Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

From WeatherWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Contents

Weather station hardware

Where can I purchase weather station hardware?

New Zealand or Australia

  • weatherdownunder.net
  • metinstruments.co.nz
  • scientificsales.co.nz

UK

  • ukweathershop.co.uk

Europe

USA

  • provantage.com
  • scientificsales.com
  • ambientweather.com


Which weather station hardware do you recommend?

If you can afford it. then a Davis VP. A Rain wise MKII is a good station, as its also wireless and has a one-second update rate. Next, I would recommend a Oregon Scientific (or clone) WMR968-type station. Next, would be a La Crosse (or clone) 2310-type station, or a 3600-type station (only updates once per minute). You could add a 1-wire weather station (gives windspeed and direction for every one-second update) to the weather stations with slower update rates. These cost apprximately $90 USD with Weather Display's ability to do that.


Why am I getting a COM port error?

This often results because another software application is using the same COM port. Possible conflicting devices include PDA synchronization applications or bluetooth cell phone synchronization programs, etc.

Make sure no other software is accessing the COM port, especially other weather station software applications (for example, Heavy Weather with La Crosse weather stations). Also note that Microsoft Windows can swap COM port numbers.

If you are unable to resolve the COM port failure, you might be able to use a USB to serial adaptor, or a serial port PCI card. Windows Device Manager will identify the assigned COM ports. To access Windows Device Manager, do the following:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.


Why am I not getting data from my La Crosse 2010/7000/2200/2500 weather station?

If no data is coming from the separate WS2010-15 data loggerl.

After inserting the batteries, you need to wait 20 minutes before any software should access the data logger. Also it's a good idea to place the data logger away from the PC, and put RF baluns clamps around the serial cable. Note that Weather Display gets the data every 3 minutes or 5 minutes, depending on the station type.

Note, you can now use the newer La Crosse 3600 with Weather Display without the need to run Heavy Weather, thanks to 3rd party software developed by Sandere of Denmark.


Why isn't my WMR900H or WS2000/7000 weather station data appearing in Weather Display?

Make sure you have your station set up as described in the Weather Station Selection page and you have set the outdoor sensor # to use in the view, ws2010-13/ws2500 data setup correct (i.e. as 1 ).


How do I update nowcast.txt from Lightning 2000?

To update nowcast.txt from Lightning 2000, do the following:

  1. On the Options menu, click Screen capture.
    Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
  2. On the NOWCast tab, select the Enabled check box.
  3. Enter the full folder path and file name, including the file extension.
  4. Set the Auto-save internal.
    Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination


Software updates/backups/changing computers

How do I update to a newer Weather Display release?

Weather Display is frequently updated with new releases typically available several times a week. Use the following instructions and hints to update your Weather Display software.

  1. On the Weather Display Web site, click Version History.
  2. To download the latest release, in the left navigation bar, click the Downloads.

On the Downloads page, there are several options. For this FAQ, only the main Weather Display download for Windows is discussed.

There are three different downloads for Weather Display available — Main Weather Display install file, Weather Display with error/crash debug code debug, and Weather Display zip of the main .exe file.

Note Upgrading the software doesn't change or delete your weather data. However, you should make regular backup of your data, especially before updating the software.

The best way to update your version is by using the first link, Main Weather Display install file. This download includes everything in Weather Display including the Weather Display FTP software.

  1. In Weather Display, on the Exit menu, click Save and Exit. Make sure all of the Weather Display applications, such as RealTime FTP do not appear in the Windows task bar notifications area.
  2. Click Download next to Main Weather Display install file.
  3. When prompted, click Save, and then specify a folder location where to save the Weather Display install program.
  4. When the download completed, browse to the folder you specified in step 3, and then double-click the Weather Display .exe file.
  5. Follow the instructions on your screen to complete the installation.
  6. At the end of the installation wizard, click Finish. If you leave the Launch Weather Display check box selected, Weather Display launches with the new version.

If you are requested to run the Debug version of Weather Display by the program author, substitute the second link, Weather Display with error/crash debug code debug, in step 2 above. The debug version contains extra diagnostic information that can be used by the software developer to troubleshoot specific issues. You should only use this version when requested.

