Overview

WDTU is the Weather Data Transfer Utility, which is the Davis Windows software used (only) with the Envoy8X console models. The standard Weatherlink software is totally unsuited to cope with all the extra sensor data that the Envoy8X can potentially see and therefore Davis had to create WDTU to allow for the logging of all sensor data that an Envoy8X unit could conceivably receive.

To be clear, an Envoy8X still needs a standard 6510 USB or serial data logger fitted (as do all standard Envoy units of course) in order to provide an interface to the PC running WDTU. And note that the 6555 WeatherlinkIP logger is not suitable for use with the Envoy8X – again, all the extra sensor data available via an Envoy8X could overwhelm the IP logger.

WDTU is a fundamentally different type of software to the main Weatherlink program in that it provides no built-in features for presenting the data in graphical form (ie as charts or the real-time gauges of the WL Bulletin mode) or for summarising data e.g. as monthly/yearly NOAA reports. Instead WDTU provides only two main features:

  • Comprehensive logging of data into an SQL-type database;
  • Export of data into either Weatherlink (with limits on allowed sensor combinations as dictated by WL) or Excel for further processing and analysis;

The SQL database manager can be selected from a choice of MS Access or MySQL or MS SQL Server. Of these only an Access database can created directly by WDTU. Use of either MySQL or MS SQL Server requires that the database manager be sourced separately and installed by the user.

The nature of WDTU is weighted more towards providing a comprehensive log or archive of all the sensor data that the Davis wireless protocol could conceivably allow to be collected rather than being a source of real-time data. In practice, it can get reasonably close to logging real-time data with e.g. per-minute updates (or even down to time intervals of 10 seconds) but this is not really its design intent or forte and would result in considerable amounts of largely redundant data being stored.

For processing data or presenting it graphically, other than by export to Excel or by working with subsets of data exported to Weatherlink, then users will need to write or commission additional programs that will e.g. automatically query the SQL database at scheduled intervals and then carry out whatever data analysis or charting activity might be required. This is not necessarily difficult to design in principle but would obviously require a careful specification of exactly what functionality is required and then the necessary programming skills to create such an add-on program. To a substantial extent, such analysis/charting processes could be carried out in Excel, although some detailed skill in using Excel is likely to be needed for anything more than a simple analysis and the results are perhaps unlikely to be as satisfactory as with a bespoke program.

Troubleshooting tips

This is not the place for detailed advice on how to set up and use WDTU or whichever of the SQL database managers has been selected to partner WDTU – it is assumed that the relevant Help files and documents have been carefully checked and understood. However, the following are some additional pointers on aspects of using WDTU that are not covered by the primary Help:

Logger communications

WDTU requires that the connection from a USB logger be via a Virtual Comm Port (VCP) and not via USBXpress. If you’re not sure of the difference then review the Understanding USB logger modes topic.

Windows compatibility

WDTU is compatible with all recent versions of Windows, including Windows 10. In the case of any unexpected problems, for example following a Windows upgrade, it is a good idea – as ever – to check whether a newer version of WDTU may have been posted by Davis as a free download. Very occasionally a change to the Windows driver model may require an updated USB driver.

Note also that it is always advisable to launch WDTU with the ‘Run as Administrator’ option selected. This flag can be set always to apply in the Advanced Settings of any WDTU Windows shortcut you may be using to launch WDTU. Alternatively, you can right click on the shortcut and select the ‘Run as Administrator’ option from the dropdown menu. (This is probably needed because with each new version of Windows Microsoft seem to be tightening up the security required for communication between programs – ‘Run as Administrator’ overrides some of these security hurdles and allows data to pass between WDTU itself and whichever SQL database manager is in use. If this option is not used then seemingly unrelated error messages may be seen.)

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