Difference between revisions of "Cumulus MX FAQ"

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#If you have problems with customising web pages, see reference in earlier answer
#If you have problems with customising web pages, see reference in earlier answer
#If you have problems with selections in "Extra web files", see [[Cumulus_MX#Extra_Web_Files|Extra_Web_Files]].
#If you have problems with selections in "Extra web files", see [[Cumulus_MX#Extra_Web_Files|Extra_Web_Files]].
# If you have problems with layout please see [[Webpage_layout|Web page layout article]].
=== I am trying to use PHP Hypertext Pre-processor ===
PHP is a language for script that can do various tasks, but frequently it is used to prepare Hyper Text Manipulation Language file (HTML) to generate a web page, perhaps allowing the content to be varied by including some content generated from PHP variables or calculations.
# You will find advice on how to choose what language to use for scripts on [[PHP|PHP and Javascript]] page, along with references to some easy PHP scripts by Cumulus users.
# That advice continues with how to use a suite of PHP scripts to populate PHP variables with values taken from web tags at [[Php webtags|PHP Hypertext Preprocessor scripts reading web tags]].
=== I use web page packages provided by third parties ===
=== I use web page packages provided by third parties ===

Revision as of 18:17, 22 May 2020


Mark Crossley created this page on 26 October 2018 to help people with questions about MX where it works differently to Cumulus 1 and the Cumulus 1 FAQ did not help.

The original content covered device names (COMPORT in MX has different format to Port in C1), Windows 10 issues, and MONO issues. But my impression is nobody found this, and therefore nobody benefited from that text.

I started pasting in useful material, mostly from Steve Loft's posts in the forum about the beta version of MX, but as at that time I was not using MX I hoped somebody else would make sense of it and create a better layout. Of course nobody did.

When I did start using MX, I decided to edit other articles first, see Cumulus MX, Cumulus MX formal release versions, Webtags, Cumulus.ini, Dayfile.txt,, Php webtags, and various others.

So that left this page, and now I am starting on updating this article. If you read this, and believe you can help with completing this update, please do.

Troubleshooting - messages in MXdiags or in console/terminal output

Request for assistance

If you see any messages that are not explained below, please update this article (you may need to ask for a login) or else post on the support forum in Cumulus Wiki Suggestions for updates and additions sub-forum. Thank you.


I have a message about web tags

There is an article about Web tags, I have tried to keep that up to date. That may help, the most common errors seem to be:

  1. Using a web tag not available at the version you are using (the message in the mXDaiags should indicate which one).
  2. Using the wrong output formatters, as the article referenced above explains, the codes to use for MX are far more complicated.
  3. Using an input modifier that MX cannot match to data available (the message will talk about arrays).

I have a message about pressing Enter because a problem has occurred

This could cover a lot of problems. Make sure you don't have 2 copies of MX running and are not running anything else that accesses the same weather station or the same files as MX, because this message may relate to such a conflict.

Other problems that crash MX when you have just updated either MX or Mono, may relate to code added in update. For example 3.6.2 crashed in some contexts because of a new "FluentFTP.dll file", 3.6.3 reverted to the one used for 3.6.0. Other people have seen problems because of changes in how MONO worked on an update, although that was more of a problem with MX beta than later MX.

Problems with MX not accepting data when move from C1


Format of data files

Please see Log Files index page for more information. In general, you should have all the files (except log.xml from your C1 installation in your MX installation, and MX will be able to read them, although it may update content and thus stop C1 from recognising them. Ensure you have same culture as before (so don't change how dates/times and decimals are stored).

Ignoring earlier data

Two issues here.

  1. MX needs to read from Cumulus.ini the earliest date to process as it ignores any content for earlier dates. (Cumulus 1 just read all the files it could find in the data folder.
  2. When you first start running MX, it does not seem to be able to populate charts and recent history web tags for earlier times.

Problems with web pages or NOAA reports

MX comes with a standard set of web pages. Although some look the same, these are different from the pages coming with C1. You may find that information labelled as for Cumulus 1 does apply to the MX web pages as for example they share the same cascading style sheet.


How to set up a web site

Please see Web site setup article.

My FTP is not working

  1. The settings required are on the Internet settings screen within the admin interface.
  2. In the web/FTP site section, check the settings, and experiment with a different FTP protocol.
  3. In the web/FTP settings section, check all the settings, some determine what is automatically uploaded, other settings should initially obey the tips shown on the settings screen. One item to try is changing the setting for Active FTP mode.
  4. For most modern web pages, including those provided, use UTF-8 encoding description. If your web pages appear to be empty when they are uploaded, look near the front of such files where the encoding declarations will be found.