The third item, Weather Display zip of the main .exe file is a compressed file of updated items within Weather Display. This file does not include any updates for the Weather Display FTP program. After downloading, in Weather Display, on the Exit menu, click Save and Exit. Locate your downloaded .zip file, and extract the file to the folder that Weather Display is installed (usually c:\wdisplay or c:\Program Files\wdisplay). Re-start Weather Display.

Notes

  • If you are using the WDMYSQL or clientraw.txt update utilities, make sure they are completely shut down before beginning the software upgrade. If these applications are running, they will appear as icons on the Windows task bar notifications area.
  • It is a good idea to keep an archive folder of Weather Display program downloads. If you encounter a problem with a new version, you can go back to an older version by following the steps above.


How do I backup Weather Display data and configuration settings?

All the parameters for Weather Display for various display or computations are stored in wdisplay.ini. The parameters for the FTP program upload or download functions are stored in the Windows Registry. Most data is stored in the various files in the datafiles and logfiles folders. There is also data saved in the wdisplay.ini file.

Back up wdisplay.ini from c:\windows or c:\winnt. Export and backup the Windows Registry entry wdisplayftp.ini. And, of course, back up your datafiles, logfiles, and webfiles folders.

On the Action menu, click Back up registry entry, and then click Backup now. This saves your Weather Display registry entries in a file named wdisplayftp.reg in the databackup folder. You can also configure Weather Display to perform the backup daily (under Setup, Databackup). Note that some systems do not handle the daily automated backup well.

Your current datafiles and logfiles are also automaticly added to a compressed (.zip) file with this backup function.


How to I move Weather Display and my data to another computer?

These instructions are for moving your Weather Display data and configuration from one Windows-based computer to another. For example, use these steps if you're moving your Weather Display installation to a new computer.

  1. Go to Weather Display Downloads and download the latest version of the Weather Display installer to a USB thumb drive.
  2. On the original computer, open Weather Display, and then click Action > Back Up Windows Registry Entries.
  3. Click File > Save & Exit.
  4. Copy the wdisplay folder to a USB thumb drive.
  5. Copy the wdisplay folder from the USB thumb drive to the new computer in the c:\ root folder.
  6. On the new computer, in the wdisplay/databackup folder, double-click wdisplayftp.reg. This updates the Windows Registry settings for Weather Display. Windows might prompt to approve the change.
  7. From the download in step 1, install Weather Display.


I've installed Weather Display on a new computer. How do I get a new registration code?

Just ask! Send a request to Brian following the procedure described in the Register / Purchase help page. To keep all your old data (and most likely not need to re-register), see the FAQ How to I move Weather Display and my data to another computer.


Data downloads/uploads

Why isn't Weather Underground data isn't updating?

Make sure that the data is correct and that you have a registered Weather Underground account. Also, make sure you've entered the correct station ID.

  1. Click Control Panel.
  2. In the Publication section, click Weather Underground.
  3. Enter your Weather Underground station ID in the Wundergound Station ID box.
  4. Enter your Weather Underground password in the Password/Key box.
  5. Click how often data should be sent. Choices include hourly and every 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes. To use a very frequent update (in seconds), turn on the WunderGround Rapid Fire toggle to Real Time ON, and then enter the interval in the Freq (seconds) box.
  6. Make sure Main On is set.

Click Test a data send to send a one-time data update to Weather Underground. You can verify the receipt of your data on the Weather Underground site by clicking View your data.


Why is Weather Underground data is missing for a specified time period?

If Weather Display is offline or there is an interruption of the transfer of data from Weather Display to Weather Underground, you can upload the missing data at any time.

  1. Click Control Panel.
  2. In the Publication section, click Weather Underground.
  3. In the Upload Past Data section, select the Month and Year for missing data.
  4. Select the Start day and End day for the missing data.
  5. Select the Start hour and End hour for the missing data. If your times overlap existing data on Weather Underground, the data uploaded will overwrite any previous data. (This can be used to correct incorrect data sent to Weather Underground.)
  6. Select the check box for the data interval period. Generally, you select the same interval that you normally send data to Weather Underground. If you're using RapidFire, select Update every 1 minute, which is the minimum interval that can be uploaded.
  7. Click Go.

