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  • Ambient Ramblings

    And so maybe this isn't that big of news to those who have been doing this for a while - It appears now I can buy a ~50 module - then add extra temp & humidity sensors & receive the data integrated with the normal WX data I get from the WS-1002 station.

    Add up to 8 Additional Sensors to your ObserverIP Module.

    - August 1, 2018.

    Any ObserverIP Module can now be upgraded to Firmware Version 4.4.5, and expand the capability to 8 additional thermo-hygrometer sensors. The sensors can be used to monitor in and around your house or facility.

    For more information on updating your firmware, Visit How Do I Update The Firmware For The ObserverIP Module?.

    For more information on where to purchase the 8-Channel thermo-hygrometers Visit Ambient Weather WH31B Sensor.

    The sensors will automatically appear in AmbientWeather.net with no changes required.

  • #2
    So I went ahead and ordered the observer module along with a few of the WH31B’s. I hold high hopes regarding the accuracy of these temp/humidity modules - if they are near as accurate as the wireless module that came with my WS-1002 I’ll be thrilled.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Monk View Post
      So I went ahead and ordered the observer module along with a few of the WH31B’s. I hold high hopes regarding the accuracy of these temp/humidity modules - if they are near as accurate as the wireless module that came with my WS-1002 I’ll be thrilled.
      Somehow poorly formatted in two places - looked fine from my phone after posting though. Of course it is supposed to state WH31B's and WS-1002-WiFi

      I've received the Observer IP module and will report my findings.

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      • #4
        Pictures of the Observer IP module. This is considerably smaller than I would have expected.
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        • #5
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          The module came with no paper - only what was shown on the rear of the box - this is OK - I'm resourceful. Not sure what benefit as yet - I suspect I'll be able to access its internal webserver - potentially able to use Jon00's scraper to retrieve whatever data I want from it.
          Last edited by Monk; August 11th, 2018, 07:07 AM.

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          • #6
            And so - my weather station survived its first storm last night I'll report the data later but gusts in excess of 30 mph - not roof ripping wind, but wind none the less. When mounting two pipes together as you see in the picture (heavy - strong clamps), there is potential to over tighten - I was cautious to tighten just enough.
            I'll be climbing back up to check on it; possibly adding a coarse screen over the rain-catch area. But certainly before winter, as I'll be changing the 3 standard AA batteries out for Lithium. Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              When plugging in the IPObserver module for the first time I noticed that it was able to find everything it needed - eventually all lights on the front of it were illuminated - indicating all was good - to include updating AmbientWeather .com.


              The web interface required no login and it displays the current firmware version at the top.
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              Here shows the various data that it can see.
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              The module is smart enough to know the Mac address of my station and appears that it just starts sending data on its own (to AmbientWeather.net)



              I downloaded the updater tool (IPTools) - it was unable to find my module at first. Looking at my router, I found it on a different subnet.
              The firmware update process was straightforward at this point.

              Edit - This IOT device I suspect uses little security - I may eventually block it from communicating with the Internet - for now, careful to obfuscate / remove my Mac Address from public posting.
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              Last edited by Monk; August 11th, 2018, 10:49 AM.

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              • #8
                An observation regarding the ability of the WS-1002 ability to stay connected to WiFi. In another message thread it is discussed that the firmware version may play a part here.
                All last week while I was travelling - I found that I would lose connectivity multiple times per day. I had the display moved down stairs closer to the WiFi router and all has been fine. This is quite disappointing because sitting in the kitchen are is where I intended for it to live. The kitchen area is NOT that far away and other devices have ZERO issues from that location.

                Edit - I had determined the firmware is already updated to 2.4.5 from the factory. The latest version is Beta and doesn't make mention of fixing network issues. Leaving this alone for now.

                Edit 2 -

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                Last edited by Monk; August 11th, 2018, 08:51 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Monk View Post
                  An observation regarding the ability of the WS-1002 ability to stay connected to WiFi. In another message thread it is discussed that the firmware version may play a part here.
                  All last week while I was travelling - I found that I would lose connectivity multiple times per day. I had the display moved down stairs closer to the WiFi router and all has been fine. This is quite disappointing because sitting in the kitchen are is where I intended for it to live. The kitchen area is NOT that far away and other devices have ZERO issues from that location.
                  But, you fixed this by having the Observer IP module directly plugged into your network, and your station successfully transmits to the Observer IP module correct?
                  --------------------------------------------------
                  **** Do You "Cocoon"? ****

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BraveSirRobbin View Post
                    But, you fixed this by having the Observer IP module directly plugged into your network, and your station successfully transmits to the Observer IP module correct?
                    Hi BSR. At the moment I've disabled the module from updating to ambient - I don't want it reporting extra data. I'm approaching this area more cautiously but will know for sure whats up later this weekend.

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                    • #11
                      After the firmware update on the IPObserver module, the version again displays at the top. - this time I had to change the setting and pick my station's model # from a drop down. The instyructions from the website also have you reset the unit with a paperclip.

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                      Even though my correct station is not listed - the data still comes in accurately.


                      Here I disable the updating to ambient for the time being.

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                      The locally reported data does not appear different.
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                      Last edited by Monk; August 11th, 2018, 10:53 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Monk View Post

                        Hi BSR. At the moment I've disabled the module from updating to ambient - I don't want it reporting extra data. I'm approaching this area more cautiously but will know for sure whats up later this weekend.
                        BraveSirRobbin

                        I continued working with the module rather than wait. The short answer to your question is yes - no worries on the placement of the display panel.

                        So I fiddled with trying to change the display panel in order to stop it from reporting. Wasn't having too much luck here because when changing the password for my WiFi, it just kept going with what it already knew. So I just unplugged it.

