RVer on the move

We fulltime in our RV. So, our location is always changing. Unfortunately, weather underground and the WeatherFlow app do not automatically update the location. Weather underground actually requires that you create a new station which just isn’t realistic.

So, the ideal situation would be software that integrates gps data with weatherflow data to determine your forecast and collect real-time data. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be possible with the current setup.

Any recommendation for software or other integrations that would accomplish what I’m looking for? Even a script that would automatically update WeatherFlow on a schedule would eleminate the need to open the app and update the settings manually.

Thanks!

Kirk

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Ohhh… Nice problem to have. :slight_smile:

The solution that comes to mind is an external processor to receive UDP data from the Hub. The device will capture and process the data, obtain the location, display the data on a screen, send a query to Wunderground based on the current location and also display the forecast.

It’s very doable and would be an interesting project.

I don’t see any easy way to accomplish this without additional hardware and custom software.

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Just browsing the WeatherFlow API, I see it is exclusively centered around retrieval of data. So, setting the location, is out of the question. Which brings us to your train of though; a full blown apps the collects gps data from a receiver, forecast data from WU and real-time data from WeatherFlow. Slightly more aggressive than a script :slight_smile:

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Classified as a 1st world problem? :slight_smile:

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Agree with @GaryFunk about the additional hardware / software and that it is a really interesting project to integrate with the new WF station hardware.

If you just want to look an example of a commercial product that does some of this you can look at

New Mountain weather station with GPS integration option

It is a great product and can provide true wind speed and direction while on a moving vehicle. Of course . . . the price is about ten times the price of the WeatherFlow station. We use a New Mountain station locally on our County Office of Emergency Services mobile emergency operations center (EOC) bus but it sure would be great to be able to get similar results with the WeatherFlow station.

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It is possible to set the location via the API but that’s beyond the scope of this particular topic.

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Since I imagine that you have some free time available, why not study for your ham radio technician license? I believe that APRS weather packets include the station’s lat/lon info at the time of observation, and you can give out your call sign to friends and family to track you on the APRS mapping web sites as you travel.

https://aprs.fi/#!lat=41.70040&lng=-73.92100
http://aprs.link/app/aprs/stations/weather-K2BIG
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/panel.cgi?call=K2BIG&units=english
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/wxpage.cgi?call=K2BIG&last=24&tz=0

Double check with a ham who has APRS experience before investing time/money into getting a license and developing this, but I am thinking that you can change station locations on the fly since APRS sends current location info with just about every message…

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There are days I kick myself for never getting licensed. For years I was the voice of K2USA and I missed the opportunity to get license K5DIV.

go ahead, kick my rear and yell at me. :slightly_smiling_face:

By-the-way, I scorred 100% on the the written General test when I was 14. I just hated code even though my father and has friends could all do 45 wpm.

Gary

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Excellent suggestion @vreihen. For licensed amateur radio operators APRS is a great solution to GPS tracking and weather reporting. See some great little APRS GPS units at

[Byonics](https://www.byonics.com/microtrak/)

Almost any amateur radio club will be able to help a new person get licensed and direct the new ham to the local APRS guru. Clubs can be found at

American Radio Relay League (ARRL) club locator

Hope this helps.

Dan (WX2P)

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@GaryFunk . . . No kicking of anything . . . and no code requirement now. It is never too late to get your license! Go for it!

Dan (WX2P).

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http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=250840

You only missed it momentarily! The previous holder let it expire in 2000, so it is back to the available call sign pool if you get the technician (or general) license and apply for it (free!) as a vanity call sign. No code required for any license grades these days, and the tests are so dumbed-down that an 8-year-old can pass them without even knowing math.

Funny story - There were two generations of hams in my family before me. I had negative (read: below zero) interest in following them. About 5 years ago, a co-worker came to my office at work during lunch, asking for help with a question because he failed the Technician exam three times and really wanted to get the license to participate in one of the civil emergency ham groups (ARES/RACES). I took a sample test online with him watching, just to see the other questions. Scored 30 out of 35, and 26 was passing IIRC. Long story short, I scored a perfect 35 at the real exam after a total of 15 minutes of studying the very next day, and did another perfect 35 on the General test a few months later with less than an hour of studying the band plans. I looked at the Extra license questions, but would honestly have to open a book for some of that stuff since I don’t really work that deeply with RF and electronics at work.

As for what to do with the license once you get it, follow my lead. I have a quad-band radio (10m/6m/2m/70cm FM) in my pickup truck, and a 2m/70cm handheld. The truck’s radio has never broadcasted as much as a kerchunk, and the handheld transmitted exactly once…to verify the programming in another radio for the guy who brought me the test questions (after he finally passed the exam). I occasionally use my APRS tracker for fun, and used to transmit weather data via RF from weewx until the APRS Raspberry Pi took a power hit.

Like I said, I have no idea if APRS can deal with a weather station moving locations frequently. It may be worth checking to see if the SKYWARN folks have any mobile weather stations. I do know that search-and-rescue clubs out in the west use APRS trackers, but they obviously don’t carry weather stations…

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That was the call sign my father had. I didn’t know I could still get it. I guess I have a reason to now.

