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BIOS Weather Station BW976 22 March 2008

Posted by David Wilson in Uncategorized.
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A few weeks ago I brought a weather station from a local electronics retrailer (Jaycar). It was high up in their catalogue and was promoted as having a USB PC interface and a TV interface. Well here we have yet another manufacturer who only distributes windows software with their devices.

My idea was to be the next person in my area with an online weather station, one where you could hit my web site and see what the current conditions at my house are. And the crippled windows software supplied with the weather station only displays data to the connected PC.

Getting this thing internet connected means that I’d need to understand what the USB protocol is that the weather station is using with the PC software… enter USBSNOOP for windows (it’s a sourceforge project), some time, a bit of luck, and oh a quick note to the manufacturers to see if they would give me a copy of the USB specification for this device. The response was a polite bit firm “Unfortunately this is proprietary and is information that we can not disclose“.

I can advise that on the Mac I am successfully retrieving data (wind direction, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc) from the weather station. One data element remains to be decoded at time of writing, along with a bulk startup data sequence.

I’m working on building the Mac program now. The interface won’t be flash – it’s more to prove it works. When this is done I will look at the web interface part. I want to run this on a Mac running its built in web server. Actually I’m thinking PPC Mac Mini – it will be silent and if I can find a second hand one, quite cost effective.

If you would like details of the USB Protocol specification that I have thus far, send me an e-mail and I can share what I have.

FootNote: 2 April 2008 – have largely decoded output information from the Weather Station and have the details displaying on screen in a program that anyone can use. The GUI doesn’t have any dials or fancy stuff, but does have some “bars” for representations of temperature etc (as well as their decimal equivalents showing). Oh and I only show Celsius at this point, that is what is coming from the Weather Station.

Weather Station Screen
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Comments»

1. Rob - 8 April 2008

Hi David,

I have the same idea, however I am going to write a java interface so I can integrate with a mobile phone interface. I was going to use a USB Snoop program, but if you’ve done the hard yards, Id sure appreciate a heads up on the USB protocol.

Regards

Rob

2. joe - 11 April 2008

Hi David,

I have one of those weather stations also. Could I get a copy of the protocol and mac program.
Thanks
Joe

3. Mike Eady - 26 April 2008

Hi David:

If you have the samemodel bios as I do if you touch the “temp” “raimfall” etc. buttons it changes to F inch etc.

I also would love your info as I will either put it up on a apple or a linux box.

Thank yoy

Mike

4. Neil Matthews - 5 May 2008

Hi David,

Ditto to Mike and Joe, I’d greatly appreciate a copy of the protocol and mac program. Like Mike, I’d aim to get it working on a linux box. I had in mind an old (i.e. low power) network connected Pentium2 that would constantly log the data for occasional access by another PC for analysis and plotting.

Your GUI stacks up pretty well against the software provided by BIOS. I found version shipped with the kit was buggy, but at least BIOS have provided an improved version on line. Pity it only works with Windows and MS Office…

Thanks,

Neil

5. martygerman - 14 May 2008

Hello David! I found your Bios Weatherstation works using a Google search. I’d be interested in any data you’d share an also, if you are selling (or will be selling) your interface application for it. Thanks in advance! Marty aka martygerman@mac.com

6. SchLikA - 20 May 2008

Hi !

+1 for some protocol documentation / example code, I also fired usbsnoop but had trouble making sense of the protocol.

I’d like to build a libusb based cross-platform tool that I could use with my Cacti based home monitoring stuff.

BTW, there is something there with C source : http://www.pendec.dk/weatherstation.htm , did not try it as it does not seem to be the same hardware.

Thanks !

7. Craig - 30 May 2008

David,

I wish to use the weather data captured on my farm, stored in a data base and viewed remotely via a web page. Could you please email me the protocol.

Thanks

8. Dan - 1 June 2008

David,

I’m using two of these to record wind and pressure data at my college for a research project on the possibility of implementing small wind turbines on roofs and in between the buildings. I’m looking for a more efficient way to record the data (chart, text, and/or graph form.. something that I could use for analysis over long times) and was wondering if you could send along the USB protocol and anything else. It would be much appreciated!

Thanks

9. Robert Tuttle - 20 June 2008

My problem is that I cannot get a question to or an answer from Bios regarding my CE1177. I desperately need an e-mail address because this piece of Chinese garbage is showing me 17mph when the wind was blowing between 50 and 60 miles per hour.

