Welcome to the Cumulus Support forum.

Latest Cumulus MX release 3.19.3 (build 3196) - 25 July 2022

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 drop-down menus to 2030)

Download the Software (Cumulus MX / Cumulus 1 and other related items) from the Wiki

If you are interested in supporting Cumulus then maybe you would like to contribute to the maintenance of the Wiki? This need not take hours of your time - just a half hour here and there can make a big difference, particularly if many people are doing this. Any contributions are very welcome, whether they involve new content or editing of existing content. It will be very helpful to current and future users of Cumulus software if the Wiki is kept well-maintained and current. If you are interested then please contact forum user saratogaWX and ask for a Wiki account.

Base unit failure

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
Post Reply
clarets7
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 15 Feb 2015 6:06 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset (Watson W-8681-SOLAR
Operating System: Windows 8
Location: West Yorkshire

Base unit failure

Post by clarets7 »

My Watson base unit has finally given up the ghost. Random alarms, pressure not working, won't clear memory when connected to PC. It will still communicate with the stion though, for wind speed and light at least. It's model W-8681-SOLAR, is it possible to buy a replacement unit? Or something that is at least similar and will still communicate? Or should I just buy a new setup??
water01
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat 13 Aug 2011 9:33 am
Weather Station: Ecowitt HP2551
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit
Location: Burnham-on-Sea
Contact:

Re: Base unit failure

Post by water01 »

Using Google everywhere I looked was either Out of Stock or no longer available.

My Ecowitt HP2551 has been very reliable and is the same sort of weather station. Amazon UK sells them https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ecowitt-Wirele ... ast_sto_dp
David
Image
clarets7
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 15 Feb 2015 6:06 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset (Watson W-8681-SOLAR
Operating System: Windows 8
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Base unit failure

Post by clarets7 »

Thanks Water, I thought that was the case. The unit has been faulty for a while now, one of those things where I keep meaning to take it apart and fix it - if that is even possible. It has calmed down from the initial failure after a factory reset, and will communicate once with the main station with correct readings each time, just doesn't do anything after that, so it can't be anything major surely?
I will get a new one anyway, so will look at the HP2551 and similar, things seemed to have changed a lot since I last investigated weather stations though!
AllyCat
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Base unit failure

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,
clarets7 wrote: Mon 25 Jul 2022 8:52 am .. things seemed to have changed a lot since I last investigated weather stations though!
Indeed yes. Very few stations now include Logging (when not connected to a PC) but can use the Internet instead. "Watson" branded stations were manufactured by the Chinese "Fine Offset" company, who still sell under numerous brand names, now particularly Ecowitt and also still Watson. The console is usually the most expensive part of the complete station so it has rarely been worthwhile to buy a replacement, particularly with all the complications of Radio Frequency differences (433/868/915 MHz), etc.. FO were also particularly "confusing" because they produced different versions with the same model number, particularly "Watson 8681". :(

Generally, the modern "Ecowitt"s are far superior to the original Fine Offset's, except that the sensors are now "All In One", which needs to be mounted on a high mast for reasonable Wind (and maybe Solar) measurements. The nearest modern equivalent to your 8681 is perhaps from CPC but the viewing angle of the LCD screen is poor. Take a look at the Waters and Stanton website and particularly their "Watson 8686" which is very similar to the Ecowitt/HP2551, etc.. AFAIK, these all (except the CPC) have the same "screen" and upgrading/expansion capabilities.

Cheers, Alan.
User avatar
ConligWX
Posts: 1337
Joined: Mon 19 May 2014 10:45 pm
Weather Station: Davis vPro2+ w/DFARS
Operating System: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
Location: Bangor, NI
Contact:

Re: Base unit failure

Post by ConligWX »

Weatherspares also sells nearly all Ecowitt devices.

https://weatherspares.co.uk/collections/ecowitt
Regards Simon

https://www.conligwx.org - @conligwx
Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus with Daytime FARS • WeatherLink Live • Davis AirLink • PurpleAir PA-II-SD • CumulusMX •
clarets7
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 15 Feb 2015 6:06 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset (Watson W-8681-SOLAR
Operating System: Windows 8
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Base unit failure

Post by clarets7 »

Thanks Alan and Simon, I've had a look at those and plenty of food for thought. Do I really need a console if that is the most expensive item? My old station was upstairs permanently connected to an old laptop running Cumulus and Remote desktop, so I could access it from anywhere. My interpretation of the Ecowitt Gateway system is that it achieves the same thing, but with less hassle? I also like the idea of the separate elements, as with a lot of mature trees on a sloping garden placement of an all in one is always a compromise. Maybe I should start a new thread on the Ecowitt sub forum to discuss a new setup?
AllyCat
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Base unit failure

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,
clarets7 wrote: Tue 26 Jul 2022 9:31 am Do I really need a console if that is the most expensive item?
No, the "Gateway" does the same data-handling function and costs only around £30. IMHO the TFT display is very "nice", but there's no point in paying around another £100 if you don't want it.

