Author Topic: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?  (Read 121101 times)

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Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2010, 05:51:56 AM »
..has Davis come back with a fix to this issue rather than replace the battery??  Mine is showing the 'Low Transmitter Battery' only after 4 months of operation.   :-x :???:

Offline killwilly

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #76 on: June 10, 2010, 08:31:56 AM »
Despite a number of emails to Davis re this problem, I still haven't received a positive reply, a lot of waffle saying someone will be in touch. I don't rate their customer service, in my opinion not as good as Oregon UK.  However, since I removed and reinstalled the batteries and did a reset of the ISS the low battery warning hasn't returned. There is something fundamentally wrong with the Vue if so many people keep getting the same problem and it's time Davis got it sorted.

Alan
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Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #77 on: June 10, 2010, 07:29:59 PM »
...called Davis today.  They were fairly nice.  After checking a few things on the console, they asked me to run a volt meter on the battery (in-line and out of the unit).  I did this, nothing out of the ordinary.  Called them back and they said they will be sending me some of that electric grease.  Also sent me a nice email which outlines the problem.  It also says that they incorporated this problem into Vue's that are now being built.  Will report back later. :-|

Offline Coldfront

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #78 on: June 11, 2010, 08:15:39 AM »
Well its' been a couple of weeks since I applied the dielectric grease to the gold contact pins as directed by Ira from Davis. It has worked. I have not had any reoccurances and I am still using the original 9 month old battery. We've had some heavy weather and a lot of fog so if there was ever going to be moisture formed it would have by now.

 I purchased the grease at a local auto parts store locally rather than wait for Davis to ship it North. I'm no chemist, but this stuff is eeerily similar in texture to the silicone grease I use on my swimming pool component o rings. The product I used is made by Permatex and is a dielectric silicone grease marketed as "Permatex Tune Up Grease". It's meant for sealing wire receptacles and spark plug boots in automobiles.

In Ira's email response to me he left out the discharging of the capacitor routine which is posted earlier in this thread. This was the instruction to leave the VV ISS in a dark room to discharge the capacitor which was neccessary to reset the ISS. I did not discharge the capacitor and I have not had the warning message since. All said and told the repair took less than 5 minutes which included a trek up to the roof.

My only after thought is...Does this goop ever have to be reapplied in the years ahead? As I noted in my earlier post changing the battery will flatten the grease because of it's close proximity to the gold contacts and Davis does want a healthy 1/8" to 1/4" glob of this stuff applied. Time will tell.


Offline 4wd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #79 on: June 11, 2010, 08:28:34 AM »
I do wonder what this grease is going to be like after several weeks/months; probably will attract dust and dead insects.
So maybe need cleaning and renewing at least annually? this sounds too much trouble for what is essentially a monitoring problem rather than real (low battery) problem.You'd think it might be resolvable by firmware update - make the low battery detection less sensitive, or require the low battery sensor to be activated continuously for several days before showing a warning message.

Offline johnd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #80 on: June 11, 2010, 09:28:01 AM »
I do get the impression that there's more than one category of low battery issue depending on whether it's a genuine but premature low battery or a false warning. The latter could potentially be fixed with a firmware upgrade, but it's the former that the grease application is intended to fix. AIUI the nature of the real warning happening prematurely is that moisture shorting across on the contact pads activates the channel indicator LED, leaving it running for extended periods and this is what drags the battery down. Hence only preventing moisture forming on the pads will fix the problem.
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Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #81 on: June 11, 2010, 02:02:08 PM »
...anybody know why the 'little green light' stays on?   :???:The one on the bottom of the unit itself.  When I mentioned that, Davis quickly reached for the grease fix.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #82 on: June 12, 2010, 09:00:24 AM »
...just a follow up to my situation.  This morning (before sunrise) I noticed the transmitter had stopped working.  Still waiting on the electric grease from Davis.  This is sounding more and more than just a moisture leak to the battery compartment.  I'm not an expert, but something similar to this happen to one of my other stations (after several years of use...not 4 months) and it was traced back to a bad capacitor that was used to charge the battery.  I'll follow the Davis instruction.  Just seems a bit more than what we may think.

