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LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Discussion specific to Davis weather stations
BCJKiwi
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby BCJKiwi » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:25 pm

I have had three instances of low battery on my Vue in 2 1/2 years. Replaced the battery after the second time as I was doing some general maintenance on the station.
On the first and last time the low batt message was displayed, it stayed on for 2-4 days then went away again. The battery I replaced was well above the minimum voltage level.

Others (wxforum) have reported just ignoring the message and have continued to operated their stations for extended periods afterward (i.e. many months and continuing).

david3
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby david3 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:29 am

My Davis VantageVue went online in February 2012 and I just changed the battery after about 2 years 2 months.

When I first got the "Low Battery Transmitter 1" warning, I upgraded the console firmware to the latest v3.00, as there had been a note at v2.14:

Solved problem of inadvertent low transmitter battery message. It was displaying as soon as a low voltage was detected, now it will not display unless a low battery has been detected for a full 2 minutes.


After giving it a day to reset, the warning went away for a few weeks. Then it came back, and I just left it like that for a week or two (with the warning on the console). It still seemed to be working fine.

Then last night I got up in the middle of the night around 3-4 am, and looked at the console and saw it was receiving no data (I know a few hours earlier it was). So this morning I put in a new battery. I've got a a bunch of new Sanyo CR123A batteries I got maybe 10 years ago for a flashlight. I checked the voltage before putting it in and it measured 3.2V.

I also checked the voltage on the old Duracell battery after I removed it, and it was at 2.69V. So in this case it seems the low battery warning was legitimate.
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ajcm
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby ajcm » Wed May 14, 2014 11:26 pm

Hello:

I bought my davis vp2 plus in August 2009 and On february of this year 2014, I had to change de battery of ISS.

Thanks.

Paragon
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LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby Paragon » Mon May 26, 2014 4:26 am

My VV is now 4 years old. It has been displaying LOW BATTERY for a couple of weeks. I think it is the original battery - I don't remember replacing it. Current voltage is 2.72 V.

In the past spiders have caused problems here. Cleaning the battery and compartment fixed the problem. I usually use a surface insect spray to keep bugs at bay in the battery compartment, on the screen and in the tipping spoon housing. I have to clean it out every 2 months max anyway to clear the buildup of sediment in the rain spoon.

Lately, as the battery gets low, a tiny deposit of something black seems to develop on the battery, increasing resistance and reducing the current available from the voltage. Cleaning the battery has helped up to now, but not any more.

I don't recall anyone yet saying when the battery voltage is too low and the unit stops working.

Update:
My ISS stopped transmitting during the night. The temperature was about 3 to 5 C so the battery would not work so well anyway. Transmission restarted once the capacitor had some charge this morning. Sunrise is 07:20 and sunset 17:07 so it looks like it takes more than 10.5 hours of sunlight to charge the capacitor for overnight winter running here. This afternoon I have replaced the battery, but still have the LOW BATTERY message. Hopefully it will go away overnight, as has been said above.

So It looks like the minimum voltage is about 2.72 V or so.

philpugh
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby philpugh » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:07 pm

I had failed to notice the low battery message - installed my Vantage Vue some 4 years ago - and a few days ago noticed that the night time temp had fallen to -1838C :D

Replaced the CR123 the next day and everything returned to normal and the overnight readings seemed to be correct.

alexgray
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby alexgray » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:14 pm

I have a couple of problems with a Davis Vantage Vue weather station installed only a couple of months ago.

It seems to be running down the transmitter backup battery in a matter of days. The first battery lasted 2 months, but then showed low battery when I replaced it (it was at 1.85V), the next one went within a week. The low batteries leads to a symptom where the reported outside temperature drops to about -70C during the hours of darkness. During the day it operates normally [see outdoor graph].

On top of that problem, there is a weird thing happening on the internal temperature reading, which fluctuates rapidly and regularly by a small amount during the exact same hours [see indoor graph]. This is really puzzling as you wouldn't think the indoor reading would be affected by the operation of the outdoor transmitter unit at all, yet it seems to coincide exactly in time with the outdoor unit failing.

From what has been said about a supercap being used and the battery stepping in only after a long night or dull day, I am also puzzled that the effects seem to kick in immediately at dusk.

Any thoughts?
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BCJKiwi
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby BCJKiwi » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:14 am

The station runs off the solar panel when there is light.
The solar panel also re/charges the supercap.
The station runs off the supercap when there is insufficient output from the solar panel.

The battery is a 'last resort' backup supply and should not be required except under periods of extended low light when the supercap cannot be charged sufficiently during the day to last through the night. The battery is not recharged by the solar panel.

The situation you describe suggests the supercap is not able to supply the the station overnight therefore the battery is being called on to run the station every night.

So either the station is drawing much more power than it should, or, the supercap is not being charged/not holding the charge.

Time to get back to the supplier.

alexgray
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby alexgray » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:37 am

Thanks. Yes, that was exactly my conclusion, and I have emailed the supplier.

Seems like maybe the supercap hasn't worked from day 1. The first battery may have lasted longer just because it was June and July (when we have only 2 or 3 hours of darkness at night), but now we are getting longer nights the battery is dying even faster.

