Author Topic: New WS-2902A reception issues  (Read 485 times)

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Offline madkiwi

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New WS-2902A reception issues
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:07:58 AM »
Just set up my new weather station today. The sensor array is approximately 130 feet from the base unit. Unfortunately not clear line of sight, probably about 3 walls between them.

However after I set up the array powered up the base station it connected in less than a minute. So I thought it was good, and after setting up the wifi and verifying that it was connected to ambientweather.net I took off (this is at a 2nd home).

But after getting home I downloaded the Ambient Weather app and none of the outdoor stuff showed up. Just the indoor temp, humidity and barometric pressure. The website (and app) show data was received between 5:35 pm and 5:55 pm, then nothing more until 8:35 pm, but it stopped at 8:45. Just started showing data again now (10:35pm Mountain). Very intermittent.

Should I try re-locating the base station? I didn't realize that I needed batteries and while I had AAs for the sensor at the house I didn't have any AAA sized ones for the base station. So currently it's just powered from the DC adapter. That shouldn't affect the receiver range, right? Also it was set up with the sun just setting so the solar panel received no power after taking it out of the box. Could that affect transmission range?

Finally, is it just me or is it impossible to set up alerts in the Android version of the app? I tried 3 times, nothing appears. Did it easily on the website.

Thanks!

Mark
WS-2902A WU:KMTFLRE23
WS-2813 WU:KMTMISS015

Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 07:18:56 AM »
Yes you need to get them closer together.  Max real-world distance is about 100'.  Your setup sounds like you need them even closer than that.

You don't need the batteries for the console, but they are nice when the power goes out.  Use Energizer Lithium batteries instead of alkalines.

Offline Oilswell

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 09:43:49 AM »
I had issues with my ws-2000 at about 90' with clear line of site. Moved the array to about 30' and no more issues.

Offline WXman

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 12:38:04 PM »
These stories of poor reception are very helpful to those of us shopping these stations.

<100 feet is horrible reception.  In many cases, it's hard to even site the station properly with range that poor.  I guess you could mount it to the roof of the house but otherwise how are you supposed to even locate in an area free of the effects of the structure?  Just awful.

This is the ONLY thing that has prevented me from ordering an Ambient station.
B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology

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Hoping to get it online soon!

Offline madkiwi

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 02:39:32 PM »
I believe I may have underestimated the hard barriers between the station and the sensor.

I have the base station currently sitting on a counter on the southwest corner of our kitchen. The sensor is 130 feet to the northwest. So the wall behind the sensor, then a gas furnace, a solid door (for muffling the furnace noise), an exterior wall, and another exterior wall (through my workshop) then through the garage and its exterior wall.

If you count the utility closet door as a wall and the furnace as one, that's 6 barriers.

Maybe I'm lucky to even get sporadic reception...

When I get there today I will move the base to the northeast window of the kitchen. It will add about 10 feet, but be close enough to zero barriers.

I can't put the sensor closer to the base/house as our home is very tall (28' at the west end) with a wooded area to the east (home is on a river and is built right up to the riparian zone). We have grazing land to the west (formerly a ranch) so that's where the sensor has to go, unless I mount it on the roof. Our prevailing wind comes out of the west and south, occasionally weather out of Canada can cause winds from the north to northeast. Anything out of the east is just going to be wildly inaccurate on the sensor, most of those trees by the river are in the 70-100 foot range.

Will report back.

Mark

PS Anyone have a comment on Alerts? I tried again to create one on the app, after setting condition and parameters I click create and nothing happens. Works fine on the web interface. Also hitting back to exit the app only works about 75% of the time. I sometimes have to hit the Home button or Recent and close the app there (Galaxy s7 Android 8.0.0).
WS-2902A WU:KMTFLRE23
WS-2813 WU:KMTMISS015

Offline Oilswell

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 03:22:15 PM »
I've got 2 alerts that I've created in the Android app. One for not reporting for 20 minutes and a temperature alert. Both work fine via sms.

