Author Topic: VP2 anemometer cups sticking  (Read 8151 times)

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Offline Evening thunder

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VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« on: March 01, 2016, 10:59:05 AM »
I have the later model of anemometer with no reed switch, bought in September 2013 shortly after it came out. However, for a while now the wind cups have been 'sticking' at times in light winds. Looking back through my records, the first sign of this was actually in summer 2014, though gradually getting more noticeable, especially this winter.

For the first year or so after purchase, the 'gust' would very rarely be 0mph. Now however, it can be zero for nearly the whole night except for occasional spike of 4-8mph. I have also noticed a visible light breeze (plants moving etc) with the vane moving but no movement of the cups. Sometimes, by shaking the pole lightly, it frees the cups and off they go briefly, or they 'stutter' and try to turn irregularly before stopping.

Oddly, the sticking issue is not continuous and I sometimes see them spinning/gliding freely at 1-2mph (as opposed to irregular stop/start movements), perhaps after a stronger gusts have 'freed' them, though this lasts a variable period until they stop and stick.

A few days ago this finally prompted me to get the pole down, take the wind cups off and clean the shaft/cups and other exposed surfaces.

However, this does not seem to have solved the problem.

With the wind cups off I took this picture.. and it appears what I think may be the bearings? have some 'rust' or corrosion on them:

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I was wondering if  this is likely to be the cause, or could it be something else such as dirt/dust getting further into the 'body' behind what is visible with just the cups off?
The shaft turned freely, with no noticeable stiffness or grittiness, though made a noise if I 'span' it at high speeds.

This anemometer is a replacement for another which did this same thing after 1 year 4 months! Indeed I made a very similar post to this one. I thought maybe it was a one off and bought the new version hoping it would last several years.. so it will be a bit annoying if this is the bearings or it is not easily fixable..

Despite my need for accuracy, if it is the bearings I could probably live with it compared to paying the UK price for a new anemometer.. unless it is likely to affect higher wind speeds too?

Though it would be nice to have a properly functioning part so I'm happy to hear any suggestions from people who get to the end of this longer than intended post (bearing in mind (pun unintended!) I don't really have any DIY experience with these things).

Many thanks
Sam
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 11:04:20 AM by Evening thunder »

Offline miraculon

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 01:51:50 PM »
I had similar problems with my old Dallas Semiconductor "Weather Station". (similar to AAG and Texas Weather).
I found a source of replacement bearings and replaced them. I also replaced the vane bearings. It worked like new with the replacement bearings.

From your photo, it looks like the bearings might be similar.

This resource may be helpful. It does include a source for bearings for the Davis wind set. A quick search on Google for the R2ZZ bearing resulted in a number of potential sources.

Greg H.




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Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 06:58:07 PM »
Thanks for that info about possible replacement, I had seen that page though not read it in depth.

Not sure how good I'd be at something like replacing the bearings, but if it comes to it I my try.

I did some more searching and came across a French forum (http://forums.infoclimat.fr/topic/87269-anemometre-vp2-effet-hall-roulements-hs/) where people are having this problem, I had to translate the page but it seems some are saying the quality of the anemometers/bearings has deteriorated, which matches my experience and doesn't give me much confidence.

It's all well and good saying the 'improved' anemometer has a lower starting threshold, but it needs to last more than a year or two..


I do like Davis equipment overall (e.g. the good performance of the radiation shield, update frequency etc) as long as it is accurate, but am becoming a bit frustrated with certain aspects like apparently inconsistent reliability. I've also recently had problems with more than one tipping bucket (though I'd need another thread to go into that).

Then again, I'm not sure how easy it is to make an anemometer that lasts several years without becoming 'stiff'...

Offline belfryboy

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 06:50:04 AM »
That's interesting (or it is to me) It certainly looks like water ingress from where the two parts of the anemometer come apart.



replacing the bearing shouldn't be too arduous, but then again why should you? perhaps a thin silicon sealant seal should be applied before assembling these.

Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 02:41:47 PM »
Interesting, there's certainly been enough water available to ingress over the last couple of years..

Rather different from California (where I presume Davis do much of their 'field' testing)

It doesn't seem to be sticking quite so much the last few days, though it did get a good blow (up to 45mph) the other day.

Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2016, 07:17:26 AM »
Well, I spoke too soon.

We had a strong blow the other day, had a gust of 59mph, the highest I've recorded. However the next morning I noticed it was sticking worse than ever, and it is again this morning.

I have an old 2007 anemometer from my old/backup ISS installed again for comparison. I just saw it show 8mph, while the new one shows 0mph. At 10mph it only said 3mph. The average speed is showing 1mph compared to 5mph from the 2007 anemometer.