10. Greg Brady - 30 June 2008

Hi Dave,

1000% improvement over the Bios sofware. If you’re still sharing please add me to the list. I’m working on a web version as well (php/javascript).

Thanks, Greg

11. jeffgtx - 11 July 2008

i cannot offer any help in the programming area, but i do have a mac mini running webserver for some other apps, and am happy to be a beta testing station.

good luck

jeff

12. Marc Jackson - 22 July 2008

I also bought the bios home weather station with PC Interface. I want to use it on a 30ft sailing yacht. I am setting up a linux pc, using openSUSE 11 programming in ruby/ruby on rails.

the Linux ruggedised tablet PC has a Via Nano processor on it at 1.2Ghz. The VIA cpu has full 64bit intel/amd compatibility and Intel VT virtual machine compatibility. It also has at the moment the worlds fastest Floating Point Unit per clock cycle.

It would be great to get what you’ve got on the protocol. So I can write some linux software for putting it on the yacht I have to redo the wind direction based on infomation from the electronic compass, it won’t be pointing true north on top of the mast. I can give this back to whoever and maybe we could put it all up on sourceforge as a project.

Also how is yours for reliability, ive dropped mine a few times and it still has worked flawlessly for the last few weeks. I had to fully powerdown and start up a few times at the begginning. mayhave been interfeerence.

The ruggedised laptop PC only uses about 10W. Has wireless lan, bluetooth touchscreen, gigabit interface, serial, usb ….. comes with a great case that also protects it even more. I am typing this email on one of Their Box PC’s.

Thanks

13. Rick harris - 22 August 2008

Hi David if you could send me your program that would be fantastic

14. David Pennycuick - 22 August 2008

Hi David

I was looking at this device today in the local Jacar dealer here in Toowoomba. Its a pity it doesn’t have a built-in web server – somany gadgets seem to these days.

I would appreciate a copy of the USB protocols you have decoded if you don’t mind.

My plan is to do something similar to yourself – but on a linux base.

Cheers

David Pennycuick

15. Ricky - 30 August 2008

I have a server I’ve written under Ubuntu Linux to connect to my BIOS weather station and serve up the data to client programs. The program, an example client, and an example program showing the protocol is at:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/thermorbios953w/

I went with a server approach to allow multiple clients to be able to connect to, and use the data streaming in from the weather station. For example, one client could log to a database, while another client displays the data, etc.

16. John Hayman - 12 October 2008

I was given a weather station as a present, at the same time I swapped over to a Mac. So I would be very interested in a program that works on Apple

Thanks,

John

17. Mike - 10 November 2008

Hey David,
I just recently purchased a BIOS weather station and agree with everyone as to the software is quite basic and limited as to what it can really do by uploading to the internet. I noticed there is a Data base in the install directory of the software that can be opened in Microsoft Access. However the program seems to record only every hour, not very great for up to date weather stats on a site.
I am running a windows based server (just windows xp) at my house for my Intranet and was hoping to run the weather station on it too with live stats as to the weather along with logging it to a database.

I do a bit of programming in Visual Studio (C and VB) and was wondering if i could get hold of your code if possible?
Thanks in advanced

18. Ken Haggard - 12 December 2008

Hi,
I was given a BW972 Home Weather Station as a gift. I connected it to my windows xp desk top and it worked for a while. I downloaded the updated version of software. I didn’t notice any real difference. The screen limitations/display are terrible and now the weather station and commputer are not comminicating. i have looked far a new/updated driver and phomed Thermor who suggested changing the usb cable. Any help would be appreciated. I have some concerns about the accuracy of the wind speed.

19. Peter Röbke-Doerr - 29 January 2009

Hello David,
can You send me the documentation of the USB-Traffic as well as the Mac-Software? And if You have other informations about the weather-station – this too?
I would like to run the software under windows if it is possible, if You have any contacts to other related windows-people, i would happy to get them too.
Peter

David Wilson - 31 January 2009

The documentation is built into the source code to the mac software. On the web site, http://dgwilson.wordpress.com, in the left hand side under downloads is a link to the source code.

Sorry, I don’t have any Windows related contacts for this.

