Author Topic: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(  (Read 433 times)

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Offline Skywatch

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Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« on: January 06, 2018, 08:03:17 PM »
Back in July I posted about my solar sensor having issues regarding the readings settling at around 5 or more at night. Since July the problem had been resolved up until about a week ago.

The sensor has 80' of cable spliced into it so I could install the sensor on the roof with the wind instruments. Yesterday I redid the splice and cut 3' of cable out and last night the solar reading dropped to 0 as it should. However tonight the readings dropped to 0 at sunset then about 10 minutes ago that darn 5 came back.

I'm at a loss. I don't think the actual problem is in the sensor. Seems like a problem with the cable. But after redoing the splices and experiencing these intermittent issues I'm reluctant to start fiddling around with it again.

I'm hoping someone else here might know something about this problem. I'm considering buying a new 100' extension cable from Scaled Instruments but don't want to throw good money after bad money.

Thanks.
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Offline eliteweathernz

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 04:25:28 AM »
Your possibly getting some kind of induced signal into the wires or have a bad connection.
I would also question the maximum distance of the extension for those sensors before readings become affected. The signal maybe getting lost over that distance???

How old is your Station???

Offline broadstairs

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 05:01:45 AM »
I experienced this issue with my sensor a few years ago, mine was also on a long cable although not quite as long as yours. The fix for mine was a new sensor.....

Stuart

Offline Skywatch

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. RESOLVED
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 12:00:33 AM »
An Update, spent a week talking with Ryan of Scaled Instruments and Davis tech. We figured out that there was some internal cable damage what wasn't visually apparent. Most likely it was due to getting the old cable pinched between the mast supports several months back. There was also suspicion of corrosion on one of the splices.

Long story short, Ryan sent me a new 100' extension cable. Got it spliced in and decommissioned the old cable. It seems like that did the trick. Last few nights everything is as it should be. Hopefully it stays that way.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:04:03 AM by Skywatch »
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Offline Aardvark

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 11:51:43 AM »
The cable Davis uses , is fragile.   Any pressure or crimping of the cable breaks a wire .   Don't get me wrong, Davis has a good product line, but somethings make no sense to me.  For example, the soil moisture station.  The little levers that open the teeth on the wire box are made of cheap plastic that can break easily resulting the station going in for repair.   Why they didn't design the case so the wires are screwed on to a terminal block,  I have no idea.

It is stuff like this, there should be a warning that the stuff is great but breaks strangely
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Offline azchrisf

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 01:26:26 PM »
The cable Davis uses , is fragile.   Any pressure or crimping of the cable breaks a wire .   Don't get me wrong, Davis has a good product line, but somethings make no sense to me.  For example, the soil moisture station.  The little levers that open the teeth on the wire box are made of cheap plastic that can break easily resulting the station going in for repair.   Why they didn't design the case so the wires are screwed on to a terminal block,  I have no idea.

It is stuff like this, there should be a warning that the stuff is great but breaks strangely

Ugh thank you for mentioning that - I've already broken a few of those damn things.
And yeah, using telephone cable meant for inside use isn't exactly a good idea outside :-)
IIRC the wire gauge is something like 26 gauge...tiny wire.

Offline Skywatch

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Re: Solar sensor problems have returned. :(
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 02:48:17 PM »
I know all too well about those soil moisture and temperature jacks. I've broken all of mine. Thinking about buying some small copper slip fit lugs and inserting them into the jacks to connect the wires without dealing with those clamp openers.

Ever since I replaced the solar cable there haven't been any more problems. This time I have the cable better secured.
HARDWARE
Davis VP2+ with leaf/soil, extra temp/humid station custom wind. Purple Air PA-II. Boltek LD-250/Microsferics TOA kit.
SOFTWARE
WD 10.37

Excelvan WH2310 WD 10.37