Offline madkiwi

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 01:20:19 AM »
So I tried to move the base to the kitchen window, but when I peered through the window towards the sensor array the corner of my workshop blocked my view. Sure enough after 5 minutes it was disconnected.

I took the base station upstairs, the master bedroom is at the front of the house. Found a good spot, and now it is about 87 feet from the array, with 3-4 bars on the signal. Data transmissions to Ambient and to WU have been consistent since.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Probably as good a spot as any, maybe I will try moving it once we move there.

Thanks,

Mark
WS-2902A WU:KMTFLRE23
WS-2813 WU:KMTMISS015

Offline ShermanCT

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 09:07:57 AM »
Looks like you got it cracked :grin:

Offline daman

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 09:41:58 AM »
These stories of poor reception are very helpful to those of us shopping these stations.

<100 feet is horrible reception.  In many cases, it's hard to even site the station properly with range that poor.  I guess you could mount it to the roof of the house but otherwise how are you supposed to even locate in an area free of the effects of the structure?  Just awful.

This is the ONLY thing that has prevented me from ordering an Ambient station.
Wow These stations are sad , I have a crappy lacrosse that's at 115 Feet approx. just keeps chugging along and my 5n1 is a solid 100'
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Offline MrM1

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 06:48:29 PM »
Yes I have 2 of the WS-2902-Arrays (bought one to couple with an older ObserverIP module and one came with the WW-2000 kit).   I have had nothing but connection problems with the one array and the ObserverIP module  The Array is literally right on top of the ObserverIP,  20 ft above on the roof. there is sheet rock, attic, the a metal roof between.    I has dropped constantly since I set it up 7 days ago.  This Array replaced an older WS-1400-IP array that has been rock solid for 2 years with the same ObserverIP.   Very disappointed.

And today,  I woke up both arrays (the one at my office with the ObserverIP AND the one at my house with the WS-2000 kit) ... both were not disconnected from the base stations.  I have tinkered with both ALL DAY.  Got the one at home to finally work again.   But the one at the office with the ObserverIP,  well even after repositioning the receiver,  it still is intermittent and DOA right now.   

 ](*,) 







Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 10:01:52 PM »
I think it is a good thing it uses 915 MHz as that frequency cuts through man-made barriers better than 433 MHz.  I remember reading YEARS ago police and security in metro areas like 900 MHz on their walkie talkies in buildings for this reason.  I can attest to this as my WS-1080, WS-2080, and WS-2095 would lose their reception of the signal every once in awhile at 433 MHz.  My WS-2902A is installed in the EXACT same position and it shows 5 bars all the time.  It hasn't lost its signal yet.  Mine is about 50' away going through one wall with aluminum siding on the house.

Davis weather station consoles all seem to have their antennas on the outside of the console while the Fine Offset stations have a internal wire antenna.  This probably explains why Davis claims 1000' line of sight.  Didn't the earlier WS-2092 (non-A) claim 400' line of sight on the back of the box?

Offline MrM1

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 10:23:50 PM »
I can attest to this as my WS-1080, WS-2080, and WS-2095 would lose their reception of the signal every once in awhile at 433 MHz.  My WS-2902A is installed in the EXACT same position and it shows 5 bars all the time.  It hasn't lost its signal yet.  Mine is about 50' away going through one wall with aluminum siding on the house.
I have not been so luck with my WS-2902-array (same array as the WS-2902a system).   Since I actually have another ObserverIP in another location,  my next test will be to try that receiver and see if the array stays locked.  If not,  I may order a 2902 console and see how many bars I am getting,  but I suspect at that point I will be ready to blame it on a faulty array.







Offline galfert

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2018, 06:21:02 AM »
All things equal the lower the frequency the better wall penetration and distance.That is why cell phone companies like Verizon and AT&T paid more at wireless FCC auctions for lower premium frequencies. But frequency alone is not a determining factor. There are many other variables which means you can't just compare a 433 MHz device with a 915 MHz without knowing how the other factors relate. For example there is transmission power, antenna design, beam forming technology, noise mitigating technology, extraneous interference, bandwidth use...and much more.