Depending upon the amount of data you are uploading and your available upload speed, this can take several minutes. As each data entry is sent you'll see it under Last data sent.

You will not recieve a confirmation when the data upload is complete. It's also possible the progress bar will not fully be solid.

After data is uploaded to Weather Underground, there might be a small lag before you see the entries reflected on the website. Please allow several minutes before the data is processed.


Why doesn't my Weather Display data appear on my website?

Your web hosting provider can provide you with your FTP Host/Server name (and provide instructions on how you create an FTP account for your hosted website).

  1. Click Control Panel FTP & Connections METAR/NOAA.
  2. On the Connections tab, verify that your FTP settings are correct and that the MAIN ON toggle is on.
  3. Make sure the Use Weather Display's own FTP check box is selected.

Many web hosting providers require passive mode for FTP transfers. Select the Use Passive mode' check box if this applies to your FTP account. The default port for the FTP protocol is 21 (or 22 for secure FTP).

Additional troubleshooting information can be ontained in a log file created by Weather Display. Make sure you've enabled FTP logging by selecting the Produce a log file check box. To view the log file, click View, then in the Logs section, click FTP Log.


Why is the Extreme/average page not appearing on my website?

Go to Setup > Setup FTP > Reset.


Why isn't Weather Display downloading a METAR file?

Make sure that you have specified the METAR stations on the METAR Download tab.

  1. Click Control Panel, then click FTP & Connections METAR/NOAA.
  2. In the Metar Download section, click a nearby airport/station from the METAR list. It's automatically added to your download list. To remove, select the entry and click Remove selected metar. You can also manually enter the METAR filename. In the Use this Metar Station ID box, enter the METAR four-letter code followed by the .txt file extension (for example KSEA.txt), and then click >.
  3. Repeat for each METAR you want to add. You can setup download for one or multiple.

Note: Many NOAA METARs are now provided in a newer .taf file format. Select the Save as a .txt file as well as a .met file check box.


Why doesn't the current weather icon update and match specified METAR station?

Make sure you've specified the METAR that you want to use for Weather Display.

  1. Click Control Panel, then click FTP & Connections METAR/NOAA.
  2. In the Metar Download section, click a nearby airport/station from the METAR list. It's automatically added to your download list. To remove, select the entry and click Remove selected metar. You can also manually enter the METAR filename. In the Use this Metar Station ID box, enter the METAR four-letter code followed by the .txt file extension (for example KSEA.txt), and then click >.

Why does manual upload work, but auto doesn't?

I have set times to upload the web pages in the FTP/Internet setup, but it does not work at that times, but If I click on action, update Internet now, it uploads the files. Answer: Check you have the main Internet switch turned ON in the connection setup in the FTP/Internet setup, or, if you are using the customize Internet setup (i.e. you have the switch ON there), then make sure you set the times to create AND upload the files their (using the customise Internet and file creation I recommend (ignore the not in use yet parts), because then you have control!.


Why does FTP upload stall when uploading a file (it just sits there)?

A common cause of this issue is the need to use Passive mode with the FTP connection. to turn on Passive mode, do the following:

  1. On the Weather Display main window, click Control Panel.
  2. On the Control panel, under Web site configurations, click FTP/Internet/metar/e-mail/report/connections Setup Client/Server Setup.
  3. On the Connections tab, select the Use Passive mode check box.

Also, not all FTP servers support the file rename option (mainly Windows-based servers), so you might turn off the rename feature. To turn off the rename feature, do the following:

  1. On the Weather Display main window, click Control Panel.
  2. On the Control panel, under Web site configurations, click FTP/Internet/metar/e-mail/report/connections Setup Client/Server Setup.
  3. On the Connections tab, clear the Rename the file on the server after uploading check box.