20. Julian - 28 March 2009

Hi Dave, I am looking for a weather station that can plug straight into a router to send data over the internet. In all your research have you come across anything like this?
Regards Julian

21. Jeff-N8NOE - 31 March 2009

PLEASE let me know if you get this done!.. I’m a Ham operator and looking at tying WX data to the Local DX-Cluster for Alerts..
MANY thanks!.. Fellow OSX user!

22. Jumblerant - 22 April 2009

I was thinking of buying this unit. I saw on the package that there were wires included from the rain gauge and the wind gauge. Where do they go to? The PC, another unit?

Thanks

23. J - 22 April 2009

I’m looking to get one of these too and with all the complaints above, remember this is a $60 weather station where quality (more accurate) instruments are well into the thousands.

24. Jumblerant - 23 April 2009

J – thanks for the help.

I saw elsewhere on the internet that even though the hardware was good, the software was irritating.

I’ll put the money towards something better.

25. Arvin Evans - 23 April 2009

I saw above that it’s on your page under downloads….not there!
If you’re still sending out the data protocol I’d like a copy tooooo!

Thanks.

26. Jarvis - 23 April 2009

The first link right under the picture in the post… BIOS Weather Station BW976 – update http://dgwilson.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/bios-weather-station-bw976-update/

27. Andrew McDonald - 2 May 2009

Good work David,

Can I get a copy of your software for mac for the weather station?

Many thanks!

28. gatewayy - 5 May 2009

David,

Thank you very much for the excellent application! I have one question though, is there any way to display the data in Imperial measurements within the application? Other than that I am really happy with the application and I will write a blog post describing my experiences once I have the weather station mounted outside my home! :D

29. GuagreeHeda - 21 May 2009

Terrific information,, hope to come back soon=)

30. Andrew C - 4 July 2009

Hi David, I found this via a google search to find out if these units work ok and interface with a Mac. I’m wanting to record and have this info available for Fire Seasons in my area. How do you find it works, an other unit I am looking at doesn’t log gusts (well its not noted that they do). The one in the latest Jaycar catalogue is a little different to the Bios one, both are for sale on an online auction site and I just wanted to make sure it’ll do what I want, which similar to what your doing.

31. Robert Pleasance - 22 July 2009

Hi David,

I also have a BW976 and do a fare bit of VB.net programming,

would you be able to sent me a copy of the USB protocol for VB

Thanks in advance

Robert

32. Murray Roberts - 29 August 2009

Hi David
I have a CE1177 Canada RSS-210 1C:6356A-DG950R its been going since about March over this period I have replaced the three batterys in the monitor three times and have not yet replaced the transmitter batterys the AC power has been on the hole time just wondering if you or anyone eles having any probs
thanks Murray

mike - 19 March 2010

the thing is a pile of crap i have called them and they are no help

33. Joe M. - 29 September 2009

Got my wife one of these for her birthday, what a piece of junk!!! Maybe you guys can get the software to work on a Mac, I can’t even get it to work in Windows. Windows says it’s an ‘unrecgonized device’.
The software does not install drivers for the weather station to fix it either.

Besides that, it keeps losing signal, and I have to re-set it all the time. In order to reset, you HAVE to go outside and take the batteries out of the transmitter, put back in, then reset the weatherstation, etc, WHAT A HASSLE.

This thing is not worth a DIME. Don’t waste your $$$ on it!!

34. Rick - 14 December 2009

How do I set the Date and Time with your software. It appears to be working well. I just got it up today.

35. mike - 19 March 2010

do not buy this pice of crap it only works about 2 hours then have to reset it just junk

36. Everett H. - 18 April 2010

Found you site through a Yahoo search. I just got a BW972 and it looks like you have to have 2 phone lines to use it. Is there a way to hook it up to the home PC without having to dial a number. Can it be hooked up with just one modem and work on the home PC. I too at some point what to use in website. Thermor websie is of no help. I can’t beleive that they don’t have a FAQ section on their websie.

David Wilson - 18 April 2010

I don’t know about the BW972. The BW976 that I have uses “telephone” style cable/connectors either for hard write from the data collectors to the base station or to the wireless transmitter (which transmits data back to the base station).

– David

37. Eric Anderson - 3 July 2010

Hi there David,

I too am a vb programmer and I work on a Windows box, sorry about being a MS conformist… At any rate, I want to develop my own program for this device and any thing you can help point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! – Eric -

Mike Branda - 13 August 2011

Eric did you get a VB version working?

