Like any good Alexian, you must surely ask for the weather quite often at Alexa : "What is the weather for today?" ", " Is it raining ? ". This gives you general information about your city, but although it can be quite precise, it does not reflect reality at any given time. This is why there are connected weather stations, as the Netatmo station, the evolution of a basic weather station with indoor and outdoor thermometers, indoor and outdoor hygrometry, pressure ... With the advantage for the Netatmo of being compatible with Alexa and to be able to evolve with additional interior modules, a rain gauge and an anemometer. We refer you to our Netatmo station tests, connected rain gauge and indoor module which are simply excellent, it goes without saying.
The advantage of the rain gauge and the anemometer is to have immediate data as well as to constitute a history for comparison from one year to another. Knowing the wind speed is necessary in certain professional environments such as weather, air transport, navigation or even agriculture (spraying). But the small Netatmo anemometer is above all intended for the leisure sector for gardeners, athletes or for those wanting to spend time outdoors. But even without this, following the force of the winds can be of interest to know if your hedge, your garden shed, your privacy screens or your trees have not caught a blower. And there again, you can have a big difference between the general data and the gale which arrives in your garden (corridor of winds, big exposure or on the contrary a lot of trees upstream which cut the breeze).
Follow us for this test of this anemometer which only works with Netatmo station. For just under $ 100, what is it really worth? And at the same time, we will also test its support, sold separately.
Netatmo connected anemometer: the sound of the wind
Our anemometer is delivered in good packaging, quite thick and in glossy print. Imaged with a photo of the product and a wind logo on the front, we will find the features on the back, and the logo Alexa and IFTTT. It is quite pretty. Please note, the anemometer cannot be used without the weather station, this is clearly mentioned.
Our anemometer is delivered in a good quality packaging The Alexians
The box will open by lifting the front face. We find our device there, protected by a layer of foam on the flap, and a purely visual and minimalist manual. This is exactly the same problem as with the rain gauge. This guide does nothing. And it's a shame to cut down trees for that. But don't panic, as you have already installed the outdoor module for your station, you will see that the procedure is exactly the same. But still, at € 99,99 per product, we expect a little more consideration and the translation savings are really beyond us.
The module is made from a single block and be careful when handling it. He does 8,5 cm in diameter for 11,5 cm high. It looks like an hourglass with these two black parts and its center placed on a central support (with 4 "legs") and its 4 transducers. It is made of polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA also known under the trademark Plexiglass®. This plastic, black and white in our case, has excellent resistance to atmospheric agents (which is quite obvious) and excellent resistance to ultraviolet rays and corrosion. So it is perfect for this type of use.
"In terms of design, it is nice in that it is not an anemometer with cups, propellers, reel ..." The Alexians
In terms of design, it is nice in that it is not a cup, propeller, reel anemometer ... So no thing that turns in all directions. And we had been able to see during the Netatmo connected rain gauge test, that the mechanical elements are not really the stuff of the brand or at least of its subcontractors.
For information, and your general culture (yes, we are trying to get referenced as a "learning nation" site), there are two main types of anemometer:
- Pressure anemometer: We measure the force exerted by the wind on a plate, a tube opening or the like. They work well enough for light winds, so with low pressure.
- Speed anemometer: the wind will come and turn a mechanical system such as cups, propellers or other. The wind speed is directly transcribed. Ultrasonic anemometers are found in this category. This is the operating principle of the Netatmo product.
For ultrasonic anemometers, the wind is measured by measuring the travel time of an ultrasonic wave thanks to transducers. These transducers operate as a couple and are alternately transmitters and receivers. The wind will alter the round trip time of the wave and this makes it possible to deduce the wind speed. In the absence of a mechanical part, they do not require maintenance and can also determine where the wind is coming from. Where Netatmo's is quite astonishing is that the accuracy of these devices depends on the distance between the transducers, between 10 and 20 cm for good equipment. There, we have about 5 cm… This explains without any problem the fact that our anemometer has an accuracy of 0,5 m / s while those with standard dimensions are accurate to 0,1 m / s.
Let's take a look at these technical characteristics exactly :
- 4 ultrasound transducers,
- Measures wind speed from 0 to 45 m / s or ms-1, i.e. 160 km / h
- Accuracy at 0,5 m / s or 1,8 km / h
- 5 ° wind direction accuracy
- Max distance between the module and the station: 100 m
- Operating temperature: - 20 ° C to 50 ° C (again, for a product remaining in direct sunlight, the choice of black is very debatable. As you know, black heats up a lot in the sun, and when it is 40 ° C in full sun, 50 ° C are quickly reached. What about the measurements that will be given?).
- Resistance temperature: - 40 ° C to 65 ° C
- About 500g
- Only one anemometer per station.
- It is powered by 4 AA batteries, supplied (just remove the plastic tab after removing the 4 screws from the bottom). They are given for a use of 2 years.
To set it up, there are several possibilities:
- Ask it by yourself on a promontory or the like, but there is no screw hole. The best way is, for example, a modified camera stand.
- Buy support, sold separately, and screw it there thanks to the system on the bottom. From there, you can, depending on the chosen support, hang it wherever you want.