The FTP log should provide you with error messages and allow you to see exactly where the FTP failure is occurring. To review the FTP log, do the following:

  1. On the Weather Display main window, click View.
  2. On the View panel window, under Logs, click FTP log.


Rainfall

Why don't Weather Display rain totals match my weather station?

Weather Display saves rain totals separate from the weather station, which makes it more flexible for rain reset times, rain reset month, etc. You can enter values in Control Panel, Offsets & Initial Rain.

To set the starting values, do the following:

  1. Click Control Panel.
  2. Click Offsets & Initial Rain.
  3. On the Temp./Baro Offsets/Rain Totals tab, enter the amount in the text box to the right of Set. Enter the values in millimeters (mm) or inches if you've selected the Inches check box. For example, enter 55.5 for mm, or 2.5 for inches. An alternative is to select the value from the slider (click and it shows the equivalent in inches).
  4. Click Set and then click Yes to save the values.


How do I correct monthly and yearly rain totals?

  1. Click Control Panel, and in the Station Settings section, click Offsets & Initial Rain.
  2. Enter rain offsets. Remember to click Yes to save the settings.

You can also set other month's rain totals under View, Rain in detail, but that doesn't change the rain totals in the log file (the log file also affects the totals under View, Averages/Extremes Noaa Style Reports), it just sets the totals for the monthly rain graphs in the Rain in detail screen (and same applies for rain for each day of the last seven days. When setting/resetting there, the changes only apply to that data on that screen. To correct rain totals shown in View, Averages/Extremes Noaa Style Reports you must change the last rain total for the day (i.e. the last entry just before the daily rain total is reset) in the log file for the appropriate month.

If you have lost your rain totals, then you should be able to find the last good rain total in the log file.

Note: You can restore the log file for a month if it is bad, but the graph data is still available for that month (under Graph history), by using the action Convert log files to graphs, but select Convert graph files to log files, and then make sure the correct graph data file is selected (for example month102018.inf for October 2018), and then click Convert. Wait for the Finished alert.


How do I specify custom rain years (for example July through June)?

  1. Click Control Panel, and in the Station Settings section, click Units and Other Settings.
  2. On the Reset Times tab, enter the Month to reset the yearly rain total.


General questions

Is there error logging for Weather Display?

Yes. Error logs for Weather Display are useful when troubleshooting problems.

  • Click View, then in the Logs section, click Program Event Log.

Logs are also available for FTP and data downloading. Click FTP Log or Data Log File.


What happens if I shut my computer off during part of the day?

All of the graphs will be added on to according to time. The high and low data will also still be there.


I'm a beginner with HTML and want to learn how to create custom weather webpages. Help!

To get started with HTML coding, take a look at Creating a Weather Web Page.


What is the "Input daily weather" dialog box for?

This serves as a weather log that will be put onto your extreme/average page. It also allows you to select the current weather icon. And finally, you can enter snowfall data there.


What is the "Daily fire index/data" for?

That is an index for how easily fires can be started.


Why does Weather Display crash when starting?

This is most commonly caused by corrupted real time graph data files. Delete the graphdata.inf (and graphdata2.inf, etc.) files from the folder data files. Try starting Weather Display again.


How do I correct All Time Records?

If your All Time Records includes erroneous data such as a data spike, you can manually correct the values if you know them.

  1. Click View to open the View Panel.
  2. In the Averages/Extremes/Records section, click All Time Records.
  3. Click Set values.
  4. There are two pages of weather data values. Find the page with the record you want to correct, and then click the radio button at the top of the window for either Year to date, Month to date, or All time to date' (the value you're updating could affect all three).
  5. Enter the hour, minute, day, month, and year and then enter the value in the text box to the right of Set.
  6. Click Set.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6, changing the radio button at the top before you enter data.
  8. When you've finished updated data, view the changes by clicking View changes.
  9. You must click OK on the #1 page or #2 page tabs to save the changes.

If you don't know the previous record values, you should be able to find them in the recordsset.txt file which is saved in the root directory of Weather Display, for example c:\Program Files (x86)\wdisplay. This file can be opened with Notepad, Microsoft Word, etc. The file might be large so it could take a while to open.

