Dash OS Weather Home Automation Integration

Weather and Astronomy Tools

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This is a simple integration module that offers the programmer more data to work with when programming for automation. Current weather conditions including; temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, wind speed,  and cloud cover become useable variables to program with. Also included is astronomical data including sunrise and sunset time. A couple preconfigured options have been included also, “Is it Daytime” and “Is it Dark Outside?”.


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Product Description

The more useable data that a programmer has access to, the more logic they can provide the automation system.  Increased logic leads to better and more consistent expected responses from the automation. This module provides access to many current weather and astronomical conditions. The data is provided by OpenWeatherMap.

The module has programmer set parameters that allow for either a US zipcode to be entered which will return all values in imperial. Or a city name and country code can be used which will provide values in metric.

This module should not be considered a replacement for Severe Weather Warning Systems! Dash OS and its partners do not warranty or guarantee that any of it’s functions will work 100% of the time.  Any and all programming should be sold as a convenience mechanism for Home Automation.

Available TCL Commands

  • Get Current Condition – Returns value of the selected condition; Temperature, Pressure, Humidity, Rainfall, Snowfall, Wind Speed, or Cloud Cover
  • Check Condition Range – Returns 1 for yes or 0 for no if the selected condition is within the set values
  • Check Forecast – Returns 1 for yes or 0 for no if the selected condition will raise above or fall below the set value in the forcast over a set period of hours
  • Get Astronomical Data – Can return if its Daytime or the time for Sunset and Sunrise as a URC Integer Variable
  • Is it Dark Outside? – Combines astronomical data with programmer set % of Cloud Cover to determine “Dark Outside”
  • Get Weather Conidtion – Returns current weather condition as described here
  • Get Time Related To Astronomical – Returns how many minutes before or after sunrise or sunset it is

Available Device Events

  • Weather Event – Trigger events based off of increase or decrease of: Cloud Cover, Humidity, Pressure, Rainfall, Temperature, or Wind Speed
  • Severe Weather Event – Trigger events based off of severe weather conditions including; Any, Cold, Hail, Hot, Hurricane, Tornado, Tropical Storm, or Windy
  • Thunderstorm Event – Triggers an event any time there is a  Thunderstorm
  • Astronomical Event – Triggers an event at the set time before, at, or after either sunrise or sunset
  • Time Event – Triggers an event at the exact time set by the programmer

Dash Apps

 Installed Parameters

 

By checking the Installed Parmeters from within the Dash Apps page on Dashboard, you can quickly see the values of all current conditions.

Dash App Documentation Overview

This page will guide you through the installation, configuration, and programming of the specified Dash App.  You can navigate to various sections of the documentation by using the menu to the left.  New information is always being added to Dash’s Documentation so be sure to check back often to discover new ways to utilize your apps!

Download App:

Driver Location:

My > IP Database > AUX > Dash Apps > Weather Tools

Driver File:

Dash – WeatherTools.csd

Dash OS Update History

Whenever an update is available for a Dash App, a log of the major changes in the version will be provided below.  This does not necessarily reflect every change that was made as some minor changes may have been made that are undocumented, but it should reflect any changes that affect the operation of the Dash App.

Version 1.475 (beta)

New to this build

Added TCL Command to “Check Time Related To Astro”, allows query to see if it is within set minutes of sunrise or sunset

Modified “Is It Dark Outside?” to allow adjustment of minutes after sunrise and before sunset

Latest Builds can be found here.

Version 1.45 (stable)

In this version

Fixed API bug concerning astronomical that would stop the module from working

Added more critical errors and cloud logging

Version 1.42

This version includes a fix for a bug with Scheduled Events

Download & Import the Dash App

In order for the Dash App to become recognized by the URC Programming Software we will need to import the provided TCM File into the Software.  Once this has been done properly the Dash App should show up in the “Add Other Devices” programming step in the “Accelerator Location” provided on the overview tab.

Import TCM

In your Programming Software locate the “Import TCM Files” button in the File tab of the top menu toolbar.  Click it to open the Windows File Browsing window.  Browse to the TCM file you wish to import and select it.

Import Dialog

Based on the Dash App / Module you are importing, a dialog similar to the below will appear.  This window indicates what interfaces are supported by the TCM File you selected.  System Plugins may only show “Driver” and “Base Station Files” when no User Interface is provided by the module.

Restart

After Importing your TCM File it is always safe to quickly restart your Accelerator Software to make sure your changes are properly made.  While this isn’t required every time, it is a good step to make sure everything is changed as needed.

Confirm

Confirm that the Dash App was successfully imported.  You can do this by navigating to the driver where the Dash App is installed (see Overview Tab) and making sure a checkbox is provided for “8. Select 2-Way Modules for Network Remotes / Keypads”

Non URC Network Setup

Network Setup is a step that is required regardless of if the module is communicating with a physical device.  This step will go over how your Network Setup should be configured for this Dash App.  You will generally find the Dash App under “Network Setup > Non URC Device” in your URC Program.

