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  • Help pick weather plugin

    Hello,
    I am very new to HA in general and have been a proud owner of the new HomeTroller Pro Series 3 for a few days now

    The idea of setting events based on weather changes has always held a fairly high appeal to me. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start...

    I do not really need to see the current temperature and forecast for my home: I already have 5 weather apps on the iPhone that tell me those! In addition, there is a button in the HSTouch iPhone app from HomeSeer that does exactly that: pull forecast based on the zip code in settings.

    What I am looking for is fairly basic: temperature and precipitation (type and amount) forecast / current conditions that HomeTroller could use as event triggers.

    I downloaded and installed that WeatherXML plugin from the updater. After restarting the controller, I was surprised that despite my home Maryland zip code being in settings, the weather shown was for Kansas Then, after searching through forums, I found out that I have to register with Weather.com and get ID, followed by some other (quite hazy to me) configurations within HSPro software itself. Then, some more tinkering with code if I wanted the weather to scroll, or show up on specific page, etc.

    All of this has brought back memories of my early attempts at web site design back in 90s... Not something I want to do now. Not at all.

    I am looking for a simple install-enter location-choose settings-done solution, which, in my opinion, what a plugin -- any plugin-- should be.

    Is everything really that difficult with HomeSeer? Have I made a mistake in choosing a company for my HA needs? I don't mind wiring the house and replacing switches/lamps/openers to enable Z-wave interactivity. But I have no desire to troubleshoot code.

    So... sorry for rambling. Quite frustrated, having to spend way too much time on Google looking for solutions.

    Back to my original question: what about the easiest to configure and use weather plugin?

  • #2
    The description of your needs seems to describe BLWeather perfectly. It does a fine job of setting up weather and does it without a lot of fuss, available in the updater or from here, and it's free to boot.

    There is also UltraWeatherBug that does a fine job, also in the updater.
    Marty
    ------
    XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
    Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nightwalker View Post
      The description of your needs seems to describe BLWeather perfectly. It does a fine job of setting up weather and does it without a lot of fuss, available in the updater or from here, and it's free to boot.

      There is also UltraWeatherBug that does a fine job, also in the updater.
      Strange: many Blade plugins were in the updater, but not BLWeather. I'll try getting it from his page and installing it, if I figure it out

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Weird, I thought all of his plug-in were in the updater, maybe only the paid ones. Either way just click on the "here" above and it'll take you to his site.

        It shouldn't take much more than a minute or two to get it setup and running.
        Marty
        ------
        XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
        Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nightwalker View Post
          Weird, I thought all of his plug-in were in the updater, maybe only the paid ones. Either way just click on the "here" above and it'll take you to his site.

          It shouldn't take much more than a minute or two to get it setup and running.
          You are absolutely right: the only plugins from this author that are in the updated are the paid ones. Also, downloading and installing it really did take just a minute. Such a refreshing change from spending hours fussing over WeatherXML! I wish I knew how to remove that crap now... No simple uninstaller there, is there?

          By the way, is UltraWeatherBug, being paid, way better than BLWeather?
          Last edited by VirtualPanther; April 2nd, 2011, 11:02 AM. Reason: Spelling...

          Comment


          • #6
            Easier said than done to remove weather xml. I use it still so never tried removing it. Almost all BL plug-ins are that easy to install. I use all three of the weather plug-ins mentioned. I can't say that one is better than the other although I've been moving away from weather xml little at a time.

            I will say that BLWeather coupled with the speaking script does an excellent job of announcing the forecast in my morning routines. UltraWeatherBug really shines for important weather alerts. I can't say that one is better than the other, just different. I pull various pieces of data from each to use on my HSTouch screens. Often as far as some weather data goes one has it and the other doesn't, or vice versa. They both have all the pertinent basic data you will need, plus. BLWeather is an easier setup but UltraWeatherBug is not hard either, just a little more involved.

            Beyond that it's a personal preference, I couldn't choose so I use both and combine the results.
            Marty
            ------
            XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
            Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks. That sounds very logical, actually. I am quite willing myself to pay for a plugin that simplifies accomplishment of a desired goal. I guess I will have to wait and see if BLWeather will work for event triggers, after my switches arrive and I get past the initial installation and on/off function

              Aside from using weather measurements as a trigger (i.e. turn bedroom fan on when temp reaches X), what other uses do you have for any weather script? I mean, I don't need HomeSeer to tell me the weather: I have an iPhone for that. Similarly, aside from configuring HSPro, I never see the home page of it: the controller just runs and I wouldn't login into it unless I need to do something. So... what is the point of displaying the weather on the HSPro home page?

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess that all depends on what you want your system to be doing. Since I use touch-screens around house my weather is more of a display. I do use outside temps to trigger some events and other inside temps to trigger other things like ceiling fans but those are not temps from the weather programs, those are local temp sensors run on a temp08 device, both in each room as well as outside. Far more sensitive for triggering local events than a weather station that may or may not be close by. Outdoor sensors don't do all that well for triggering inside events like ceiling fans or thermostats.

                There are some who use weather triggers for irrigation control, others that use weather for deciding turn on the pool filters, stuff like that. The biggest thing I use weather programs for is my morning routine. Part of that is to announce the current conditions and the days forecast while I'm in the shower in the morning. Later on it will, depending on conditions and outside temps remind me to warm the car or my wife to take her umbrella.

                Weather is more important to some than it is to others, it all depends on your wants, needs and desires. I will give you one small piece of advice if you're new to HA in general. "Go Slow" you can spend a lot of cash real quick on things that sound cool but in the real world may not mean that much to you. Granted the wow factor and some WAF is not a bad thing, we're all gadget freaks here by nature. By way of example, if I were a farmer or amateur meteorologist I'd have my own in house weather station. Very cool indeed but for someone like me it would be a waste of resources that could be better spent on something I would get more use out of, since a weather station close by is more than good enough.

                Comes back to the old adage, "Just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should".
                Marty
                ------
                XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
                Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Only the paid plugins are in the HS updater.
                  I just have way too many free ones to put the burden on Rick and myself to get them all in the updater. I do plan to do it at some point but it is not in the near future.
                  You can also get the paid ones from my web site.
                  Cheers,
                  Bob
                  Web site | Help Desk | Feature Requests | Message Board

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