VIS Reader Installation and Configuration for AcuRite 02032C – Updated

This post will be a work in progress and will be updated/edited a few times most likely.

As mentioned in the AcuRite 02032C review, the company that makes the interface software, Valley Information Systems, has released a standalone product that allows full access to the data via the display unit.  It has the capability to write data to a SQL database or CSV files, gather data every 18 seconds (as apposed to 12 minutes with the included software), upload data to various weather sites (WU, WeatherBug) and create charts.

So, to get started, dotnet 4.5.1 needs to be installed, download the installer from Microsoft.  Next is the reader software itself, which is located here (software release information here).

Installation proceeded smoothly, software launched as expected.

VIS_Reader_Install VIS_Reader_InstallComplete

The installer puts the software into the root of the C: drive, which is a little odd and there’s not an opportunity to change the folder location.  Looking in that folder, there are a few files and one is the documentation PDF.  That file, which would answer so many questions prior to installation, is not available on their website for some reason (or it’s buried to so as not to be found).  That file can be referenced here:

VISReader-Documentation

I originally planned to install the software on my Windows Home Server 2011 (built on Windows Server 2008), but the HP ProLiant Microserver has an AMD Athlon II Neo N36L Dual-Core Processor running at 1Ghz.  As I found out later, this does not come close to meeting the minimum requirements:

“The VIS Reader requires Windows 7 or 8, running on a 32- or 64-bit multicore or hyperthreaded
processor at a clock speed of at least 2.4 GHz for full support. It will run on slower or less-capable
processors, but may not perform well or may have issues related to performance. We will support those
installations on a best-effort basis only. Most modern machines meet these requirements.”

Ok, well, I’ll take the chance that it won’t work as well on the Microserver as I hoped. Now to get the software configured… except that I couldn’t.  Not until the VIS Forums User Account has been created and approved.  I would recommend doing that first, as the approval is not immediate.  In this case, on a Sunday, it took several hours.  Once the user ID and password are entered and verified, the software can be configured.  Weather Underground and

Next, let’s get SQL installed and config Weather Underground… except that I can’t.   There’s a catch that’ not mentioned on the product page, all those features (mentioned above) require a subscription, and unfortunately there’s no mention of that requirement until the software is installed.  As I was trying to further research the product the following message appeared on the Valley Information Systems website:

Forbidden

In the forums there is a thread discussing the software licensing and it is indeed subscription based, the software itself apparently cannot be purchased outright.  Based on the arbitrary lockout of the website, a subscription model is a little worrying.

With the software installed and enabled, the various options were easily configured, the SQL 14 day license was the first to be enabled.  The software automatically downloads and installs Microsoft SQL Express 2014 runtime and places the .mdf and .ldf files in the C:\VIS directory.  It would be nice to have the management studio installed, but that won’t be happening on this hardware.  Weather Underground configured and updated immediately, as did the Aculink site (My Backyard Weather).

VIS_Reader_Options VIS_Reader_Main

Bottom line:  Software installed and works as advertized, but I don’t like the subscription model and would rather pay for the software outright.  Now to let it run and find out how reliable it is.

UPDATE 14FEB15: The software has been running for about six weeks, there has not been once instance of instability.  It’s rock solid and performs well.  The SQL and web modules are interesting, and the subscription fee is reasonable, but the only way to pay is via certified check.  Although I have not inquired as to the reasons why electronic payments are not accepted, given the exhibited paranoia of the developer, I have surmised that Paypal would not be an option.

 

 

 

 

Comments please!