I have a David Vantage Pro2 with a ethernet connection to my network. I would like my Rachio2 controller to connect directly with this PWS without using the cloud. Both devices are on the same personal network. Is there anyway to do this or is the cloud my only option. I like to keep things connected localy and not depend on the WWW. This seems like a no brainer unless they absolutely want you to use a web service of some kind.
No, it has to go via the web. In fact, you’d have to have the unit connected to WeatherUnderground n order to access via Rachio, and I don’t know enough about weather stations to know if that one is compatible with WI.
I was afraid that would be the answer. I like wired ethernet and not WiFi. Especially don’t like the fact you have to use the web just to use a product. I would love it if Rachio added a rj45 ethernet jack and not require WiFi for personal network connection. Everybody seems to love WiFi until it doesn’t connect. I never have any problems with my wired devices. I may have to see if any other smart controllers use wired ethernet. I do like how it’s working but resent them making me use the web which I can only see as a absolute control issue.
My other problem with this set up is why do I need to sign up for some other service so I can send them my data and then turn around and ask for my information back again so Rachio can use it? Why can’t I just connect and use my data localy? To me this is overly complicated and subject to the whims of the web. I should just be able to use my data localy and not share it with the world. Ranting? I guess.
I think you are talking about the weather station and WI here…Rachio uses the PWS network from WI to manage the weather information that the controller uses. It’s just an easy way for them to aggregate a ton of weather station data for their use in the controller. To my knowledge all “smart” controllers are going to use WI or similar systems.
As for the web use, I don’t know what to tell you there. If all you want is to be able to control the controller from your phone, there are probably other units out there. If you want a true “smart” controller, they are all going to connect to the cloud in some fashion.
Yes you can select the the Weather network with WI OR you can select a INDIVIDUAL PWS in the app. So I ask again why can’t I just use my PWS with out signing up for weather underground? They are on the same network no need to go to the cloud and back. I compare this to the soil moisture meter that Rachio just asked about. You wont have to send that information to the cloud (I don’t think) to use the data at your location it will just plug into the Rachio controller. Would Rachio use a aggregate of nearby data to compute soil moisture or just use yours? I believe they will directly use yours. So why not my PWS? I really don’t think the cloud is all that reliable being a former IT tech. Does anybody else feel this way or am I all alone in the wilderness.
Not only do you have to connect your Davis Vantage Vue to WU, you need another piece of equipment to do that called a Meteobridge.
The Meteobridge polls the weather information on your Davis and formats it to what is required for services like PWS Weather, Weather Underground, Ambient Weather, and others, and then uploads the data to those sites.
The Meteobridge can use WiFi or wired Ethernet so you should at least be happy with that.
Don’t ask me why Davis cannot directly talk to WU.
I suspect Rachio could talk directly to Davis, after all the Meteobridge does. I suspect because there are so many different weather stations that Rachio would rather leave the job of interfacing to others and just have one interface to WU.
You can build your own if you are Linux savy or purchase one. I installed one some years ago and it has worked flawlessly.
For more details:
Regarding the Rachio WiFi interface, if you have a solid WiFi setup you should not have any problems. It is not glitchy and reconnects well after power failures, etc.
Holy BLEEP. Another wifi device costing more money just so I can get data from the PWS 35 feet to the Rachio after the data goes all around the world. This just seems a little to much to me.
It sounds like the Rachio is not for you. When you buy one of these devices, a major part of that purchase is their weather intelligence network. The hardware and cloud service work hand in hand and are integral to each other. There are great benefits to this, as long as you have good weather stations in your area. For instance, not only has my Rachio, using the Flex Daily schedule and WI, delayed watering due to rain, but I have also seen it delay when there is a good chance of rain in the FORECAST. You can’t get that with your own weather station, unless it is tied to a forecasting network as well.
My Wifi has never been a problem and I have a big house with lots of walls. (Always opt for 2Ghz Wifi if you are having issues with 5Ghz as it travels through walls better and is plenty fast enough for most applications.)
To late I already have one and it is using the weather intelligence. But I was hoping to get hyper local data (my data) and not a average of what ever is out there close to me. I quote you “There are great benefits to this, as long as you have good weather stations in your area”. So who is deciding which PWS around me are “good”. I know mine is “good” but not so sure of others. Now if the Rachio was truly smart it would use my local data and do forecasting from where ever they get that data from. I know everyone what’s to be connected to the world every second of the day, but me not so much.
What I’m saying is, not all the data that Rachio needs will be gathered by your weather station. Forecasting is one example but there could be others. I don’t know the details of their algorithms. So for them to make an allowance to take your weather station into account is some programming. It is up to them if the number of people with a station such as yours is worth the programming and ongoing support required to make those changes. If you made the suggestion it is in the hopper and will make it to the top should it warrant it.
I don’t work for Rachio, but I do enough of this sorta thing as a hobby and professional, that I can make a good educated guess why Rachio doesn’t support this:
- When it doesn’t work (which will be often), there will be lots of finger pointing between vendors. Users will have a very poor experience and be angry at you because they don’t care why it doesn’t work, just that they spent all this $$$ and it doesn’t work for them.
