Author Topic: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem  (Read 17503 times)

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Offline dewie

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How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« on: December 24, 2014, 07:30:13 AM »
Like many others I experienced a failure of the Vantage Vue temperature/humidity sensor. This resulted in a temperature reading of -67.8C. This first started shortly BEFORE my 1 year warranty expired however, when the weather turned cold (below freezing) the unit started working again. I live in Atlantic Canada however I'm easily 30 or so km from any sea water (which has been attributed to issues with numerous devices).

Anyways after my warranty had expired, the unit started acting up again. I had tried all kinds of things after reading forums, re-pairing, changing the battery, etc but nothing made any difference at all. I was pretty confident the issue was the sensors and not the base station though I had no sure way to test. I went basically all summer without my weather station functioning. I had it down and brought it inside a few times, set the components out in the sun to may dry out, etc. A few days ago I decided that I was either going to fix it or really truly justify buying a new one, here is what I did:

I took the white top/cover off (just the 4 screws accessible from the bottom side, no need to remove the wind vane) and then removed the temperature/humidity sensor (it sits at the 'back' of the unit under a little black cover which you can easily remove by squeezing two tabs and lifting it out of the way)

What I found was a sensor that had some obvious defects in the rubber casting and what appeared to be separation between the board and the rubber:




*Note I had started to peel the rubber off one end in the last couple photos

Notice the separation around the "top" of where the wire comes in to the unit and around the contacts on the bottom of the board for the plug.

Using a small screwdriver, a knife and my fingernails I was able to peel the most of the rubber off:




This was a tedious task that took some time, be careful you don't scratch any traces off the board.

Once the rubber was off the areas which the rubber was coming off of it was obvious there was moisture/some kind of oily film on the board (I could feel it on my fingers) All I simply did was rub it dry with my fingers/a piece a paper towel and then I tested it by putting the battery back in, sure enough it worked!

I removed the board again and sprayed it with electrical contact cleaner. I then sprayed the exposed areas with a couple of layers of spray silicone and re-assembled the unit and re-installed it. After being many months without the weather station I'm quite glad to have it back and functional.

Offline miraculon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 08:55:29 AM »
Thanks for sharing your analysis and results.

Moisture and corrosion can cause a lot of problems with electronics. Our car has one of those rear-vision cameras. It started acting up and giving an image that would best be described as an old TV set poor-reception picture.

After a trip to the dealer and replacement of the camera, it did it again in about a month.

My son-in-law and I got access to the in-line connector and sprayed it with CDC QD contact cleaner. This is great stuff and has fixed many electrical issues related to contact problems. I also loaded the connector with dielectric grease. It is been well over a year now with no recurrence of the problem.

It looks like in the VUE case, there might have been a problem with the over-molding compound itself. Maybe the board wasn't clean and some residue prevented bonding between the molding compound and the PCB.

Any time there is moisture, an ionic contaminant and a voltage potential, dendrites can start growing eventually resulting in a short. Since you found suspected water on the circuit, there could have been dendrites that were cleaned away when you dried it, or the water itself was contaminated enough to be conductive. These contaminants could be flux residues from the original soldering of the board.

I am glad that you were able to get it going again. Good analysis and report.  =D>

Greg H.


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Offline dewie

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 09:54:44 AM »
Have a look at the board, it looks to me like the board was manufactured in 2012. While I realize Davis are likely doing something different now there may be others out there who still are running these stations and who are only now just running in to issues. I put this information out there as I know there are indeed others who are like me who would rather fix something than throw it away and buy new when possible. Not always because it is practical but from the self satisfaction that comes from repairing something which is otherwise useless.

Offline dalecoy

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 11:20:43 AM »
Contributions like this are much appreciated.  Thanks.

Offline WA7FWF

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 11:14:41 AM »
Excellent write-up, might I suggest rather than silicon sprays  that once a board is repaired and cleaned you spray it with a conformal coating, It binds well and is water proof but with the right solvents can be removed in the future. Tech spray turbo coat or loctite 3900 come to mind. These might last longer and save trips up to recoat.
Kevin

Offline Heller

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 03:37:30 AM »
I am very grateful dewie for his wonderful Topic!
It helped me to solve a similar problem with the card 07315.127D in Vantage Vue.
In my case, it was limited to removing the protective rubber around
humidity sensor (temperature sensor does not work) and fill
this place spray silicone. Now everything works fine!

