Extra Sensor Files

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Cumulus provides some support for extra sensors that can be connected to Oregon Scientific (e.g. WMR-928) and Davis (e.g.Vantage Pro 2 wireless models can have extra sensors whose readings can be interrogated via the Davis DLL) weather stations. Please note, this is nothing to do with certain Fine Offset models including solar and UV sensors.

NOTE: This article may need to be updated by somebody who actually has and uses such instruments. It appears from the support forum:

  • the OS weather stations can support up to 10 temperature, dewpoint, and humidity measurements, so that has determined the Cumulus provision
  • the Davis DLL may be able to cope with up to 8 temperature/humidity/dewpoint sensors plus a small number of soil temperature, soil moisture, leaf temperature, and leaf wetness sensors.

General customisation

You can associate the extra sensors with descriptive labels using modifying extra sensor labels in strings.ini.

Oregon Scientific customisation settings

For Oregon Scientific WMR-928 weather stations, the WMR928 extra channel captions frame on the Display Settings screen within the Configuration menu allows you to change the captions displayed with values for 3 extra channels (see Cumulus.ini#Section:_Display).

For WMR-928 stations (and other serial stations using the same protocol e.g. WMR-968) to use an 'extra' channel as your main temperature sensor, set N to the required channel by adding an extra line WMR928TempChannel=N parameter to the Station section of cumulus.ini.

For WMR-100, WMR-200 stations (and any other USB stations which work with Cumulus) replace your main outdoor temperature with an extra sensor by setting N to the required channel by adding an extra line WMR200TempChannel=N parameter to the Station section of cumulus.ini.

Cumulus processing of Extra Sensor Log Files

If Extra Sensors is set in the settings frame on the Station settings screen off the configuration menu, files are automatically created with names in the form ExtraLogyyyymm.txt. For example, a file for December 2003 is called ExtraLog200312.txt.

Like the Monthly_log_files an entry is made to the current month's file every ten (default value; you can change this on the station settings screen) minutes, recording the current extra sensor values. The file is in comma-separated format with one line per entry. There is also information on these files in the Cumulus help file, in the section “The Data log file”.

All data is logged in the units which which have been selected by the user on the station configuration screen. Note that 'comma-separated' does not necessarily mean that a comma is used to separate the values! If your PC uses a semicolon for the list separator, that will be used in these files.

Viewing current sensor values

Extra panel.JPGYou can add a panel to the main screen to display the Oregon Scientific extra channels - by selecting Display solar/extra data in the General block of the Display settings screen in the Configuration menu. The same selection adds a similar panel in the same place to display Davis solar sensor output.

Cumulus View menu.jpgOn your computer from View menu, select Extra data screen. This lists all the possible extra sensor parameters including their units, with current values shown where they are in use. Note - the units are shown beside values and a change was made in v.1.9.4 build 1083 to ensure this screen reflects any change to units while Cumulus is running.

Adding extra sensor values to website pages

For Oregon Scientific extra temperature sensors, the value from just one of them can replace the main temperature sensor - see Cumulus.ini#Oregon_Scientific_specific: and see above.

On your website, use the web tags listed here to either display current values on your 'latest values' template page (this could be the indexT.htm page) that is processed by Cumulus, or use those web tags as parameters for feeding your own graphics as on the 'gaugesT.htm' page.

Any extra sensor monthly log can be uploaded at your usual website update interval by specifying the parameter 'ExtraLocal[0-99]=ExtraLogyyyymm.txt' see Cumulus.ini#Section:_FTP_Site, unfortunately this will need to be updated manually each month to insert the correct replacements for 'yyyymm' if you want the current log. As at August 2013, Cumulus does not calculate extremes for these extra sensors (unless it is the Oregon Scientific extra temperature sensor replacing the main one). A script written by you can then read the file into an array or database for further processing. If you are skilled enough, it is possible to write code or queries to read that array or database, calculate extremes for yourself, or draw graphs based on these logged extra values.

Viewing Extra Sensor Log files

In the View menu, select Extra data logs, click Load.... The standard Windows File Select dialogue is displayed for the 'data' subdirectory of the Cumulus installation directory. Select the required monthly extra sensor log, click Open and you will see the contents in a neat table with column headings, rows striped, and the date/time on a lighter background. This is a text viewer, and works best when at full screen, but even then you are likely to need to scroll both horizontally and vertically to look at all the figures. If you click on an individual figure the cell will be highlighted, but you cannot edit the figures on a view screen.

If no logs seen, see FAQ: I can't find my data files. Also note, this Extra data logs viewer is only for viewing monthly extra sensor log files (not any other files in the same data directory), the column headings for extra sensor files will always be shown at the top of the screen.

Manipulation outside Cumulus

Any log files for previous months can be edited (outside Cumulus) with Cumulus running. The current month log file can also be edited outside Cumulus, but you must stop Cumulus first.

Tips -- take a copy of the original log file before you work on it outside Cumulus (perhaps give the not to be touched copy a filename of "ExtraLog<Year><Month>.csv").

Edit the original file using an editor that treats all fields as text [either any text editor, a Comma Separated Value editor, or a spreadsheet program that can be instructed not to recognise special field (like date) types].

List of fields in the file

The field number (starting from zero to be consistent with index used for arrays in programming languages like JavaScript) and the equivalent letter that would be seen in a spreadsheet like Libre Office, Open Office, Excel etc are listed here.

  • 00(A): Date as 2 figure day [separator] 2 figure month [separator] 2 figure year - the separator is that set in the windows system short date format (see setup)
  • 01(B): Current time in the format hh:mm using the 24 hour clock and local time (system time)
  • 02 to 11 (C to L): Ten extra temperature values
  • 12 to 21 (M to V): Ten extra humidity values
  • 22 to 31 (W to AF): Ten extra dew point values
  • 32 to 35 (AG to AJ): Four soil temperature values
  • 36 to 39 (AK to AN): Four soil moisture values
  • 40 to 41 (AO to AP): Two leaf temperature values
  • 42 to 43 (AQ to AR): Two leaf wetness values

Example lines from the file

Somebody using extra sensors can replace this example with one containg more meaningful values!