I made a video illustrating the problem. This is from the other day but it seems even worse this morning.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5MTKGOjSPE

Looks like I'm gunna have to do something about this.
Maybe it's a bit of grit/rust working through the bearings that will remove itself or that I could remove somehow, probably very wishful thinking though.

Of course that may give the question, why don't I just use the old anemometer? Well, why should I in the long term having bought 2 newer ones that have not lasted long. I don't know how long the reed switch etc on the 2007 model will last. Also when the new one is working like new, it can show 2-3mph when the old one shows 0mph, though that is probably reasonable given its age. I did think the vane was stiff, but seems to move more freely now, and more freely than the new anemometer..)

I've found quite a few reviews mentioning similar problems, including someone who has also had 2 seize up within a few years, like me.

If I go to a website selling them, I see "Sealed stainless steel ball bearings for long life"... Hmmm.

Edit: inserted the wrong video  :oops: lol
Average is now 1mph vs 6mph from the old anny, been this bad for a couple hours now.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 07:26:13 AM by Evening thunder »

Offline ArmySlowRdr

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 10:35:25 PM »
Well I have the same problem. Noticed about a week ago the wind seemed "calm" a whole lot more of the time.  When I was out
replacing the motor/fan in the FARs I noted the wind blowing and the cups not rotating. A gust will make them rotate.  Tonight I went out noticed same thing...gave the telepole a good shake---twirling cups---for a few seconds---wind still blowing, then no twirling.

Just so happens the TWC guy was up in the bucket working on the utility pole---I hope I dont get reported for code violation..lol
I need to get a flag back on the pole too to be loop-holedly quasi-legal.

Anyway paid Amazon 4.99 shipping so a replacement will be here Thursday. Went ahead and ordered some of the batteries too just in case.  Hope it is not anything else....
Will be off Friday so I guess will de-telescope the tele-pole and perform maintenance.

It appears the fan/motor lasted 2 and a half years. The anemometer 2 and 3/4.

Offline Andy Thompson

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 06:58:39 AM »
I just replaced an anemometer from 2007 with a new one back before new years. The reason I replaced it is because it started to quit reading, then sometimes come back, then finally quit reading for good. My 2nd station which is from 2011 at another location has also had its 2nd anemometer put on last summer for the same reason. But I've never had problems with the cups actually sticking.
Regards,
Andy Thompson
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Offline ArmySlowRdr

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 10:46:03 AM »
1146 PM last night was the last time I even registered a gust.  No readings ever since.  I won't be able to fix until at least Friday.   :evil:

Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 01:15:52 PM »
Update: I took it down, can tell something is wrong as can hear it grinding/whirring with occasional gritty 'crunches'. The vane shaft is a bit stiff with a hint of grittiness too.

But, I'll be darned if I can get the cups off. Seems the set screw has stripped as multiple allen keys of the correct size just slip. The manual did say to make sure it is it 'very tight' so I did..

Unless I can get it out another way (tried super-glueing the end of the allen key to the screw lol) I'll either be using the 2007 anemometer (like I am now temporarily) or a new one, though as UK prices are about double what you can get it for in the US, just buying another isn't so justifiable.


Well I have the same problem. Noticed about a week ago the wind seemed "calm" a whole lot more of the time.  When I was out
replacing the motor/fan in the FARs I noted the wind blowing and the cups not rotating. A gust will make them rotate.  Tonight I went out noticed same thing...gave the telepole a good shake---twirling cups---for a few seconds---wind still blowing, then no twirling.

Just so happens the TWC guy was up in the bucket working on the utility pole---I hope I dont get reported for code violation..lol
I need to get a flag back on the pole too to be loop-holedly quasi-legal.

Anyway paid Amazon 4.99 shipping so a replacement will be here Thursday. Went ahead and ordered some of the batteries too just in case.  Hope it is not anything else....
Will be off Friday so I guess will de-telescope the tele-pole and perform maintenance.

It appears the fan/motor lasted 2 and a half years. The anemometer 2 and 3/4.

Interesting to hear you have the same symptoms. Similar life to mine, though it started losing the 'improved' sensitivity of the hall effect version much earlier.

A bit of a tangent but my first FARS motor worked for 3 years until I somehow broke something during maintenance a year or so ago. I have heard the more recent ones fail frequently but have been lucky with the replacement so far.

My set up makes the sound of a tele-pole quite tempting..

I just replaced an anemometer from 2007 with a new one back before new years. The reason I replaced it is because it started to quit reading, then sometimes come back, then finally quit reading for good. My 2nd station which is from 2011 at another location has also had its 2nd anemometer put on last summer for the same reason. But I've never had problems with the cups actually sticking.

My 2007 anemometer is still working mostly ok, though after 4.5 years service it was retired as I bought a new ISS for other reasons (so it became a spare). The March 2012 and Sep 2013 ones seem to have got bad bearings in a much shorter time frame though.