Thanks again dewie!
Serg

Offline Bushman

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 11:00:30 AM »
Cool patch!  Is it silicone?  Maybe caulk remover would dissolve it?  Also, rather than use regular silicone, I'd suggest Corrosion-X.
Need low cost IP monitoring?  http://wirelesstag.net/wta.aspx?link=NisJxz6FhUa4V67/cwCRWA or PM me for 50% off Wirelesstags!!

Offline Taistealaiche

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 03:01:19 PM »
I know this thread is now a few months old but I'd like to chip in here with a problem I started experiencing about a week ago.
I bought my Vantage Vue in 2010 and, until recently, had been giving good service. Recently I noticed the outside humidity was giving much lower readings than it should have been. After a few days, it went to 0%. Then I noticed something odd. On a sunny day (and I do mean sunny), the humidity sensor would spring back to life. But once the sun started going off the ISS in late afternoon, the humidity reading would start to drop again until it hit 0%.... and stayed that way overnight. Over the past few days, if we have sun, the sensor will 'wake up', but even a cloudy day will zero it again.

Ok, after all this ramble, my question would be: would this problem likely be related to the above thread?

Many thanks.

Offline W Thomas

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 03:58:51 PM »
After 5+ years the humidity sensor in mine has started acting silly. At night during warm weather I may get a dew point of below zero...sometimes way below.
I have been preoccupied lately and haven't got to the roof where it's mounted and with Bill's remains headed my way looks like it will be a few days more.. But anyway I will look into the situation and report back as to what I find. I still have some of the conformal coating from Motorola that we used on Syntor VCO's years ago so if mine is the same problem I will re-coat and cross my fingers :)


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Offline CW2274

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 05:14:45 PM »
After 5+ years the humidity sensor in mine has started acting silly. At night during warm weather I may get a dew point of below zero...sometimes way below.
I have been preoccupied lately and haven't got to the roof where it's mounted and with Bill's remains headed my way looks like it will be a few days more.. But anyway I will look into the situation and report back as to what I find. I still have some of the conformal coating from Motorola that we used on Syntor VCO's years ago so if mine is the same problem I will re-coat and cross my fingers :)
Probably just time for a new sensor.

Offline W Thomas

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 10:40:28 PM »
Took my unit down today and cleaned everything and looked at my sensor board closely and my board is different than the one Dewie shows in his post.
Mine looks like the one in the attached photo. Temperature and wind speed are working fine.. I didn't realize until looking at the markings on the PCB that this board had anything to do with wind speed. The humidity starts dropping like a rock just a hour or two into night time.  Can't complain much as this is the first real problem I have had with the VUE  except changing CR123's way too often :)


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     Wayne

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Offline platypus

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 07:15:34 AM »
Hi Guys
I have a Oregon wmr 300 that is exhibiting similar problems to the Davis units. Now the wmr 300 I have heard is a direct copy of the Davis unit, looking at the screen now it is showing -39.6 & 79 % humidity & a dew point of -42 does anyone know of similar problems with the Oregon units.
Regards
Barry.
 Northern NSW

Offline CW2274

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 01:28:59 PM »
Hi Guys
I have a Oregon wmr 300 that is exhibiting similar problems to the Davis units. Now the wmr 300 I have heard is a direct copy of the Davis unit, looking at the screen now it is showing -39.6 & 79 % humidity & a dew point of -42 does anyone know of similar problems with the Oregon units.
Regards
Barry.
 Northern NSW
Hi. You probably stand a better chance of getting an answer in the Oregon thread section. GL.

Offline belfryboy

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 07:17:21 AM »
Hi Guys
I have a Oregon wmr 300 that is exhibiting similar problems to the Davis units. Now the wmr 300 I have heard is a direct copy of the Davis unit, looking at the screen now it is showing -39.6 & 79 % humidity & a dew point of -42 does anyone know of similar problems with the Oregon units.
Regards
Barry.
 Northern NSW

The WMR300 does indeed use the same T/H sensor, so I would expect that the same problems experienced with the VP system would manifest themselves after a similar period of time.

I have yet to test my homebrew replacement sensor in an OS station yet, so I have no idea how it would perform.

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2016, 04:53:21 PM »
Hello all!

Greetings from Stabekk, Norway. This is my first post in this great forum. I wish to contribute to it.

