Author Topic: Vue Supercap replacement  (Read 1339 times)

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Offline hacker

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Vue Supercap replacement
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:35:14 PM »
This topic has started many threads and here is one more. My Vantage Vue 6357 exhibits the standard pattern SC failure symptoms. First time I got the msg "Low Battery Station 1" I replaced the backup battery and it lasted a few months. Next batt went bad quicker, 3rd batt was DOA. Posts on this forum encouraged me to replace the supercapacitor. I know Davis would fix it (before I gutted it) for $150 + $12 shp, but I can buy a new ISS on eBay for $150 w/free shp. So I decided to replace the SC myself. I cut the PCB case open and dug out the gooky, and cut the leads long to solder to. The old SC was labeled 2.7V-10F. My question is, can I install a larger SC and get more run time before switching to backup batt? I can buy a pkg of 2@ 2.7V-20F SCs for cheap. Can this solar system power a 20F supercap? What about installing both of them in parallel for 40F? Here is a picture of where we are now. Any advice is appreciated and I thank you.

Offline gateway2capecod

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 07:14:36 PM »
hello hacker.......

wow that SU looks really fried....how old is your VUE?  I have had mine for around 5 years or so and havent replaced any major parts in it other than batteries once a year or so. sure hope my super cap doesnt look like that but maybe this spring I should pull her down and take a look.

I am not a soldering person so would most likely have to just replace the entire board

Offline hacker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 07:58:11 PM »
I think it looks like that mostly due to the potting goop stuck to it and also I bent it prying it loose from the goo. Couldn't really see if it had leaked around the leads due to the damage. I was mostly concerned with not damaging the PCB. Going to replace it and see what happens.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 03:48:39 PM by hacker »

Offline SnowHiker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 11:00:01 PM »
The old SC was labeled 2.7V-10F. My question is, can I install a larger SC and get more run time before switching to backup batt? I can buy a pkg of 2@ 2.7V-20F SCs for cheap. Can this solar system power a 20F supercap? What about installing both of them in parallel for 40F? Here is a picture of where we are now. Any advice is appreciated and I thank you.
Until and unless you get a more definitive answer: I believe a 20F cap will be fine, the solar cell should be able to charge it the same as a 10F, it's just questionable as to whether it'll be able to charge it enough to get any more runtime out of it than you would a 10F, but the extra capacity shouldn't hurt, whether or not the system can take full advantage of it.  You could even install them in parallel, but I doubt you get get any real advantage out of doubling the capacity yet again.  The advantage may be that one cap may keep working after the other fails, the disadvantage may be that when one fails, you'll need/want to replace them both anyway.  I would just save the extra for a spare.

My experience is with the original VP.  I bought larger supercaps either because they were all I found available, or they were about as cheap as the original, I don't remember now, but they work fine and I wouldn't hesitate to get them, or even larger ones, again.  The VP also provided two slots on the PCB to put two in parallel, but I've only ever known one slot to be used by Davis, and they just leave the other one blank. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:11:42 PM by SnowHiker »

Offline hacker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 08:35:39 AM »
Thanks, SnowHiker, that is just the sort of advice I was hoping for. I will install a single 20F SC, as I have read that they can fail in a shorted mode which would also discharge the remaining good cap. I have already ordered two 20F items but was waiting to hear from someone who has done it before finalizing my plan. We have plenty of sunshine here in NW Arkansas most of the time so I expect to see improved run time before switching to battery backup. Was considering adding a solar charged backup battery but at this point that seems like overkill so will wait and see if the transplant is successful. There could be more wrong than just the SC so I'm trying to keep it cheap until I know for sure. I will post a report after the parts get here.

Offline LABob

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 12:40:01 PM »
The VP also provided two slots on the PCB to put two in parallel

Too bad that's not the case for the VP2.

Offline azchrisf

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 12:22:06 PM »
The VP also provided two slots on the PCB to put two in parallel

Too bad that's not the case for the VP2.