Note The changes won't be reflected on your website until the next upload. All Time Records typically are updated once an hour.


How do I make a printout of the Weather Display main window

  • On the Action menu, click Print This page.


How do I fix the "Read beyond end of file" error?

  1. Exit Weather Display.
  2. In the folder datafiles, delete the following files:
    • latest.inf
    • latestindoor.inf
    • latesttime.inf
    • graphdata.inf
    • graphdata2.inf
    • direction.inf
    • direction2.inf
  3. Restart Weather Display.


How do I export data from WeatherLink to Weather Display?

WeatherLink can create a file called download.txt located in your station folder.

  1. Assuming that you have the datalogger attached and have installed the Weatherlink software, make sure that Weather Display isn't running, then start WeatherLink.
  2. Download the weather station into the Weatherlink software.
  3. Exit WeatherLink.
  4. Start Weather Display, then go to import logs and open the WeatherLink station folder (that is the folder you set up for the Davis software).
  5. Click Import from Davis, click the wl5.2 option, find the folder, and then click Convert.

It depends on the WeatherLink version and what extra sensors you have logged in the download.txt file, so no gaurentees it will work.

Of course, you should not click on the Weather Display to clear the archive after download. That is why you can't find or don't have any data remaining in the logger. You have data on the console though.

If you have Weather Display running, with it recognizing the VP and all the options checked to download to Davis WeatherLink area and have it imported on program start up to the Weather Display directly. Again , I wouldn't click to have archive cleared.

There are several reasons for not clearing the archive. First, the weather logger will overwrite any old data first leaving the most recent. Second, if for some reason you didn't get a complete upload, or deleted a folder, file, etc., the data logger will re-load onto the computer what didn't. This way you don't lose data.

Why are my weather report emails appearing on all one line (jumbled together)?

  • Clear the Use HTML check box in the weather report/email setup (Control Panel, FTP/Internet setup).


Where are heating degree or cooling degree days calculated?

  1. This data appears on the NOAA report (dailynoaareport.htm). Also, click View and then in the Averages/Extremes/Records section, click Averages/Extremes Noaa Style Reports.
  2. On the Noaa Style Reports tab, values are calculated daily and a seperate column for each value appears with a monthly total at the bottom. A calendar control at the bottom of the window enables selection of past months.


Where do the wind chill and dew point numbers orginate?

Weather Display calculates the values for wind chill and dew points. Even if your weather station generates these values, Weather Display uses its own calculated values.

The wind chill is calculated from the outside temperature and wind speed. The dew point is calculated from the temperature and humidity readings.


Why is no data appearing on the main display window?

This is commonly caused by either the wrong weather station being selected or the wrong COM port that is connected to your data logger/dongle.

  • Click Control Panel, then in the Station Settings section, click Station Type & Settings.

Verify that you have selected the correct weather station equipment. Also, in the Com Port Number section, make sure the correct COM port is selected. If you're unsure which COM port to select, you can select a different one, then click Close/Save and see if data begins appearing. THe most common COM ports on a Windows computer is COM 1-4.


What is the "Remove wind speed spikes" option under graph setup options?

That would be for the WM-918 users, that station some times produced winds that were of biblical proportions, this problem is not caused by Weather Display.The use of a optoislolator on the windspeed cable or rain cable fixes that.


Why are vertical lines appearing on the real time graph?

Adjust the minimum temperature offset lower (bottom right-hand corner). The default is -20oC.


Why is the LED blinking on the main Weather Display page?

Try clicking on the blinking LED indicator or go to View > All time records to date. There you will see another blinking LED with a label, or you might end up on the weather warning setup page and there will be a blinking LED indicator there, too (if a weather warning has been sent).


The "Alarm" is flashing. What do I do now?

When a warning threshold is reached, the LED next to the COM port status will flash. Click the flashing red LED, and then click Reset Alarm LEDs. Reset the alarm threshold(s) if you like. Click OK.


How do I manually enter weather observations?