So, think I'll use the  2007 one for now even if it is a little less sensitive than a new one. I thought the vane had stiffened up but doesn't seem too bad, maybe taking it off a while back freed it.
Never had a reed switch issue (fingers crossed), though by using the 2007 one again I have the potential worry of such issues, no doubt it would be when I'm away this spring or summer.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 01:18:37 PM by Evening thunder »

Offline ArmySlowRdr

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 01:20:02 PM »

My set up makes the sound of a tele-pole quite tempting..



You would love the tele-pole.

Great weather themed flower photos on your site btw !
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 01:22:23 PM by ArmySlowRdr »

Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 01:38:30 PM »
1146 PM last night was the last time I even registered a gust.  No readings ever since.  I won't be able to fix until at least Friday.   :evil:

It's interesting how quick mine has deteriorated recently, especially since the 9th which had a wind run of 510 miles. It has be it's been getting stuck more and at higher speeds. I had an average wind speed of 7mph on the 2007 anny show as 1mph, and saw a gust of 10mph be recorded as just 1mph. Then.. after several hours with these symptoms it decided to work like new.. until the next day when it decided not to work again lol.


My set up makes the sound of a tele-pole quite tempting..



You would love the tele-pole.

Great weather themed flower photos on your site btw !

I think you're right. I have to get up a ladder, unscrew various nuts/bolts to lower the pole, and sometimes unscrew more bolts joining that pole to a second pole, to just about reach the anemometer from the garage roof! (which is thankfully easily accessible)

and thanks! I've been meaning to update/re-design some parts of my site, such as adding more recent pictures. One of those things I never seem to get round to doing.

Offline ArmySlowRdr

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2016, 04:38:51 PM »
Back in business.  Yesterday late afternoon I installed a new anemometer and immediately had results.  I did not look at the old one that closely.  I did notice the inside of the "cable port" box was MUCH more funky and rusting.  The box on the gauge/temp/humid pole looks clean inside.  The one on the pole obviously works but is not faring well I think.

Offline piconut

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2016, 02:00:08 PM »
It's interesting how quick mine has deteriorated recently, especially since the 9th which had a wind run of 510 miles.

I'm having a similar problem with my anemometer on a VP2 where it seems to be recording low wind values since March.  I'm curious, how were you able to research historical wind run values?  I use Virtual Weather Station, Weatherlink, and Cumulus and I could not find a way to view wind runs from any other time, other than today. 

I haven't taken my anemometer down yet to see if there is a physical issue with it but I will hopefully get to that soon.

Thanks,

Scott
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 12:59:38 AM by piconut »
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Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2016, 04:29:40 AM »
It's interesting how quick mine has deteriorated recently, especially since the 9th which had a wind run of 510 miles.


I'm having a similar problem with my anemometer on a VP2 where it seems to be recording low wind values since March.  I'm curious, how were you able to research historical wind run values?  I use Virtual Weather Station, Weatherlink, and Cumulus and I could not find a way to view wind runs from any other time, other than today. 


I haven't taken my anemometer down yet to see if there is a physical issue with it but I will hopefully get to that soon.


Thanks,


Scott

I mainly just noticed the frequency and amount of sticking with increasing wind speed, though quoted a wind run to illustrate how windy that day was. I also use Weatherlink and Cumulus, and in Weatherlink one of the graph options is wind run (below the 'outside temp' option for me) where you can view different dates/time spans.

I hope you can resolve your issue, for me I could hear something was wrong if I spun the cups and listened, due to the slight grinding/whirring sound I mentioned in reply #9.

Offline piconut

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2016, 04:46:26 PM »
I now realized that I should have pulled the bearings out to take a better look at them while the anemometer was down, but now it is mounted up high again.  I was going to order a couple new bearings but I don't know if the bearing flange diameter of the replacement bearings has to be the same as the one on the Davis anemometer.  In other words, does the flange fit into the black plastic housing of the anemometer body or does it simply butt up against the edge to prevent it from being inserted too far? 


From this thread, it appears that the bearing flange is 0.064" larger than the bearing OD (which is 0.375").
If I can't find bearings with the correct flange size, will flangeless bearings work fine?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 04:50:08 PM by piconut »
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Offline Evening thunder

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2016, 04:07:43 PM »
I don't know anything else than what's mentioned there myself as I couldn't even get the cups off due to a stripped set screw, in the end I just ordered a new one as it got too annoying, and due to being unsure about this sort of thing even if I could get them off.

We'll see how this third anemometer since 2012 performs over the next few of years.

Offline casa manana

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2016, 05:01:52 PM »
I've been having a different, but possibly related problem with my VP2 anemometer.  My wind speed seems fine, but the direction seems to be getting stuck.  It likes to rest a lot on due north for instance.

