Fine Offset Weather Stations
Many of the entry level weather stations can be classified as "EasyWeather" or "FineOffset"; they are rebadged or generic models of the device produced by FineOffSet Electronics
The software shipped with the device is EasyWeather (or EasyWeatherPlus for models with solar sensors) and while it peforms its role of reading and storing data from the weather station, it is quite limiting and inflexible. Of course, if you are reading this you have probably already switched to Cumulus and found its advantages.
Note on Models
Fine Offset manuafactured models are sold under various rebadged names and the specification of models will vary with time, so please treat the following table based on their website in 2012 as a rough guide of their models that have PC interfaces:
|Model||Console Display and Function||Powered by||Sensors||Clock|
|WH1080||landscape shaped touchscreen||solar (for remote unit)||4 outdoor sensors: thermo-hydro transmitter connnected by one flex to wind speed anemonmeter and wind direction vane on a 'T' shaped mounting and with a second connecting flex to a rain tipping bucket||manual|
|WH1081||landscape shaped touchscreen||battery||4 outdoor sensors: as 1080||manual|
|WH1090||portrait shaped touchscreen||battery||4 outdoor sensors: thermo-hydro transmitter, wind speed anemonmeter, wind direction vane and rain tipping bucket||manual|
|WH2080||portrait shaped with 6 square buttons||battery||4 outdoor sensors: as 1080||radio-controlled|
|WA2081||portrait shaped with buttons||solar (for remote unit)||4 outdoor sensors: as 1080||manual|
|WH2081||portrait shaped with buttons||solar (for remote unit)||4 outdoor sensors: as 1080||radio-controlled|
|WH2090||portrait shaped with buttons||battery||4 integrated outdoor sensors: thermo-hydro transmitter, wind speed anemonmeter below wind direction vane, and (on top of transmitter) rain tipping bucket||manual|
|WH3080||small screen with 6 large rectangular buttons||solar (for remote unit)||6 outdoor sensors: measurements of UV index and solar illuminance, thermo-hydro transmitter, wind speed anemonmeter, wind direction vane and rain tipping bucket||radio-controlled|
|WH3081||small screen with buttons||solar (for remote unit)||6 outdoor sensors: measurements of UV index and solar illuminance, thermo-hydro transmitter, wind speed anemonmeter, wind direction vane and rain tipping bucket||manual|
Do note that WH108x series display rolling 24 hour rainfall on console, WH308x series show rainfall since midnight on console.
Note that transmission frequencies, and protocols may vary for the same model with a different country of sale, for different dealers (or by how rebadged), and/or by date of manufacture. Although non-integrated wind measuring and rain measuring sensors using connecting leads should be interchangeable between many models (despite some design variations), the thermonmeter/hygrometer/transmitter unit and console have to be replaced as a pair because of their specific frequencies and protocols.
This page describes in some detail the data records produced by the various Fine Offset devices (WH1080, WH1081, W-8681, WH3080, WH3081 etc.). The weather station's history is stored in 4080 times 16-byte records for models without UV/solar detectors and 3264 times 20-byte records in the 3080/3081 models with the UV/solar detector.
Thanks to Jim Easterbrook for all his work on pulling this data together http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/
The File Format
The following are some useful technical links on the EasyWeather format
Please note this is not compatible with the 'EasyWeather.dat' reader in Cumulus, that works with EasyWeather software version 6.x.
Version (7.y and) 8.z of Easyweather software uses this, a Standard Jet DataBase as used by Microsoft Office. It can be read by any software that has ability to connect to such formats e.g. the 'Base' component of Libre Office (or Apache Open Office).
Fine Offset weather stations, without solar or UV measurements, store all the observations in easyweather.dat when the EasyWeather software version 6.x is running. The file format for this has been described in detail here. (You can view easyweather.dat like any text file either using a text file editor like Notepad or by using a database file viewer). A typical record is "5099, 2013-04-26 07:17:08, 2013-04-26 05:19:21, 15, 42, 18.1, 99, 6.5, 6.4, 6.5, 1004.0, 1014.4, 0.3, 1, 1.0, 1, 14, NW, 2531, 759.3, 0.3, 1.5, 2.7, 3.0, 22.2, 60.9, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 007FC0, 0F 2A B5 00 63 41 00 38 27 03 0A 00 0E E3 09 00 , "
Fine Offset weather stations that record Solar and UV measurements output to EasyWeatherPlus.dat file when Easyweather software version 6.x is running. This has the same fields as easyweather.dat, plus two extra fields for Solar and UV data (see field list at the end of this page).
Cumulus 1.9.4 beta build 1071 is first build that for 'easyweather.dat' input method will Read UV and Lux values from easyweatherplus.dat file if 'Extra Sensors' selected in Settings frame on Station Settings screen. Here is an example of an EasyWeatherPlus.dat record: "8363, 2013-04-26 15:21:32, 2013-04-26 00:25:07, 5, 60, 20.6, 67, 15.2, 9.1, 12.6, 1010.3, 1018.7, 3.1, 2, 4.1, 3, 0, N, 20, 19666.8, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 6.3, 352.2, 352.2, 0.0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0054C0, 2420, 05 3C CE 00 43 98 00 77 27 1F 29 00 00 14 00 00 00 00 00 00 , "
Transferring past observations from EasyWeather.dat to Cumulus
Normally those using Cumulus software will stop using EasyWeather software, but the guidance below is for importing missing historic observations contained in easyweather.dat: If you were archiving your Fine Offset Easyweather.dat files, you probably need to rename the latest one,and restore the relevant old one before you follow these instructions.
