6558 Weatherlink subscription – the easy way to online weather data
The 6558 Weatherlink subscription is an optional add-on to the Weatherlink software that provides access to the many features offered by the Davis Weatherlink Network (i.e. uploads to the weatherlink.com website).
This is the same website/network used by the WeatherlinkIP logger or a Vantage Connect unit, but the 6558 subscription allows uploads from the standard Weatherlink for Windows program running on a PC, rather than a special logger or device as with the IP logger or Connect.
The features of the weatherlink.com website are described in more detail on the IP logger page, but in summary the features include:
- Presentation of your live weather data on a web page, with uploads every minute. Click on the image (right) to see live data from Davis in California. This all happens fully automatically – you do not need to do anything once the account has been registered, other than to have the Weatherlink program running on a PC with a valid subscription. There is also a second automatic Summary webpage, which shows highs and lows today so far and also includes live data from any additional sensors that you may have fitted to your station. (NB It is possible to embed either of these live webpage images in your own webpages using an iframe construct.);
- Your Archive (summary) data will also be uploaded once an hour (or as scheduled). This feature enables the weatherlink.com server to act as a staging post for your archive data. Anyone to whom you’ve given the account credentials can then download the same archive data to another PC running the Weatherlink software anywhere in the world. This feature makes it possible for you to run the weather station at one location and then download your data to a PC elsewhere. In addition, it provides a mechanism to distribute your data to a number of interested users (but all of whom will need a legal copy of the Weatherlink software);
- You join the community of (currently, but rising rapidly) over 12,000 users worldwide who are using the Weatherlink Network and who appear on the worldwide community map. (This is a standard Google map – zoom in on the map to an individual station and then click on the link in the balloon to see live data);
- Automatic uploading of your data from the Weatherlink website to other collaborative websites that share the world’s weather data such as Weather Underground, CWOP and (for schools) the GLOBE project;
- Alarms: The Weatherlink website can be set to recognise when any alarm condition that you have set on your Vantage console has been triggered. It will then send you an alert email to a nominated email address. If you direct this email to an SMS gateway (separate subscription required) then a text message could be sent to a nominated mobile phone whenever the alarm condition is triggered;
These are just the features available right now – the Weatherlink website is a relatively new initiative and we’re sure that Davis will be adding further features in the future. Current UK pricing is £30+VAT (i.e. £36pa). Subscriptions are available to buy on our online shop.
Further notes: To state the obvious, your PC must be connected to the Internet for uploads to weatherlink.com to be possible.
The website at weatherlink.com can only show live data while your PC is switched on and uploading data. So, if you wish to show live website data continuously, then your PC must also be on 24/7. You don’t have to show live data 24/7 – you’re perfectly able to switch your PC on and off as you wish, but do remember that the archive uploads will take up to an hour to catch up once the PC has been switched back on.
You do not need a subscription to use any of the many standard features of the Weatherlink program. Only the uploads specifically to weatherlink.com and use of the associated Weatherlink Network features require the subscription.
The subscription uploads are only available for use with the Weatherlink program itself (i.e. not other third-party software) and only for the Windows version of Weatherlink. The subscription product is renewable annually by purchase of a fresh keycode.
You must be using the Weatherlink program at v6.0.or later to make use of the 6558 subscription. Existing users with a previous version in the v5 series (which has been around for many years) can upgrade to the latest v6 version for free using a download from the support section of the Davis website.
Setting up a Weatherlink v6 subscription
This section is primarily to act as a reference for users who have just bought a subscription, but may also be a useful read for prospective buyers.
The process of setting up a new account at weatherlink.com is very straightforward, but please follow the instructions carefully. In particular, you will be informed of a few ID details specific to your account either by email or online. It is important to note and keep these details safely – we suggest printing and keeping all such emails safely.
To repeat, please remember that you must be using Weatherlink program v6.0.or later to make use of the 6558 subscription. Existing users with a Weatherlink version in the v5.x series can upgrade to the latest v6 version for free by using a download from the support section of the Davis website.
Before you start, you will need to have purchased a Weatherlink v6 subscription, which is simply a twelve-letter keycode delivered by email. Each keycode is unique and may be used once only. Each keycode has a limited shelf-life (usually a few months from the date of purchase) and must be activated before its expiry date – you will be informed of the expiry date in the delivery email. Once activated, the subscription is valid for one year.
Configuring a subscription account at weatherlink.com for the first time consists of the following three simple steps:
- Activate the subscription and register an account;
- Enter the account credentials into your local copy of the Weatherlink program and start uploading live data;
- Complete the configuration of your account at weatherlink.com;
Here’s some more detail on each of these steps:
1. Activate the subscription and register your account
The email that delivers your keycode will have a clickable link to the webpage where you activate the subscription and register your account. (If you have any problems with the email link then the registration page is at www.weatherlink.com/newWLNSaccount.php .)
First, remember to Agree to the terms and conditions (otherwise you’ll not make much further progress)!
Then you need to enter your own choice of username and password. You may wish to give your chosen username a little thought before starting the process of registering the account.
The username can consist only of lowercase letters and numbers (and no spaces) – the best choice is a reasonably short but distinctive name that perhaps denotes your institution or immediate location. Your username will be publicly visible in your web address: “www.weatherlink.com/user/YourUserName”. Once created, you cannot change your Username. However, you are able to enter a somewhat longer web-page title for your station in a separate setting – so the username is more an identifier for your specific account than the only means of describing the station location.