I haven't had a chance to tear it down yet, but when I do a gentle "wiggle" test there doesn't seem to be any obvious obstruction.  I'm thinking there might be some FOD in there that occasionally gets in a bad spot.

I'll report back when I get it on the workbench.

Offline piconut

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2016, 05:44:26 PM »
I don't know anything else than what's mentioned there myself as I couldn't even get the cups off due to a stripped set screw, in the end I just ordered a new one as it got too annoying, and due to being unsure about this sort of thing even if I could get them off.

We'll see how this third anemometer since 2012 performs over the next few of years.


Good luck with the 3rd one!


I found some bearings with a flange that I think are the same size and went ahead and ordered them.  They'll be here next week and I'll replace them soon after.  I plan to seal up the anemometer body with some dielectric grease to prevent water from getting in a ruining my new bearings.
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Offline LABob

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2016, 11:35:05 AM »
Any word on how anybody's repairs went? I have the new anemometer purchased in 2013 and it's now failing as described by others. I would like to purchase better bearings but the anemometer is still up on top of the second story roof. I was hoping somebody would post back here with more specifics about the fit. Will any 1/8th shaft, 3/8ths diameter, 5/32nds thick bearing work? Is the vane bearing the same?

I don't know if my bearings are rusty yet, but if they are it can't be due to high rains as we've been in the midst of the worst drought on record here in Southern California for as long as I've had this weather station.

Offline piconut

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2016, 12:58:09 PM »
Although I ordered some bearing through Boca Bearing, I haven't put them in yet because the anemometer seems to be working well ever since I sprayed out the bearings with compressed air followed up with some silicone spray.  If I do replace the bearings, I'll post some pictures and let you know how well the bearings fit.
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Offline NorthNJwx

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2016, 08:31:38 PM »
I've now had the same exact problem develop as well, unfortunately.  My anemometer was installed on 11/14/13, so the lifespan of mine turned out to be very similar to what others have reported in this thread.  I didn't notice it until last week, when I saw some false calms in my data.  It has very quickly gotten much worse since then; the amount of wind required to move the cups continues to increase.

My VP2 is in a very exposed coastal environment that experiences high winds and horizontal rain with some regularity -- not to mention the high salt content of the air.  I thought maybe the environment was a contributing factor in my case, but that may not be true based on the locations of others who have had the same problem.  I've also had two VP2s in sheltered inland locales that never had this issue, though those are both pre-2013 (pre-Hall Effect sensor) anemometers.

My anemometer mast is in a very inaccessible location and will require a professional to take it down (and put it back up again) so I can mount the replacement anemometer I just bought to the mast.  I'm hoping there's an antenna installer, satellite dish installer, roofer, or some other sort of expert who can do this.  Has anyone ever hired a professional to mount an anemometer in a high place?

It's really a shame that this has become a widespread problem.  I plan on contacting Davis support -- this is an issue I'd hope they would address.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 08:33:46 PM by NorthNJwx »

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2016, 10:09:02 PM »
I just went through and episode of the anemometer cups "sticking".  The actions was that the cups would start spinning and a little while later they would abruptly stop.  I tinkered with it some and ended up removing the wind cups and the vane and spraying some JIF electrical contact cleaner onto the shafts.  Re-installed the cups and vane and so far things have been good.  I really don't know if the contact cleaner helped or not, but something did.  I'm able to get to my anemometer ok, though, so I'm able to tinker with it.  I would call one of your local DISH or DirectTV installers and see if they work on antennaes, too.  Then tell them it's not "exactly* and antenna, that' sit's actually smaller.  I have to believe someone would be willing to help you with it....for a price, of course.

Best wishes on your repair/replacement.
Ed

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Offline piconut

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2016, 01:37:14 AM »
Ditto here regarding Intheswamp's fix.  I finally took mine down and took it apart and sprayed Silicone spray (lubricant) into the bearing and shaft and then turned them (they were "crunchy" at first).  They freed up and have been spinning fine under low wind ever since.  I actually bought a spare set of sealed stainless steel bearings from Boca Bearing but haven't had to install them yet since everything has been running fine since the silicone spray fix 4+ months ago. 


Also, make sure you have that super small #0.5 metric allen wrench to loosen the set screw!  (I think that is what it required)



Your mileage may vary.


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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: VP2 anemometer cups sticking
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2016, 08:30:39 AM »
...and take note of the orientation of the vane and it's shaft to each other.  You'll probably need to re-orient the vane anyhow so it's no biggie if you get it off....the easiest way to re-orient the vain is through the console...thanks to  CW2274 for suggesting that to me!!   \:D/

But, the OP's problem still goes back to physically accessing the anemometer.

Ed

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