Click on "Input daily weather" in the menu bar. You can select the icon to show on the web page monthly data. Click update for first time to create the icons You can enter text - treat like a weather diary - this will be in weather emails as well, but not on the main screen. You can also enter snow fall observations here.


Why do my graphs show spikes and when the mouse rolls over the spikes, abnormal readings appear?

This appears most often with the dew point or windchill graph lines. The problem is display-only issue due to an out of range graphing error. The actual data is not affected.

The solution is to extend the graphing range. Either use the lift/lower buttons in the Setup, Graph Setup, or in the Graph Setup, change the graph ranges to prevent the spikes.


Customization

How do I change the background color of the default weather page?

Go to the setup menu. Click on "Setup FTP / Internet/ ...". Click on the tab labeled "Web Files #2". In the section at the bottom labeled "WEb Table Setup", click the button labeled "Set Background web page colour". Pick a colour from the display and click OK. The page background you selected will be used.


How do I set the sunrise and moonrise for my location?

Follow the procedures described in the Entering Location Data help page. Only enter degrees, and minutes (i.e no decimal places). For southern hemisphere, the latitude is a negative number. (The latitude is the lines parallel to the equator.) For places West of GMT (i.e England), the longitude needs to be negative. For some time zones, you may need to use the "fine tunes" to get the rise and set times for your location to be accurate.


Where do I create the wxlocal.html folder?

  1. On a Windows-based computer, open Windows Explorer (Shortcut: Press Windows key and E at the same time).
  2. Open the wdisplay folder, usually located in the root folder of your hard drive (c:\).
  3. Look for the webfiles folder. This is the folder where you need to create the wxlocal.html file.

Note: Make sure the file extension is .html and not .htm (you can change the extension as needed in the FTP/Internet/Custom web page setup).


What is customtext.txt?

This file defines the data required to be saved in customtextout.txt.


How do I convert the customtext.txt file to a CSV file?

The customtext.txt text file is already formatted in comma separated values (CSV) format. No conversion is required.


How do I create files in .asp or .php file format?

Use "Setup | customise the file creation/ftp schedule". There you can set the remote name for the wxlocal.html file. If you are running your own server, then you can use the special file conversion in the custom webpage setup, under Setup, FTP setup, to force a new file name (i.e. put in the local file name as anything except wxlocal.html and set a new remote file name.)


How do I add a METAR report on my website?

Within the Setup menu, click "setup FTP / ...", then select the tab "FTP /METAR download". Go to the lower portion of the display and choose a METAR station. Tick "include the text files on my web page". Finally, set up the scheduled times for downloading and click the red button to turn it ON.


How do I upload a graph of weather data for a day from the graph history to my website?

Go to View, Graph History, get the graph that you want, then click "saved to file." The next step is you need to go to action, manage my ftp server, and choose the file that you want to upload. For example, the graph will be saved as savedgraph.gif under weather display.


How do I make changes to the default webpage?

Weather Display Web pages are created from three files: datahtm0.txt, datahtm2.txt and datahtm3.txt. If you know HTML, you can alter datahtm2.txt , and Weather Display will keep the changes. But first you must go to "Setup, control panel | FTP / Internet ... | Web Files", and click the box labeled "Let me manage the datahtm2.txt file". Also, you can add of course add email link, images and web links on this same page. See also Creating a Weather Web Page for more information.


How do I make the image from Input daily weather stay on the main screen?

To turn off the forecast image, go to ftp setup, then files, then untick show wm918/wmr918 forecast image on summary.gif then under input daily weather, tick "use this image on the web page instead". This is not permanent, and will be unticked on program re-start.


How do I get SMTP AUTH for weather warnings?

If you have it set for the weather report, it should work for the weather warning, too. To get SMTP AUTH, set up weather reports first, even if you don't use them. That then gives you email warnings and weather reports. It seems slightly complex, but it works.


How do I create the custom text file customtext.txt?

See the page labeled "Logs and Logging"; there is even a sample. While described as a log file, you can actually use it to transfer data to any program in any format you want. The example was used to send data to the HoomSeer program.