Stuff that does not work :: Eve Weather

by Volker Weber


A couple of days ago I wrote that I hardly ever publish a bad review. This product however deserves one. It just does not work for me.

Eve is a family of product that is based on Apple Homekit. Homekit uses Bluetooth to connect devices with iOS. Eve Weather is a weather station you place outside. There are more products in that family, for instance sensors to monitor the state of windows and doors, an indoor weather station that monitors room temperature and air quality. All of those are supposed to connect with your iPhone or iPad.

My number one problem is "unreachable". I often cannot read the data from Eve Weather even if I can see it right in front of me, four to five meters away. If I want to check the outside temperature, I look at the watch face of my Apple Watch. That talks to the iPhone, which collects weather information over the Internet. And that's more accurate than the weather info from outside in the garden.

My number two problem is that the data is not stale, but it's also wrong. Humidity is not 100 percent. This is a very rare condition called fog. Yes, humidity is high, but it is not 100 percent, not for days on end. And Air pressure? Well, the unit is hPa not mbar, which already tells you that there are laymen at work. And it's off by 20, because it is not corrected for the height above sea level. 8 hPa per meter need to be added. Since I am at 165m above see level, I would need to add 20.



Lutz Lesener commented below that his Eve Weather is working well. And he mentioned Apple TV. I don't have the latest one but a 3rd generation Apple TV. This is supposed to work with Eve and serve as a hub. Mine obviously did not work at all, so I investigated.

There are a couple of prerequisites:

  1. iOS device and Apple TV have to be connected to the Internet. Check.
  2. iOS device and Apple TV software updated. Check.
  3. Apple TV within about 25 feet of your Bluetooth HomeKit accessories. Check.
  4. iOS device has iCloud Drive turned on. Check.
  5. iOS device and Apple TV signed in to iCloud with same Apple ID. Check.
  6. HomeKit accessories can be controlled using Bluetooth. Check.
  7. Restart iOS device and Apple TV. Check.
  8. Turn Airplane Mode on and off. Check.

All checked. Still not working. And then I tried something new: Sign out of iCloud on the Apple TV and sign back in. That did the trick.

I cannot see anywhere, that Eve is now working through Apple TV. What I can see is that I can update over long distances. Certainly out of Bluetooth range. Looks like it indeed is working.


One problem remains: air pressure is way off (because it is not calibrated) and humidity is wrong. Temperature is spot on. Which now leaves me with a working thermometer that keeps track of data.

Data quality is a common problem. Compare the values recorded by weather stations around you.


Sad. Elgatos TV products were great. But they move away from that.

Jens Nullmeyer, 2015-12-04

Yes, the feeling with Home Kit is that, once more, Apple announces a new project and after a while it's left to drift into oblivion.
iPhoto for iOS, comes to my mind, but there are several other MIA.
And than there are projects like Apple News that really make you wonder who is in control of the Apple ship.
It's a worrysome sign of lack of focus and direction we are used to see in a company like Google, to name one, but not at Apple..

BTW, I am considering a switch to turn my heating on/off while away from home in these winter months. The logical choice would be a device supported by Home Kit but if this is your experience I may better choose a simple WEMO switch.
Any suggestion?

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2015-12-04

I don't want to turn this into a general Apple rant. Every company has its hits and misses.

Homekit started off as a big thing, but it has been really quiet lately. Bluetooth also seems to be a terrible choice if only for range.

Volker Weber, 2015-12-04

OK for the Apple rant. Duly noted.

As for the use of a Home Kit savvy switch, I am genuinelly interested in finding a reliable solution for simple, Internet-based, remote on/off at home.
I would like to hear a recommendation from you or your readers, on that matter.

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2015-12-04

I've been looking for a personal weather station for a while without much success. The last one I looked at (my former employer had a deal with their manufacturer), the reviews said "it should not be exposed to the elements". ??? Others I researched had similar issues - the indoor and outdoor modules would have different barometric pressures or temperatures when in the same room or other glaring problems.

If you find a good weather station that's got Wifi and integrates with Weather Underground's PWS network, I'd love to find one.

(Same with the switch. I have an Ankuoo that I'm very disappointed in.)



Luke Kolin, 2015-12-04

The other day I was told to look at Netatmo. Have you tried this?

Volker Weber, 2015-12-04

I tried netatmo. Very convenient, easy to use. but I returned it because when putting two sensors besides each other they reported different humidity.

Mariano Kamp, 2015-12-04

I got a netatmo about 3 weeks ago. The batteries don't seem to last long as I can no longer see the outdoor sensor.

Also bought Ankuoo and had high hopes, but it is just so unreliable and am considering sending it back. Is Belkin Wemo any better?

Andy Mell, 2015-12-04

When you look for a reliable, open source home automation, go for openhab and run it on a raspi. Simple, quick, and it collects and archives data from various sources including netatmo.

Volker Jürgensen, 2015-12-05

Andy and Pieterjan, they are not perfect. But I find them reliable enough to settle for them.

Volker Weber, 2015-12-05

Well, I am quite happy with Eve Weather, at least I can't complain about connection issues: I have an Apple TV 4 (atv 3 would also work) within reach of the Eve sensor. It picks up the readings from Eve Weather and makes them available to my iOS devices and those of people I granted access to my HomeKit environment.

That process is completely transparent (zero configuration on the atv part) and works for me both at home and abroad. The bluetooth range of atv 4 is also considerably better than that of atv 3.

The data coming from Eve Weather seem accurate in terms of temperature, but I cannot really comment on humidity or air pressure.

Iirc, Apple offers both WiFi and Bluetooth LE as possible protocols for HomeKit devices, so Elgato might have simply chosen the cheaper technology here. There are also devices available acting as bridge between HomeKit and other radio protocols like ZigBee or ZWave.

Lutz Lesener, 2015-12-05

Thank you, Lutz. Your comment made me check why Apple TV was both obviously and transparently not working. This resolves connectivity problems. I have updated accordingly.

Volker Weber, 2015-12-05

Am I the only one who finds the English language app with German day and value settings confusing?

Armin Grewe, 2015-12-05

Does not really matter whether you are the only one or not. It does not confuse my brain, and could select English/English or German/German. I just chose not to.

Volker Weber, 2015-12-06

Deviation in data quality doesn't come as a surprise.
An outdoor sensor should be placed:
- in 2m height
- facing north
- shadowed
- away from walls and plants.

My FHEM receives 12 weather stations from neighbours and _all_ of them seem to be temporarily exposed to direct sunlight (showing high peaks). Additionally most of them react slow and averaging (like they are when bolted directly to a heat conserving wall).

I guess most people use these weather stations rather as a toy than for home automation...

Ralf ter Veer, 2015-12-06

One problem remains: air pressure is way off (because it is not calibrated) and humidity is wrong

Volker, I don't think you need to calibrate your unit. By what I can see from the link to the NetAtmo map (thank you for that!) each unit is aware of it's location, i.e. the altitude so, that should not be an issue. The reading you get should be QNH (adjusted to local area pressure), unless otherwise stated in the device instructions. As for humidity, as you already pointed out, meteo data can vary significantly in a relativele short distance.
What are you comparing it with?

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2015-12-06

Pieterjan, you can see what I am getting. And that it is NOT adjusted.

Volker Weber, 2015-12-06

Thank you for the suggestion, Volker - looking back at the Amazon comments I think the Netamo was one with the sensitivity to getting wet.

I understand that there's a certain percentage of folks who will always be unsatisfied but looking at the distribution of complaints on Amazon I'm left with the feeling that it's not quite there yet.



Luke Kolin, 2015-12-07

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