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Weather Station Data Logger

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have a question...

Please take a look in the user's manual first. It is very comprehensive and your might just find the answer to your question in there. If you can't find the answer there, then look through this FAQ list. If that doesn't work, you can post a question on the SourceForge users forum (Open Discussion). You will need to create a SourceForge account before posting messages in the forums.

I found a bug...

WSDL is getting to be a large program and there will always be bugs. If you think you've found one, please post a message in the SourceForge forum (Open Discussion) and we'll take a look. Depending on how easy it is to duplicate the problem, your assistance may be requested in tracking down the problem.

How does WSDL support RapidFire updates to Weather Underground?

When the Rapid Fire option is checked in the options panel for WU, the upload interval controls get disabled. In this mode, WSDL will send data to WU whenever any data is received from the weather station hardware. This will typically be every 14 seconds (anemometer update interval) or sooner. Some OS consoles like the WMR88 only update wind every minute and WU will not be updated as frequently because of this.

Where are the HTML examples?

HTML examples are in a ZIP archive file located in the same directory where WSDL is installed. We suggest you make a copy of this zip file somewhere on your hard drive (e.g. on the desktop or in your My Documents directory) and unpack the files there and experment with them. The current beta version of WSDL has a menu pick under "Help" which will assist you in making a copy of the ZIP archive.

I'm having trouble receiving some of the wireless sensors. OS says they will work 300 feet away but I cannot get anywhere near that level of performance.

First, the obvious: install fresh batteries, reset both the wireless sensor and base console and bring the sensor indoors, within 10-20 feet of the console. If this doesn't work, there may be a problem with the sensor or base console. If you get good reception with the sensor located near to the console, but lose reception when the sensor is outside at a greater distance, there may not be anything really "wrong" -- this is a common issue with OS base consoles (WMR80, WMR88, WMR100 and WMR200). The receiving antennas built into the console may not have enough sensitivity to pick up your sensors. You can try contacting the manufacturer about it and they may have some suggestions. There are several threads on with instructions for modifying the console to improve reception. Try searching the forum for the model number of your console (e.g. WMR100) and "antenna" or "external antenna". If you don't mind drilling holes in your console (and voiding the warranty), adding an external antenna can make a huge difference. Another option is to replace the base console with an Arduino WeatherShield receiver -- these have been found to work as far as 600 feet away in some tests (see elsewhere on this web site for information about the WeatherShield for Arduino).

I lose reception of one or more wireless sensors when the console is connected to a computer.

This is a variation on the previous question. Plugging in the USB cable can interfere with the ability of the console's internal antenna to receive signals. Try the suggestions in the previous answer -- if the reception is okay with the wireless sensor a lot closer, you are probably having antenna problems. You can try putting one or more ferrite chokes on the USB cable and try longer and shorter cables and route the cable differently.

There are huge spikes on my data graphs at CWOP, Weather Underground and/or PWS Weather!

Technically, there is nothing wrong -- this is caused by missing data. When WSDL is first started and when the OS console loses contact with one or more wireless sensors (either temporarily or permanently), missing data can occur. When WSDL uploads data to one of these internet sites it will omit any missing data from the upload packet.

All three internet sites specifically state that it is okay to omit data from uploads. However, these sites will graph the missing data as large spikes, which many users find annoying. If you examine the textual or tabular data from these sites you will see that there are not really any spikes in the raw data -- they only appear on the graphs. All three sites are aware of this behavior and have no intention of changing it.

As a result, there are two check boxes at the bottom of the Upload tab of the options window that allow you to prevent data packets from being uploaded if data is missing. The first check box requires outdoor temperature to be present (valid) -- if not the upload is delayed until it becomes valid. The second check box requires all data to be valid for uploads. Checking one of these boxes will prevent spikes from appearing in the data graphs, but will also prevent any other data that is valid from being uploaded on schedule. It's a trade-off; choose your evil.

When I enter a calibration offset for relative humidity (RH) of say 5% for example, the RH does not change by the expected 5%.

Please see the chapter in the user manual about Temperature, Dew Point and RH processing. The sub-sections on humidity calibration explain how humidity offsets are calculated. If the sensor's reported RH value is more than 30% the correction actually applied will be less than the value entered in the options window. Again, the user manual sections noted above explain how this works.

How and where are the program options stored?

They are save in an XML file which can be viewed and/or edited with text editors like notepad or wordpad (if you are very careful).

With Windows XP, this file is stored on the system drive under the folder

\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\WMRx00\WxLogger.exe_StrongName_gobbledegook

In the above path, the string "username" should be replaced with you login name and the string "gobbledegook" means that you will see a long string of unintelligible characters here. There should only be one such StrongName folder int the WMRx00 directory.

In the StrongName folder, there will be a sub-folder for every version of WSDL that you have installed and run. The XML file containing all of the option settings is called user.config. If you want to manually edit the file, please make a backup copy first so you can restore it if anything goes wrong.

On Windows 7 (and perhaps Vista too) this file will be in a different folder on the system drive:



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