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #83 on: June 12, 2010, 10:04:24 AM »
...anybody know why the 'little green light' stays on?   :???:The one on the bottom of the unit itself.  When I mentioned that, Davis quickly reached for the grease fix.

Quoting Page 4 and 5 of the book you presumably have:

"To verify power, wait 30 seconds
then push and release the white transmitter ID pushbutton next to the battery compartment.
The green transmitter ID LED next to the battery compartment will illuminate
when you press the pushbutton."

"When you release the pushbutton, the LED will blink once, then begin to flash
every 2.5 seconds to show transmission of a data packet. This flashing will stop
within a few minutes to conserve battery life."

Now, if the "little green light" stays on continuously, that means that the transmitter is transmitting all the time.  And when the light is on, the light is taking power from the battery, too.  That will cause the battery to run down rather quickly.

If (for example) electrical leakage across those exposed contacts signals the transmitter to be on all the time, then .....

Offline johnd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #84 on: June 12, 2010, 04:37:59 PM »
Now, if the "little green light" stays on continuously...

I took the OP's comment to mean that the LED continued to flash continuously, not that it was in the lit state continuously. Certainly if the latter was true then there's something seriously amiss and all sorts of symptoms could result including running down the battery _very_ quickly.

But the Vue LED should not be flashing at all in normal use. Even if it's just flashing every 2.5 secs in synchrony with the brief packet transmissions (ie and is not lit continuously) then this is still sufficient to run down the battery within a matter of weeks and this is the fault state that should be prevented by the contact greasing. The LED should not flash at all in normal use unless triggered by someone pressing the channel ID button
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Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #85 on: June 12, 2010, 04:42:42 PM »
...yup got all that and the book too.  When I mentioned to the Davis the green light stayed constant, he said one word..."grease'. :roll:

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #86 on: June 12, 2010, 09:34:26 PM »
...yup got all that and the book too.  When I mentioned to the Davis the green light stayed constant, he said one word..."grease'. :roll:

Not quite sure why you asked: "...anybody know why the 'little green light' stays on?"

Offline johnd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #87 on: June 13, 2010, 02:41:27 AM »
...yup got all that...

But all what? Is/was your LED constantly flashing (ie briefly on and then off again every 2.5 secs) or constantly lit (ie no flashing off at all)? It's an important distinction for troubleshooting.
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Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #88 on: June 13, 2010, 08:20:54 AM »
...yup got all that and the book too.  When I mentioned to the Davis the green light stayed constant, he said one word..."grease'. :roll:

Not quite sure why you asked: "...anybody know why the 'little green light' stays on?"

...just curious as to how many others may have this problem.  :-)...or perhaps their thoughts on why it stays on all the time?

Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #89 on: June 13, 2010, 08:22:04 AM »
...yup got all that...

But all what? Is/was your LED constantly flashing (ie briefly on and then off again every 2.5 secs) or constantly lit (ie no flashing off at all)? It's an important distinction for troubleshooting.


my green light (last time I checked) stays on all the time. 

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #90 on: June 13, 2010, 10:24:58 AM »
...yup got all that and the book too.  When I mentioned to the Davis the green light stayed constant, he said one word..."grease'. :roll:

Not quite sure why you asked: "...anybody know why the 'little green light' stays on?"

...just curious as to how many others may have this problem.  :-)...or perhaps their thoughts on why it stays on all the time?

The green transmitter ID LED next to the battery compartment will illuminate
when you press the pushbutton


The green light stays on all the time because the transmitter is transmitting all the time.

My thought is that one of these two things is the case:

1.  The pushbutton is stuck.

2.  Something (perhaps moisture on the contacts) is making the unit transmit continuously.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 10:27:25 AM by dalecoy »

Offline johnd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2010, 10:51:05 AM »
1.  The pushbutton is stuck.

That's a good point - you've stirred a faint recollection. I have seen one or two Vue ISS units where the battery holder wasn't located quite correctly. In these units it was possible to press the button in and 'stick', ie for it not to release out immediately again against the spring.

