Main / Weather Station Software

Data Recording and Analysis Software

Since July 2016

Since development had stopped on wview in 2014 (and bits of the website, such as images, began disappearing), I decided that getting a new Vantage Pro2 was a good time to look for new software. When I found weewx and read that it used the same database setup as wview so that transferring my nearly 11 years of data (at 5 minute intervals!) would be as simple as copying a file, I decided to give it a shot.

So far, it has worked quite well on my Shuttle (see next section), and I think the graphs it produces are even nicer than wview's. It does not yet provide the daily archive report (listing the data at 5 minute intervals), but that is expected in the next release (hopefully sometime in March 2017).

April 2009 - June 2016

In April 2009, I transferred my Vantage Pro2 serial connection to a Linux (Fedora Core 10) computer running wview. That computer was 9 years old and suffered a hard disk crash in December 2009 (thankfully I back up my weather data nightly, and the console's data logger holds several days worth of observations, so no data was lost). I then began using wview in an Ubuntu virtual machine (using VMware Player) on my 64-bit Vista workstation, on which I first had to install a serial port card.

In November 2010, I purchased an old HP D510 Desktop P4 2.0 with 1GB RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a serial port, from www.yugster.com for less than $120 shipped (without a monitor, which I already had). I installed the latest Ubuntu and wview, and it worked steadily, only going offline due to power outages. In 2013, I purchased a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) which resolved outages due to the not infrequent <5 second outages we get here; and longer outages rarely occur more than once a year.

In September 2015, I purchased a Shuttle XS36V4 ultra-slim fanless computer equipped with two serial ports (bought at newegg). I installed Xubuntu and wview, and migrated my archived data from the old HP. Not only does the Shuttle take up a fraction of the space of the old HP, it is noiseless and adds very little heat to the room (quite the opposite of the old HP in both respects).

The wview graphics are much nicer and are created much more quickly than WeatherLink’s. In fact, even though the original wview computer hardware was identical to the original computer running Windows and WeatherLink, all aspects of wview were quicker than WeatherLink. Also, wview natively handles uploading to CWOP and WeatherUnderground (i.e. without a third-party plugin). Even within a virtual machine, the performance was still much better and the load on the host computer much less than with WeatherLink.

December 2005 - April 2009

As mentioned earlier, I originally used the data recording, analysis, and uploading software that came with the Davis WeatherLink® datalogger.

The WeatherLink software had a tendency to hang or crash every so often. I have the serial port version of the datalogger at home and (in a previous job) the USB version at work. The serial port version worked much more reliably than the USB version; but I still wanted something that would automatically restart the WeatherLink software when it crashed. One of the most promising ones I found online is StartWatch, a shareware program that lets you coordinate the startup of your applications and monitor them after they're started.

At that same website (SoftWx.com), I noticed a program called VirtualVP, a shareware program that lets you connect up to 4 weather programs to a single Davis Vantage Pro 1 or 2 weather station (console or Envoy).

It turns out that using VirtualVP seems to alleviate the extra problems with the USB version of the datalogger. Couple that with StartWatch, and my weather uploading from work went flawlessly for months. However, shortly after I left that company, the data uploads ceased; and since I had no access to their computers, I could not determine the problem nor fix it.

It also improved the uptime from home; however, it seems my router, cable modem, and/or Comcast (my old ISP) were not quite as reliable and occasionally put WeatherLink into such a funk that not even StartWatch could get it to terminate cleanly so that StartWatch could restart it. Still, StartWatch and VirtualVP provided great value for the low registration fee.

Also from SoftWx.com is a freeware program called VPLive that connects to a Davis Vantage Pro 1 or 2 Weather Station console (either directly or through VirtualVP) and displays the live data. It also calculates the station pressure (i.e. actual pressure), altimeter pressure, and running averages needed to properly generate and send APRS/CWOP data. So, I used that (instead of WeatherLink) to upload my APRS/CWOP data. I'd have liked VPLive to also upload to WeatherUnderground; I once submitted a request for that to VPLive's author, but it was still on his to-do list a couple of years later.

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