Acurite claims 433 MHz is better:
https://www.acurite.com/learn/installation/wireless-signal-range

Another example where lower frequency is better is 2.4 GHz versus 5 GHz WiFi. Sure 5 GHz is faster mostly because of wider channel bandwidth size, but 2.4 GHz has better wall penetration and better range. The greater 5 GHz speed drops quickly by increased distance to the point that at greater distance the 2.4 GHz performs better and is faster. Which is why I set my 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi signals to be the same SSID and that way the device can choose at that given distance if 2.4 or 5 GHz is better and it will switch automatically.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 06:34:58 AM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
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Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 10:42:17 AM »
I have no preference on the frequency of the weather station.  I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it.  Maybe Fine Offset has a better antenna setup on 915 MHz than they do on 433 MHz.  I am just happy I have 5 bars and no signal loss with the WS-2902A at 915 MHz vs. occasional signal loss with my previous 433 MHz weather stations.

Offline nincehelser

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2018, 11:44:38 AM »
I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it. 

That is true if you are running spread spectrum.  Otherwise you're under the same power restrictions.

Offline davefr

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2018, 12:37:48 PM »
I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it. 

That is true if you are running spread spectrum.  Otherwise you're under the same power restrictions.

I'm curious how Davis achieves 1000' when everyone else struggles to get much over 100' range?

Is it simply a matter of better radios and throwing more $'s into the RF design? Does running spread spectrum increase range or just bandwidth?

What's Davis's secret to 1000'?


Offline nincehelser

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2018, 12:42:07 PM »
I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it. 

That is true if you are running spread spectrum.  Otherwise you're under the same power restrictions.

I'm curious how Davis achieves 1000' when everyone else struggles to get much over 100' range?

Is it simply a matter of better radios and throwing more $'s into the RF design? Does running spread spectrum increase range or just bandwidth?

What's Davis's secret to 1000'?

Spread spectrum techniques (e.g. frequency hopping).  If you do that, the FCC will let you use more power in the 915MHz range.

Acurite's Atlas Elite will be doing the same.

Offline davefr

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2018, 12:51:45 PM »
I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it. 

That is true if you are running spread spectrum.  Otherwise you're under the same power restrictions.

I'm curious how Davis achieves 1000' when everyone else struggles to get much over 100' range?

Is it simply a matter of better radios and throwing more $'s into the RF design? Does running spread spectrum increase range or just bandwidth?

What's Davis's secret to 1000'?

Spread spectrum techniques (e.g. frequency hopping).  If you do that, the FCC will let you use more power in the 915MHz range.

Acurite's Atlas Elite will be doing the same.

Thanks, I assume that implementing that technology is a significant cost adder?

Offline nincehelser

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Re: New WS-2902A reception issues
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2018, 01:26:45 PM »
I am thinking 915 MHz is allowed more broadcast/output power than 433 MHz here in the USA by law so maybe that is why I am getting better performance with it. 

That is true if you are running spread spectrum.  Otherwise you're under the same power restrictions.

I'm curious how Davis achieves 1000' when everyone else struggles to get much over 100' range?

Is it simply a matter of better radios and throwing more $'s into the RF design? Does running spread spectrum increase range or just bandwidth?

What's Davis's secret to 1000'?

Spread spectrum techniques (e.g. frequency hopping).  If you do that, the FCC will let you use more power in the 915MHz range.

Acurite's Atlas Elite will be doing the same.

Thanks, I assume that implementing that technology is a significant cost adder?

It's definitely more complex than just transmitting on a single frequency.  For example, the transmitter and receiver have to get themselves synchronized and then follow the same hopping pattern. 

This link has some interesting information and blog entries about decoding the Davis signals:  https://github.com/dekay/DavisRFM69/wiki/RF-Protocol