I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge, so I've just started looking.
Ecowitt seems to be liked here. Is that similar to Tempest?
I like the no moving parts aspect.
Any tips on mounting? That's going to be big for me.
Probably best to be mounted on house for power, I suppose.
Then, there's wind, light, shadow, installation, maintenance, age of installer (71) etc, etc.
Our house is surrounded by trees.
I'm thinking maybe on the garage's right gable (see picture below).
It'd be harder to maintain, than say on the garden shed (on the left), but it'll be more in the open and have access to power. I imagine snow would have to be melted.
I could run a low voltage line to the shed, I guess.
Any and all suggestions and advice welcome!
edit: Another mounting thought is that the roof is steel, ie., magnetic. There has to be innovative ways to mount and remove on a gable without a ladder.
I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge, so I've just started looking.
I have the Tempest. I would recommend the ecowitt Wittboy. In both cases, the outdoor unit uses solar power with battery backup, so there's no need to run power.
The ecowitt integrates directly with Hubitat. The Tempest needs another computer - like an RPi to integrate locally with Hubitat.
I've had both a Weatherflow (gen1) and now have an Ecowiltt Wittboy.
Both worked fine for me, and yielded similar quality of readings.
When it came time to replace the weatherflow, I went with the Ecowitt as it was a bit cheaper and integrated into home assistant/node-red/hubitat easier (no extra hardware/pc/rpi/containers/etc).
I also took the opportunity to get some of the ecowitt soil moisture sensors for plants/areas around my landscaping - so that was an added bonus for me by going ecowitt.
Yes, ecowitt has lots of sensors that integrate with their gateway. Tempest doesn't have this. When I move, I'm getting a Wittboy.
I love my tempest... Have had no issues with it...
Here are some of my impressions:
- Ecowitt has easily-performed local data that can be directly received by the Hubitat (using community drivers), although it can trigger warnings due to the number of events if you leave everything at defaults. These can be easily dealt with and would not actually cause any trouble.
- Tempest does have a local data method, although it is more limited than what their API method (connecting to their cloud) offers for data. Both of these methods have community drivers supporting them though.
- Ambient with newer devices (or new firmware on older devices) these now have a local method that is basically identical to the Ecowitt (in addition to their API). There are community drivers for this as well (both local and API).
I have Ambient and Tempest weather stations and both have held up well (the Ambient's battery finally seems to be wearing down a bit after many years... there were a few days during the winter where the solar could not charge it up enough). I also have an Ecowitt gateway that uses the Ambient station plus a bunch of other sensors. It has also worked well and their sensors have been reliable EXCEPT for an old PM2.5 sensor I had. The solar on it never seems to supply enough and the batteries drain. There do seem to be newer models though.
For mounting... there are a lot of options but most can just be put on the end of a pole. The Tempest also comes with a base that can be attached to a post or something else (I originally had mine on the top of a 4x4 post before I moved it to my "weather pole" after an Acurite station died). But it also comes with a base that can be tightened onto the top of a PVC or metal pole.
Long story short... I have had good luck with Tempest and Ambient stations and mostly good luck with Ecowitt sensors and gateway. So pick which fits your budget and offers the sensors you want. Any of those will be pretty easy to get working with Hubitat.
For years, I had a Davis Vantage Pro 2, which is a professional quality weather station (with that level of price tag, unfortunately). When the anemometer finally started to go I bought an Ecowitt to get me through the winter, to see if I could repair the Davis. Well, I’ve been so happy with the Ecowitt, I don’t miss the Davis! Works great with Hubitat thanks to @sburke781 ’s driver and has incredible range for sensors. I recommended it to a friend and he’s very happy with his as well.
I know a guy with a Tempest and he’s happy with it, but I’ve seen some wonky readings from it on occasion. That could be a placement issue, though. Personally, I really like Ecowitt.
I also had a Vantage Pro 2 for 10 years. Would still have one if they would update the user interface, RF, etc. Are you happy with the accuracy of the Ecowitt, particularly for the wind and rain?
Yes, very happy with it! Seems to track right along with the Davis for rain, and readings for wind seem right but my Davis anemometer went belly up. My friend that tried an Ecowitt at my suggestion also has a Davis and he says he can’t tell any difference, either.
I guess if we were on the top of some mountain where it blows 100 mph, or in the Arctic, a Davis would be needed. But for our home here in Maine, the Ecowitt has been great since about Sep or Oct.
Love my tempest that’s mounted on my roof. Will be buying another one if it ever dies.
So, if you were buying an Ecowitt system, would you get the sensor, hub/gateway, and local display? Does "Wittboy" only refer to the hub/gateway? Is the hub/gateway necessary, useful, etc, or only for web and special sensors?
I have to say, I think I would like a local display, like on the wall in the kitchen or something like that.
Will continue to read...
No, I have no need for a local display. So I would just get the Wittboy system. This includes a complete seven sensor array (WS90) and the local gateway (GW2000).
The seven sensors included in the WS90 are:
temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rain gauge, solar radiation, UV index.
The gateway connects to your local internet and also the WS90. It will also connect to any other ecowitt sensors you decide to add - just as soil moisture, leaf wetness, pool temperature, etc. etc.
The WS90 has no moving parts - like the Tempest. The advantage over the Tempest is price, local connectivity to Hubitat, and the gateway connects to a wide plethora of other sensors that are useful for automation.
For clarity - this is what the Wittboy system includes - WS90 + GW2000
The Tempest doesn't offer this either. But what about using a Hubitat dashboard?
It seems as if the Wittboy Pro has the gateway and display for only a hundred bucks more. It does seem like a nice display.
edit: But I guess you'd recommend a tablet with a Hubitat dashboard. Perhaps...perhaps...
Based on a Q&A I read on the Ecowitt site, it seems as if the sensor's solar cells charge up a super capacitor (or whatever), and that non-rechargeable batteries take over if the capacitor is depleted. I see no mention of utility power, only for a snow melter (I suppose) for precipitation measurement. Or is it to clear off the snow?
We do get plenty of snow. I wouldn't be climbing up a ladder in the winter, in the snow, to replace batteries. I wonder if it can be hardwired, maybe with an adapter for the batteries if no plug is provided?
You're correct. I missed that. And I think the Wittboy Pro can still be locally connected to Hubitat.
These things (even the Tempest) are power misers. I have my Tempest installed about 10 feet above the ground. And it gets a good deal of shade (small backyard with an oak tree).
FWIW, the Ecowitt hardware is nearly identical to the Ambient weather stations and hardware. Both have local API support on Hubitat.
I have a Ambient WS-2902A which I love and had it fr about 3 years now and still working great with the brand new 2 AA batteries I originally put in... crazy. I use a pi to host the website and data using weewx and a hubitat driver I wrote to put data from a json file on the pi.
Tempest doesn’t offer a display but there is a piconsole that can be built and paired up to sit anywhere in the home. I did this myself and it sits on my kitchen counter that my wife enjoys viewing.
@madcodger , may I ask if you have the "solid state" Ecowitt Wittboy, or did you just get an Ecowitt anemometer?
That the Wittboy needs a usb-powered heater to keep the solid state anemometer working could be a turnoff to me, and might steer me to a conventional rotating model. You're in a snowy place too, correct?
You have much more talent than I !
Again, more talent.