I don't like the bird image on standard web pages

Please see C1 FAQ.

I want a different heading on standard web pages

These are built up from a combination of text in the template file and what you have entered on the station settings in text boxes just above the Options section.

The styling for these headings, including use of lower case, is defined in the Cascading Styling Sheet. You need some understanding of CSS to edit these.

The sunrise and sunset times are wrong

  • You must enter DEGREES, MINUTES, and SECONDS, in the text boxes within the location section and select hemisphere, in the Station settings in the admin interface. See C1 FAQ for more advice.
  • Another possible cause might be your device system date and time is wrong.

The moon rise or moon set shows dashes

This is common, the lunar day does not match the earth day, so on some days the moon will either only rise or only set, while other days will see a moon rise and a moon set.

I want a moon image, but I don't see one

  1. Are you using an old version that does not include a moon image?
  2. Do you have the moon base image in your local files?
  3. Have you asked MX to generate by system drawing a masked image to show the current phase?
  4. Have you asked MX to upload this image?
  5. Is your FTP working, because that is only way the moon image can be uploaded to web server.

I modified the standard web pages, and since I updated to a new MX version I have lost my edits

In MX you can choose to either overwrite all files when there is a new release or to overwrite only files that you have not changed. In general, it is best not to modify the files provided with MX, instead copy them to a new folder and edit them there. For web templates, if they are in a different folder, you will need to specify them in the local column of Extra web files and turn off the option to upload standard web pages. For more information on customising web pages seeCustomised templates article.

I have problems with NOAA reports

  1. Editing Cumulus.ini without stopping MX can cause problems
  2. Changing the encoding on NOAA reports can cause problems, especially if you try to display them from a web page that does not share the same encoding.
  3. Making an error in the report naming parameters can cause problems, see NOAA_style_Report_Naming section.

I have problems with my own web templates that Cumulus needs to process

  1. If your problems relate to web tags see earlier answer about error messages in MXDiags
  2. If you have problems with customising web pages, see reference in earlier answer
  3. If you have problems with selections in "Extra web files", see Extra_Web_Files.
  4. If you have problems with layout please see Web page layout article.

I am trying to use PHP Hypertext Pre-processor

PHP is a language for script that can do various tasks, but frequently it is used to prepare Hyper Text Manipulation Language file (HTML) to generate a web page, perhaps allowing the content to be varied by including some content generated from PHP variables or calculations.

  1. You will find advice on how to choose what language to use for scripts on PHP and Javascript page, along with references to some easy PHP scripts by Cumulus users.
  2. That advice continues with how to use a suite of PHP scripts to populate PHP variables with values taken from web tags at PHP Hypertext Preprocessor scripts reading web tags.

I use web page packages provided by third parties

By third parties I mean items like those listed on page.

For most problems you probably need to contact the author via the support forum, but here are some possible answers

  1. You did not follow the instructions supplied for using that package, and you have used wrong file names or not put all the files where they should be or got confused between one-off transfers to your web site and files that Cumulus needs to upload at various intervals.
  2. File names in that package conflict with file names you already have on your server (this might stop any PHP require/includes linking in correct file)
  3. Maybe you are mixing some items using "http:" protocol and some using "https:", you need to chosse one or the other, not a mixture.
  4. Perhaps the package depends on what version of JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, you have installed, or on some setting for those languages. Depending on your web server, and the sort of access provide by any web provider you use , you might have a "cPanel" where these can be changed, or maybe you have to ask the provider to do the necessary changes.

Unsorted stuff

Some of the following is out of date, it refers to the original beta versions of MX not the latest release, other parts are just hints of what needs to be said ... ANY volunteers to UPDATE THIS?

It needs rewriting to be proper question and answer layout.

