Monitoring the Weather with WVIEW and Raspberry Pi

I’ve had a few weather stations over the past 10 years. I like them, but I always wanted to be able to check on them while at work. I had a clumsy method of gaining remote control to my home PC and then running the wx station supplied software, but that was a clunky solution at best.

Two years ago my last wx station gave up the ghost and needed to be replaced. I had just finished a project with an arduino that monitored computer room power buses and then made that available to an SNMP console. In the back of my mind, I was thinking I needed to get a wx station that was reliable but reasonably priced so I could use it as the basis for an SNMP based wx station (the only one I could find at the time was very expensive).

I ended up purchasing the Ambient WS-2080, which is still available.

Besides working solidly for 2 years now, replacement parts are easily purchased.

Last spring I decided against the SNMP weather project (too much work and too little payback) but I did want to have something I could access easily from the internet. I was thinking of writing my own software and went looking for anyone else who had written software to interface to the WS-2080 weather station.

I stumbled across the wview weather managment software:

This is a comprehensive packages that reads many different weather stations, stores the data in a SQL database, does statistical analysis of the data, and presents it via a web server. Perfect.

Well, almost. It runs on linux. Not that I have anything against linux, but I don’t really have a linux system that runs continuously that can monitor the weather station. Then it occurred to me: Let a Raspberry Pi monitor the weather station running wview.

Some quick research and I found some others had successfully installed wview on RPI and had a working implementation. My primary source for getting my project done is at

Last week, this project finally came up to the top of my queue and I started working on it.

First, you need a weather station. I can vouch that the Ambient WS-2080 works. The wview home page lists other weather stations they support. If you haven’t already purchased one, check their config guide. Some are not as useful as others. For example, I believe it is some of the LaCrosse models that update so infrequently they aren’t very useful for this application.

Next you need all of the parts to build a raspberry pi:


Note: there is a mistake in this picture – you need a Micro SD, not a standard SD if you are using the RPI B+. When I took this pic, I hadn’t realized that yet (and had to order a different memory card). I spent about $75 on these parts.

I’ll assume you know a little about the RPI and can assemble it and gain access to it. I followed my own instructions, “My Minimal Configuration for a New Raspberry Pi“. This gets the RPI up to the point of being ready to have the weather station hardware connected and wview installed.

My next step was to connect the weather station USB cable to the RPI and type lsusb to verify the RPI saw the weather station:


Here is what I see (guess the wx station developer had a sense of humor).

At this point, I simply followed the instructions from as mentioned above. It came up without any hitch.

In Dan’s instructions above, he has trouble stopping the wview daemons. Not sure why, because I did not.

service wview start               - starts the daemons
service wview stop                - stops the daemons
service wview status              - lists the daemons

Also, since I had no trouble stopping wview, the wviewcleardata command worked fine for me.

Once wview was running, I altered my firewall to allow access to the weather station. If you aren’t familiar with altering your firewall, there are lots of examples on the web and that is outside the scope of this document.

If you are a normal home user using an IP addresses your ISP assigns with DHCP, you will also want to look into using dynamic DNS to map your current IP address to a DNS name. I use, but there are others. Instructions for using them are freely available. Again, that is really outside the scope of this document.

Here is my weather station connected to my R&D Raspberry Pi (a model B) before I moved it to the final B+ hardware:


And here is an example of what I see in my browser:


I will let my implementation for a few months to make sure I have no issues. Then I intend to connect it to the weather underground so others can see my data as well.

Nov 2014 Update:

Just a head’s up if you try to implement this with the same Ambient WS-2080 I’m using. I have an occasional problem where the Ambient weather station simply stops responding to the Raspberry Pi. After doing some research, at least a few others are seeing the same problem.

Right now, the solution is to disconnect the wx station from the USB cable (from where it gets power), and then also remove the batteries. This forces the weather station to fully reset upon restoring power.

This seems to fix the problem, but it is disappointing to have to do this ever 2-3 weeks. But, at the moment, that seems to be the only fix.

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4 Responses to Monitoring the Weather with WVIEW and Raspberry Pi

  1. Pingback: Recovering from WVIEW’s WH1080 “Bad Magic Number” on Raspberry Pi | Big Dan the Blogging Man

  2. Don says:

    My WS-2080 has locked up like this since new. I was using a windows machine and Cumulus. I gave up on it a couple of month ago, and shut the PC down. I’m now looking to see what is out there for the Raspberry Pi..

  3. Sean Straw says:

    FTR, a third party maintains the USB device name list you see in the lsusb output. The device really only provides a vendor and product id (plug serial and some other data). The “USB Missile Launcher” is very likely one of those NERF(tm) like devices with remote control:

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