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Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
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Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:33 am

CrasHBoneS wrote:
Hi all, I have a PCE-FWS20 produced by Fine Offset Electronics Co. LTD (Honk Kong), also known as:
Fine Offset WH1080/WH1081,
Watson W-8681/WX-2008,
....................................

I have a question:
almost every day the station measures 0.3 mm rainfall, probably caused by "moisture" in the rain gauge
example:
Today
Rainfall max. 0,3 mm at 08.06
Yesterday
Rainfall max. 0,3 mm at 08.08


Today
Max hourly rainfall 0,3 mm at 05.50
Yesterday
Max hourly rainfall 0,3 mm at 05.52

In an old post I noticed that the station, every day at dawn measured 0,3 mm of rain, I thought it was moisture but I was wrong; It is related to solar panel, becuase if it is not sunny the rain is measured later then dawn.

So I connected directly rain meter to thermo-igro-transmitter, bypassing solar panel -> no rain at dawn or later is measured;
probably when the solar panel starts working 0,3 mm of rain is measured;
moreover:
1)when the rain meter is directly connected to thermo-igro-transmitter If i pour some water in rain meter, the water is measured
2)when the rain meter is connected to solar panel If i pour some water in rain meter, the water is NOT measured

All cable has been already tested and seems OK
The pole doesn't vibrate: it is strongly fixed to concrete wall

Thank You

User avatar
steve
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby steve » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:39 am

Same problem here: http://sandaysoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7719

I don't know what the permanent solution was in that case - perhaps leaving the solar charger disconnected.
Steve
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Hosting available for Cumulus web sites. See http://sandaysoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11876

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CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
Contact:

Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:17 am

steve wrote:Same problem here: http://sandaysoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7719
I don't know what the permanent solution was in that case - perhaps leaving the solar charger disconnected.


Thank you.
luckily some other user has my same problem otherwise somebody could think I'm mad

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
Contact:

Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:47 pm

As I wrote in the post above: This morning I pour some water in rain gauge and nothing was measured

Tonight I didn't do any reset on the station, neither removed batteries from transmitter or receiver, so the "conditions" are the same of this morning

It is night now in Italy, I pour some water in the rain gauge: the rain gauge measured 2.1 mm rainfall..............

This explain why some times the station measured rainfall:
1)if the "light" during rain it is enough to make solar panel works, the rain will NOT be measured
2)if the "light" during rain it is NOT enough to make solar panel works, the rain will be measured

Thank You all

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:18 am

Update.......

it is really solar panel the guilty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This morning is sunny
Solar panel is covered since yesterday night-> 0.3 mm doesn't appear on console this morning ->OK

1)I pour some water in the rain gauge: the rain gauge measured X.X mm rainfall
2)I remove the cover from solar panel
3)0.3 mm appears on console!!!!!!!!
4)I pour some water in the rain gauge: the rain gauge didn't measure anything

dpmiller
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 1:34 pm
Weather Station: WH3080
Operating System: Win XP sp3
Location: newtownards, N.I.

Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby dpmiller » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:19 am

sounds like the rain and solar's wires are swapped or touching?

AllyCat
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby AllyCat » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:41 am

Hi,

It's probably not as simple as that.

But if you have a multimeter and/or some electronics expertise then there are photographs of the inside of the (Solar-data) Pod on the forum here. I believe there was a photo of the solar-charging-only version earlier.

If you have the Solar-data version then the simple "fix" will be to disconnect a red+/black- PV cell wire (very clear in the first photo) and you will at least get all the solar data and (probably) correct rain measurements.

Cheers, Alan.

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:30 pm

dpmiller wrote:sounds like the rain and solar's wires are swapped or touching?


Image

the rain gauge has a rj11 cable/plug and uses the 2 central wire and it is connected into solar panel, if I test the cable with tester, I hear a bip every time the rain gauge make a tips because it close reed relay

from solar panel starts a rj11 cable/plug with 4 wire, the 2 central are the same as rain gauge (I tested) and the 2 external I suppose must recharge batteries

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:34 pm

AllyCat wrote:Hi,

If you have the Solar-data version then the simple "fix" will be to disconnect a red+/black- PV cell wire (very clear in the first photo) and you will at least get all the solar data and (probably) correct rain measurements.

Cheers, Alan.


My weather station doesn't have solar data........

I suppose I have to use normal batteries and exclude solar panel.....

Thank You all for helping me

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:54 pm

Something sounds strange.............

Image

I have the solar pod above, and I tested the central wire: the central wire, in the cable coming from solar panel are used by rain gauge so the external are used by solar panel, but Gina says
"Power is fed to the Tx via pins 3 (-) and 5 (+) of the Rain connector, and the rain sensor plugs into the bottom of the solar pod."

Image

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
Contact:

Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:01 pm

CrasHBoneS wrote:Something sounds strange.............

Image

I have the solar pod above, and I tested the central wire: the central wire, in the cable coming from solar panel are used by rain gauge so the external are used by solar panel, but Gina says
"Power is fed to the Tx via pins 3 (-) and 5 (+) of the Rain connector, and the rain sensor plugs into the bottom of the solar pod."

Image



But if PIN IN/OUT would be as described Gina, the workaround to connect directly rain gauge to TX could not work...........

AllyCat
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby AllyCat » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:46 pm

Hi,

The "rain sensor" is simply a magnetic reed switch connected across the middle two pins of the RJ11 plug (yellow and red above). In the transmitter, one pin is connected to "earth" the other to the microcontroller's rain counter pin. AFAIK the Solar Pod just connects the middle pins of its input rain socket to the middle two pins of the plug on its "captive" cable.

The positive of the PV cell is connected to one of the "end" pins and the negative to "earth" so that can be the same as one of the "rain" pins. But seems that either FO have got some cable connections crossed (in these faulty units), or there is a leakage current or a short-circuit on the Solar Pod's circuit board.

Cheers, Alan.

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:36 pm

Some personal thoughts
-PV cell can charge batteries (I measured 1.75 and 1.62 V)
-PV cell, at night, does not "conflict" with rain gauge

I suppose that PV cell, when starts working, "closes" middle pins contacts, and creates a rising edge (0.3 mm), if rain gauge make further tips the contact is already closed and they can't be seen by transmitter

dpmiller
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 1:34 pm
Weather Station: WH3080
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Location: newtownards, N.I.

Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby dpmiller » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:37 am

something's not right here then. PV should be making more than 3v, there's TWO batteries, remember...

CrasHBoneS
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:49 am
Weather Station: PCE-FWS20
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Re: Rain-meter & solar panel: strange problem

Postby CrasHBoneS » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:10 am

dpmiller wrote:something's not right here then. PV should be making more than 3v, there's TWO batteries, remember...


the measures I wrote refer to voltage of single batteries


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