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Author Topic: Anemometer problems...  (Read 31220 times)
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skyewright
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« on: October 23, 2008, 05:45:29 PM »

First blow of the Autumn, what happens, my WMR928 anemometer has developed a fault. From the characteristics, UK Weather Shop think it is a "return for probable replacement". With the forecast giving Gale, Strong Gale and Near Gale right through till Sunday night it may be a few days before I can get at the anemometer.

Fortunately I have the WMR200 too. Less fortunately the WMR200 anemometer is currently being use for an experiment in a relatively sheltered spot, so its readings are considerably low, e.g. based on a few educated fiddle factors I suspect that the WMR200's top gust so far of 45mph would have been closer to 60mph if it were on the main mast. And now the WMR200 anemometer is dropping out too (this happens for a few hours about once a week when it conflicts with the more powerful. but currently producing faulty data, WMR928 anemometer).

Oh well, it's only a hobby...

PS. Maybe it's sulking because it knows that I've just started reading Weather Toys - the book about 1-wire devices.  Grin
PPS. Martin, I'm not quite clear about what you are using for wind at present, is it the 1-Wire or the "new improved" La Crosse?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 05:48:13 PM by skyewright » Logged

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David
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 07:42:54 AM »

I'm using the newer cup type anemometer on the WS2300. My 1-Wire AAG was zapped by lighting, the same time I lost the 1-Wire lightning detector and a the USB adaptor.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 09:28:54 AM »

I'm using the newer cup type anemometer on the WS2300. My 1-Wire AAG was zapped by lighting, the same time I lost the 1-Wire lightning detector and a the USB adaptor.  Roll Eyes
Ah yes. I remember now the problems you had with the lightning.
Presumably your new lightning gear had something to play with last night? I heard thunder in the night.

This morning the WMR928 console was just showing dashes. I presume that was lightning related. A channel search found everything bar the anemometer which seems to have stopped transmitting in the early hours.

The WMR200 console didn't need any extra attention.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 10:06:35 AM by skyewright » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 01:55:59 PM »

It wasn't just last night, my Boltek has been going all day. Upto 700 recorded strikes since midnight and upto 8 strikes per minute at 08:30 this morning.
The was a bit over Skye last night but most of it was "in cloud" lightning. But it may have effected the radio signals from the sensor to the base?
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 08:34:21 PM »

The was a bit over Skye last night but most of it was "in cloud" lightning. But it may have effected the radio signals from the sensor to the base?
What I heard last night seemed quite distant and could well have been "in cloud", as have a few noticed during today - but I've needed to "search" on the WMR928 console several times today, and the WMR200 has occasionally lost touch with its anemometer or rain gauge. I can only imagine that it is due to RF of some sort. Maybe they are particularly sensitive to this?
The RFXCOM receiver that does the actual reading for Meteohub and thus WD has not so far experienced such problems, I'm very glad to say!
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2008, 10:30:51 AM »

but I've needed to "search" on the WMR928 console several times today, and the WMR200 has occasionally lost touch with its anemometer or rain gauge. I can only imagine that it is due to RF of some sort. Maybe they are particularly sensitive to this?
Whatever the reason the OS consoles are not happy!
Both keep loosing contact with sensors (usually 'some' rather than 'all). I'm hoping that these problems will "go away" when the weather settles down.

If it weren't for the fact that WD is actually receiving data via the RFXCOM it would largely be flying blind...

The 1-Wire concept is looking more and more attractive...

One problem with 1-wire would be running the wire from the house to where the sensors are best placed. I think that if I could manage to thread a Cat 5e down around 20-25m of blue water pipe that might do the trick as reasonably tough flexible, waterproof, conduit. I suspect that the only way of finding out if that is practical is to try it - unless of course anyone happens to have relevant experience to relate...

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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2008, 01:03:28 PM »

I'm still very pleased with my Vortex anemometer....although I have modified both the lower bearing and put a rain shield to cover the upper part of the shaft housing to prevent water ingress...I did this during the annual service.....Now that Brian has further modified the WD programme for the Vortex addition, I am getting practically identical results to my Davis setup, which is very comforting considering the price differential.

