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Data Connection for Fine Offset

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:42 am

I have recently replaced my old Fine Offset with a new WH1081 unit. I have provisionally installed this in the same location as the old unit, as there is direct line of sight some 20m to my PC, with only a sliding glass door to interfere with the wireless signal. However, since first setting up my previous station, a lot of new vegetation has grown up, and this is now interfering with wind and rain measurements. Cutting back the vegetation is not an option, as it forms part of the landscaping.
There is an altogether better location for the Weather Station, away from trees, shrubs, and the house, but it is 35m distant from my office, and the wireless signal will not transmit through the intervening walls, slabs, and earthworks.
However, there is a possible alternative. The garage is only about 20m from where I intend to relocate the weather-station. In the garage, adjacent to my Broadband Connection, there is a Cat 6 data cable to my office. If I locate the desk top display screen here, and purchase a couple of RJ45 to USB adaptors, one for each end, could I utilise the data cable to transmit the signal to my PC? Might it even be possible to connect the PC directly via the RJ45 Data outlet in my office, thus dispensing with one of the adaptors?
There is also available the fully functional Display unit from my old F.O. Weather station, which could be used, if needs be. Any suggestions or options would be gratefully received.

Regards,

Mike

henkg
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:53 am
Weather Station: WH3080 (Alecto WS-5000 ECO)
Operating System: Raspbian Wheezy on RPI B+
Location: Zeeland, Netherlands

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby henkg » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:53 am

A different approach: You might consider a Raspberry PI in the garage, with Cumulus CX running.
My set-up: Powerline adapter from house to garden house (with mains, no ethernet cable). You won't need the powerline adapter.
RPI and console in gardenhouse. The transmitter is located 40 meters from my gardenhouse (wood), the rest: line of sight.

Works fine, for 2.5 years now, apart from an occasional USB lockup, about every 2 - 4 weeks. For me it is not a problem that the Fine Offset console operates as a black box, since I only watch the data published to my webserver.
Image

TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:33 am

Thanks Henk, I'll wait to hear if my preferred method will work, as that should save me $$$, but your input is much appreciated,

Regards Mike

AllyCat
Posts: 997
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby AllyCat » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:20 am

Hi Mike,

Extending the USB connection (with CAT5 converters) has been discussed a few times on the forum, but I don't recall anybody specifically reporting either success or failure.

TRex wrote:There is also available the fully functional Display unit from my old F.O. Weather station, which could be used, if needs be.

Have you definitely confirmed that? FO appears to have introduced the "USB Lockup" bug at the same time that they changed the Wireless Protocol, around 5 years ago. If your original station is older than that, then you won't have compatibility and might still have the joys of USB Lockups to come.

But whether you've experienced USB Lockups or not, it seems wise to arrange the power supply arrangements to the Console in the garage so that it can be reset remotely if needed. With the four pairs of cores in a CAT5 cable, that shouldn't be too difficult to achieve.

Cheers, Alan.

TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:37 am

G'day Alan,
To be truthful, no, I haven't tested my previous desktop console, but it is less than 3 years old (just), and worked perfectly before the transmitter on the last system gave up the ghost, so I have to admit this is only an assumption. I didn't suffer from lock-ups previously, so I am hopeful it will work. I did search for similar posts on the forum before I posted this, but didn't find any helpful information.

I take your point about arranging suitable power supply arrangements for resetting if necessary, but to be honest, I would have to get some technical assistance on that, as electronics is most definitely not my forte. I may ask you for some help here, depending on what path I am eventually advised to take.
Thanks for your time, all the best, Mike.

AllyCat
Posts: 997
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby AllyCat » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:30 pm

Hi Mike,

3 years old should be the "latest" protocol/software, but obviously still worth checking for compatibility.

I have found one thread which looks quite encouraging. The N96GY referred to in the fourth post is our "local" version (Maplin) of the 1081.

The extenders seem to be available at such a ridiculously low price, if you're patient, that they're probably worth a punt. Looks to be powered from the "host" end, so remote resetting could be possible by omitting the batteries in the Console (assumes external USB power is normally supplied 24/7).

Cheers, Alan

TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:20 am

Thanks for the follow-up Alan. As you say, the adapters are very cheap, and if it works that way, then for maybe $20 I can have it up and running. I hope that someone will come up with a solution with which they have had success, so I shall give it a few more days, and then make a decision which way to go.

Regards,

Mike

User avatar
Toxic17
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 10:45 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus
Operating System: Debian 9.1 Stretch
Location: Bangor, NI
Contact:

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby Toxic17 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:42 am

Any USB lockups should be fixed with a Powered USB HUB or possibly Ferrite Cores around the ends of the USB cable.
Regards Simon

https://www.conligwx.org
https://twitter.com/conligwx
Davis Vantage Pro2+ - CumulusMX v3.0.0 (build 3043) + Saratoga/PWS
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TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:37 am

Thanks Simon for your suggestion. I have a couple of spare USB cables with ferrite core shields, as well as some powered hubs.

Regards,

Mike

TRex
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:46 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset/WH1081
Operating System: Windows 10
Location: Toowoomba Queensland

Re: Data Connection for Fine Offset

Postby TRex » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:31 am

Well, no further suggestions, so I have ordered 2 x RJ45-USB3 adapters, a bit more expensive that the USB2 units, but still very reasonably priced. I ordered them locally, so should have them by mid next week, then I can try to set them up. I'll post my findings for anyone else who may be similarly inclined, when I have something to report.

Regards,

Mike


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