We therefore come to the presentation of the support offered by Netatmo. The latter is also supplied in the white and pictorial box dear to the brand, with the difference that the cardboard is much thinner. However, the product itself is less fragile.
You will find :
- The support as such,
- A cover that also acts as a foot
- Rubber stamp
- Two stainless steel collars
- A pack of screws.
The bracket is a relatively thick and rigid black plastic made to withstand the elements. He does 12,7 cm long, 7,6 cm wide et 10 cm high.
You have two ways to install it:
- Either with the plugs and screws provided (3 of each) to put it on a wall for example or vertically. In this case, the cover and the rubber buffer will not be used.
- Or with stainless steel collars. This is the option we chose. It is best to set it up on a pole or a mast for example.
The support consists of two parts: a fixed part ending in a screw system and a mobile part which is in fact only a standard bolt on which you will screw the anemometer. It is both horizontally and vertically mobile, the goal being to put your module horizontally. It is ultimately very good, but you might as well take advantage of the offers because at 25 €, it's too expensive.
Connected anemometer for the Netatmo weather station
As with all additional modules, it is necessary that you have the Netatmo weather station in order to install it. To do this, in the Netatmo application, slide the top of the screen from the top to put you on the anemometer part (wind symbol) and do " to install ". It is necessary to be in Wi-Fi (on the same as that of the station) and with the Bluetooth turned on on your smartphone (and GPS depending on the model).
Press the top of the main module until it flashes blue or white. It will then restart, allowing you to add a module. Remove the battery protection tab and follow the on-screen instructions. The anemometer should be 10 to 15 cm from your station to make them interact. The advantage is that the station and the module communicate by radio waves, so your WI-FI will not be saturated. Watch our video for more installation details.
Setup and use
To set up your anemometer, it is necessary to choose the best location. You are free to decide: be as high as possible like on a TV antenna for example either as close as possible to where you want to have the information. In our case, we chose to install it at around 1,85 meters, because this corresponds to the height of all the elements (garden furniture, privacy screens,… and mézigue) that could be impacted by gales. Even more so if you are located near the ocean.
“To set up your anemometer, it is necessary to choose the best location. "The Alexians
Be careful first of all to determine where the North is (this will avoid losing it). Why ? Because the application can also give you the direction of the wind. Also take the time to measure the height at which you put your device as you will need it to "calibrate" it. Calibrate between quotation marks (invented in 1525 by M. Guillemet) because it will just consist, in the parameters, in noting the height at which it is placed if it is less than 10 m from the ground, which must be the case of many people. But it's up to you to see because it aims to give standardized values (the standard is to put the anemometer at 10 m from the ground and these are the values that are given to you in the weather reports). If you want to know the real speed at a point t and an instant t, do not change anything. But the fact of not being able to verify anything about the reliability of the measurements is a real problem. How do you know if they are good? It's impossible. Even if you look on the readings of recognized sites, this will only give you an indication, the variables being too important to use them as reference values at your level.
“[…] The application will also be able to give you the direction of the wind. " The Alexians
It is therefore quite frustrating to have a device whose reliability we cannot know. So yes, if it's blowing hard and you only have a rated speed of 10 km / h, there is a problem. But if that tells you 35 instead of 50 km / h, how do you know? As much the reliability of the rain gauge was easy to measure with a minimum of calculation (which made it possible to see that the first one was defective), so much there, we have to take Netatmo's word. But given the concern we encountered previously, we can only be a little critical. It is still possible to observe on the application map the anemometer data of the people sharing the information and see if there are large offsets. In our case, nothing particular was noted, the information was more or less consistent.
You also have access to a graph giving two curves: the maximum winds and the ground speed. This is all pretty clear, well presented. If you want to have real-time information, without waiting for the station to report it, take a measurement on demand. You also have access to the direction of the wind (in the case of our photo, it is coming from the north-west and going, whistling blowing towards the south-east it seems…).
Frankly, it's quite nice to have this kind of graph and information. You also have access to more extensive data, or at least more dense, on the Netatmo site.
Now let's talk aboutAlexa. As you may know, there are a " Alexa skill »Netatmo. Here again, we use the quotes because skill is a big word in front of the ridiculousness of what was provided… What can you ask him? After saying « Alexa, open Netatmo "say " wind " et Alexa will give you instantaneous speed and direction in degrees.
So if it tells you the sell speed is 1 km / h and its direction is 324 °, is it up to you to imagine if the sell is coming from 324 °, or if it is going towards 324 °? A priori, after several tests, it comes and it is ¾ NE approximately… So it goes towards the SW. And that's all. And if you have a Echo Show or an Echo Spot, wait absolutely no visual data of course. It's quite dramatic to think that we are only allowed that when Netatmo says: "We carefully develop each part of our products, whether mechanical, electronic or software, and create web and mobile applications that give them all their potential". Indeed, there is potential… but a lack of will.
Netatmo - Connected anemometer0.00
- Very simple and quick installation (5 min) on the application
- Quality support
- Wind direction tracking
- Skill Alexa poor
- Restricted operating temperature range
- No calibration possible