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LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

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GraemeT
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Weather Station: La Crosse WS-2355 & WS-2306
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LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by GraemeT »

I'm just a little concerned about how there seems to be a fairly high level of acceptance that LaCrosse weather stations will give a poor grade of error performance, so I'm thinking that maybe we could get a quick show of hands as to who uses a serial to USB adapter with a LaCrosse weather station, who uses a hardware serial port (COMA, COMB, etc), and who out of these two groups suffers from errors, glitches, spikes and other forms of data corruption.

I, for one, use a serial cable into COMA and have an almost negligible error rate.

Sadly, many others do not seem to have either the luxury of a com port or low errors.


Cheers.
Cheers,
Graeme.

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Matt.j5b
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by Matt.j5b »

I use a usb adapter as serial is not a option on my laptop.
I use a Belkin USB/Serial Portable Adapter, model F5U-409-CU from Dick Smith, at a cost of $80. That was a risk buying the adapter but I don't have acesss to a serial port so I did take the risk, considering the problems that Cumulus can have with when used in Cumulus I am happy it has worked. And also it didn't come with a windows 7 driver so I had to find that from the maker of the driver. While I sometimes get the odd crazy readings because I mainly run Cumulus from the logger I don't get that much trouble from it, and I certainly don't get it every day or several times a week. It has been 5 months since I have using the adpater.
Regards, Matt of Brisbane, Australia
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sunseeker
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by sunseeker »

My new computer only came with USB ports and having tried several USB to RS232 adaptors without much sucess I almost gave up of getting any meaningful error free data from My LaCrosse WS2350.
However I invested in an adaptor with FTDI chipset that I bought from USBNow for around £14. Then I found a post elsewhere in the forum where the contributor detailed some changes that they had made.
After updating the driver to the latest version (20808 in my case) in the driver settings I changed some of the parameters as follows:

size of transfer 64 bytes (send and receive)
latency 255msec
timeout 500mec (read and write)

Since carrying out the above I have been running Cumulus error free for almost 6 months on my Windows 7 machine.
There is one slight downside if you can call it that. Cumulus is rather slow at shutdown and startup but not really an issue.

hope this helps

Mike

einzack
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 07 Apr 2011 8:11 am
Weather Station: WS2355
Operating System: 7
Location: New Zealand

Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by einzack »

i ran Cumulus on a laptop for a year with a USB adapter and got erroneous data several times a week. I then upgraded to a PC and used the same USB adapter and got erroneous data several times a day. I then bought a serial port and have been running that ever since (6 months now) and have not had a single erroneous record.

i cannot recommend highly enough going serial.

Fettlars
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed 21 Mar 2012 10:45 pm
Weather Station: Lacrosse WS-2357
Operating System: Windows Vista
Location: Norge

Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by Fettlars »

Those wierd reading spikes that cumlus was quite annoying. I kinda "solved it" by using the spike removal and so far it has worked quite well for me.

My biggest problem is how cumlus seems to be crashing randomly. I had some issue installing the usb -> serial adapter thingie so i had to find use another driver i found.

my spikes were always very high like +50 degrees in one reading so i just used the spike Calibration and that worked out for me atleast.
Cumuls have been a pleasure to use since i found it. The old program that came with the station was just horrible.

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GraemeT
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by GraemeT »

Any need for spike removal/filtering is caused by a problem commonly known as "garbage in equals garbage out".
What needs to be kept in mind is that spike removal/filtering is an attempt to convert "garbage in" into something that doesn't look like "garbage out".

The only way to truly avoid garbage out is to eliminate the garbage in. However, if you must use a usb-serial adapter, that's going to be difficult, as some of us have already found.

Edit: If the above is all a bit vague, the "garbage in" is caused by errors in the code translation between the RS-232 interface and the USB interface, and these errors are probably synchronisation errors caused by incorrect timing within the converter hardware. There is also a good chance of RS-232 timing and/or handshake problems between the weather station and the serial-USB converter.

For those using laptops that don't have a serial port, but do have a PCMCIA/CARDBUS port, there are still available RS232 modules which have a proper serial port (using a 16550-style UART), and they should work ok, just as a PCI serial card in a desktop machine.

Another method of filtering might be to substitute the data from the preceding sample whenever a spike occurs, but I think that would require more work for Steve than would be feasible, and I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to go down that path.
Cheers,
Graeme.