I have (needlessly) been troubleshooting the 07315.294B PCB of my Vantage Vue ISS. Not because of erroneous temperature or humidity data. My problem was that my Vantage vue Console showed a wind speed of 0.0 all the time, even if the anemometer (and its axle) was turning. The console diagnostic screen showed that the anemometer switch was always open and never closed ("0"). I figured is was probably due to a faulty vane anemometer magnetic sensor on the 07315.294B PCB (Date code week 48, 2013 IIRC).

My magnetic sensor seems to have "DAVIS" printed (somewhat hard to tell through the potting goo) on the casing, rather than "WG112" as the OP. Nevertheless, I think both sensors are "Wiegand Effect" sensors, as described here: http://archives.sensorsmag.com/articles/0598/wie0598/

After I disassembled the Vue ISS, I looked closely at the 07315.294B PCB potting. There was some corrosion coming through the potting from one of the soldered connectors of the magnetic wind speed sensor. Therefore I decided to peel off the potting and measure the resistance between both connectors of the sensor as I turned the anemometer magnet. To my surprise, the magnetic switch seemed to be working all right. My good old Fluke 87 multimeter beeped briefly every time I turned the axle one turn.

After that I decide to measure the output of OpAmp/Transistor "Q1". (IIRC, the SOT-23 package is labeled "301"). To my surprise the output of the component seemed OK. Please see enclosed photo with screenshots of the PCB, including oscilloscope screenshots. (I measured that both the battery negative (-) and the solar panel negative (-) were electrical ground in the ISS unit. I used the solar panel negative as ground, simply because it was in reach of my probe ground alligator clip).

Because the measurements seemed to be OK, I decided to troubleshoot the Vue Console, before messing up any more of the PCB potting. I removed a battery in the console for 15 minutes before inserting it again. After I reinserted the battery the console was all good again, picking up all the sensors in the ISS, including Wind Speed. (EDIT: a few days later, the Wind speed stopped working again, and now it doesn't help to Power Down the console anymore. It was probably just a coincidence the first time I tried this)

After applying a little IPA [and a fraction of a droplet of] WD-40 to the exposed solder joints, I sealed the exposed soldering joints on the PCB with some Scotch Rubber Mastic Tape 2228 and reassembled the ISS. All good now :D
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 08:40:43 AM by nixxon »

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2016, 12:14:02 PM »

... I have (needlessly) been troubleshooting the 07315.294B PCB of my Vantage Vue ISS. Not because of erroneous temperature or humidity data. My problem was that my Vantage vue Console showed a wind speed of 0.0 all the time, even if the anemometer (and it's axle) was turning. The console diagnostic screen showed that the anemometer switch was always open and never closed ("0"). I figured is was probably due to a faulty vane magnetic sensor on the 07315.294B PCB (Date code week 48, 2013 IIRC).
(...)
Because the measurements seemed to be OK, I decided to troubleshoot the Vue Console, before messing up any more of the PCB potting. I removed a battery in the console for 15 minutes before inserting it again. After I reinserted the battery the console was all good again, picking up all the sensors in the ISS, including Wind Speed.

After applying a little IPA and WD-40 to the exposed solder joints, I sealed the exposed soldering joints on the PCB with some Scotch Rubber Mastic Tape 2228 and reassembled the ISS. All good now :D

The problem is back :(

Console shows a wind speed of 0.0 all the time, even if the anemometer (and it's axle) is turning. The console diagnostic screen shows that the anemometer switch is always open and never closed ("0")... Signal level is ~ -60 dB and all data packets are good.

Removing all power from the console for ~10 minutes makes no difference. I even downgraded from FW 4.18 to 3.00 without any success.

Does anyone have any tips what to do try next?

I guess I could try to tap into the datastream from the ISS to confirm that the ISS really is reporting that the wind speed switch never closes and wind speed = 0.0. Right now I do not know whether the console or the ISS is faulty...

EDIT: I was doing something else while the Vue Console was displaying the Statistical Diagnostic Screen 1. I happened to notice that the package received counter was between 1400 and 1500. The next time I looked, all of the counters were reset to zeros and starting to count up from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc., just as if the console had just booted. That is a little funny and maybe a sign that the console is acting up?

This is a real bummer. I was so happy earlier today, because I had managed to upload my data to wunderground.com. My station name is IBRUM59.

