Wink – Update – Subscriptions

All I can say to Wink is, “WTF”!! They have dropped Spotter and Nimbus and now they want to charge $5 a month, FOR WHAT!! I’ve tried to contact them. Had to settle for a contact form asking if they are planning on adding support for Spotter and Nimbus, since they are basically adding nothing, but charging us $60 a year for their service.

Not a happy camper!

This is a copy of the eMail they sent us:

Dear Wink User,

Wink’s mission for the past 5+ years has been to provide users with a ‘Simpler, Smarter Home,’ while maintaining privacy for our customers. Our approach to simplicity and security has driven our design from the user experience to the technology behind the scenes.

We understand that a smart home is something that needs to be trusted and dependable, and we recognize that recent events have created some uncertainty around the reliability of the system. We apologize for these inconveniences and want to share some background information as well as the path forward.

Since 2014, Wink has grown to support more than 4 million connected devices. During this time, Wink has relied solely on the one-time fee derived from hardware sales to cover ongoing cloud costs, development and customer support. Providing users with local and remote access to their devices will always come at a cost for Wink, and over the years we have made great progress toward reducing these costs so that we can maintain that feature.

Wink has taken many steps in an effort to keep your Hub’s blue light on, however, long term costs and recent economic events have caused additional strain on our business. Unlike companies that sell user data to offset costs associated with offering free services, we do not. Data privacy is one of Wink’s core values, and we believe that user data should never be sold for marketing or any purpose.

We have a lot of great ideas on how to expand on Wink’s capabilities and satisfy the many requests from our user base. In order to provide for development and continued growth, we are transitioning to a $4.99 monthly subscription, starting on May 13, 2020. This fee is designed to be as modest as possible. Your support will enable us to continue providing you with the functionality that you’ve come to rely on, and focus on accelerating new integrations and app features.

Should you choose not to sign up for a subscription you will no longer be able to access your Wink devices from the app, with voice control or through the API, and your automations will be disabled on May 13. Your device connections, settings and automations can be reactivated if you decide to subscribe at a later date.

Our user community is integral to Wink, and we want to continue to be your trusted smart home provider. Visit subscription.wink.com to subscribe.

New Weather Station – 1 of 2

After a long absences I’ve finally be able to return to my technology projects.

The first one I needed to get out of the way is the weather station. Had built one a few years back, but it was destroyed by an ice storm. Therefore I had to built a new one with a more permanent foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempted to make the system completely wireless but somehow no matter what I tried it would be limited in one way or another. So I ended up using a Raspberry Pi that has a UPS board attached to network using a POE adapter. So the Pi gets its power from the network, although the Pi connects to the network wirelessly. And since we had to run one wire, we ended up pulling a 12 volt dc wire also, this allows the addition of more ‘features’ to the pole.

As you can see there are 4 solar panels, 2 – 6 volt and 2 – 12 volt. At this point they are only being used for a string WS 2801 RGB LEDs powered through solar chargers. Sort of controlled Christmas lights. I am attempting to make the LEDs controllable from web site.

The Weather Station consists of an Arduino with a Sparkfun Weather board and sensor array, with a lightning detector attached. A Raspberry Pi connects to the Arduino and a Relay modular.  Currently everything is crammed into a plastic project box mounted on the pole. Will clean it up once new boxes come in.

My neighbors have a hill behind their house, the hill top is about 300 feet away and the hill is maybe 50 feet high. My plan is to add another weather pole on top of the hill, to see how that affects wind and temperature.

 

 

Outdoor Sensor Array


How many sensors can we plug into one Arduino and setup outdoors? This is how many I was able to cram into one Project Box.

The system uses a ESP8266 Wifi / Arduino Card with a screw terminal Shield. — I attempted to run it all with two 12 volt solar panels with a solar charger. Didn’t have enough juice, so ended up just plugging into outlet located outside.

Hardware

Screenshot 2016-03-06 12.32.51