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steve
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by steve »

GraemeT wrote:Another method of filtering might be to substitute the data from the preceding sample whenever a spike occurs, but I think that would require more work for Steve than would be feasible, and I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to go down that path.
I may be misunderstanding your suggestion, but Cumulus already does that, effectively. When a 'spike' is encountered, it ignores it and hence automatically uses the previous reading.

On the subject of USB/serial adapters, the Open2300 site has a page about them: http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/ ... Converters
Steve

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GraemeT
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by GraemeT »

Steve wrote:When a 'spike' is encountered, it ignores it and hence automatically uses the previous reading.
That's good Steve. At least no-one's going to be asking you to add it.... :D
...and yes, I read through Kenneth Lavrsen's wiki some time ago in an attempt to find a solution.

I have used 3 serial-usb converters, a Belkin F5U409, Belkin F5U257, and the FTDI converter supplied with my ws-2355, none of which could be coaxed to run error-free, no matter how I tweaked the device drivers.

Some time ago I started to wonder about how accurately these converters can configure their RS-232 interface to match the connected serial device as there is no way to configure from the usb side, hence my suggestion of possible handshake problems.
Cheers,
Graeme.

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Matt.j5b
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by Matt.j5b »

GraemeT wrote: the "garbage in" is caused by errors in the code translation between the RS-232 interface and the USB interface, and these errors are probably synchronisation errors caused by incorrect timing within the converter hardware. There is also a good chance of RS-232 timing and/or handshake problems between the weather station and the serial-USB converter.
I guess it does comes down to how well the adapter handles the errors occur converting the code translation and some adapter would be better at that than others. That why I consider my self lucky to use adapter with not too many errors, but many would not be too lucky and so would turn away from La Crosse because they can't use serial, because they got no serial port etc...

I set my up 5 months ago and I did not need to change settings or drivers to get it working good. But you did try the same adapter and got a different result, but I do mainly run off the logger at 5 minute intervals but when I run it from Cumulus over the weeekend I don't get muvh trouble either.

Here are the details:
Belkin USB to serial adapter, model F5U-409-CU http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage. ... _Id=129218

Driver details in device manager:
Driver Date: 1/1/10
Driver Version: 2.98.826.2
Driver Provider: MagicControl Technologies (MCT)

Settings I didn’t change because it works fine

I could not find the driver from Belkin for windows 7 as they only supplied up to Vista at their site here: http://en-us-support.belkin.com/app/ans ... ---drivers

However I found this site:
http://www.clearchain.com/blog/posts/ho ... mac-osx-10
And following the directions there I got it working. Belkin don't make the drivers, another company makes them for them, and Belkin just didn't update the drivers on their web site here to include the drivers for windows 7. Also apparently the chipset is neither the prolific or FTDI but a Philips P87C52X2BA microcontroller.


I downloaded the driver below from the MCT driver page here: http://www.mct-us.com/driver.html

Driver: U232-P9

For: Windows98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7

Version: V10.2.98.100806

Updated: 2010/9/3

And on the open2300 it mentions my adapter model as one that works with the La Crosse: http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/ ... Converters
Regards, Matt of Brisbane, Australia
Ferny Grove Weather
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GraemeT
Posts: 308
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by GraemeT »

Hi Matt,

Belkin have lost my support because they choose not to support their own hardware, which doesn't work with LaCrosse anyway.

The U232-P9 has been phased out according to the MCT website, so that's also a dead loss now. Their product support is about as good as Belkin's in that they say (and I quote) : "It is comptaible with Windows XP/Vista/7" but don't even offer specs any more.

As I wrote earlier, if your laptop has a PCMCIA/CardBus slot, get an RS-232 card for it. If dollars are short, they don't come much cheaper than this: http://s.dx.com/search/5572


Cheers for now,
Cheers,
Graeme.

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Matt.j5b
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Joined: Mon 28 Nov 2011 2:13 am
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Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by Matt.j5b »

I find it bad they don't even support drivers for their adapter and now there no driver from MCT which is a shame. But lucky I already got the driver and it should be alright for the time being. But I would go serial if I couldn't use a adapter or if it worked poorly. My Laptop has only got a memory card slot which may not be the same as the PCMCIA/CardBus slot you were talking about.
Regards, Matt of Brisbane, Australia
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Greebo
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Weather Station: La Crosse WS-2355
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Location: NSW, Australia

Re: LaCrosse WS and USB adapters

Post by Greebo »

I tried the USB adapter that came with my WS-2355 with Cumulus for about a month. I used to get rubbish data multiple times a day. Since the PC has a real COM port that I don't use for anything else, I just switched to that and I think I've had about 3 bad readings in the last 3 years using direct serial.

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