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WeatherLink Live

Discussion specific to Davis weather stations
Mapantz
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat 17 Dec 2011 11:55 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2
Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Location: Dorset - UK
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WeatherLink Live

Post by Mapantz »

I'm thinking of doing some changes to all of my weather setup indoors which may include a purchase of WeatherLink Live.

I just wondered about a few things.. When connected to Cumulus MX, will it all work like being connected via USB? Will it be uploading all of the same data that i'm uploading at the moment?

Also, do you get the ability to upload to WeatherLink Cloud whilst still using Cumulus MX?

TLDR; Are there any limitations compared to using the tradition USB to PC method?

Cheers. :)
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mcrossley
Posts: 7216
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Weather Station: Davis VP2
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Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by mcrossley »

It's slightly different, better in some ways, not so in others.

The wl.com upload is independent of Cumulus access. The wl.com uploads are buffered if the internet goes down (for months).

Pluses
  • You can have any combination of sensors and transmitters
  • You can get RSSI figures for each transmitter
  • Uploads automatically to wl.com - you can configure it from there too
  • Accessible via a smart phone app to configure and view. Gives live 2.5 sec updates on the local LAN.
Minuses
  • You need a wl.com subscription to get historic data - to replace the logger function
  • No ET values (yet)
All in all a nice device, a bit pricy perhaps, but functionally not much different from a console and IP logger combination.

prodata
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat 05 Feb 2011 7:13 pm
Weather Station: VP2
Operating System: Windows - all flavours
Location: Littleport, East Cambs, UK

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by prodata »

Mark's nailed it pretty well and I'd echo the idea that Weatherlink Live (WLL) is best thought of as something a little different from a traditional Davis logger - WLL does offer many extra features but does not use the same API as older loggers and so is not compatible with the established software base unless - like CumulusMX - the programs specifically offer WLL support. So, for example, even Davis's own local Weatherlink (for Windows or Mac) can't talk to a WLL unit.

If I had to sum up WLL in one word it would probably be flexibility. So, WLL is completely independent of any existing console and can be placed in a quite different location (as long as it can still receive adequately from the sensor transmitters of course). Existing console(s) will continue to run quite happily in parallel with WLL and so any logger in an existing console can continue to pass data to any existing computer/program as normal, if that's what you want to do. Also worth underlining is that WLL can connect into your local network either via WiFi or cabled Ethernet.

As Mark says, perhaps the biggest plus is the ability to run literally any mix of transmitters on all 8 channels and so the inability of the old console/logger combo eg to run more than one anemometer, rain gauge etc etc is finally gone. And any supplementary temperature transmitters will be received in full 0.1°resolution (rather than the 1°F resolution that was previously the limit). Also, solar/UV sensors can be placed on a different transmitter from the ISS. Of course any software in use has to able to support this extra flexibility. I know that CMX already goes some way towards this eg allowing solar/UV on a different transmitter, but doesn't (as yet?) support for instance multiple anemometers. Probably the only software platform that supports pretty much all WLL functionality at present is the Davis weatherlink.com cloud platform, but doubtless others will join the party in the coming months/years.

For anyone not familiar with weatherlink.com this operates on a fremium model with a basic free plan and then a Pro plan with an annual subscription. Access to different features is then divided between the plans. But, in essence, access to all current weather data is part of the free plan, as is access to the free smartphone app. For a lot of users, the free plan may be all they need, especially if users are also running CMX for local data storage/analysis etc. But weatherlink.com can do much more with the Pro plan and, for example, store, chart etc all of your historic data as a backup for example. Weatherlink.com continues in active development and new features are in the roadmap for future addition.

I know that the subscription is divisive. But personally I'd argue that this fremium model is a reasonable compromise. Weatherlink.com now has around 50,000 users worldwide with a team of developers and support staff maintaining and extending it. It's not realistic in my book to expect that this considerable effort can be provided completely free of charge, but the free part of the plan does still offer substantial features and so that's perhaps a fair balance. But opinions will obviously vary.

There is a decent independent review of WLL on youTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dmEn_mTTnY . I don't know who this is by - apparently UK-based, maybe even someone here? This is a worthwhile review to watch but, slightly frustratingly, doesn't really highlight the key benefit of the multi-transmitter capbaility and also focuses entirely on the smartphone app without also covering the better graphics and other features of the browser app. It also doesn't mention the option of connecting to local software like CMX. These omissions are perhaps a pointer to the fact that WLL is quite a capable device and not of all its features are obvious at first acquaintance.
John Dann
Prodata Weather Systems
Littleport, East Cambs, UK
http://www.weatherstations.co.uk

stevendt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat 23 May 2020 4:19 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vatnage Pro2 Plus
Operating System: Windows 7/10
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by stevendt »

To my mind, the biggest minus with WLL is the requirement for an ongoing (paid) subscription to download your own historical data.

I like to own my own data thank you very much!

regards
Dave

prodata
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat 05 Feb 2011 7:13 pm
Weather Station: VP2
Operating System: Windows - all flavours
Location: Littleport, East Cambs, UK

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by prodata »

stevendt wrote:
Tue 09 Jun 2020 2:00 pm
To my mind, the biggest minus with WLL is the requirement for an ongoing (paid) subscription to download your own historical data.

I like to own my own data thank you very much!
Yes, I understand. I'd suggest that you're not actually paying for your own historical data, you're paying for the service that stores it in perpetuity and delivers it on request (and provides other features too). It's no different from eg renting a self-store container eg to store your existing furniture or whatever. The monthly rental is not paying for the furniture all over again, it's paying for the storage service (which wouldn't exist if users weren't prepared to pay for it).