Thanks

Mike

38. Dore - 8 September 2010

Hi David. Neat work. Simple curiosity: what prohibits you from simply having a direct link from where I could download your code? Does the company have anything to do with this? Regardless, I would greatly apprecite if you shared the code with me as well. Thanks much. -Dorel

David Wilson - 9 September 2010

Hi there…

Source code is there on the site… refer to this link. https://dgwilson.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/bios-weather-station-bw976-update/

– David

39. Chris - 7 December 2010

Hi David,
Great work on this program however ever since moving to MAC OSX 10.6.3 or higher (10.6.4/10.6.5) the software can not read anything from the weather center. I have re downloaded and run a fresh copy from the download link above but no luck. Can you help?

David Wilson - 7 December 2010

I’ll have to take a look at this. There were some USB changes in the OS around 10.5 and 10.6 that may be causing issues. I still have my weather station, though I confess it is in the lounge and not powered on.

I’ll see if I can look in the next few weeks.

– David

David G. Wilson http://dgwilson.wordpress.com http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/dgwilson/

David Wilson - 7 December 2010

I’ve just dusted off my Weather Station and tested it. I think your description “can not read anything from the weather center” is correct. The program connects, but fails to retrieve any useful data. See the console.log file for other details.

I think this will require some serious re-engineering of the USB Interface code. The good news is that a good proportion of that work has already been started for another project. What I’ll need to do is merge the two projects in some why. That’s a job for the Christmas holidays.

– David

David G. Wilson http://dgwilson.wordpress.com http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/dgwilson/

David Wilson - 9 January 2011

Hi Chris…

Sorry to take so long in getting back to you. Actually the work here was dependent on authoring a brand new USB HID library to speed up development. Take a look at the post in the link bellow. It will tell you what’s going on (I think). And there is some brand new software to run.

http://dgwilson.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/bios-weather-station-mac-software-update/

Good luck. Let me know how you get on.

– David

David G. Wilson http://dgwilson.wordpress.com http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/dgwilson/

40. Sam Sabey - 20 December 2010

Hi,

Kayne Richens has done a great write up on how he has connected his weather station to the internet using Arduino to receive and decode the 433MHz signal, and post the data to smartenergygroups.com

His weather widget:

https://smartenergygroups.com/widgets/f50b243461e4393

The writeup:

http://smartenergygroups.com/kaynerichens/posts/83-Weather-station-SEG-API-SEGWeather-

Hope this is interesting!
Thanks,
Sam.

41. Chris - 23 December 2010

David thanks for looking into this I am hopeful and excited to see if you get everything working again. I really appreciate all the work you have put into this project.

==Chris

42. 2010 in review « David’s Opinions - 2 January 2011

[...] The busiest day of the year was April 10th with 389 views. The most popular post that day was BIOS Weather Station BW976. [...]

Mike Martin - 6 January 2011

Ihave a
bios WX stationand the wind application is broken, and I can not find anyone who has a replacement part to make it work. Do you know of such a place?

David Wilson - 6 January 2011

Are you reporting broken hardware or broken software?

You should probably consult the trouble shooting section of the manual that came with your weather station and see if that leads you back to the manufacturers web site either for updated software or someone to call for hardware replacement.

– David

David G. Wilson http://dgwilson.wordpress.com http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/dgwilson/

43. Dennis - 1 September 2011

How does one contact the Bios Home Weather Station company? I need a new mount for the anemometer because it broke off in a heavy wind.

Robert - 31 July 2012
44. Dave M - 1 September 2012

Dave, I appreciate that you have taken the time to port over a mac.app.

I would like to store and report my weather data to weatherunderground or other source – is there any way to do it with what you have developed?

Are there any options that you are aware of?

Thanx

d

David Wilson - 2 September 2012

Hello there.

I have not done any work with weatherunderground so I’m not familiar with this. The source code of my Weather Application for the BIOS hardware is available for download. You’re most welcome to enhance it to incorporate such functionality if you like. Be secure to share back the changes.

– David

45. Jonathan Levine - 14 July 2013

I just picked up (basically for nothing) what appears to be a BW971. It doesn’t have the USB interface, just an RCA jack that outputs composite video to to a TV. Popping the box open, though, the PCB has pads marked “USB1″ that one would guess is for the USB port. I’m wondering whether the firmware on here might actually drive that port if I lay down a connector. Anyone have any experience with this version?

Jonathan


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