Weatherlink.com formally supports four plan levels:
The Basic level or tier is available free of charge and is the default level for all logger-based stations. The Pro, Pro+ and Custom levels all require an annual subscription (which may also be expressed as an equivalent monthly payment).
The Pro + and Custom levels are extended versions of the Pro plan but won’t be relevant to most users so we’ll only cover the Basic and Pro plans in detail here. But for anyone interested, the Pro+ plan allows 1 minute data intervals, future access to the Integrated Pest Management tools and 10 Pro Share tokens – see below for more explanation.
The commonest situation is where a user has a single account at weatherlink.com and a single logger-based weather station uploading to that account. Understanding how the plans work for this simple configuration is fairly straightforward. But things become a little more involved once cellular-based stations (Connect or Enviromonitor) or accounts containing two or more stations are factored in. The notes here therefore summarise all of the relevant background details to understand plan levels and their associated features overall.
A quick word about accounts at weatherlink.com: An account is simply a log-on account to use any aspect of the weatherlink.com service. All stations uploading data must be managed within an account and every user needs an account. Nothing can be done at weatherlink.com without first setting up an account. This is completely free to do and requires only setting up a log-in name and password plus a contact email address.
Even if you have no station and simply wish to explore weatherlink.com, the necessary first step is still to create an account. Typically, one individual or one organisation needs only one account for all of their weatherlink.com activities. There is nothing to stop multiple accounts being opened if you choose to do so but this may cause complications with station management and is not recommended without good reason.
Once you have an account, any stations that you own and wish to add to weatherlink.com will be added to your account via the Add Device button. Any reasonable number of stations can be added to a single account, though for an organisation owning a large number of stations this may be one of the occasions where opening two or more accounts may make more sense (simply to stop the list of stations becoming too long and convoluted).
There are two distinct categories of ‘stations’ or upload devices that can upload their data to weatherlink.com – logger-based and cellular stations. These two categories have different plan features and it is important to appreciate the differences. The devices in each category are:
- PC’s connected to a USB or serial logger and running Weatherlink for Windows;
- Mac computers with a USB logger running Weatherlink for Mac;
- 6555 WeatherlinkIP loggers (or loggers able to emulate a 6555 such as the WiFi Logger);
- Weatherlink Live which, while obviously a standalone device rather than a traditional logger, effectively functions as a logger type;
Cellular stations ie stations uploading via mobile/cell phone networks
- Vantage Connect units;
- Davis Enviromonitor stations;
Logger-based stations have plans at the basic (free) level by default, which may be upgraded to Pro level as explained below.
The cellular-type stations, in contrast, automatically have Pro status. This is because all cellular stations must have a subscription plan to operate at all. In part, this covers the cost of using the cellular/mobile network (ie no extra SIM is needed or has to be paid for), but the cost of a Pro plan is also automatically included in a cellular plan and so no further upgrade to Pro is needed.
So logger-based stations are the only category for which Pro upgrades need to be considered.
Every station has a recognised owner, which is the identity of the account to which the device was first added. The owner obviously has rights to administer the station, eg whether to make it private or public, whether to grant Pro access to others via Pro Shares etc. There are potentially ways of migrating stations between accounts but this needs to be managed via Davis Weatherlink Support.
Features of Basic (free) vs Pro plans
There are multiple detailed differences between Basic and Pro plans, as outlined below, but the major distinction is that the Basic plan displays Current Conditions data only (ie weather conditions at the latest report including values for recent maxima/minima/totals etc) while the Pro plan adds in features to allow the long-term storage, charting and analysis of historic/archive data.
