Author Topic: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP  (Read 416 times)

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SparWeb

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Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:38:16 PM »
Passing on a tip, hope it helps:

Last Sunday, my weather station software stopped uploading data to the internet.
It took me until Monday to notice, because the console was receiving data, and it was downloading to my computer at home just fine, too.
This didn't make a lot of sense because if the console's data logger can be "found" by the computer through the router, then surely the datalogger can find the router, and its updates to the Davis internet server.  But that's not true, it seems.  I tried re-booting the console, the router, and the computer, checked all of the connections, even cross-checked the temperature to see that it was current.  No problem.  Router could see the console's datalogger just fine.

But in the end my only recourse was to e-mail tech support...  ...They replied in reasonable time.  It turns out that a complete shut-down of the Davis console AND the router SIMULTANEOUSLY is necessary to accomplish the re-setting of the system.  I remember when Windows 98 networks behaved that way, but it's been a while.

Overall, I have been impressed with the amount of control, service, configuration, and performance information that the Davis system gives you.  It is loaded with features, and they all work.  It's clearly something that they have been fine-tuning for a very long time.  But that makes me all the more surprised that I couldn't track down and identify the problem myself!

Here is a copy of the e-mail that solved it, in case it's of help to anyone else with a similar problem.


Quote

Dear Steve:

Your data logger stopped updating your Weatherlink IP server account on Sunday.  (This is usually the result of a power surge; outage or lightning storm.)

Reinitialize the IP data logger at the station’s site, using the following procedure:

1. Power down the VP Console or Envoy.  (Remove the backup batteries... then, unplug the AC adapter cable at the unit, NOT at the wall outlet.)

2. Wait 30 seconds.

3. Repower the console using the AC adapter cable.  Listen for 3 beeps (only 2 beeps, if an Envoy).
 *
4. Hold down the DONE button for 2 seconds to pull up the Current Screen on the console.  Check to see that the green LED on the data logger dongle is glowing.

5. Refresh your “My Weather” page to see if your Current Conditions line changes to a white color, and bears the current time & date.

 

If this is NOT successful, then try the following procedure:

1. Power down the VP Console or Envoy.  (Remove the backup batteries... then, unplug the AC adapter cable at the unit, NOT at the wall outlet.)

2. Power down your broadband router for 20 seconds.  Leave the logger’s Ethernet cable connected to the router.

3. Repower the router. Wait at least one minute until the router’s lights stabilize.

4. Repower the VP Console or Envoy using the AC adapter cable.  Listen for 3 beeps if a Console, 2 beeps if an Envoy.
 *
5. Hold down the DONE button for two seconds to pull up the Current Screen on the console.  Check to see that the green LED on the data logger dongle is glowing.

6. Refresh your “My Weather” page to see if your Current Conditions line changes to a white color, and bears the current time & date.

7. Call us here in Tech Support if you’re still having problems, at (510) 732-7814.  We are open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, Pacific time.

Sincerely,

Brian Carpenter
Technical Support Representative
Davis Instruments
(510) 732-7814
Don't forget to check out our FAQ's at http://www.davisnet.com/support/weather/faq/index.asp


*I would add a step after re-powering the console:

Quote
The console should show the setup menu automatically.  The settings should remain as they were, but make sure the clock shows the correct time.

I'm pointing it out because, when I re-set my console, the clock was about an hour behind, and I didn't notice.  Soon after, I couldn't figure out why the next update didn't get added to the log.  After more fussing, I found the new updates, dropped into the wrong time-slots.  By the time I found the cause, the console had over-written 30-minutes of good records with records from the wrong time.  Fixing the clock made the next record appear 1 hour after the previous one.  So now I have a gap in the readings, too.

It's pretty likely that there were surges in the power lines on Sunday.  It was very windy, and strong winds often cause brown-outs here.  As Brian said, these can cause the Weatherlink IP to lose its connection.

Well the system has been working since then...
...with the exception of the anemometer - in unrelated news, ice fog can cause crystals to grow on surfaces.  In the case of my anemometer, it can freeze up for days at a time.
Don't get me wrong - This is NOT Davis' fault!  Today was sunny so at around 4PM it finally thawed enough to turn again.  I wonder if any remaining frost affects the accuracy of the anemometer.

Two problems in as many days with the weather station, one caused directly by weather (ice), and the other problem (interrupted data) was ALSO caused by the weather.  Ironic isn't it though?  :)
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

XeonPony

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 06:43:43 AM »
looks like aq good system, now where can I get a NON wireless one dammit! I hate wireles stuff!

Found one! Cool as I been searching for a good loging non-wireless system for a long time. what voltage doe sit run at?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 06:53:29 AM by XeonPony »
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

SparWeb

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 10:21:21 PM »
The Davis Vantage system has two basic parts, the outdoor station and indoor console.  The outdoor station is solar powered, so it must be pointed south.  The indoor console runs on batteries for a good long while, but I keep mine plugged in with a wall-wart.  So neither need to be remotely powered in any tricky way; it's been provided for already.

BTW, wireless is bad in really weather stations (Walmart 100$ kits).  I had one for a day, it never worked, I returned it to the store, so I understand your frustration. 

The Davis console has a configuration screen that shows detailed readings of radio signal strength.  Davis only guarantees 1000 feet range, but my station and console are 1200 feet apart and the signal strength is.... (checking it now...)   ...about 30% (above the 20% minimum) and 98% of the data packets have been received with correct checksums.  It also shows a background noise measurement of 9 (on a scale of 5 to 60) meaning there aren't any "noisy" devices around.  I guess the console and station could be farther apart and still work well together.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

XeonPony

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 09:59:19 AM »
reason I ask for the voltage is if I can run it off my batt bank directly. 
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

SparWeb

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 12:10:26 AM »
reason I ask for the voltage is if I can run it off my batt bank directly. 

