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Weather Station Software for home based inexpensive units (WeatherSnoop,Cumulus, EasyWeather)

The home weather station market encompasses the simple thermometer/barometer to 1000 dollar units measuring uv index.

Ambient Weather in the U.S and Biosweather (Thermor) in Canada sell inexpensive units (-120 bucks) that allow geeks like me to be our own Acuweather station.

The software that one uses makes a big difference in how we see and interpret the data.

There are many good programs in the PC world such as Cumulus and EasyWeather. These are free.

WeatherData is a cross-platform app that runs on Linux,OSX, and Windows. Unfortunately, it is not geared to the cheaper units such as the Ambient Weather WS 1080 (essentially the same as the Bios-Thermor unit).

The app relies on another app to get it’s data, WeatherSnoop, which we will be reviewing here.

I will compare WeatherSnoop to the free programs available to PC users.

Once your station is up and running, you connect your base unit via USB and run the program.

Right from the start,

WeatherSnoop takes a completely different approach then it’s free PC counterparts. The display is more reminiscent of the kind of multiple-clock like devices you place on your wall. You know, the kind that is found in pubs by the ocean.

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The PC counterparts choose a more scientific look with all data visible like that found on a computer console.

Easyweather

EasyWeather (PC free)

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Cumulus

Its a matter of taste, but I prefer the more scientific look. WeatherSnoop is uncluttered though.

Right clicking on WeatherSnoops backing allows you to set your own background as a form of customization.

All 3 applications successfully connected to my National Geographic weather station. It essentially is the same as the Ambient Weather WS-1080.

All 3 apps allow graphing. The 2 PC versions offer more options, especially Cumulus which has a multitude of graphic visualizations from line to area to bar graphs.

WeatherSnoop allows uploading to APRS and WeatherUnderground. Cumulus adds PWS reporting.

In terms of generating your own webpage, WeatherSnoops falls quite short. It displays a very limited table of weather data. Cumulus on the other hand displays all graphs, gauges and data.

Both allow exporting of raw data in the form of either a csv/xml file (WeatherSnoop) or csv/XLS file Cumulus. EasyWeather neither exports nor uploads anything. It does save data in a DAT file which can be read by Cumulus.

Briefly, WeatherDisplay is the cross platform giant that looks like ancient Windows 95 but displays pretty much everything. It is geared more to the higher end stations such as Oregon and Davis. It indirectly connects via WeatherSnoops Data.

EasyWeather Graphs

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Cumulus Graphs

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WeatherSnoop Graphs

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I have been using the 2 PC versions in Parallels mode and I must say they have a small footprint. Depending on the amount of ram you have they can be left running in the background.

However, like most dedicated MAC users, the less use of Windows the better, so I really would like to use a native OSX app.

I am trying hard to like WeatherSnoop. Compared to its free PC versions it just does not supply as good of a value based on its features. Unfortunately it is the only app out there that works for my hardware.

If the developer could implement Webdav HTML formated uploads to MobileMe or nicely formated HTML templates to your own server, then it would be a BIG plus.

Also, it would be nice to have more instruments displayed such as highs and lows. Cumulus even flashes on its main page alerts when a high or low is reached AND if you have lost contact with the transmitter.

WeatherSnoop is a work in progress. What it does, it does well to a certain point. Reading data and displaying it. Graphing needs more options, and publishing is definitely in beta. Tech support is quick and they do have a forum. Speaking your summarized weather report is a bonus as is Growl integration.

What WeatherSnoop does do is allow you to view your data nicely formated on another server such as WeatherUnderground and APRS.

WeatherSnoop $59.99 US

Cumulus FREE

EasyWeather FREE and Included in Hardware

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