EDIT 2: Now I have removed all the batteries of the console for 15+ minutes and removed the Belfryboy datalogger. Still no windspeed other than 0.0. I opened the case, and it really wasn't much to troubleshoot inside of there. I guess I have to look closer into the ISS again. Maybe remove the coating around the ~10-pin connector on the 07315.294B PCB of my Vantage Vue ISS and measure if all connections are good. I was hoping to avoid doing that. The coating looks good, so it shouldn't be an issue with the connector. My next thing to consider is to dig out all the potting goo inside the transmitter module. I don't know if that is even possible without damaging the electronics inside of the module.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 03:23:46 PM by nixxon »

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2016, 04:21:59 PM »
Suddenly, at 7:13 PM (local time is GMT +2) today, August 13,  I automagically got wind data recordings again. I have not been troubleshooting the WS at all before this suddenly happened. To my surprise, the Statistical Diagnostic Screen 1 still shows that the number of times the anemometer switch was seen closed is zero. Go figure? Maybe the ISS started working again because it has not been raining a lot in a while, and some connector(s) in the ISS has dried sufficiently?

Could it be that the "number of times the anemometer switch was seen closed" shown in the upper left corner of the Statistical Diagnostic Screen 1 only shows a number other than 0 in the older ISS units with older sensors. The ISS's with individual, user changable, sensor connectors?

If anyone could check their console's Statistical Diagnostic Screen 1 and let me know what number is shown in the upper left corner, I would be very happy. Is the number > 0 ?

This is how to enter the Statistical Diagnostic screen 1 on the Vue Consoles:

Press and hold "TEMP", then press "HUM" to display the Statistical Diagnostic screen.
Press "WIND" to change the upper left fields from time and date to anemometer switch counters.

The upper leftmost number (alt. time field, not the alt. date field) is what I am interested in.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 04:29:33 PM by nixxon »

Offline CW2274

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2016, 04:39:12 PM »
The upper leftmost number is what I am interested in.
Mines a steady 45.

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2016, 04:53:39 PM »
The upper leftmost number is what I am interested in.
Mines a steady 45.

Thank you for your reply. Is there no wind turning your anemometer right now? Otherwise I think this number should increase every time the anemometer makes a revolution. (Actually I don't know how this counter works)

Offline CW2274

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2016, 05:17:07 PM »
Click on my little planet earth thingy to the left and then my station ID to see what you may be after.

Offline CW2274

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2016, 05:54:22 PM »
The upper leftmost number is what I am interested in.
Mines a steady 45.
Now it's 57.

Offline kobuki

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2016, 07:23:26 PM »
@nixxon: sorry if you've been through this already, but seeing you only documented testing the transistor leads only, I'd recommend testing the end of the wire that goes into the main board of the Vue ISS. There's a slight chance the returning signal path is broken or has contuctivity problems somewhere...

Offline hankster

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2016, 08:05:54 PM »
The upper leftmost number is what I am interested in.

Mine is 2843 and counting. We have about 4 MPH wind currently.

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2016, 04:46:18 PM »
@nixxon: sorry if you've been through this already, but seeing you only documented testing the transistor leads only, I'd recommend testing the end of the wire that goes into the main board of the Vue ISS. There's a slight chance the returning signal path is broken or has contuctivity problems somewhere...

Thank you for your suggestion. I actually believed I had replied to you before, but I now see that I have not. Sorry for my late reply. Regarding your suggestion of measuring at the main board (I believe that board is inside the transmitter case), It seems impossible, due to heavy potting. It's just a pool of potting inside the white transmitter casing. The only thing visible (IIRC) close to the potting surface is the tiny PCB with the Wind Vane sensor.

By the way, my Vue has been working flawlessly for the last 4 1/2 days:
https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IBRUM59#history/s20160811/e20160818/mweek

That is even if the "anemometer switch closed" counter field very rarely increases. It is now at "201" after the latest reset, 5 or 6 days ago. Since then there has been a lot of good wind data. Maybe the "anemometer switch closed" measurement is not reporting every time the anemometer closes, but only if the switch happens to be closed as the ISS is checking the switch for a fraction of a second every 2.25 second or something?

Offline nixxon

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Re: How I fixed my Vantage Vue temperature/humidity problem
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2016, 04:49:12 PM »
The upper leftmost number is what I am interested in.
Mines a steady 45.
Now it's 57.

Do you have an older unit? Like ~2013 or older? (With actual swapable connectors between all the boards inside the Vue ISS)

 

anything