This Dash App does not require that a specific IP Address is setup for it to operate.  However, it should be assigned an “Instance ID.”  When a module does not require a specific IP Address be setup, you can assign any IP Address to the Dash App that is unique from any other device in the list.

Your IP Address will be used as an “Instance ID” which will separate it from any other Dash Apps or URC Modules you have setup.  This ID is helpful when you want to create jumps to the Dash App / Module in multiple rooms / areas of your programming.

In the example below we have added two Dash Apps, “System Monitor” and “Time Tools.”  Each has been given a unique value “0.0.0.1” and “0.0.0.2.”  If they were assigned the same value the Dash App would result in an error and would not start up properly.

Step 11. 3rd Party 2-Way Settings

Properly configuring the Dash App Parameters in your Automation Programming Software is important in order to make the App work as you want it to.  These Parameters will be used each time the App starts up to configure how the App will operate.  Below we will go over each available parameter.

Here we will need to enter your US zipcode or a city name and country code. US zipcodes can be entered on their own, this will provide values in imperial. Using a city and an ISO 3166 country code, will provide metric values.

Examples:
Code=60098     (for imperial)
Code=London,uk     (for metric)

Dash App Feature Tour / Walkthroughs

Welcome to the Dash App Feature Tour!   This page will go over the features available to you when using the Dash App within your Dash OS-powered systems.  These tours may include specific programming guides, file examples, drivers, or simply detailed explanations of the features listed on the Product Description tab.  Use the tabs to the left to select a feature that you would like to learn more about!  Enjoy!

These examples will require a basic understanding of TCL Commands and Device Events combined with Conditionals.

Weather Condition Query

TCL Commands can be used to query the value of any set weather condition. The value can then be saved to a URC Integer Variable for use in a conditional.

This Query will return the weather condition as described here. Though they have been edited to all be lower case letters to provide better conditional filtering options.

Get Current Weather Condition

The local forecast will contain a brief description of the weather condition that you can find a breakdown of here.

Using these descriptions we can create some a filtering conditional to control functionality. Lets look at an example of using clouds.

First thing will be to create a string variable that we can use to store the condition description for use in filtering.

We are going to be using the recurring query method in this situation. In this method, we use Device Event Triggers in order to create a recurring macro that will gather data for us at whatever interval we choose. For this we can choose to set this query to happen every 15 minutes which is the interval that weather is updated at.

Now since what were trying to do is filter whether or not it is raining, we can then create a simple conditional to accomplish that. The conditional will determine if the current weather condition includes the word “clouds” then it will turn the lights on.

Minutes Before or After Astronomical

Coming Soon!

Check Condition Range

TCL Commands can be used to query if the specified condition is within a range of values. The query will return 1 if it is within the range and 0 if it is not.

Weather Condition Query

TCL Commands can be used to query the future forecast for upcoming weather conditions. The forecast will be checked for the set period of time to see if the specified condition will rise above or fall below the set value over that period of time. The query will return 1 if the set condition value is met or 0 if it is not.

Is it Daytime?

TCL Commands can be used to query astronomical conditions also. “Is it Daytime” cross checks the current time against sunrise and sunset to determine if it is in fact daytime. If it is daytime, the command will return 1 to a URC Integer Variable. If it is not, it returns 0.

Is it Dark Outside?

By combining astronomical data with weather data, we can create a TCL Command to determine if it is dark outside. This command will check first if it is daytime, and if it is then it will check the current amount of cloud cover. The percentage of cloud cover that it checks against can be set by the programmer. If the query has determined it to be night time or above the set percentage of cloud cover, it will return 1 to a URC Integer Variable. If it does not meet these conditions, it returns 0.

Weather Events

Device Events can be triggered based on any available weather condition. You can program the event to happen if the desired condition “Falls Below” or “Rises Above” the set value.

There is also an option for turning on an auto timeline event. It is set off by default.

Severe Weather Events

Device Events can be triggered based on severe weather conditions. You can program the event to happen for a specific type of severe weather or you can choose “Any” severe weather to trigger the event.

There is also an option for turning on an auto timeline event. It is set off by default.

Astronomical Events

This is a very cool event option. You can create events that happen either at sunrise or sunset and even better, you can schedule them to happen at a set amount of time before or after.

There is also an option for turning on an auto timeline event. It is set off by default.

Thunderstorm Events

A Thunderstorm Event will be triggered anytime any level of thunderstorm is in the current weather conditions.

There is also an option for turning on an auto timeline event. It is set off by default.

As always, the biggest benefit in any Dash App is the cloud logging. The module reports all relevant data to cloud logs for help trouble shooting. It is always important to watch cloud logs as the module starts up in order to confirm that everything is working properly.

By checking the DashApps page and Installed Parameters, you can quickly see all the current weather condition values and the time that they were last updated.

An option for “Report Execution to Timeline” will create a Timeline Event on Dashboard with the information from the triggered Device Event.