Now to import EasyWeather data from a period before you started using Cumulus, close Cumulus and run EasyWeather. It is best if you make a backup copy of your EasyWeather directory before you do any more.
- In the EasyWeather program use the History option on the Record menu.
- Select 'user defined' in Search Conditions box. Select a start time before you got your weather station, leave end time at default of today.
- Click Export button, tick Header, choose as Separator: the symbol that is used to separate fields in your Monthly log files.
- Click Export button below the separator, complete the 'Save as ...' for a text file, and wait a couple of minutes (depending on size of file).
- Open resulting file in a text editor and see hints in Monthly log files on how to convert between formats.
- For dayfile.txt, you can create missing data from the newly created monthly log files, but you still may wish to insert breaks at rollover time in your raw EasyWeather table, possibly adding calculation of maxima or minima to such meteorological day groups, so you can scan though each day to check what has been created in dayfile.txt and edit as required.
If you were archiving your Easyweather.dat files, you may need to repeat the whole above process for futher source files, until you have the whole period you want. When Sfws did this process, he tried to merge the exported files before creating the Cumulus logs, but dealing with 2 full years of frequent pre-Cumulus observations meant he had a massive spreadsheet with almost a million cells, and it made separation into day by day or month by month for feeding into the Cumulus logs more difficult.
The instructions above were written for importing past information created by EasyWeather software version 6.x. If you were previously using the later EasyWeather software version 8.z; follow step 1 above, then select the required dates, then click the option button to 'Export as CSV'. Once you have created that file continue as step 5 above.
Station configuration screen: Using 'EasyWeather.dat' file as current station type
You might want to run EasyWeather software, perhaps for testing purposes, and use its output file as the source for Cumulus software on a short term basis. (Both software programmes need to run continuously for this to work). As an alternative to the bulk transfer above (that was for transfer of historic observations), Cumulus at all versions has the option to read the latest observations directly from an easyweather.dat file if Easyweather (using .dat file) is selected as the station type (see Cumulus help for how to fill in the station configuration screen) and process the last line only.
From version 1.9.4 build 1071 onwards Cumulus assumes 'easyWeatherPlus.dat' format if extra sensors ticked and 'easyweather.dat' format if extra sensors is unticked.
Remember, it is better to select the Fine Offset (WH1080 etc) station type (this reads observations by most models directly via USB without EasyWeather software) for normal operational purposes (again see Cumulus help for station configuration screen) as that allows Cumulus to do more, including coping with non-continuous running. If your station model measures UV and solar light intensities, the recommended station type selection is Fine Offset with UV/Light sensor.
Usage of easyweather.dat fields for Cumulus input of latest record:
People with non Fine Offset stations may wish to create data in this format for input to Cumulus running continuously, only the last record on the file is ever read, checking its time-stamp differs from the last one read. See the forum (http://sandaysoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4344) for more details.
- Note when reading easyweather.dat (or equivalent formatted input), Cumulus will read the station originated date and time fields, and Cumulus checks that they have changed before using new data from the file.
- To get Cumulus to read the file, configure a station type of "Easyweather (using .dat file)", and supply the full path to your file (it can have any name you wish), and the interval at which it is to be read.
- Note that Cumulus only reads the last line in the file, and that this method is only suitable for 'live' data, i.e. you cannot close Cumulus down and expect it to catch up again later.
- This method of using Cumulus is available on an "as is" basis; if it works for you, fine, but strictly speaking it is unsupported.
Here's the format of the initial part of an 'easyweather.dat' file record, with the fields Cumulus uses in bold. The separator between each field can either be a space or a comma, both are treated the same (hence date and time are regarded as separate fields even though they are separated by a space in real EasyWeather file whilst in the real file other fields are separated by commas). Note that EasyWeather always uses full stops for decimals. There are more fields after the ones shown (see example records shown above for the two .dat formats; and http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/weather/ew/).
- 0 - Record no
- 1 - Transfer date
- 2 - Transfer time
- 3 - Reading date
- 4 - Reading time
- 5 - Interval
- 6 - Indoor Hum (Must be integer)
- 7 - Indoor Temp
- 8 - Outdoor Hum (Must be integer)
- 9 - Outdoor Temp
- 10 - dew point
- 11 - wind chill
- 12 - absolute pressure
- 13 - rel pressure
- 14 - wind average
- 15 - wind average bft
- 16 - wind gust
- 17 - wind gust bft
- 18 - wind direction number
- 19 - wind direction text (N, ENE etc, using English)
- 20 - rain tip counter
- 21 - rain total
- 22 - rain since last reading
- 23 - rain in last hour (used as Cumulus rain rate, i.e. a rain amount for a period of one hour is the rate in units of amount per hour)
- 24 - rain last 24 hours
- 25 - rain last 7 days
- 26 - rain last 30 days
- 27 - rain last year (Used as Cumulus rain counter which can be any ever-increasing counter, but it needs to be in the same units as 23 - rain in last hour). The longer this counter continues before resetting to zero, the better for Cumulus.
For easyweatherplus.dat only:
- 28 - light reading (in Lux)
- 29 - UV index