I too, like Martin, had zillions of Boltek detections on the 24th Oct....to such an extent that initially I had surmised an electrical fault in my PC room....I then discovered on checking with the other Boltek users that a lot detections were actually taking place with them too... I wonder if that could have been the reason for your RF problems with the Console etc...Interesting
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2008, 04:46:40 PM »

I'm still very pleased with my Vortex anemometer
Glad to hear so. The Vortex does look good and for an non-wireless anemometer I think I am leaning towards that anyway - either directly connected to the PC, or linked via a 1-wire system (I think that should be possible, essentially it would be a matter of linking i to a 1-wire counter. Whether it would be worth the effort is perhaps questionable - an advantage might be less long wires).
Pity $ prices are not as attractive now as earlier this year...

I too, like Martin, had zillions of Boltek detections on the 24th Oct....to such an extent that initially I had surmised an electrical fault in my PC room....I then discovered on checking with the other Boltek users that a lot detections were actually taking place with them too... I wonder if that could have been the reason for your RF problems with the Console etc...Interesting
As per the message just posted on Weather-Watch it's as though the strong winds were creating an RF fog.

At its fiercest even the RFXCOM was having difficulty picking up some sensors (and in good conditions that has been known to occasionally pick up OS sensors from a neighbour 800m away!).

Now the wind had eased off here the consoles have sprung back into life. Is a static charge caused by the wind scrubbing over the house a possibility?
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 05:26:09 PM »

[Now the wind had eased off here the consoles have sprung back into life. Is a static charge caused by the wind scrubbing over the house a possibility?
Yup...it's a shame the dolar rate has declined so much..

The Boltek lighning detections I was getting were almost universally over the sea, but that isn't to say that there wasn't a chance of discharge over the land or indeed a substantial build-up of static electricity.  I have not read anything about such phenomenae as you have described, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of something akin to what you have described.  Presumably there is no individual earth bonding of your external Tx's so any discharge energy akin to St Elmo's fire may possibly have a similar effect on the RF spectrum and unbonded equipment.  I don't suppose you went outside and noticed your hair standing on end!!!!
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 08:21:22 PM »

...so any discharge energy akin to St Elmo's fire may possibly have a similar effect on the RF spectrum and unbonded equipment.  I don't suppose you went outside and noticed your hair standing on end!!!!
Any charge capable of standing hair on end in those winds would have probably also involved a smell of burning... lol

Whatever the root of the effect there is apparently still (or again) some of it about since though the consoles were showing all sensors again earlier I've seen the odd unusual drop out within the last hour.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2008, 02:53:14 PM »

We've now had a brief lull in the weather which allowed me to rush out and lower the main mast. When I came to dismantle the anemometer I noticed that the LED on the wind sensor Tx was permanently on - and that LED is usually only lit when the unit transmits (not noticed that before because the position of the Tx normally hides the LED).

Pressing the reset button had no effect on the LED (i.e. it remained on). I had to remove both sets of batteries before the light went off. Since then, no reception problems have been observed.

There was slight moisture inside the parts of the unit I can see into (mainly battery compartment), but so slight that it could just have been a film of condensation on the cold surface brought into the house. There might have been more elsewhere - and I suppose it only takes a little bit in the right place.

So, my guess is that some, possibly moisture related, failure in the wind Tx was causing it to broadcast continuously (or nearly so), thus causing the problems I've been observing (especially so because it happens to be a strong transmitter, and well placed). Some sort of lighting related problem is another possibility for triggering the Tx misbehaving, but I'm hoping that it's just moisture.

I have now put the unit somewhere to dry off thoroughly...
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2008, 05:37:20 PM »

I had to remove both sets of batteries before the light went off.
I have now discovered that the LED goes on as soon as I plug in the cable that connects the Tx to the cups/vane and off again as soon as I unplug - so maybe it was all realated to the original cups/vane problem anyway!
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2008, 07:11:39 PM »

Well at least the diagnostics is progressing well...interesting indeed..
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2008, 07:16:23 PM »

Have you seen this on the WD forum...http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php?topic=35215.msg287489;topicseen#msg287489
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skyewright
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2008, 09:41:06 PM »

It does sound similar in some ways, but I think I remember taking that (i.e. the doubling up) into account when I initially set up the sensor (due to reading about Bashy's experiences), and I think I was pushing the plug home well in my tests today. Too late to test further now - the cable and the cups/vane arm are now packaged up for sending to the UK Weather Shop...

Thanks for the thought.
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