- Getting this to work with various home networking gear is a total pain in the you know what. Nothing says “great user experience” like every time I have a power outage it stops working because the IP address of my weather station changed.
- There aren’t actually that many people who own both, so adding the feature isn’t a high priority compared to other features that more people will use.
- There are multiple weather station vendors- each with their own APIs, some of which may not even support local queries. So supporting one, means you’ll leave a bunch of others out.
- Using a cloud service solves all of the above issues. Their API’s are well documented and their services are generally quite reliable. Yes, it means your internet access needs to be reliable to take advantage of it, but for most people when their Internet goes out the first thing is not “oh no, now I’ll water my grass even though it’s gonna rain later today!”
- Yes, you have to “share your info with the rest of the world” but that really is a “feature” from Rachio’s perspective since that makes it useful to your neighbors and when you tell them how awesome your Rachio is, now they don’t also have to install their own PWS to take full advantage of what the Rachio can do.
Hmmmmm Well now we have a great business opportunity for Rakio, making a PWS that will fully integrate with the Rakio and use ALL of the local data. That seems like the perfect solution for everyone. They could still use the Weather intelligence but get super local data too. Win win win I say.
For all the reasons that @synfinatic mentioned, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
As for what is currently available with Rachio, when selecting a local PWS from the network, you can review the historical data that the weather station has been reporting and confirm if they are reporting accurately.
I don’t understand your aversion to “the web”. Your Rachio is already a cloud based devise. The physical box is merely pulling scheduling down from the cloud periodically. None of the weather data or scheduling is done locally. As for your comment about the moisture sensors they have been asking about. Those will send the information to the Rachio servers housed with AWS. Again, the box hanging on your wall is nothing short of a cloud connected device, waiting for instructions from the mother ship.
How “former” are you in IT? While the cloud is not 100% uptime, it is pretty damn close. Whether you like it or not, the world is heading to the cloud. VERY few companies are hosting their own data centers anymore. And when it comes to wifi, I agree with you that there are some high bandwidth things, and some computer programs that are more stable on hardwire, but something like IoT devices really don’t tax wifi at all and will rarely have issues across it.
Quote “How “former” are you in IT?”
I see what you did there and I’m not a dinosaur (well maybe a little) even if I used to think 9.6 baud was fast. I retired 4 years ago from the largest utility in California. Right after that they got rid of all the servers, shipped it all off to Phoenix. My problem with this is now they depend on somebody else for getting ALL the data back and forth. In the case of a disaster, say earth quake, they have NO local backup equipment. There will be very serious service disruptions and possible worse.
Of all the problems we had with the company’s private network (covers half of California) WiFi was by far the biggest problem. I do admit every year we got better at it but everyone wanted more and more with a stronger signal. I have always considered wired to be much better for almost all connections but I do see the writing on the wall that all the world will be on WiFi. Prepare to have your brains fried by all the radio waves. The signal to noise ratio floor is getting higher everyday, not being a radio expert I’m not sure what affect that may have in the future.
In the case of Rachio having full control of all the data and everything your controller does is putting all your eggs in one basket. If Rachio goes belly up at some point what will we be left with?
My wife bought the Rachio and I had no idea it was totally web based.
This is a problem with probably all the technology in my house. If Rachio goes belly up, I will go out and get a controller from another company.
Trust me, that point is not lost on me, but it is the way the world is going, especially if you want “smart” devices. I don’t know any that don’t really in some part to the cloud.
I meant no harm by my “former” comment BTW. Just gauging your history. Trust me, I still like hardwired devices too, and I’d never trust my business servers over wifi in my building. And, our software reseller is pushing hard for hosting our software offsite, but I’ll continue to maintain thousands of dollars in my own servers for as long as I can.
Agree with all the comments here, especially if one of the companies that I got my IoT devices from goes out of business. Never has happened, but if it does will go out and buy a replacement. And agree with the comments that Rachio cannot be reasonably expected to interface with every different weather station that might be encountered, when most of them already interface, or can be made to interface, with Weather Underground.
Here is my experience with my Davis weather station interfaced to my Gen 2 Rachio:
My Rachio uses my weather station’s exact rainfall and wind data, and I assume it uses my temperature data as well. But it also uses forecast data too. I have no idea from where, maybe the National Weather Service, but I do not know. It does a pretty good job of not watering unless needed. If rainfall registered by my weather station exceeds the threshold I have set, it will not water. But if it has not rained yet, and the forecast calls for rain, it also won’t water. This works correctly almost all the time, probably 95 to 98 percent of the time. It is accurate enough that unless you have newly planted grass, shrubs, etc., it is not a problem.
I had a problem with my Davis weather station and had to send it to Davis to be refurbished. The main problem was the super capacitor that keeps it working overnight was faulty. During the time my weather station was not working, my Rachio defaulted to using whatever service it uses if there is no local weather station. During this time, it was missing my exact rainfall, wind, and temperature data from my weather station. It still worked pretty well, but having your exact data make it work better.
Hope this helps.