Rather than a faulty capacitor, I guess another possibility is that something is drawing too much power in the transmitter or there is a leakage path causing the capacitor to discharge quite quickly each evening and the battery to die after a few days of supporting the unit for most of the night time.

I just wondered if anyone else had seen the same pattern of behaviour, and in particular if anyone could think of a logical reason for the strange ripple on the indoor temperature readings that occurs when the transmitter has lost power.

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steve
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby steve » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:46 am

alexgray wrote:if anyone could think of a logical reason for the strange ripple on the indoor temperature readings that occurs when the transmitter has lost power.
Perhaps the console is periodically (every 20 minutes approx) trying to get a better lock on the transmitter signal, causing it to work harder and thus increasing the temperature in the console slightly.
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alexgray
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby alexgray » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:03 am

I was wondering along those lines, but as far as I know the reception is a passive activity ie it doesn't do anything special to receive in the way that, for example, a cell phone does (where power is raised if the incoming signal is weak), but is listening out all the time, so I didn't think that directly would cause a problem, but maybe it is caused by the unit flicking up a lost signal message.

Though rather than raising the console temperature I was thinking more that it maybe has a little supply voltage sensitivity in its temperature reading and that some periodic activity in the absence of the tx signal was pulling down the supply very slightly. Maybe it flashes a light inside or the display light - I've never watched it during the dark as it's in a remote location.

Either way it would have to be classed as a minor design fault - the circuitry for the local temperature readout should be stabilised against expected supply loads and self-generated heat. I've never heard any else report such a consistent ripple in the indoor readings though.

I was interested in the earlier posting about spiders causing low battery alarms - our previous weather station (cheapy Maplin Fine Offset type) stopped recording any rainfall, and when I opened it up to investigate I found that a spider had anchored one main radial of a web to the little tippler bucket, providing just enough tension to stop it tippling even when filled with water!

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martinb978
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby martinb978 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:18 pm

I am having battery issue. I purchased a Vantage Vue unit in May of this year. The initial unit would not transmit so was of no use whatsoever and was replaced. The second one worked fine, however in early September, Tx Battery 1 Low was displayed on the console. This meant that as soon as the light failed the ISS stopped transmitting. It also meant that the temperature recorded by the console fell to -68 degrees C which means all high and low records were now corrupt without editing data. I changed the battery which was the one supplied with the unit. This had an expiry date of 2013 so it seemed sensible to presume this was the cause of the fault. I did not check the voltage on the battery and now wish I had.

Now in early October the same thing has happened again. I presumed that this is to do with the 'Supercap' problem mentioned on theses pages. Because of this I contacted the original seller who pointed me in the direction of the UK distributor. (left an answer machine message and got an automated reply to an email - so not too encouraging at this point) This problem occurred yesterday and as soon as it got dark the ISS stopped transmitting. It started transmitting again at around 0900, around two hours after it got light but then died later on in the afternoon when it became dull but not dark.

I decided to change the battery to give the process another go, so in went a fresh battery. The ISS did start transmitting but the battery low message was being displayed. I checked the 'dead' battery and it still had an almost full charge. I also checked the solar panel and that was clean.

Finally, I have Cumulus running on an old laptop with the lid closed which works fine and this runs a website. I thought I would check the battery state on Cumulus as I don't normall check it and Tx Battery 1 was showing low. I restarted Cumulus and battery 1 came up showing OK. The weird thing in all of this is that as soon as I did this the message on the console disappeared. As far as I know the console transmits to the PC and not the other way round. I have a standard USB Serial connection.

Apologies for this going on a bit but do these symptoms ring any bells with anyone. The only thing I can think of is coating the contacts with something like vaseline

Thanks in advance

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mcrossley
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby mcrossley » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:26 pm

When Cumulus is restarted it resets the console clock, this seems to clear various things on the console like the radio stats, it would seem it also clears the low battery flag. Normally the console only does this around midnight after a battery change - it also resets the radio stats then.

If the ISS is eating batteries like that then I'd contact the seller - did you buy it new?

martinb978
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby martinb978 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:23 pm

Yes I bought the unit new, but the response from the retailer (who I believe is one of the better ones) was to contact the importer / distributor about a warranty repair.

I am now waiting for a reply from them on what to do. In the meantime I think I will grease the battery terminals just in case it is a moisture problem as I can't quite understand why the battery I removed still had a relatively full charge

willemweather
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby willemweather » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:50 pm

I replaced the 3V Li battery in the transmitter. The LOW BATTERY message did not disappear until the next day. I contacted Davis Tech Support in California. They apologised for not updating the manual accordingly. :bash:

They further told me that the solar panel generates 2.2V. This is stepped up to 3V in the ISS module. Always check the connector of the solar panel when closing the transmitter box.

I am a happy user of the excellent VP2 weather station which I bought in 2011.

brookr
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Re: LOW BATTERY TRANSMITTER 1?

Postby brookr » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:44 am

Hi
I Currently have the Low battery on station 1 showing on the console. I've Changed the battery twice in the last 1/2hr with 2 makes of battery duracell and panosonic.
I know the batteries are good - tested each and they show 3.11 volts. The one I replaced had a voltage of 2.49v so its not completely dead. Do I have to wait until midnight for the message to disappear? :?: :idea:


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