selling rather better than Maplin ever did. :)

Also, I see that you have an interest in PIC programming and that can certainly decode the FO protocol. Personally, I have used the "PICaxe" derivative (which includes a Bootloader, a Basic Interpreter and Very Low Power features) to receive FO signals, and am quite active on their forum, but I've not formally documented that specific code. However, purchasing a new Console is certainly the "easy" option, provided that the carrier frequency is correct!

Cheers, Alan.

malc-c
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon 04 Jan 2010 10:01 pm
Weather Station: Maplin N96GY / WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Location: Stevenage, UK
Contact:

Re: Photos of the insides of Fine Offset sensors.

Post by malc-c »

I have posed the question to the supplier to confirm that the two units will communicate with each other, but have not received a reply....

Yeah, I have a basic interest in PICs... but haven't really used them in anger for some years as PicBASIC Pro was very slow to keep up with things... I was pushed to the dark side of Arduino by a friend and whilst I still struggle, I've managed to develop quite a few projects with them. Besides there are millions of projects using this platform so finding a close example of what I'm looking for so I can then "customise" it to suit my needs, which makes life easy. My involvement with PICs recently has been to "hack" the firmware for some telescope control boards so it can be programmed into new PICs to replace those that have been damaged... Repaired around 5 boards now !

Yes Maplin is really missed... When the original transmitter went wrong it was simply a case of buying a new complete set for £70, which has given me spare wind and rain sensors should I ever need them...

Post Reply