Netatmo is lacking.

Suggestions, features and new ideas
DocBeech
Posts: 95
Joined: 19 Feb 2014, 16:25

Netatmo is lacking.

Post by DocBeech » 27 May 2015, 13:42

I am going to provide a short list of things, as to why I feel this system is sub-par in comparison. To add to this, I have a dual degree in electronics engineering and computer sciences. So as an engineer I know some of these things are rather simple fixes, which is partly why the system is disappointing as of now.

1. No interface. I don't always want to have to log in to an app to check the weather, having a wall mounted interface (Not Server Connected) would be good. Case in point, the weather lately has put our state in a disaster situation, with massive floods, power outages, and tornadoes. If something happens to our network, we have a useless weather station. We should not be 100% reliant on an internet connection to check the outside weather. You can easily go 3 - 7 days with no viable internet connection after a severe storm. Their needs to be some kind of wall mounted interface, that is not 100% server reliant.

2. Only 1 outdoor module. Seriously? This system is built on "expandibility" and you can only have 1 out door module? This is a lost money opportunity, that other developers have picked up on. Davis allows for 32 modules to run at once. This system is falling behind in this regard. What if you have a swimming pool? Garage? Attic? Barn? Outdoor Work Shop? Maybe the kids have a tree house. You guys should have at least up to 3 outdoor modules at a time. This is a seriously lost opportunity.

3. No solar power? I understand the indoor units, but seriously? No solar power? It would be extremely easy to change out the battery cap for an adaptable system involving solar power, at least for the outdoor units (wind, rain, module). In fact, I have done pass through wiring systems for electronics before, to eliminate batteries for test units. This was specifically for testing them in freezers (walk in freezers down to -40 deg f), and for doing long term outdoor testing with electronics. This is so easy to fix, its a real wonder why its not been done. A simple modification to the battery cap system would allow for the use of solar power on outdoor units, and I am shocked as to why you guys have not done this.

4. Update frequency. This is a real bummer. Every 10 minutes.... This system should allow for intervals down to every 1 minute. Honestly I find the use of the upcoming anemometer lacking if its going to be on 10 minute intervals. To be truthfull I probably won't buy it, if you guys are not going to allow for much faster reporting in the system. If battery life is an issue, I will just simply modify your module to run on solar power using a pass through wire system.

5. No solar radiation system or UV sensor? No soil moisture system? No pool temp sensor?

6. Update frequency. This one is one of the biggest downfalls of the system aside from not having a main in home display station. Most good weather stations update readings every 20 seconds to 1 minute. Most anemometers in weather stations update every 3 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how you have it set up. So if you have a choice of a weather station that will give you wind, on a home base station, updating every say 5 to 10 seconds, vs something that updates with an "average" every 10 minutes. The choice is not hard. This goes for temp, and rain as well. My other rain station updates every 20 seconds (and is more accurate). Vs a reading every 10 minutes. This is a serious downfall, and should be looked at. We should be able to greatly increase the reading frequency of some of this.

7. What is with the extremely slow response times, and inaccuracy of the temp and humidity sensors? These things have to be calibrated way more often than is necessary, and they are incredibly slow to respond. In fact, they are so slow to respond, they missed the low temp two days ago when the storm front came through. They missed it by 8 degrees. This is not good. Someone needs to look in to why or what is going on here.

8. For the cost. 180$ + 2 Modules 160$ + Rain gauge 80$ + Anemometer (100$ guess). You are talking about over 500$ for a weather station. If you compare that to other options on the market, you can get a highly accurate, solar powered, wifi enabled, complete system for the same price. One that has a base station, has a much faster module reporting time, and some of which can be expanded to many more modules.

I really think netatmo needs to take a good look at whats going on here, and what you can do for less money in comparison.

biondi
Posts: 142
Joined: 05 Jun 2013, 12:07

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by biondi » 27 May 2015, 16:07

Hi DocBeech,

(I'm not from Netatmo, just my 2c)

Although I actually agree with a lot of your points (I would love more frequent updating and a more sensitive humidity sensor for instance) you do know what you're getting with this system before you buy it. None of the points you mention should be a surprise.
You may want a nice wall-mounted interface, however lots don't (including me). I guess more don't than do otherwise they might have included one?
I don't think Solar Power is required, my outside module has been on the same batteries for 18 months now and it seems like it's still got 50% juice for example. Mind you, I'd happily replace them every 6 months if I could get more frequent updates :) I would like to see the ability to cater for further outside modules also though, agreed.

There are a lot of systems out there, a lot of competition and I don't know any that perfectly suit what I need. Even the higher end (and rediculously priced imho) Davies stations have problems. You should buy the system that best suits your requirements (and your budget!) This is what I did, in fact I've just bought the Netatmo thermostat which I have to say is an awesome bit of kit. I'd probably get the anemometer but I don't have anywhere to put it!

cheers,

Matt

DocBeech
Posts: 95
Joined: 19 Feb 2014, 16:25

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by DocBeech » 27 May 2015, 16:22

The solar power would allow you to not worry about batteries and allow for much faster updating. I can't see justifying a wind meter that updates every 10 minutes. Thats a very long average wind speed, and winds can change a lot in 10 minutes. Especially if a front rolls in.

biondi
Posts: 142
Joined: 05 Jun 2013, 12:07

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by biondi » 27 May 2015, 16:32

Agree about the anemometer update frequency for sure, how can it measure gusts if it is only measuring once every 10 mins? I actually think for the anemometer the update frequncy will be higher, I think it has to be if it's of any use really. As it's not out yet it's not really fair to speculate as to how it will operate I guess.