Oh, that shouldn't be difficult.  The console requires a wall-wart, which converts 120VAC to 4.5V DC.  You should be able to set up a small DC power supply from the battery bank.  I've seen some people taking apart USB power converters that plug into car outlets, which are about 5$ apiece and get you 12V-5V already in the package.  All that's left for you to do is open the tube and make a cable.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

XeonPony

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 09:09:32 AM »
, I'll be adding a weather station in a year or less me thinks!
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

SteveCH

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 08:18:58 AM »
I bought a Davis system a bit over two yr. ago, after trying several cheaper brands, which all turned out to be a waste of money. Except one which lasted a couple years and then a part in the anemometer broke. The entire unit had cost $150, and the little replacement part was a bit over $100 with shipping. [no way I'm going for that]

 Just by coincidence, I had the Davis on a wish list at Amazon and was notified of a one-day sale $100 off. I bit. Good decision. I have nothing but good to say about their product. Ours has made it fine through a wind storm that hit 115 mph according to NWS and other local sources, plus our Davis. No damage.

SparWeb

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 11:07:20 PM »
Last week my Vantage Pro was subjected to a very heavy rain/hail storm which dropped a 37mm in just 2 hours.  At one point the instantaneous rate was 185 mm/hour. 
The unfortunate side-effect was that the temperature sensor was adversely affected, and the equipment shut off its reading during that time.
If you were to check my station's records on weather underground, you will see a 7 hour period where I had to delete the data because WU rejected the "--" temp readings.
Part of that data blackout is a power outage here, so my station wasn't even uploading to WU for 5 hours.  The logs in its memory, however, attest to 100% radio signal from the weather station to the receiver in the house, and exceptional rainfall and temp swings.  I climbed the tower this weekend and inspected it all - everything looks fine and continues to work normally.
It's taken a licking and keeps on ticking.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

SparWeb

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Re: Striking a Davis Anemometer with a Hammer
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2013, 10:22:46 AM »
It's taken a licking and keeps on ticking.

I may need to retract that statement.

Last month, it stopped reporting wind data.  The anemometer cups were spinning, but there was "0" on the display screen.  After troubleshooting my way through all other parts of the display and the transmitter base station, I sent an e-mail to Davis for help.

They suggested this:

Quote
1) At a time when you are getting zero speed, try readjusting the position of the wind cups on your anemometer. Loosen the .05" setscrew.  Remove the cup assembly & check for a magnet inside the hub of the wind cups, offset from center.

Now, strike the body of the anemometer sharply several times with a hobby hammer or with the handle of a medium-sized screwdriver. (It can withstand a pretty good knock, or two, or four!!)   [This can loosen up a frozen speed sensor switch].  Hit the lower half of the body, just above the drip ring.  Come at it from the front, then come at it from both sides.
...

I've snipped off the rest of the suggestions because that is what actually worked.  Striking the anemometer with a hammer!
Since the miniature set screw is so tiny that I stripped the 1mm hex just getting it on, I didn't take the cups off.
I just lowered the met tower down, gave the anemometer body a whack, and phoned my wife, in the house, to tell me if the display started reading again, while I spun the cups manually.  That solved the problem then, and it's been working ever since.

Well I woke up this morning to see the wind speeds zeroed out again. 
The 1 year warranty's expired so I'll probably be paying 72U$D for the replacement.
...After lowering the tower and hitting the anemometer AGAIN to get it working temporarily AGAIN.   ::)
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

XeonPony

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 11:23:03 AM »
if you can cut open the body all it is is a mechanicle reed switch that will be normaly open, you can replace it with a hall effect schmit tirgger type sensore and never again! will it stick closed!
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

SparWeb

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 11:38:29 PM »
Yes I was thinking about that too...
I even have some Hall sensors that would do.
I was too busy to fix it today so still "zero" wind but it still almost blew my hat off!
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

XeonPony

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 06:32:27 AM »
disapointing to learn they are using such a cheap system for wind given the asking price! I'd have figured they'd use a hall off the bat!
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

SparWeb

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Re: Technical Support Tip for Davis Weather Link IP
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 05:48:30 PM »
I'm updating this thread today.

I replaced the anemometer last August, so a month of data was missed.  The phases of the problem went: discovering the problem exists, figuring out the source of the problem, communicating with Davis about troubleshooting it, attempted troubleshooting, failed troubleshooting, ordering replacement, receiving replacement, installing replacement.  So that's why that took a month.

This week, I started analyzing the 2013 data, to get a "years worth" of stats.  I soon realized that I was cutting and tweaking and fixing spots all over the place where the data was incomplete or wrong.  So I started again by writing a "validation" spreadsheet instead.

The validation spreadsheet checks whether the data:
1) exists  (example: the week of data lost after a power outage that started this thread)
2) has reasonable values  (eg. the temperature spiked to 70C twice for no know reason)
3) was sampled adequately  (I think the station does its own error checking before sending to the base station)
4) was transmitted completely   (eg. the reception fails during violent storms)
5) does not occur during a blackout time where I must delete the data (such as the anemometer trouble)

After working through these criteria, I was able to break down the data into the following groups:

86.9%   DATA ARE OK
0.06%   DATA ARE WEAK
2.26%   DATA ARE BLANK
0.04%   DATA ARE BAD
9.84%   ANEMOMETER BROKEN
0.86%   ANEMOMETER ICED OVER

In the end, I'm left with about 10 months of valid wind data.  YGWYPF.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024