Author Topic: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems  (Read 9027 times)

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Offline CvilleDan

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Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« on: June 12, 2011, 04:48:10 PM »
Hi,

I've had a Vantage Pro2 for just over four years.  I'm having a new problem and am hoping to get some suggestions on how to fix it.  Yesterday we had two thunder storms move through.  The rain gauge worked fine the first time, but recorded no rain the second.  Today, another storm,  producing more than 1 inch of rain (according to the next-closest station), but my station recorded only .01 inches.  Checked the plug attached to the rain cable, and its securely entered.  Poured two cups of water down and the gauge registered another 0.01" only.

The station continues to record and broadcast temperature, humidity, etc. Does anyone have suggestions on what might be causing the problem and how to fix? 

Thanks in advance.

CvilleDan

Offline Curly

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 05:02:51 PM »
Did you take a close look at the reed switch?

Offline miraculon

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 05:04:09 PM »
When you poured the water in, could you hear the tipping bucket clunking? We have a Vantage Pro2 at work and when we tested it with water it was pretty loud.

My own old Dallas Semiconductor rain gauge is also quite loud when it tips.

If you can hear it clunking when the bucket is tipping, the counts are not being registered. I would start by inspecting the magnet and reed switch.


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Offline CvilleDan

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 05:10:28 PM »
I can definitely hear (and see) the bucket tipping back and forth.  I haven't checked the reed switch though--not sure exactly what that is.  How can I check that to see if it's working properly?

Thanks for the help!


Offline miraculon

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 05:31:51 PM »
A reed switch is a magnetically sensitive switch which is typically encased in glass.

I was looking at the Davis manual for the rain gauge and they clearly show the magnet below the pivot of the buckets. I would make sure that it is still there.

The illustration in the ISS manual just shows a wire at the bucket mounting base. Since the reed switch is available as a replacement part, it must be possible to change it, but I don't see any documentation for it. I would follow the wire at the bucket pivot base and it will be there.

Maybe someone who actually has taken the rain gauge apart (and owns a Davis  :oops:) can comment.

Greg


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
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Offline CvilleDan

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 05:48:24 PM »
Yes, the manual isn't too clear.  I just went in and removed the bucket and tried to see if the magnet could be moved easily (no obvious way to do that).  it looks like the reed switch is underneath (there's a sticker that warns not to touch it). 

After I re-inserted the bucket, (and flipped it back and forth several times), it did register another 0.04" of rain--so perhaps something was simply misaligned? 




Offline miraculon

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 05:59:37 PM »
I had a reed switch in my old Dallas Semiconductor weather station go bad. It was for the wind vane direction. (that unit had 8 switches that activated a serial number IC).

I replaced the reed switch and it was good to go. That unit was swept off of my roof by a falling tree and took a pretty hard hit.

http://www.miraculon.com/wind2/im000969.jpg

I suspect that it got cracked in the tree incident. Once the glass seal is broken, it could get corroded.

Did your VP2 take any trauma recently?



Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 06:14:52 PM »
A 4-year-old unit might also have some wear and/or dirt build-up in the bucket pivot (knife-edge) area that could cause the magnet to be a bit mis-aligned.  Removing and replacing it might have fixed that.

Offline CvilleDan

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 06:27:13 PM »
Thank you everyone for your suggestions.  The unit is really quite dirty (and was for a time, I recently discovered, a nursery for a colony of ants).  So, in addition to fiddling with the magnet, it's probably not a bad time to simply clean the unit up--which I suspect will improve performance.

Offline SLOweather

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 11:54:28 AM »
Look at the reed switch itself. I believe the clue is in the recent "thunderstorms". I've seen Davis anemometers' and VP rain gauges' reed switches go bad from internal arcing of the reed leaves caused by induced EMF from a nearby strike. The inside glass envelope might be darkened like that of a burned out light bulb.

In a pinch, I've replaced the reed switch with one salvaged from a magnetic alarm switch.


Offline CvilleDan

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2011, 05:31:03 PM »
I wanted to update everyone on the fix for this problem.  I called Davis, and they were really great--they walked me through several tests and in the end with no immediate fix, we decided to replace the reed switch.  Davis sent me, free of charge, two new reed switches with instructions on how to remove the old one and install a new one.  It was very straightforward--remove a the main cone, the tipping mechanism and the cover over the old reed switch, remove solder from the old switch, insert the new reed switch and solder in place, replace all the parts.  And viola, rain gauge is working again!

I've got to say that the customer service at Davis was really wonderful.


Offline Aardvark

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2011, 05:38:10 PM »
make sure that you disconnect it completely from the ISS .  you might also want to be sure to use a heat sink on the wires as you solder them.  I'd do one wire at a time.
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Offline rwkais

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Re: Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2018, 04:19:42 PM »
I am very impressed with Davis Instruments, and glad I read the post I have pasted below.  After reading this last Friday, I too called Davis.  Like below, Davis mailed me 3 replacement reed switches.  I received the new switches yesterday (Tuesday, perhaps because Monday was Presidents Day) and I immediately soldered the new switch in place.  Problem solved for my 13 year Vantage Pro 2 station. 

Ditto to: I've got to say that the customer service at Davis was really wonderful.

"I wanted to update everyone on the fix for this problem.  I called Davis, and they were really great--they walked me through several tests and in the end with no immediate fix, we decided to replace the reed switch.  Davis sent me, free of charge, two new reed switches with instructions on how to remove the old one and install a new one.  It was very straightforward--remove a the main cone, the tipping mechanism and the cover over the old reed switch, remove solder from the old switch, insert the new reed switch and solder in place, replace all the parts.  And viola, rain gauge is working again!

I've got to say that the customer service at Davis was really wonderful."

Offline WheatonRon

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Vantage Pro2 rain gauge problems
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2018, 11:18:07 PM »
One of the reasons Davis equipment costs more is because of the service they provide post warranty period. While Davis sent me replacement reed switches too, unfortunately that did not fix my issue; however, I was so impressed with Davis’ help on a ten year old VP2 system, I ended up buying a new ISS from Scaled Instruments that fixed my issue. In short, you get what you pay for in life—you may pay more upfront for a product, but over time you earn that “premium” back.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 11:35:36 PM by WheatonRon »
Davis VP2 with 24 hour FARS, SHT31 (3 complete systems-2 for uploading to the internet the other system for test and play); CWOP--CW5020 and FW3075; WU--KILWHEAT17 and KILWHEAT36; WeatherCloud.net; CoCoRaHS--IL-DP-132; Rainwise 111

 

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