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Wow that is pretty cool. Knowing wind and gust speed while towing would be a huge andvantage. Actually not a bad price all things considered.

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Extra time :frowning: Quite the contrary. I manage an IT Devops team and log 60+ per week. Hence my job description, I like to automate things and really just looking for a simply way to update a WeatherFlow compatible weather application with my current location to ensure it’s pulling in locale appropriate forecast information.

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This looks promising:

https://openweathermap.org

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for what its worth gary i was a radio ham in my youth quite obsessed for a few years with vhf weak signal via meteor scatter,aurora ,occasional EME not having a large back yard i was restricted to 4 x 9 antenna driven by a pair of 4cx250b home made running on 144mhz until i lost the whole antenna array in a storm…:confused::grin:… sorry i know nothing about aprs never got into the digital side of ham radio i was all ears apart from a homemade wefax recorder fed into a commercial fax machinelistening at vlf…

wu has a api script based on lat lon however the script is simple but would need to be coded or worked into the app . only issue i see is it will or may be ip based location not gps . it is all doable just needs someone who has the time, requirement and code knowledge …

as for uploading data from weatherflow to wu its all going to be fixed based on your original settings set on your wu account . the more you use wu the more you realize how limited it is in catering for scenarios. but as it is free little chance they will ever cater for special needs…

brian

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just some out of the limits thinking

Why not add a little GPS module next to the units and feed that separatly to some software like weewx or other as extra sensor to show your location … GPS signals having a timestamp it should possible to code a script to link it to other data strings …
I use 2 lightning detectors and both use an external GPS module for location and most important for signal processing the timestamp.
Why not do the same with your idea of a mobile PWS ?

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This is a great discussion! I’ve added the tag “mobile” because I’m sure there will be similar needs in the future. I was going to move it to the #owners:integrations category since we don’t support mobile weather stations, yet, but I’ve left it in #general for now until we see how the discussion evolves.

The reason the WeatherFlow system doesn’t currently support “mobile” weather stations is because they are a completely different kettle of fish from the standard “fixed” weather station. Although it’s not a perfect analogy, if you’re a student of fluid dynamics you may be reminded of the epic battle between Joseph-Louis Langrange and Leonhard Euler!
LagrangeVsEuler

Traditionally, weather stations were strictly fixed in one spot. That’s still the case for the vast majority of stations out there.
The location information (lat/long/elevation) in a is intrinsic to the station itself. It’s part of the meta-data and doesn’t change much, if at all. The general guideline we use at WeatherFlow is that if a station moves less than 100 m or so, we simply update the location data and leave it as the same station. However, if it moves more 100 m, that’s a different station! I suspect that’s the same reason Weather Underground makes you create a new station if the location changes.

However, the number of “mobile” weather stations is increasing rapidly. RV’s, cars, trucks, ships, planes, paragliders, windsurfers! For these “mobile” weather stations, the location is actually part of the observation. The GPS is just another sensor. There are much different user interface issues when the source of your data is not fixed in one place.

Imagine a graph from a single weather station that starts in Florida for a couple months in the winter & spring, then moves north for a month, starting and stopping, then settles in North Dakota for two months in the summer, etc. What does a single graph of data from that station mean? Without the context of location on the graph? How do you display a meaningful timeseries of temperature (for example) when the device is moving?

The UI for mobile station is challenging, but the bigger issue is that it’s just very different from a fixed station. If and when we decide to support it, it will likely be a completely separate system. I’d love to see what the #developers community comes up with in the meantime!

In the case of @kirk (and other RVers), the work-around is to either update your location, or create a new station, each time you settle at a new spot.

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Great response @dsj. Thanks. A couple of adds.

Unlike a windsurfer, car or plane. Most of us RVers are interested in the data while in a fix location not while in motion. Consider us people that just move a lot :slight_smile: I believe where that differentiation is applicable is to the hardware as it doesn’t need to be able to account for motion. For all practacle purposes, the pws would simply be offline while in motion.

As for as the historic data is concerned and WEATHER it is meaningful. It absolutely is, especially with the location attached. More importantly us RVers generally like to spend our days in the lower 70s. This would give us history of our conditions at our RV. Which is what matters to us. I may want to go back THERE next year. I can also bounce that data against my power system (mostly a victron solution) which has a gps attached as well. So, I can see weather condition, solar production, energy consumption etc. That’s where the data starts to get very interesting. Add in data from my ecobee thermostat as well … why not.

Historically, the data would also be valid from a crowd sourcing perespective. It’s another data point if even for just a couple of weeks. But I do understand the delima if you are looking at the data and thinking fixed location.

So two interesting solutions:
https://openweathermap.org
https://weathercloud.online

Have any insights to either of these offerings? OpenWeatherMap does allow for changing the location through their api and allows for up to 60 calls per minute for free.

I may pull some code samples from WeatherFlow and OpenWeatherMap and mesh together a quick proof of concept.

Thanks,

Kirk

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This is interested, as my ‘next’ project WILL be setting up a system to handle mobile weather stations (and hopefully be including WF hardware).
I’m happy to see that there is a need for this type of setup, gives me more motivation to get back in my dungeon and start coding!

–Sam

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