Traditionally, the standard way of viewing and storing Davis weather data was by connecting a computer to a Weatherlink logger and running compatible software, most commonly the Weatherlink for Windows program on a Windows PC, though other software and computer types were available. But over the past few years the data handling landscape has been changing significantly.
The Davis expectation is now that users will now upload their data across the Internet to the weatherlink.com cloud platform, from where the data may be viewed in any standard web browser (ie on any modern device whether Windows PC, Mac or any other computer type) or by using the Weatherlink smartphone/tablet app. Development of the previous versions of Weatherlink for Windows and Weatherlink for Mac has stopped completely and we expect no new releases of these two Davis programs (unless there are any new critical bugs that come to light and for which bug fixes may be issued).
Users who have been running Weatherlink for Windows or Mac with eg a USB logger may be wondering how to upgrade their data handling for the 2020’s and this topic sets out some options and provides answers to common questions.
To be clear, if a weather program is running well on your current computer then it is not suddenly going to stop working or lose its value; so if you’re content with your current data handling approach then there’s no need to contemplate change. But there will be a whole range of reasons, eg a need to replace old or faulty equipment; access to the latest software features; compatibility issues that may arise (new OSX operating system updates for Macs in particular can break compatibility with programs that were previously running fine) etc that may prompt users to consider updating to a newer model of data handling.
Weatherlink.com is the online weather station platform run by Davis to which data may be uploaded.from a variety of upload devices, including the Weatherlink Live upload device. Weatherlink.com is now the recommended platform for viewing and storing your weather data.
Data from weatherlink.com may be viewed on any computer or device with a web browser and also via the (free) Weatherlink smartphone/tablet app. Weatherlink.com offers an extensive range of features, some of which require an annual subscription. All upload access to weatherlink.com requires an account to be registered but this is free and easy to do.
The features available from weatherlink.com include:
- Uploads and viewing of current conditions data (ie what the weather is doing at any moment) is a free service. Certain other features including forwarding of data to other online platforms such as Weather Underground and embeds of summary data in your own web pages are also included as part of the free service;
- Most other features, notably the storage and online review (eg charting) of all of your past data and associated services such as the generation of a monthly report require a subscription of ca 50 £/$/€ per year;
Weatherlink.com is an excellent service with many features and generally has good reliability, as indeed it must with over 30,000 users worldwide.
Weatherlink Live (WLL) is now the preferred upload device for locally-sited (ie non-remote) Davis stations.
WLL is a small standalone receiver/upload device that completely replaces the console/logger combination. WLL receives data direct from the ISS sensors outside and uploads to weatherlink.com via WiFi or cabled network connection. In other words, WLL operates completely independently of any display consoles – indeed no console is required at all with a WLL system though, conversely, any number of consoles can happily coexist with WLL if preferred.
WLL offers several advantages compared to a traditional logger such as much greater flexibility in receiving from multiple sensor transmitters and being able to display live data on a smartphone or tablet app.
NB WLL is currently compatible only with wireless Vue and VP2 stations – cabled VP2 users will need to continue to use a logger-based solution.
Continuing to use local software
If you already have a working Davis console and logger set-up then there is no reason that you cannot continue to use this, either instead of uploads to weatherlink.com or using both local and cloud options in tandem. Sometimes users run a more complex local software configuration using two or more programs to handle their data. Using a cloud-based platform like weatherlink.com may then offer a way of simplifying their local data handling and perhaps reducing to just one local program. But some points to consider in continuing to use local software include:
- Weatherlink for Windows or for Mac are no longer being developed and will fall progressively behind other software in terms of features, compatibility etc. Note that the new Weatherlink Live device cannot pass data to local Weatherlink software, neither will Web Downloads work from Weatherlink Live accounts at weatherlink.com;
- If you have a Weatherlink Live unit and also like the idea of using local software then CumulusMX, which will run on many platforms including Windows, Mac and Raspberry Pi., is a good option. Other WLL-compatible software includes weewx and Weather Display.
- We do not recommend new users to run Weatherlink for Mac – while it may run OK, there are too many potential issues that could arise and available technical support for Macs is very limited. We suggest that Mac users wishing to run local software should look at alternative software like WeatherCat, CumulusMX, Weather Display etc.;
- In general, there is no way of importing historical data created with one program (eg Weatherlink for Windows) into other programs. A switch to a new type of software will effectively mean starting afresh with your historical record in most cases. There is one important exception to this rule in that wlk files generated by Weatherlink for Windows can be uploaded to (specifically) Weatherlink Live accounts at weatherlink.com;
Weatherlink for Windows software
Although the Weatherlink for Windows software is becoming increasingly outdated and is not compatible with eg the Weatherlink Live device, there are still many users of this software. But if you are still happy using Weatherlink for Windows then it makes sense to use the latest available release (currently v6.0.5) of this program. Instructions for downloading Weatherlink are described in another topic in this knowledgebase.
If you need to install Weatherlink for Windows on a new PC, then note that it is no longer available on CD but is now a free download from the weatherlink.com website – see download link above for further details.
Choosing a new logger
Users looking to upgrade an elderly Vue or VP2 system may need to think about choosing a new logger. They may have run into the green dot issue if seeking to use a new console with an older logger or needing to replace a WeatherlinkIP logger, which is now an obsolete product. Some points to consider here:
- Linking a USB logger continuously to a Windows PC is now a rather outmoded approach (although USB loggers remain readily available) because it potentially ties up a costly and power-hungry PC full-time. If you only connect a laptop to the logger occasionally (eg weekly) to download stored data then a USB logger is still a perfectly sensible solution, but for a 24/7 connection then a Raspberry Pi type computer running eg CumuluxMX can be a better and greener answer and can be linked cheaply with one of our Meteo-Pi devices.
- It is well worth considering a Weatherlink Live unit (see above for a brief summary of the many additional features) as an alternative to a console-based logger. This could also free up the console to be located elsewhere in the house/office or to be used as a portable display.
- Another important innovation in recent years is the launch of third-party ‘super-loggers’ like the WiFi logger (WFL) and Nano SD. Both of these units resemble traditional loggers in the sense of fitting inside a console and taking all their power from the console, but offer substantially more features than any Davis logger. Both WFL and Nano are closest in function to Davis WeatherlinkIP loggers in being able to upload to weatherlink.com and to connect to other computers across the local network, except that WFL and Nano use WiFi for connectivity rather than a cabled network connection. But a big differentiator is that WFL and Nano provide numerous additional features, including being able to upload to a range of online weather networks such as Weather Underground, WOW etc directly from the logger. For any user requiring simply the ability to upload data 24/7 to these various cloud services and without needing any other local computer then WFL or Nano could be the ideal answer.
Changing upload devices for an existing account at weatherlink.com
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