Just releasing and then reseating the battery holder unit should be enough to correct this.

I'm still puzzled about the LED being lit continuously - the error I'm more familiar with is where the LED _flashes_ continuously, which in itself is enough to run down the battery prematurely.
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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2010, 11:40:49 AM »
I'm still puzzled about the LED being lit continuously - the error I'm more familiar with is where the LED _flashes_ continuously, which in itself is enough to run down the battery prematurely.

Yeah, but that's what VaJim insists is happening.

Do we know anything about the functioning of those exposed contacts?  Perhaps some combination turns the transmitter on continuous-transmit for testing or something?

Or, what actually happens if the pushbutton is held in (i.e., stuck)?

Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #93 on: June 13, 2010, 12:52:55 PM »
...the button is not stuck.  As far as I can recall, the green light has been on since about 10June.  One of things Davis asked me to check was the battery, both in-line and out.  So the battery did come out while I checked it.  Yesterday I pushed the buttom and it did nothing to get the green light back to normal.  Now the transmitter only works while the sun is hitting the solar panel.  Davis says it call be fixed with the 'grease'.  We'll see.

Offline killwilly

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #94 on: June 14, 2010, 01:50:46 AM »
johnd.

You are very familiar with Davis stations, do you know what the exposed contacts are actually for, do they have a function?

Alan
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Offline johnd

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2010, 12:11:16 PM »
You are very familiar with Davis stations, do you know what the exposed contacts are actually for, do they have a function?

No sorry I don't know for sure. Very likely they will be for some kind of production-line SIM configuration or testing process eg using a custom tool that can mate reliably and quickly with the set of contacts, but I don't know exactly what.
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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #96 on: June 14, 2010, 12:49:48 PM »
You are very familiar with Davis stations, do you know what the exposed contacts are actually for, do they have a function?

No sorry I don't know for sure. Very likely they will be for some kind of production-line SIM configuration or testing process eg using a custom tool that can mate reliably and quickly with the set of contacts, but I don't know exactly what.

If there's any firmware in there, then part of the function might be to update the firmware - but I've always presumed that there isn't any updateable firmware there.  The measurement functionality is rather simple, and the transmitter algorithms are likely hardwired.

In any case, as you said, we've been told (and it's logical) that the contacts are for production-line testing.  Making sure all the sensors work properly, etc.

Inadvertant leakage across those contacts therefore could do almost anything - like keeping the transmitter turned on continuously.

It would be logical, during that testing, to turn the transmitter on for fairly-extended periods (several seconds, at least), and cycle through the frequencies, etc.  

In other words - through those contacts, the manufacturer will be able to test and control all of the functions of the device.

Inadvertant leakage across those contacts could do almost anything - including turning on the transmitter continuously.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 12:53:04 PM by dalecoy »

Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #97 on: June 14, 2010, 07:25:28 PM »
...as I wait for the Davis grease and battery, just a couple thoughts/options came to mind.  Now I'm not an expert, but IMO there are 2 possible fixes:

1.  Make the battery compartment more water tight.

2.  Move the contacts to a different area out of the weather exposed battery compartment or put some type of cover over them.

The grease will probably get the unit back to working, but how long will it last?

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #98 on: June 14, 2010, 07:47:29 PM »
...as I wait for the Davis grease and battery, just a couple thoughts/options came to mind. 
...
The grease will probably get the unit back to working, but how long will it last?

If applied correctly and not disturbed, 50 years.

Offline VaJim

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Re: Battery failures on Vantage Vue?
« Reply #99 on: June 14, 2010, 07:56:01 PM »
...as I wait for the Davis grease and battery, just a couple thoughts/options came to mind. 
...
The grease will probably get the unit back to working, but how long will it last?

If applied correctly and not disturbed, 50 years.

Thanks :shock:

That's good to know.  This is embarrassing...my Rainwise is strong, even my Lacrosse is still ticking (waiting on a new hydro sensor to correct rainfall)...but my Davis is dead in the water. :oops:

 

anything