I know the Soil/Leaf boards all have two slots for caps.

Offline SnowHiker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 12:52:36 PM »
I will post a report after the parts get here.
Good! Sounds like you've done your homework and know what your doing.  Just in case, I'll add that from all I've read concerning the VP2, and presumably the Vue, capacitor is that you need to be careful when bending the leads so that you don't apply any stress to the base of the capacitor.  A lot of the first VP2s had failures due to the way the leads were bent causing the cap to leak and fail, as I recall.  If you need to bend the leads use needlenose pliers or such to hold the leads straight against the body, or something, before bending them.

By the way, when I say "slots" I mean spaces with holes to solder the supercap and an extra in.  I'm not sure my terminology is correct.  "Slot" might make it sound like you can plug caps in and out without soldering, which would be kind of handy.  :-)

Offline EA1EF

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 02:35:05 PM »
I also did do it in VUE but the battery drain problem persist. I did share in this forum, finally I replace complete module.

Supervcaps need special procedure to solder, it is FIRST SOLDERING THE SUPERCAPS PINS CALCULATING DISTANCE TO FOLDER PINS. AFTER WHEN ARE COLD FOLDER THE PINS.  if folder pins before solder the hight temp can damage the area where pins come to body supercap.


Offline jas340

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 03:38:40 PM »
Can you buy caps that size that are made in Japan? IMHO they are superior to those made in China and elsewhere.

Offline hacker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 03:45:23 PM »
jas340, I think the ones I ordered are from China. Since this "fix" is a bit of a gamble I went for cheap price. Your suggestion is sound advice, but sometimes the Chinese stuff is OK and at any rate this will confirm whether or not the SC will fix the problem. EA1EF, I have read your thread and it was very helpful. Thanks for the pics, they helped a lot. It looks like you may be the only one who has done this to a Vue with potted PCB. And yes SnowHiker, I have read about the stress on the leads issue. I plan to solder to the stumps of the old leads so I have clean wire to solder, and then will bond the SC in place with adhesive. I'm thinking hot glue, but if there is a better glue perhaps someone will post and tell me...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 03:54:00 PM by hacker »

Offline hacker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 04:00:03 PM »
Update on SC replacement project.
I got the pkg from China. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  The new caps are slightly larger diameter than OEM so it will mount outboard of the original case. Soldered in and glue is drying. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  I have attached the unit to a rake handle and leaned it against the wood shed in full sun, no backup battery installed.  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ] Data already coming in to base unit. I am waiting to see what happens when the sun goes down. If it keeps transmitting after dark the new supercap is working, and if so I will proceed to pot in the new cap and water proof the repaired area. Total cost including a new battery is about $13, so if it works, great; if not I'm only out a few bucks and some time.

Offline azchrisf

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 04:16:08 PM »
I'm going to be picky here:

1. I don't know if you did it for testing or not, but you don't cut leads and then solder a new one to old leads. That's super amateur soldering work and a guaranteed spot for an intermittent or failure.
2. I wouldn't trust those China capacitors. Doubt they'll last half the time the Nesscap did. Nesscap, Panasonic, Vishay, etc. are all quality caps. A 20F Vishay at Mouser or Digikey is $4.18 + maybe $2 for FC shipping.

Best of luck my friend.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 04:17:49 PM by azchrisf »

Offline Mattk

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 04:26:37 PM »
That board in the middle image above doesn't appear very healthy?

Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 05:47:49 PM »
I believe some of that "goop" you see is the remains of the old/original potting material.
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Offline hacker

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Re: Vue Supercap replacement
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2018, 08:22:42 AM »
Success! The outside temp & humidity was still displayed before dawn this morning. Also the "low battery transmitter 1" msg, but I presume this is due to no battery installed. So it ran all night on the new supercap after only about four hours of sunlight. I'm going to put it back together and stick it up on the pole. And yes, Old Tele man, the PCB has lots of potting compound adhering to it which is why I elected to leave the old cap leads long enough to give me a clean surface to solder.