Basic (free) plan
The Basic plan, which is relevant only to console-based logger uploads, includes the following 8 main features (not an exhaustive list):
- Viewing of current conditions data via either the browser Bulletin (see image at top of page) or Weatherlink smartphone app and with per-minute updates available;
- Viewing a summary page of daily highs and lows, including eg monthly/annual rainfall;
- Uploads to other weather services such as Weather Underground. Currently there are only 3 such upload targets but more are promised for the near future;
- Embeds: These provide a way of embedding live weather data in an iframe in your own website (but in a fixed format) – see static image alongside. A full-page summary embed is also available;
- Viewing the worldwide station map and access to Bulletin data for any station posting publicly to that map;
- Notifications: Alarms set on consoles can also be automatically flagged on weatherlink.com to send an email notification to the user. Daily summaries can be emailed in a similar way;
- API: Current conditions data is available to your own programs at 15 minute intervals in JSON or XML format via requests to weatherlink.com;
- Storage of up to 10,240 archive records available for download to Weatherlink for Windows via Web Download (not available for Weatherlink Live);
Pro plans automatically include all features of the Basic plan level and add the following additional features:
- Unlimited storage and review of all historic/archive data at the plan/archive interval and features associated with archive data are enabled;
- Specifically , the Chart and Data main menu options are enabled. The Data menu provides access to a spreadsheet-type presentation of all available data, while Chart offers a powerful charting engine for the same comprehensive set of data;
- An Export Data icon will be found at the top left of the Data screen which enables the complete block of data currently selected by the Date and Span parameters to be emailed to the user as a CSV file. (Be aware that a station with multiple transmitters and many sensors fitted generates quite a complex CSV file!)
- Programmatic access to recent archive data in hourly CSV files is also possible – see the programmatic access topic.
- Alarm thresholds for many parameters can be set on the Alarms page of weatherlink.com (cf only on the console for the Basic plan);
- Shorter time intervals become available for storing/accessing data, eg archive interval for Weatherlink Live can be reduced to 5 mins and JSON data can also be polled at 5 min intervals;
- The Mobilize menu option and the separate Mobilize smartphone app are both enabled. Mobilize is an advanced option whose features can only be touched on here. But if offers a detailed forecast for 2-3 days ahead including detailed temperature, rainfall etc forecasts.and allows custom ‘views’, alerts and reports to be set up around the four categories of weather, frost, irrigation and crops. A video introduction to the Mobilize app can be found online .
- Six Pro Share tokens are added to the account – see below for more details;
Understanding how Pro plans apply
In the simple situation of a single station within one account the idea of the station being either at the Basic or Pro level is clear enough. But things are a little more interesting with two (or more) logger-based stations within an account. There are two aspects to understand:
- The Pro plan applies to a single station and not to the account;
- The Pro designation is potentially transferable between (logger-based) stations;
So if you were to have eg two or three (or more) logger-based stations then each station needs a Pro upgrade if its data is to be permanently stored and always accessible for charting etc. In reality, a Pro plan is better thought of as a device upgrade, but one which can actually be reversed or transferred. So adding a Pro plan to account effectively provide one potential device upgrade for that account. If you have at least one Pro subscription, this can be seen by clicking on the gear wheel icon adjacent to the Device Tier in the title bar which will show the number of device upgrades available in the account and list those devices currently upgraded.
You will also see that it is possible to downgrade devices. So if you had say two Basic logger-based devices and one Pro upgrade then you could potentially switch the upgrade between stations. This is not necessarily recommended because archive data logging may well cease when Pro is disabled, but there may be circumstances when a temporary switch of Pro stations could be useful.
Note that cellular stations are permanently Pro status and cannot be downgraded (the gear wheel icon simply does not appear for such stations), so you cannot ‘borrow’ a device upgrade from a cellular station.
Understanding Pro shares
Pro shares are a way of allowing other users (ie other accounts) access to the historic data of one of your (Pro-upgraded) stations. The other user does not themselves need a Pro upgrade in order to see your historic data.
As noted above (see Accounts section) the station owner has to take the initiative in offering access to another user, ie a Pro user can never use their own Pro share to force access to another station’s history unless the owner grants access.
Allowing access to another user is a simple process managed under the Shares and Uploads menu option. The owner selects Add Share and enters the account name or email address of user requesting the share. Shares can be disabled using the Manage Shares menu option. A Pro plan is allowed to share data with up to six other users at a time – adding one share obviously uses up one share token. Individual shares can be disabled at any time to return unused shares to the pool. (NB Pro+ stations are granted 10 share tokens.)