                        From within the Observer IP modules interface, I entered the WeatherUnderground credentials for my station. Immediately WU was receiving my data. Ambient Weather broke, and the plug-in quit fetching new data.

                        I found out that entering the MAC from my ObserverIP module was what was required (at the Ambient site) and now it appears as if I have two weather stations.

                        More on this later - I'm not getting what I expect on the Ambient website - it shows me having reported only 2x and that's it.

                        Edit - Quick note - The plugin I'm currently working with is the "AmbientWeather" by Simplex Technologies. It is fetching my data fine now with no changes required.

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                        • #13
                          Some random thoughts and observations about adding an ObserverIP to an existing station, in no particular order.
                          • Posting to ambientweather.net is done by MAC address. All Ambient Weather devices that support it send their data to Ambient. While you can control the rate of submissions and can disable it altogether, the linkage to ambientweather.net is determined by adding the MAC address to your dashboard. You can have more than one device posting to Ambient by adding MAC addresses to your dashboard under Devices
                          • Posting to Weather Underground is controlled in each Ambient Weather device, by adding the Station ID and Key to the device. You should not have two devices posting to the same Station and Key. You can create a new WU account for a second device if you want to have 2 devices posting
                          • If you add an ObserverIP to an existing station as I did with my WS1001-WiFi, both the display and the ObserverIP are active at once and both can post to ambientweather.net and to WU. When an ObserverIP is added to an existing system, the WiFi connection for the old display is no longer needed. It is best to delete the WU station ID and Key and only have the Observer post to WU. As I wrote above you can leave both the display of the WS and the ObserverIP posting to ambientweather.net. Each will have their own data on the dashboard. When you add the ObserverIP to the dashboard historical data will begin then. The history from the original display will remain until the MAC address is deleted from the account. After I got my ObserverIP installed and configured, I did a factory reset on my WS1001 display to disable the WiFi and postings and I removed the device from my Ambientweather.net dashboard.
                          • John's plug-in pulls the data off of ambientweather.net and seems to get the first station it finds. It is difficult to tell since both of mine were posting identical numbers. The only way to see which was which on the dashboard wos that the Observer had no historical data.
                          • The ObserverIP comes with a link to the manual online here.
                          • When adding additional sensors, the ObserverIP will pick them up, but they are not displayed and cannot be calibrated on the Observer's webpage. Their values will be posted to ambientweather.net along with the station data at each interval. Each sensor must be assigned a unique channel number before powering them up. There was noting in the literature for anything I had that showed how to set the channels. I found the channel settings for the extra sensors in the WS-3000 manual here.

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                          • With regard to the accuracy of the sensors, I added 3 sensors to my system and left then side by side in the garage. They have identical readings when the temperature and humidity are stable. When temperatures are rising, there is a slight difference in the response where one sensor may respond more quickly. Each time I looked at them last night and early this morning the temperature and humidity were exactly the same on all three. When the temperature started rising, one lagged a little. While this does not prove they are accurate, they are amazingly consistent. If they are not correct, all three of mine are identically inaccurate. You will notice that one is 1/2 degree higher, that one responds more quickly to temperature changes. When the temperature is stable, they will all three be the same. I set mine as Sensor 3, Sensor 4 and Sensor 5.

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                          • After adding and configuring the ObserverIP, I set the daily, weekly, monthly and annual rain totals. I looked at my WU history to get those numbers and compared them to the official totals at the nearest official weather station to make sure there weren't problems in the data I had posted to WU all year. . Buckley AFB was close to me.
                          • John's plug-in will support these additional sensors soon
                          • My weather gauges are about 10' above my roof on a mast we use for TV and weather antennas. Ambient had noted that the station needed to be as far as possible from radiant heat sources such as a roof. The readings out of the station are very reliable and almost exactly match the readings at Buckley, so I see no need to calibrate.
                          • One added benefit I found when I got John's plug-in going is the Solar Energy readings. The plug-in converts these values to Lux mathematically, For my "Low Light" Events, when cloud cover makes it dark in the daytime, I now use the readings from my weather station. There readings are consistent with the amount of light outside and give a great representation of how dark it may be in our house. I have settled on a minimum light light level to trigger low light and a higher level for adequate daytime light. Here is a chart from yesterday and the day before - 48 hours total. Yesterday we had intermittent clouds all day long, but the minimum was not below my current minimum threshold of 3000 lux. Thursday there was a lot of haze from fires so the maximum luminance was about 10,000 lux lower than Friday's. On a bright clear and sunny day the maximum Lux should be about 100,000. So far we have measured just under 90,000. The point is that this device has been the most accurate indicator of the light filtering into the house. I use this Low Light device to add lighting to the house when occupied, allow motion control of basement lighting, etc.On a bright clear and sunny day the maximum Lux should be about 100,000.


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                            This method is so much better than my Aeotec sensors mounted outdoors. I had to look at two of them (one with Eastern exposure and the other with Western) to figure out whether the light was low depending on the time of day.
                          Last edited by rprade; August 11th, 2018, 11:16 AM.
                          Randy Prade
                          Aurora, CO
                          Prades.net

                          PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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                          • #14
                            Lessons Learned
                            The Ambient manual calls the "Display Unit" a "Base Station".
                            My efforts to factory reset the base station did not end as expected. Finally using the reset hole & paperclip, I'm able to make it forget Wi-Fi passwords. No matter what I do, cannot make it forget certain recorded data.
                            Doesn't matter - I just don't want it reporting - or to have the ability to report data when now I've connected the ObserverIP module that does this just fine on its own.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rprade View Post
                              Some random thoughts and observations about adding an ObserverIP to an existing station, in no particular order.

                              Nice Randy!
                              I've not yet received my extra sensors - good to hear they are at least accurate to each other.

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