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Lost Sensor Contact!!

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:38 am

EvilV wrote:This is getting a bit weird because I was under the impression that you had previously isolated the wind apparatus and were getting spikes with a new extension cable plugged into nothing but strung up the mast. Now it seems you have a new cable plugged into nothing but no spikes. You already ruled out the static build up theory (except that I wouldn't count a 9" copper pipe as a good earth myself. In my Radio Ham days I used at least a one metre copper rod hammered down into the ground and watered it regularly in dry weather) so why have the spikes gone now? Is it because you are now shielding the cable by running it up the inside of an earthed tube, perhaps? And what will happen when you re-connect your wind gear at the top?

I may have missed something here in your current arrangements.... It si getting complicated to keep up for an 'auld git'. :)
I'm a bit of an an 'auld git' myself - 68 in July!! :o

Yes, I think you're right about this - I'll have to produced a detailled test schedule and results.

Only the last foot or so of the cable goes inside the mast - from the top. The rest is in the same position as the original sensor cable within half an inch, using the same tape. One difference is that the cross piece for the sensors is no longer at the top of the mast and the original extension cable is connected to the tx unit. The modem cable that was connected to the tx unit and wrapped round the sensor cable and a couple of foot of mast is now at the top of the mast, plugged into the coupler. Does this make sense?

I was thinking of replacing the original cable from the wind vane unit, plus coupler and extension cable, with one new cable soldered into the vane unit. That would do away with the two coupler connections.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:42 am

12:00 06 Apr 2010 Start of spikes

11:00 11 Apr 2010 Start of USB fix
19:30 11 Apr 2010 USB done and station back on-line

12:00 13 Apr 2010 TX unit brought indoors for examination and photos
18:00 13 Apr 2010 TX unit back in screen and station back on-line
11:00 14 Apr 2010 Brought tx unit indoors
12:00 14 Apr 2010 Batteries removed from TX unit and thermistor resoldered

13:00 14 Apr 2010 TX unit reinstslled in screen

16:50 16 Apr 2010 Disonnected wind sensors. Connected rain gauge

10:30 17 Apr 2010 Connected rain gauge at tx unit
11:50 17 Apr 2010 Connected wind sensors again
13:00 17 Apr 2010 Disonnected wind sensors. Connected another RJ11 cable wound round wind sensor cable and mast.
20:30 17 Apr 2010 onnected rain gauge at tx unit. Also fan.

10:50 18 Apr 2010 Connected wind sensors again to check for interference
14:00 18 Apr 2010 Re-connected rain gauge at tx unit. Also fan.
16:40 18 Apr 2010 Disconnected rain gauge at tx unit.
18:00 18 Apr 2010 Earthed mast. Moved TX unit etc.
18:55 18 Apr 2010 Re-did mast earth. 9" copper pipe hammered into

10:45 19 Apr 2010 Lowered mast, removed wind sensors, extended cable to TX unit and taped it to the mast. Excess length fed down inside the mast.
240hrs-Temperature.png
I'll see if I can get this into a more easily read presentation.
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Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:58 pm

Had the wind vane unit apart and found a broken wire on the output cable where it connects to the circuit board. So rather than just repair the connection, I might as well connect a new cable.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

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nking
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby nking » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:59 pm

Hi Gina,

I'm not sure I've kept up with the drama but I thought you were getting temperature spikes, are you now thinking it's from the wind units? It's like a game of Cluedo :lol:

EvilV
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby EvilV » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:07 pm

A broken wire in the wind sensor sounds like a very likely candidate to create nasty erratic performance, but if I am not confused (and I am a bit) you reported spikes the other day when the wind sensors were not connected and it seemed that something was being picked up on the long lead from the top of the pole.

I'm wondering how your wind data could have appeared intact when there was a break in the wire. Possibly, the connection was mostly there, and only occasionally broken, generating a spike, or possibly it was one of the ground return wires from one of the pairs and they had another path to ground between them in the circuit board. Just guesswork and likely pointless.

Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:00 pm

nking wrote:Hi Gina,

I'm not sure I've kept up with the drama but I thought you were getting temperature spikes, are you now thinking it's from the wind units? It's like a game of Cluedo :lol:
When the wind sensors were connected spikes occurred in the temperature plot. When the wind sensors were disconnected, the spikes stopped. Surprising but not quite magic. The temperature circuit is next to the wind sensor socket.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Gina
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Location: Devon UK

Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:19 pm

EvilV wrote:A broken wire in the wind sensor sounds like a very likely candidate to create nasty erratic performance, but if I am not confused (and I am a bit) you reported spikes the other day when the wind sensors were not connected and it seemed that something was being picked up on the long lead from the top of the pole.

I'm wondering how your wind data could have appeared intact when there was a break in the wire. Possibly, the connection was mostly there, and only occasionally broken, generating a spike, or possibly it was one of the ground return wires from one of the pairs and they had another path to ground between them in the circuit board. Just guesswork and likely pointless.
It was a black wire on the outside of the row and connects to the wind vane resistor network. The two outer connections are the vane and the two inner ones are the anemometer, being connected directly to the anemometer socket.

I think it quite possible that the wire was making intermittent contact and causing interference. I was going to say that without looking at the TX unit I don't know if it was the earth or not - but just realised I've got photos :lol: Think I'm a bit tired - had rather exhausting visitors this afternoon :(
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:24 pm

Oooh look!!! A spike!! After several hours!
24hrs-Temperature-only-j.png
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Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Gina
Posts: 1885
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:41 pm
Weather Station: Nothing working ATM - making one
Operating System: OS X, Linux Mint, Win7 & XP
Location: Devon UK

Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:18 am

Had several spikes and not only in the temperature, wind speed and rain have also received spikes. Here's a repeat of the live temperature
Image

And the wind
Image

And rain
Image

No external sensors are connected to the tx unit.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

EvilV
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby EvilV » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:00 am

Buy a new one.
:lol:

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Super-T
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Super-T » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:10 am

yup....you have to swap out the hardware.
There must be someone near you with a spare transmitter and/or console?
A tad far to borrow mine.

geoffw
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby geoffw » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:24 am

Didn't you buy your weather station about the same time I did? As you know this thread started with me problems and they replaced mine. Is it still less than a year old?
Geoff
Image

Gina
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:12 am

geoffw wrote:Didn't you buy your weather station about the same time I did? As you know this thread started with me problems and they replaced mine. Is it still less than a year old?
No, it's well over a year old now. I bought it mid February 1009.

Anyway, there's a puzzle at foot and I like to solve puzzles. Also, other users with a similar sensor layout may be getting their spikes from a similar cause. I don't think there's actually anything faulty with my kit - except that I've broken the cable off the wind vane circuit board but it wasn't effectively secured and was already loose when I went inside. I want to put my own cable on anyway so that I don't have connections half way up the mast.
Wind-vane-f.png


Here's the solder side of the circuit board.
Wind-vane-b.png
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Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

Charlie
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Location: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada

Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Charlie » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:47 am

Hi Gina,

If you are putting your own cable on anyway, why not opt for shielded twisted pair?
Ground the shield at the transmitter unit - maybe to one of the battery terminals?
At the very least, opt for twisted CAT-3, not the supplied flat stuff.

Every little bit helps.

Gina
Posts: 1885
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:41 pm
Weather Station: Nothing working ATM - making one
Operating System: OS X, Linux Mint, Win7 & XP
Location: Devon UK

Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby Gina » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:54 am

Charlie wrote:Hi Gina,

If you are putting your own cable on anyway, why not opt for shielded twisted pair?
Ground the shield at the transmitter unit - maybe to one of the battery terminals?
At the very least, opt for twisted CAT-3, not the supplied flat stuff.

Every little bit helps.
I think the cable I have is twisted pair but not shielded. But I haven't found it yet :lol: I was thinking of trying to thread the cable down the inside of the mast - tidier and the pipe would act as a shield over that part.

11:45 20 Apr 2010 Cable unplugged from tx unit.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.


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