Actually, I wonder what the reason is behind the infrequent updating? Is it power related or is it the amount of data that would hit the netatmo servers?

Maybe someone from Netatmo could fill us in? Will we eventually see more frequent updates from our devices?

mike_du_51
Posts: 995
Joined: 07 Feb 2015, 08:47
Location: Reims (France)

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by mike_du_51 » 27 May 2015, 18:04

Sorry for bad english translation...(i'm frenchy)

- Updating frequency of measurements is not 10 minutes, but every 5 min.
Don't confuse : every 10 minutes, the datas are uploaded to netatmo servers and can be visualized.

- Anemometer updating each 10 minutes... (!??)
Woaaaa...It is not yet commercially available and it is hard to getting a release official date ....
Can you send me a link of your source about 10 min ???

An other source from this forum (in french forum) : On the dashboard of the app you will have the current average speed and the burst speed over the last 10 min.
In case of strong gusts , datas will be updated automatically , without having to wait for the next update.
On the graphs you will have the average speed , the burst speed, and the prevailing wind directions .

- If your internet network has an issue, base station is still working and storing results in its internal memory (3 days maximum) without storing it on the server. When Internet comes back, all data is sent to the server, then you can see it on the app.
And if you have frequently power cut (bad electrical network for example... ) you know what is an inverter....


However, i'm ok with your point 1, 3, 5, 7, 8.
Last edited by mike_du_51 on 28 May 2015, 06:33, edited 3 times in total.
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Matze
Posts: 77
Joined: 27 Mar 2013, 13:31

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by Matze » 27 May 2015, 22:34

I fully agree with DocBeech's points!

Btw, I am using since two years an indoor module in the outdoor area, which is quite well working.

Better weather analyses and charts would be also fine, as I mentioned now several times.

Also the indoor module should work with batteries.....

jev
Posts: 21
Joined: 23 Mar 2015, 10:27

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by jev » 28 May 2015, 15:48

I agree with some points. Main point: network infrastructure independency would be nice. The station now renders useless as soon as netatmo.com is down for whatever reason. Plus, I would prefer to connect to the station directly instead of through the internet - especially for the indoor units (I don't like the idea that information could be used to remotely see if anyone is home).

As for 1): I don't need a wall-mounted UI but if you really want one you could simply hook up a dedicated (cheap) tablet of some sorts. Get a cheap Android tablet, install the netatmo app on it and voila.
2): outdoor units: for many of these the applications you mentioned an indoor unit used outside suffices.
3) External (solar-) power? What happens in the winter when we have just a couple of hours of daylight or when the sensor is covered with snow? You'ld need batteries anyway! An external powersupply would be welcome. Maybe a replacement for the bottom part of the outdoor unit with some type of power supply?
4) Update frequency: schmitt triggering (not for battery operated units) would be nice, I don't care for faster update frequencies. I would appreciate audio levels to react on peeks though. Also, audio levels in the outdoor unit would be nice!
5): it's a weather station, not a garden- pool- whatever alarmsystem. Than again, who knows what the future brings? The system is modular, it can be extended on easily (all you need is software change on the main unit to alow for other sensor types and add the new sensors itself, no wiring, no connectors, that's the beauty of the thing!).
6): see 4.
7): no problem with incaccuracy, it just needs some careful placed sensors. If you put the outdoor unit in just a glimpse of sun, it'll heat up pretty quickly when the sun is out. Same for low temperatures and humidity.
8): price is subjective. Most other systems don't provide online interfaces like netatmo does which goes a long way IMHO. Plus, the system itself looks pretty nifty. Wireless is working pretty well, other systems often have problems in that area. Not a bad deal, if you consider all the technology.

mweasner
Posts: 32
Joined: 12 Feb 2015, 16:15

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by mweasner » 11 Jun 2015, 18:24

I also feel that the lack of a standalone display unit is a serious problem for some users. I even mentioned that in my review I posted on my Cassiopeia Observatory web site shortly after purchasing the Netatmo Weather Station in February 2015.

After a few months of use I can now say that this lack is even more serious that I initially thought.

My area suffers frequent electrical power outages (our electric company is run by the US Federal Government; argh). Although I have UPS systems to power some of my network gear for up to 3 hours, many times the power outages are much longer. And I lose Internet connectivity as our satellite-based Internet system goes down during power outages. Without non-network access to the Netatmo, I can not access my current weather conditions data (especially the important rain data). And when the UPS gives up after 3 hours, the Netatmo loses power and so doesn't even receive data from the rain gauge (and eventually, the anemometer).

Hopefully rev 2 of the main unit will add an internal battery backup and an integrated weather data display.

Ritchey
Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Jul 2015, 14:40

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by Ritchey » 08 Jul 2015, 15:05

Agreed, DocBeech.
I built a pretty expensive version of a Netatmo display by dedicating an iPad mini on a pretty stand (I wish there was a Lightning cable that turned 180° towards the back of it).
However, even if you do that, the interface is terrible for recognizing anything from a little bit further away.
I wish there was an interface designer where I could rearrange and change size of display items.

Haffly
Posts: 13
Joined: 24 Dec 2014, 14:17

Re: Netatmo is lacking.

Post by Haffly » 14 Jul 2015, 11:25


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