Weather Station and the M1G

fleetz

Active Member
As part of my system I would like also to integrate a weather station into the M1G system.

I will eventually use HS and MainLobby for the control interface or even the Charmed Quark System interface.

Here in Australia we are in our infancy in HA so we don't have many suppliers at the specialist end. What I am looking for ideally is a wired weather station that will give me wind direction, speed, humidity, temperature, rain sensor that would interface into the M1G.

Any thoughts and suggestion would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Fleetz
 

WayneW

Senior Member
Are you sure you want to do that? :angry:

Unless you have some interesting need for weather inputs in your rule system, I don't see much benefit to connect a full weather station directly to the M1.

I would suggest leveraging the PC you plan to add eventually. Before I moved, I had an Oregon Scientific WM918 weather station connected to a PC running HomeSeer and VirtualWeatherStation (VWS). VWS would produce the web site weather graphics, update a CSV log file and submit the data to www.wunderground.com. HomeSeer would then run a script every couple minutes that would read the CSV data file and populate HS devices, which could then be used in rules etc. I didn't have the Elk then, but I assume I will be able to send some basic weather data to the Elk keypads. Unless the Elk touchscreens have more capabilities than I suspect (at least at first launch), I don't know if there is any reason to send much weather data to the Elk. I don't know what capabilities ML or CQS have for displaying weather data or graphics, but VWS actually produced all the graphics for me.

Here is a link to the VWS software, which supports a lot of weather stations, wired & wireless. Weather Display is another similar product that could probably be used in a similar fashion.

What was your goal in hooking the weather station to the Elk? Maybe you have some ideas I could learn from.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
Currently, there is not a weather station that directly interfaces to the M1. Although Wade Moose, the Elk president, would like one and I hear about it often.

You will have to interface a weather station using Homeseer, Mainlobby, CQC, or some other PC interface for the time being.

If a weather station producer wants to interface to the M1, let me know. I also want a wireless temperature and humidity transmitter for the M1 family.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
I'm in agreement that this is a place were you should be using a computer as the interface, not going directly to the M1. The M1 would have to parse a LOT of information to make use of the weather station output. You would probably use up all your available programming lines plus some, just in the parsing, let alone any logic based on the data.

I have a Peet Bros. Ultimeter 2100 hooked up to my system, but VWS, Homeseer, and Oman's free VWS plugin, are doing all the work.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
David, why does Wade want a weather station to connect directly to the M1? With the limited, text only, display on the keypad, I don't see much point.

For those that do not want or need a full blown weather station, I DO see the point in interfacing to a couple of wireless temperature & humidity sensor transmitters. That information could easily be displayed or spoken.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
Wade wants to be able to sense hazardous weather conditions and warn the homeowner when something like a tornado is approaching.

I agree all the features of a weather station cannot be handled on the M1, but getting some of the information could be valuable.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
Spanky said:
Wade wants to be able to sense hazardous weather conditions and warn the homeowner when something like a tornado is approaching.
You pretty much have that feature available now.

Get a Weather Alert Radio with SAME encoding with a contact output and wire it to a zone input. I have had an old Radio Shack weather radio doing similar to this for years. The SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding or something like that) feature allows the weather alert feature to be activated for a fairly small geographic area so you don't get so many false alarms.

This doesn't give the Elk M1 any knowledge of the specific threat, but I don't know that I would trust a machine to interpret that kind of info anyway. It certainly does give the M1 the trigger it needs to alert the family. I am not aware of any home weather stations that have the ability (or that I would trust) to make severe weather predictions anyway.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
Chakara said:
I could use current wind and rain guage levels for sprinkler control, for example.....
Unless you have a much simpler scheme than I do, this would take a ton of rules for true control. There must be a reason that the HS mcsSprinkler plugin is so complicated and expensive :angry:

Yes, you could make a simple rule to not run the sprinkler if the wind was above x MPH or if there was already water in the rain gauge. But I would rather let HS and/or VWS do the data collection, then simply give the M1 a YES/NO signal to run the sprinklers or not. And with a PC you could even scrape some forecasts to predict if you will get rain tomorrow and don't need to run the sprinklers today.
 

fleetz

Active Member
Thanks for all your valuable input. Let me explain some of my thinking why I would like to add some weather station information in the M1G.

Firstly I am located in Australia and we don't have the weather data that you guys have in the States......we have to look out the window!!(-: That said the place we will be building in Far Nor Queensland (FNQ)will be occupied 6 months of the year, the remainder will be where we currently live. Our grown up kid will live here so we don't have a need to monitor here.

What would be nice is to use some weather data captured by a basic weather station use this information to change the irrigation system schedule for example by remote from our other location via TCP/IP. We also have cyclones season in FNQ which will be the time we won't be there so just to have a snapshot of the weather conditions would be peace of mind.

It is for those reasons I would like to see a weather station on the M1G system. David I think if ELK selected a well supported weather station that had a RS232 or 485 I/O and supported it in the M1G you might be surprise on the uptake. It would also help further differentiate ELK fro the others. Maybe a OEM with the ELK brand and bring it into your offerings.

I would also respectfully suggest this for an irrigation system. Again it select a popular supported brand/model and people will gravitate to this as the most attractive solution as it is a no brainer when it comes to integrating the HA system. Something like the Rain8net would be what I am thinking, not because I will be heading that way but it looks well engineered, supported and can be expanded to 256 zone in 8 increments. RS232 loop to the next, just connect 24VAC and add water.....wolla!! Maybe a repackaged M1-RB in a standalone housing.......anyway David my .026 cents woth (That based on .75US to 1AUD(-:angry:!!!

Doing all this interfacing and protocol interpreting is all kinda interesting and certainly keeps the grey matter working however it is also nice to have to have a "plug and play" solution for those who don't want to continually be technically challenged. More time to chase those bloody kangaroos David!!!

Anyway got of topic a bit sorry about that.....least you know a bit better why and where I am coming from on the weather station.

Cheers,

Fleetz
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Fleetz-

I have to agree that a weather station is the best solution. Our "local" information comes from the airport 40 miles away and 1000 feet lower in altitude so the data provided is pretty much always wrong.

A PC running Virtual Weather Station is likely going to be the best interface because it supports most weather stations. I use a Rainwise wireless system and would not want to be forced into an Oregon Scientific or Peet Brothers system because that was the only thing my home automation controller supported.

The 2 main problems I see with interfacing to the Elk are:
1- It cannot speak variable values yet so it cannot speak the temp and wind speed even if it had that data.
2- You still have to parse the data from VWS into discrete variables for the Elk to act on. Big programs like CQC and Homeseer are probably overkill for this simple function yet there doesn't seem to be any product available that just acts as a simple serial front end to parse data and feed it to a contoller's serial port.

I think a good general solution to this problem would open the door to interfacing the Elk with a whole variety of serial devices.
 
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