But I know it's not an easy sell, although people no longer expect to have eg a phone or TV subscription for nowt. To me the question is more around what is a reasonable price for the service rather than expecting an unlimited service for free. And which other online weather platforms are offering a comparable high-quality service for free - I don't see many takers on that front - WU is collapsing in front of our eyes, WOW is a rather limited, clunky and poorly supported service etc. But that's probably a debate for another day.
John Dann
Prodata Weather Systems
Littleport, East Cambs, UK
http://www.weatherstations.co.uk

stevendt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat 23 May 2020 4:19 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vatnage Pro2 Plus
Operating System: Windows 7/10
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by stevendt »

prodata wrote:
Tue 09 Jun 2020 2:28 pm
I'd suggest that you're not actually paying for your own historical data, you're paying for the service that stores it in perpetuity and delivers it on request (and provides other features too). It's no different from eg renting a self-store container eg to store your existing furniture or whatever.
Anyone who believes that Davis will store the data in perpetuity is kidding themselves. The data is likely safe until such times as Davis decide not to maintain the platform!

prodata
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat 05 Feb 2011 7:13 pm
Weather Station: VP2
Operating System: Windows - all flavours
Location: Littleport, East Cambs, UK

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by prodata »

Well, as they say, nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. :( And various natural disasters with a potential major impact worldwide on economies and infrastructure are easily imaginable like a significant meteorite strike or Jellystone Park blowing up or another but more deadly viral pandemic (you might think SARS2 is bad enough but it's only a shadow of what could be - think of say another coronavirus with the infectivity of measles (ca 5x that of SARS2) and the deadliness of SARS1 or MERS (maybe 10-20x that of SARS2).

But this sort of disaster scenario aside, any company can inevitably also be vulnerable to commercial pressures - that's not saying anything new. But Davis with its considerable financial backing nowadays has effectively bet the ranch on weatherlink.com and could not be more committed to it as a future platform. So the prospects of its demise in say the next 20 years are tiny I would suggest. Of all the online weather platforms that I can see at present that accept data from stations in the Davis market sector I would judge weatherlink.com to be the most secure.

And if you're not wishing to store data online then local storage is obviously the other alternative, but that's vulnerable to all sorts of threats too. Maybe the safest answer is a combination of cloud + local, when CumulusMX + weatherlink.com wouldn't be a bad starting point.

But ultimately of course everyone can make their own decision as to where they see the biggest threats and act accordingly.
John Dann
Prodata Weather Systems
Littleport, East Cambs, UK
http://www.weatherstations.co.uk

Mapantz
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat 17 Dec 2011 11:55 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2
Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Location: Dorset - UK
Contact:

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by Mapantz »

Thanks for the replies!

I'm still mulling over the idea at the moment :lol:

It's not an issue about 'Davis owning my data'
I use MySQL to keep all of my data.
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Lonski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon 06 Jan 2014 2:08 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2 with WLL
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by Lonski »

Last week purchased a Vantage Pro2 with weather link live (no console) due to my Oregon 13 year old unit finally dying after 13 years. No replacement parts are available anymore. I rarely used the console on my Oregon, All i need it for was to get my sensor data onto a PC and then upload it to CMX and WU for backup of historic data. WLL was my choice as it can be place anywhere within my WiFi range and as it has the indoor sensors in it, it was important to have it away from my Comms gear in my office as that room is generally 2-3 deg C higher than anywhere else in the house. I have the basic plan from WLL as the account is only required to configure the device initially or make changes to the connection to the Sensors and WiFi. CMX is my main data recording and delivery to my personal web page.

WLL basic plan only lets you have 15 min updates, but that is irrelevant with CMX.
A console can be added later if needed, but i dont see the point, apart from being able to push buttons ;)

mlucas
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue 24 Jun 2014 10:41 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Location: Ravenna

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by mlucas »

Hi All,

This might be a dumb question, but do I need set the "WeatherLink.com API details" values if Cumulus is pulling the data from the WeatherLink Live device directly?

My setup is new, so there is no historical data on the WeatherLink Live website and I using the Basic (Free) tier. Don't see much need for the Pro version if Cumulus is storing the data and I'm pushing it to WeatherUnderground, etc.

Thank you,
Michael

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mcrossley
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Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by mcrossley »

If you only want "live" data, and no catch-up using weatehrlink.com (impossible without a paid subscription anyway), then no, you do not need to enter any of those details into the config.

mlucas
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue 24 Jun 2014 10:41 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Location: Ravenna

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by mlucas »

Thanks Mark.

Mapantz
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat 17 Dec 2011 11:55 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2
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Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by Mapantz »

I have my anemometer on a separate wireless transmitter which I have added. I am getting 'some' wind data on the weatherlink webpage - just wind speed and direction. No wind chill or THSW/ET.

And the app isn't showing any wind data at all, let alone live 2.5 second updates. I've tried everything!
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mcrossley
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Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by mcrossley »

As per the other message...

You need to look at the advanced settings and select which transmitter you want to be the primary anemometer. I had the same issue at first.

For example I have...
txId=1 - Wind & Solar - Advanced Settings|Anemometer type= Vantage Pro2 ISS
txId=2 - ISS (T/H/rain) - Primary station - Advanced Settings|Select Anemometer=<txId1 name>, rain collector size=0.2mm

Mapantz
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat 17 Dec 2011 11:55 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2
Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Location: Dorset - UK
Contact:

Re: WeatherLink Live

Post by Mapantz »

I've given up now as it still isn't working right.

No 2.5 second wind updates, temp graphs think I'm in soviet Russia, barometric graphs think I'm in the crossover point between Earth and space, missing data.. :roll:
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