Note that via Amazon, Ecowitt often have their kit "On Offer"; for example at the moment you can get 8% off (or a "£10 voucher") just by ticking a box. :)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/ECOWITT-Weathe ... ref=sr_1_6

Cheers, Alan.
clarets7
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 15 Feb 2015 6:06 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset (Watson W-8681-SOLAR
Operating System: Windows 8
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Base unit failure

Post by clarets7 »

Yes, the pricing on Amazon is somewhat bizarre! I think the most cost effective option for me is the GW1102 package which is about £134. Before I press buy though are the 100m range specs reliable? There are quite a few trees and the distance from the house to the preferred location is around 50m, possibly not direct line of site either unless I put the GW1100 in the attic, which is not really a problem, not that interested in the house temperature.
AllyCat
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Base unit failure

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,

Hmm, currently, Amazon appears to be linking to two different "GW1102" packages: Both have separate(d) Wind and Rain sensors, but the Amazon is Solar Powered (only) at about £135 and the other is from WeatherSpares (Marketplace seller) with Solar/UV sensors at about £230. BTW, the indications are that Ecowitt do not actually use a UV sensor (only an "estimate" from the Lux value).

The new Ecowitts will probably have a better wireless range than the old Fine Offsets (unless you had a very lucky/good sample), but it's difficult to generalise. AFAIK most "Solar" versions used 433MHz, a more "congested" band than 868MHz, but 868 may have slightly more difficulty penetrating thick walls. Also, the Gateway (box) is too small to accommodate an optimum "full size" (Quarter Wavelength) Antenna, even at 868 MHz. But I believe an advantage of Amazon is that an item can be returned initially for any reason, if the buyer is not satisfied.

Note that the "Screen" (Console) contains no sensors, so those stations are supplied with a remote Pressure/Temperature/Humidity sensor (which can be used indoors or outdoors). I didn't think the Gateway contained these sensors, but it appears that some do now have them on a "remote" cable? The GW1102 appears to include both?

Cheers, Alan.
freddie
Posts: 1851
Joined: Wed 08 Jun 2011 11:19 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2 + Ecowitt
Operating System: GNU/Linux Ubuntu 20.04 LXC
Location: Alcaston, Shropshire, UK
Contact:

Re: Base unit failure

Post by freddie »

I didn't think the Gateway contained these sensors, but it appears that some do now have them on a "remote" cable? The GW1102 appears to include both?
GW1100 has temp, humidity and pressure sensors too.
Freddie
Image
clarets7
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 15 Feb 2015 6:06 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset (Watson W-8681-SOLAR
Operating System: Windows 8
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Base unit failure

Post by clarets7 »

OK, so I went with the GW1102 from Amazon at £134 with the discounts. I'll start a new post on the Ecowitt forum if I have any questions (almost certainly) but I will try and fix the Watson base station as well. Thanks to everyone :)
User avatar
Gyvate
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed 16 Dec 2020 2:14 pm
Weather Station: GW1x00/WH2650WiFi/HP2553/GW2000
Operating System: Win 11 (PC/RPi), Raspbian 11,WSL
Location: Saarbrücken, Germany
Contact:

Re: Base unit failure

Post by Gyvate »

AllyCat wrote: Tue 26 Jul 2022 4:20 pm Note that the "Screen" (Console) contains no sensors, so those stations are supplied with a remote Pressure/Temperature/Humidity sensor (which can be used indoors or outdoors). I didn't think the Gateway contained these sensors, but it appears that some do now have them on a "remote" cable? The GW1102 appears to include both?
Cheers, Alan.
1. at the cable end of the GW1100 sits the indoor temperature/humidity sensor
2. the pressure sensor is soldered on the mainboard
3. even though you can put the WH32B/WH32 indoor 3-in-1 (temperature/humidity/pressure) anywhere you want, the consoles like the HP2551 and a WH2650 will always show it as indoor sensors. Of course you can rename the sensor in the HP2551 console, but it will always be shown at the place of the indoor sensor and never as outdoor sensor. There is a Fine Offset / Ecowitt definition of an outdoor T/H sensor which follows the so-called Highlander principle (there can only be one). You want to know more details, have a look at https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=40730.0

This may then also update your knowledge regarding Fine Offset and Ecowitt - FO being the manufacturer and business customer (reseller) front and Ecowitt being the retail customer outlet. FO are not confusing but have engaged resellers who often under their own brading sell the same hardware. It's a business model. It's like you buy an Opel car in Germany and get the same model in the UK under the Vauxhall name. They belong to the same group General Motors.
4. the GW1002 is not a console but a station (console + sensors/array). That can be confusing that stations and console models sometimes have almost (!) identical names. Again, studying the before mentioned thread on wxforum.net would provide the needed information
Post Reply