So in my previous post I mentioned my recent purchase of an Excelvan home weather station which I spent the weekend setting up. It was actually fairly straightforward to install and get going I was pleasantly suprised.
One of the few problems I had with the installation though, more a cosmetic issue, was that the connection cables are somewhat long when connecting to the sensors on the arms, there’s a lot of excess wire and no neat way of reducing it. I settled on winding it around the arm poles for the time being.
The hardware can function without a computer attached and has a built in history with the ability to keep up to 3552 record sets. I found on the smallest refresh interval of 32 seconds this lasted just over a day so I increased this up to 5 minutes for now. When the history is full it simply rolls over and rewrites the oldest records. The increased interval gives me more time to hook the base unit up to a computer and download the history.
The provided software is called WeatherSmart and is pretty basic. You attach the base station to a computer via USB cable and the software will then provide a live readout similar to what is displayed on the unit and also downloads the history at regular intervals. The history it appears is stored in a local JET (Microsoft Access) database although I haven’t tried accessing it.
Now any normal home user would be happy here. Hardware works. Software works. However the hacker in me decided I’d like do more and it’s here I started running into problems.
Now in order to download the reports and upload them online the software always needs to be running and WeatherSmart isn’t really designed for this, it’s not a service and doesn’t minimize to the tray etc. There’s also no out of the box Linux support, so I can’t attach this to my Raspberry Pi and use it there either.
Naturally I jump online and see what other people have done and there are many software packages out there to work with weather stations it seems, although I kept coming back to two in particular as they seem the most popular, they are:
Awesome I thought, problem solved! Well, not quite…it turns out my particular weather station is not supported.
Nobody seemed to have heard of Excelvan. Digging deeper I found that Excelvan is actually just a brand of a reseller, the actual hardware is created by Fine Offset in China and my particular station model is the WH2310. Of course, neither Cumulus or WeeWx support it.
After some more digging I also found that this model is also rebranded as a Tycon TP2700WC so I contacted Tycon directly asking for any documentation they had and someone on support there was kind enough to send me over a ZIP with some information. According to the support personnel there it’s all they have to go on as well and getting anything out of the Chinese side was next to impossible so I’m on my own.
The ZIP contains translated documents of the EEPROM layout and communication protocols and also 32-bit Windows library I can use so I’m going to have a play with that and see what I can cook up. I shall report back my findings.
If anyone else is interested here is the ZIP Tycon support sent me: