Extra Sensors

From Cumulus Wiki

NOTE: Under construction / module not released yet


Extra Sensors is a feature already present in Cumulus 1. Ignored for long time by CumulusUtils, with the rise of the Ecowitt ecology and the support of CumulusMX for the GW1000 (and higher) devices, it has been decided to make Extra Sensors a standard module of CumulusUtils.

Extra Sensors have a certain complexity because, although handled by CumulusMX, they are kind of anarchic: unregulated, CumulusMX does not care, when detected they are always displayed only logged when logging is switched on and then not all of them are logged. There are more webtags than logged sensors etc... This complexity made some additional handling necessary.

For the obvious reason of the absence of a log, the lightning sensor will be ignored by CumulusUtils as are additional sensors which can not be logged (like e.g. LeafTemp3 and 4).

Please read the paragraph operation carefully and report any difficulty in operating the module both in this Wiki, from within the website or otherwise. I think all cases are covered but you never know.

For External Extra Sensors i.e. sensors the user has available outside the CMX system such as e.g. a Geiger Counter see: External Extra Sensors.


Unlike other modules the Extra Sensors module is dependent on the ChartsCompiler which means that the file CutilsCharts.def must be present in the utils directory. This may contain a user made charts definition but for a starting user it will be easiest to just copy the file CutilsCharts-default-for-use.def from the distribution and rename it to CutilsCharts.def.

User made or just default, the file MUST contain the lines

 ; ExtraSensorCharts

And everything below these lines will be replaced by generated ExtraSensors charts.

The user may not remove the above lines but by setting the parameter


the charts will no longer be overwritten and the user may modify the generated charts to his own tasting.


  1. CumulusUtils must be run once with the command ExtraSensors or Website to create the required parameters in the section [ExtraSensors] in the inifile.
  2. The module requires that the user has Extra Sensor logging enabled in CumulusMX(CMX menu=>Station Settings=>Common Options=>Log Extra sensors must be enabled) AND the user must set the parameter ExtraSensors in the cumulusutils.ini file to true. This last parameter makes it possible to have Extra Sensors operational in CMX but not display them on the web (if you are generating the website). Once both parameters are set to true the module is active.
  3. Finally, to make it work and to bring system in the Extra Sensors, it is required for the user to use strings.ini (copy it from samplestrings.ini in the distribution of CumulusMX) in the CumulusMX directory and give the sensors you want to be handled by CumulusUtils a short meaningfull name. Leave the default value or remove the default value to make an empty string to have CumulusUtils ignore the sensor. Default value or empty define a sensor as NOT PRESENT. Existing sensors which keep their default names (or have empty entries) will be displayed in the CMX interface but will not be used by CumulusUtils.

For the Website Generator this means everything is automatically available in the menu of the website.

The extrasensorsrealtime.txt file needs to be processed in the CMX Extra Webfiles utility and send to the webroot on the realtime frequency.

Using as a module requires some additional editing to make use of the table with the current values (Note the libraries as well). The charts are always available (see outputs). It is advised not to use this module outside the context of the Website Generator but skilled users can use the module as the basis for their own website (as has been done with AirLink and other modules). If you only want the charts then life is more easy and the ChartsCompiler makes it possible to combine virtually every plotparameter with another plotparameter (of RECENT or EXTRA type)

To receive the data for the ExtraSensors you have to run CumulusUtils UserAskedData. It would be logical to do this on the normal FTP frequency on which all other chart data are generated by CMX and by the requirements of the ChartsCompiler and the AirLink module.

The commands for the above named steps are:

 utils/bin/cumulusutils.exe ExtraSensors         => this command creates the outputfiles. 


 utils/bin/cumulusutils.exe website


 utils/bin/cumulusutils.exe UserAskedData                => this command produces the ExtraSensors datafiles with only those data required for the present and activated sensors.

NOTE: UserAskedData is typically used in an interval through the scheduler. See also the AirLink and the ChartsCompiler

There are some translations in the section [ExtraSensors] in the language file. The names of the Extra Sensors given by the user in strings.ini are used through the language file translations in the [Compiler] section.


The Extra Sensors module has multiple outputs:

  1. extrasensors.txt => contains the activation code for the module, activated by the menu choice
  2. extrasensorscharts.txt => contains the charts which go with the extra sensors (analogue to the trend charts produced by CMX with the same periodic generation and the same period shown)
  3. extrasensorsrealtime.txt => contains the webtags for the current value of the Extra Sensors used. Has to be entered in Extra Webfiles as source to be processed and FTP'd to the webroot at realtime.
  4. extrasensorsdata.json => contains all data for the extra sensors specified (by the command utils/cumulusutils.exe UserAskedData.

In addition the module produces a menu item SC map which, when clicked, activates sensorcommunity.txt which is also output of this module. This loads the global map of sensor.community centered on the coordinates of the users weather station. The user may wish to upload his/her data to the sensor.community project which is beyond the scope of CumulusUtils and CumulusMX.

The user can optionally create the charts himself by setting the parameter UserModificationExtraSensorCharts to true.
The outputfile for the charts MUST always be extrasensorscharts.txt.

Inifile Parameters

The Extra Sensor module has the following inifile parameters (see cumulusutils.ini):

 ExtraSensors=false                       => If false the module is skipped, no menu entry will be made
 ParticipatesSensorCommunity=false        => If false, the menu option SC map will not be generated
 CleanupExtraSensorslog=false             => If true will remove old logfiles and keep only the current and the previous month
 UserModificationExtraSensorCharts=false  => If true the Extra Sensor charts will not be overwritten in CutilsCharts.def and give the user the possibility to create his own charts
 LightningSensor=false                    => If true the Ecowitt Lightning sensor is present and will be presented in the module.
                                             (NOTE that this sensor is not logged by CMX and therefore does not have a corresponding chart)
 ExternalExtraSensors=                    => A comma separated list of strings naming the External Extra Sensors the user wishes to use (See External Extra Sensors)

Inner working

When run it is first checked if anything has to be done through the parameters ExtraSensors (in cumulusutils.ini) and LogExtraSensors (in Cumulus.ini).

When both parameters are true then the names of the extra sensors in strings.ini are checked if they deviate from the default. If they deviate it means the user has changed the name which is taken as a proof of presence of an Extra Sensor. NOTE: the sensors are intended to be defined in a contiguous order, so defining sensor 1 and sensor 3 would leave open sensor 2. If sensor 2 is not connected you would need to give it a name (e.g. Not Connected). It will be displayed but always have a value 0. This may change in future versions.

A sensor present means the realtime data and a corresponding chart will be created for presentation. The only sensor where the name in strings.ini is not determinant for its presence is the Ecowitt CO2 sensor. Those names may be changed by the user, but only a value in the logfile for the CO2 value is taken as proof of presence.

A structure is created for each sensor present. Each AirQuality sensor is automatically coupled with an AirQualityAvg sensor (which is not a physical sensor by itself) for presentation. For each CO2 sensor all seven successive sensors (see strings.ini) are also created.

With the list of sensors the extrasensorsrealtime.txt is generated, followed by extrasensors.txt (the code) and the charts are added to CutilsCharts.def. The last line of the userdefined charts is:

; ExtraSensorCharts

After this line no changes may be made unless the parameter UserModificationExtraSensorCharts=true. This line marks the beginning of the Extra Sensor Chart definitions. The actual charts code is generated by the compiler. The compiler runs implicitly when generating the website or when generating ExtraSensors as a module.

Data generation is separate from the code generation and should run on the FTP frequency like all other data generators of CumulusUtils and CumulusMX. Run:

utils/cumulusutils.exe UserAskedData

in the scheduler. The compiler and/or the AirLink module require that command as well so it may already be present.