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Lost Sensor Contact!!

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
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 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:05 am

I agree with EvilV. Many of us have these units which work fine - any firmware problem would have shown itself. I've had mine since mid Feb 2009. I found that when the transmitter battery voltage dropped to 1.2v per cell contact was lost. AKAIK batteries are rated down to about 1v or 1.1v at end of life. Normal alkaline batteries would still have quite a lot of life left at 1.2v when used in other applications. I have changed to Lithium cells (1.5v) which not only last longer but also hold their voltage much better before dropping sharply at end of life. Also they are considered to work much better at low temperatures.
Gina

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

christer
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:15 pm
Weather Station: Jenkinsbird Weather Pro = FineOf
Operating System: Windows XP
Location: Luleå, Sweden

Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby christer » Tue May 04, 2010 5:37 am

EvilV wrote:Hi Christer.

I doubt that. The problem is usually due to battery voltage in the outside unit dropping off, especially in cold conditions, when the natural tendency of many types of battery is to drop the voltage. If it was firmware related, why would mine work perfectly from feb 2010 until now, except for one glitch? I saw an error noted on Cumulus the other day and it noted the 'lost sensor contact.' error. I checked, and it happened on a cold night.

It's usually a very simple problem. Any radio transmitter's output power is deeply related to the supply voltage the transmitter has to work with. The transmitter in these units is VERY low power. Cold conditions reduce the transmitter battery voltage. The signal has to penetrate all kinds of walls and barriers to get to the indoor unit, depending on the home construction techniques used in different country's. Gina's unit has to get through a metal reinforced building, mine has to pass through three layers of 4" brick construction. I suppose that in many cases, we set up our station and the signal can just make the trip to the indoor unit, then we forget about them until either a cold night, or the gradual depletion of the battery means we get an error message or a total collapse of the system. I'd bet my house it isn't a firmware problem.

:)


I still thing that there is a software bug in the console. Batteries in the outdoor unit is Energizer Ultimate Lithium and I have not replaced them at this time. They worked well in February when the temp was -29C.
The only thing I did was to restart the console to make it receive data from uotdoor sensor. It still works with the old batteries installed in October 2009.

Have you ever had to restart your PC due to a hangup?

//Christer

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hills
Posts: 662
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset WH1091
Operating System: Windows XP
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby hills » Wed May 12, 2010 10:43 am

Can someone please explain how this could occur? :shock:

I had "lost sensor contact" today from 16:19 to 16:35 and from 16:59 to 17:19 with error messages every 10 seconds during those periods and yet my webcam images, which have temp, rain, wind and pressure embedded in each picture at the time the image is collected, still have details during these "lost sensor" periods. They were updating during this time as you can see the pressure change if you replay the last 3 or 24 hours.

How could that be if I had lost sensor contact?? It looks as if my realtime details were still being updated somehow or have I missed something?
Last edited by hills on Wed May 12, 2010 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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steve
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby steve » Wed May 12, 2010 10:55 am

The pressure will still be updated, as that doesn't come from the remote sensors. As far as I can tell, the other figures weren't updating during the periods you mention.
Steve
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hills
Posts: 662
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:52 am
Weather Station: Fine Offset WH1091
Operating System: Windows XP
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby hills » Wed May 12, 2010 11:01 am

Ah that explains it!! Thanks!

rockyd
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:22 am
Weather Station: WH3081
Operating System: Windows 2000
Location: Melbourne
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Re: Lost Sensor Contact!!

Postby rockyd » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:52 am

I have been having issues with lost contact on and off for over 5 years. Yesterday I came across this thread and read most of it, learning about the aerial inside the console. I have since put the aerial outside the console through one of the vent holes, that seems to have improved the reception greatly. It appears to still work at least 20 metres from the sensors, that is on the other side of the house. Before it would barely maintain contact at half that distance, which I was blaming on our large metal verandah messing up the signal. It's only been going for just over a day, but because it is working places it never worked before, I am quietly confident that it should be much more stable. So for anyone else having similar issues try opening up the console and poking the aerial out through one of the nearest vent holes, and hopefully that should help.


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