  • There is a third party offering for helping you start and stop Cumulus MX on a Raspberry Pi. There are two other related threads initiated by same author (Jank).
  • One problem various people have had is swapping from a Windows environment to a Linux environment. There are lots of new commands to learn, and specifying the interface is different so getting MX to connect to your weather station has been a problem for some.
  • For setting up your web site see this page first.
  • For a guide to the settings pages of MX user interface see here.
  • Cumulus MX supports updating to secure web sites, this feature is not yet properly documented.
  • The use of decimal comma gives rise to various problems mentioned in the forum, as the guidance above says Cumulus MX uses procedures that depend on full stops being used for the decimal point in many log files.
  • There is confusion between Cumulus 1 symbols for months (mm or MM allowed) and the MX use of those symbols (mm means minutes, only MM is valid for months). If you used Cumulus 1 and set up NOAA report names using 'mm' instead of 'MM', then you have a problem in MX. Another issue raised from time to time in the forum is that if you swap from Cumulus 1 to MX it may not access the old NOAA reports if the settings in MX are set to generate different file naming to that previously used in Cumulus 1).
  • Similar problems occur for those swapping from Cumulus 1 to MX if they have used any web tags that have had a date-time modifier added. Here not only do you need to be careful whether you are using the right case, but also be prepared for single modifiers on their own to have a different meaning to when that modifier appears with other modifiers.
  • On Cumulus 1, some people used '.' to separate the hours and minutes (HH.nn), this causes problems in MX that only accepts a colon separator (HH:mm). Thus files like the alltime.ini might have a mix of times in different formats.
  • Certain versions of Mono give problems with some locales, for example the Mono version 5 release has thrown up an issue with some locales and the short month names having an extra decimal point that Cumulus MX cannot cope with. Most of these problems are raised in the forum.
  • If you want to use your Cumulus 1 data with MX, and you use decimal commas, you will need to edit the .ini files to change the decimal commas into periods/full stops. The other data files will be OK.
  • If you are trying to use your Cumulus.ini file from Cumulus 1, you will need to make sure it doesn't contain any non-ASCII characters
  • Cumulus MX doesn't change the fact that you can't run two programs at the same time with the same station, whatever those programs are, unless you have something in the middle handling the multiple connections (e.g. Virtual VP for Davis stations)
  • If a settings screen shows red contents (red text and red boxes), invalid data is present which must be corrected before the form can be sent. One or more items on the page will have an error message.
  • Cumulus MX doesn't create any image files
  • Cumulus MX on Windows requires .NET 4.5 and hence will not run on the obsolete Windows XP
  • The realtime interval on the internet settings screen is in milliseconds
  • There is currently no 'diary' and hence also no snow recording
  • The requirement to run as root/administrator may possibly be removed at some point
  • When you install a new version of Cumulus MX (i.e when upgrading from one version to another), be sure to copy all of the files from the release zip file into your MX installation, and force a refresh of the interface pages in your browser. You can optionally just copy the files that I name as having changed in the announcement, but the risk is that I might have missed a changed file from the list. No settings or data are overwritten by the update.
  • Some setting changes don't take effect until you restart Cumulus MX
  • Note that the change to date/time formats in webtags also applies to NOAA report file formats., if you carry over your old settings
  • The 'extra files' editor updates automatically when a field is changed. You can press 'enter' in a text field to get it to update, or move to another field
  • The remote filename for an 'extra file' must include the path (if required) as well as the file name, just as in Cumulus 1. It does not use the 'directory' setting automatically
  • If you are using your 'old' Cumulus.ini file, make sure your 'ftp site' section is [FTP site] with 'site' in lower case
  • Davis stations sometime supply 'error' values such as 255 for wind speed. Cumulus ignores these and may log some of them to the diags file, if you have debug logging turned on
  • Serial device names on Linux are not COM0 etc as in Windows. You need to specify something like /dev/ttyUSB0 - do a dmesg at a command line prompt and look for the actual device name from your adapter. If dmesg says your cp210x converter (as on Davis stations) is attached to ttyUSB0, for example, you need to put /dev/ttyUSB0 for the serial port name in MX. You can set the serial port name in the MX user interface, but if for some reason you want to do it by editing Cumulus.ini, note that the item in MX is called ComportName (which is a string, for the full device name, e.g. COM1 or /dev/ttyUSB0) rather than 'Port' which is just an integer. If you have not run MX yet, this item will not exist, so you will need to add it (in the [Station] section).
  • If you are having problems after upgrading to Windows 10, see this post - https://cumulus.hosiene.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14148
  • Cumulus MX will not run on Windows IOT
  • The Dashboard, Now, and Gauges pages all get their data using web sockets (on port 8002). If they are not displaying data for you, you have some issue somewhere on your system preventing that from working - a firewall issue, or perhaps a browser issue. If you can't get web sockets working on your system, you could switch to using Ajax for the data. See the announcement for build 3032 for instructions.
  • If you want to use a twitter.txt file and include any characters not in the 7-bit ASCII set (e.g. degree symbols or accented characters) you need to save the file as UTF-8 (without 'BOM')
  • As with Cumulus 1, if you have extra web files configured, only tick 'process' for those files which have web tags in them, i.e. they need processing.
  • An "error [object Object]" in your browser when you try to change settings is usually caused by using a version of Mono which does not support comma decimals, but can also be caused by an invalid setting
  • Twitter have changed their authentication method, and Cumulus is now unable to perform the initial step of obtained the authentication tokens. The fix requires significant change to the code and I have no forecast for this