You then also need to enter your choice of password, a reliable contact email address (important!) and the unique keycode for your subscription. Please note that the email address should not include any dash/hyphen characters.
If everything is in order and the registration is accepted, you will see two items of new information presented to you: a new Device ID and a Key. These two data items will be needed in the next step, so be sure to keep a careful note of all of this information. (You should also receive an email containing the same information, but belt and braces is never a bad idea!)
The Device ID (DID) and its associated Key are the two parameters that you enter into your local copy of Weatherlink (see the next step) before it can upload your data to weatherlink.com. Your username and password are needed to log in to your account at weatherlink.com to effect any necessary configuration and editing; and also to download archive data from weatherlink.com to another copy of the Weatherlink program elsewhere.
You will then have 12 months use of the weatherlink.com service from the date of activation. The subscription is renewable on an annual basis – we will be in touch shortly before renewal is due with simple details of how to renew. Please keep us informed of any change of email address. You may wish also to supply us with an alternative contact email address so that we can be sure of being able to alert you that the renewal date is approaching.
2. Configure the Weatherlink program
This step configures your local copy of the Weatherlink program to begin uploading data to weatherlink.com. Remember that you must be using Weatherlink v6.0 or later (else you won’t see the required menu options).
On the Setup main menu of Weatherlink, you should be able to see ‘WeatherLink Network’ as the penultimate item. Click this and enter your Device ID and Key from your account registration into the dialogue box that appears. NB The Help button that appears on this same dialogue links into a section in the main Weatherlink Help that provides a lot of useful information about the Weatherlink Network uploads (also accessible of course from the main Help menu).
Once these steps are completed, you are able to transmit weather information from your Davis weather station to WeatherLink.com. The uploads should start automatically and you should also see the final item on the Setup menu (‘Network Upload’) become checked. It is then possible to check and uncheck this last item at will and thereby to start and stop the uploads as you wish. (Performing the uploads is obviously an extra task that the station and software have to undertake and so there may be occasional hesitations if you’re also using Weatherlink at the time to perform other analyses. You may prefer to turn off the uploads at such times.)
To see your weather data, visit www.weatherlink.com/user/yourusername. Although uploading can start very quickly after configuration, it’s usually best to wait a few minutes. You should see your Current Conditions webpage against a blue sky background. If you look to the top right of this page, you’ll see some additional menu links. The Summary page shows your weather highs and lows so far today (resets at midnight), while the map link shows the zoomable worldwide map. Once you’ve correctly set your latitude and longitude (see next section) you should be able to see your location marker on this map.
The Current Conditions data should upload every minute, although the browser only refreshes automatically every 5 minutes (to reduce load on the server), but you can do a manual browser refresh at any time to see the very latest data.
Your archive data is, by default, uploaded every hour. The Auto Download menu option in Weatherlink (accessible from the Setup menu) is automatically set to download every hour and this is what seems to control the archive uploads to weatherlink.com. (More generally, it seems that whenever an archive download from logger to PC is triggered then an upload to weatherlink.com will also happen. Since archive downloads can also be triggered in other ways, e.g. from the Internet Settings configuration, then it seems that there are further options for controlling the timing of the uploads.)
Note that only newly-downloaded archive data from the logger will be uploaded to weatherlink.com. There is no mechanism for weatherlink.com to ‘catch up’ with data previously downloaded from logger on to your hard disk (but there are other ways of transferring this older data to other PCs and thereby synchronising them fully to your primary PC).
3. Complete the configuration of the weatherlink.com account
The instructions in the previous section will get you fully up and running, but there are a few further settings that you may wish to edit in your weatherlink.com account. These are all accessed by logging in to the account – just view your Current Conditions webpage, select the ‘Login’ menu option and enter your username and password. There are then three areas of the account that you may wish to edit:
- Edit ‘My Account’ allows you to update several settings, most of them obvious, but with three that typically might need updating: (i) Check that your Timezone and Daylight-savings settings are correct; (ii) Set your latitude and longitude – unless you get these correct your marker will not be in the right spot on the world map (the simplest method is to use the ‘Set using map or address’ link and then enter your UK postcode); (iii) In the Station Name textbox, enter the name of your station as you would like to see it appear on your Current Conditions webpage (NB There is a maximum limit of about 40 characters);
- Email Settings provides a facility for you to send emails to a nominated email address either as a daily summary up to three times daily or when an alarm threshold is passed. The alarms are those set on the console, either directly using the console buttons or via your local copy of the Weatherlink program. It is readily possible to get access to an email-to-SMS gateway at low cost and if an email is directed to such a gateway then you can translate the summary or alarm email into a text message to your mobile phone;
- ‘Uploads’ allows your weather data to be automatically forwarded to one of three other community weather networks. Of these, Weather Underground is probably the best known, the other two being CWOP and the GLOBE project. Note that for all three networks, you need to have registered your station directly with the relevant network and received ID credentials before setting up the automatic forwarding. Visit the Weather Underground website to join and register your station. (NB The Weatherlink Network does not currently support RapidFire to Weather Underground – standard updates only.);
This entire process is very straightforward to complete but please contact us by email if you have any further questions.