Author Topic: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior  (Read 344 times)

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Offline NorthNJwx

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Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« on: November 25, 2018, 06:57:26 PM »
I have a VP2 with separated ISS and anemometer transmitter kit.  Due to issues with my original VP2 ISS, recently I was temporarily using an old Vue ISS for temp/hum/rain while continuing to use my VP2 anemometer and transmitter kit.  On November 4, I installed a new VP2 ISS, replacing the Vue ISS.  I had a low battery message the first night after installation of the new VP2 ISS, which went away after a day or two of exposure to the sun. 

From then on, everything was perfect with the station/reception until the early morning hours of 11/23.  My anemometer reception dropped to 86.8%, which is extremely unusual (usually never drops below 96%) during the 1:00-1:30 a.m. period in my WeatherLink data (I use a 30-minute archive interval).  It then dropped further to 50.9% during the 1:30-2:00 a.m. period.  Also, during the 1:30-2:00 a.m. period, I completely lost ISS reception at some point.  Then, during the 2:00-2:30 a.m. period, my anemometer reception returned to 100%, while my ISS reception dropped to zero.  It seems that anemometer reception returned as soon as ISS reception was lost.  This continued for almost 12 hours, with full anemometer reception and no ISS reception, until the 1:30-2:00 p.m. period, during which anemometer reception dropped to 88.9%.  Then, during the 2:00-2:30 p.m. period, anemometer reception dropped to 0% while ISS reception returned.  From 2:30-3:00 p.m., ISS reception remained, while anemometer reception rose to only 9.5%.  Anemometer reception then returned to 100% during the 3:00-3:30 p.m. period, during which ISS reception continued.

After that point, reception of both the anemometer and ISS were consistent.  However, today, my ISS registered 12.45" of rain under clear skies and light winds.  Heavy rain fell last night, which the ISS accurately measured, and very high winds, gusting up to 66 mph, also occurred.  The phantom 12.45" of rainfall on the ISS did not occur until many hours after the rain had ended and after the wind had dropped to roughly 10 mph.

This afternoon, I investigated the ISS, including the tipping bucket mechanism.  All appeared normal and exactly the same as it did 3 weeks ago when this ISS was installed.  I unplugged and re-plugged the "rain" connector to the ISS SIM board and also temporarily removed, then put back, the battery.  I also changed the ISS transmitter ID.  Since then, I have not been able to re-establish a connection between the ISS and the console.  In fact, the console would not even connect to the anemometer until after a few tries, and only after an extended period (~10 minutes).  The ISS continues to be completely invisible.

I have now replaced the ISS battery and still cannot get any signal from the ISS.  That said, it was already completely dark outside by the time I replaced the battery.

Does anyone have the slightest clue what could be wrong here?  Two odd things I noticed from the 11/23 data were that 1) the ISS drop-out period was preceded by a relatively brief period of lost anemometer reception and 2) the console's re-connection to the ISS was also preceded by a period of lost anemometer reception (of slightly longer length than the first).  The reception issues began when the temperature dropped to 20 degrees F, which is certainly not anything crazy for this location (I have measured as low as 3 degrees in the 5 years the station has been in operation), but it is much colder than it had been here in the preceding few weeks.

Could the reception issues and the phantom 12.45" rainfall be caused by the same issue?  Could the two aforementioned periods of compromised anemometer reception have been caused by the console's issues with establishing a connection with the ISS, as seems to be suggested by the timing of the periods of lower/zero anemometer reception?  I have had essentially no reception issues with anemometer or ISS in the 5 years this VP2 has been in operation.  Wind data is most important to me, so I am concerned that another drop-out of anemometer reception could occur due to issues between the console and the ISS.  Could temporarily (until the problem is solved) eliminating the ISS from communicating with the console prevent that from occurring again?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 09:17:22 PM by NorthNJwx »

Offline Mattk

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Re: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 07:40:43 PM »
So presumably TX Id's are setup separately for the VP2 ISS, Anemometer transmitter etc?

Has somebody else in the area installed Davis gear with similar TX iD's? When you changed the Tx Id's did you completely power down and reboot the systems?

Offline NorthNJwx

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Re: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 09:09:24 PM »
So presumably TX Id's are setup separately for the VP2 ISS, Anemometer transmitter etc?

Has somebody else in the area installed Davis gear with similar TX iD's? When you changed the Tx Id's did you completely power down and reboot the systems?

They are on separate IDs.  Neither were changed for years.

I always pick up another station on ID #1 and also recall having issues on ID #2 in the past (~4 years ago) as well.  Another VP2 is maybe ~500 feet away, but that is the only Davis of any kind in the vicinity that I have actually seen.  I had issues picking up other stations before that nearby VP2 was installed.  There are numerous stations made by other manufacturers in the area as well.

I did not reboot the console or ISS when changing the transmitter ID at first.  I have had to change the IDs in the past and do not remember ever powering anything down in connection with changing IDs.  I did, however, remove power from both the ISS and console on my second try, after I made the above post.  At that time, I changed the ISS ID back to its previous number.

I was eventually able to get the console to connect to both the ISS and anemometer transmitter kit again, but only after an extended wait on the "Receiving From" screen (probably 10-15 minutes) to get the IDs to appear, followed by an extended wait after exiting Setup Mode to get the console to actually display sensor data (another 10-15 minutes before both ISS and anemometer data were displayed).  I don't have any reason to think the underlying issue has been resolved, though, unless changing the ISS battery made the difference.  The battery that I switched out was only in use for 3 weeks and I did not have a low battery message after the first night of installation.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 09:16:43 PM by NorthNJwx »

Offline NorthNJwx

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Re: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 12:18:53 PM »
The problem is happening again.  At almost exactly midnight last night, ISS reception completely cut out.  It was preceded by a 30-min period in which anemometer reception was only 72%.  Since the ISS dropped out, anemometer reception has been back to 100% consistently.  I have not had a lick of data from the ISS since it cut out more than 12 hours ago.

I am not at the site of the station but can get there later today.  The problem has now occurred with two different batteries in the ISS.  Both times it began during the middle of the night with temperatures below freezing.  This is a bizarre and very frustrating problem that I had never before seen in 18 combined years of VP2 use (13 years, also ongoing, at another site, and 5 years at this site).

I installed this new ISS in November.  Purchased it from an online marine supply outlet, as it had the best price I could find for a 6322.  Could I have gotten a bad unit?  It was clearly a new, never-before-used unit out of the box, but could it have an old manufacture date/could that cause problems?  I really have no idea what could be wrong after 5 years of having no issues with a previous VP2 ISS and a Vue ISS.  If absolutely necessary, I can change back to the Vue ISS, but would much prefer not to.

Any ideas?

EDIT to add: is it potentially at all relevant that my ISS is on Transmitter ID #8?  I have heard, anecdotally, that it could be somewhat more difficult to re-establish connection with higher transmitter IDs.  (As to why I use #8, it's a combination of reasons: my anemometer transmitter kit is on a lower ID; I occasionally use an extra temp sensor, which is also at a lower ID; and I pick up other stations, always on ID #1, at least).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 03:45:03 PM by NorthNJwx »

Offline johnd

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Re: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 04:28:03 PM »
EDIT to add: is it potentially at all relevant that my ISS is on Transmitter ID #8?  I have heard, anecdotally, that it could be somewhat more difficult to re-establish connection with higher transmitter IDs.  (As to why I use #8, it's a combination of reasons: my anemometer transmitter kit is on a lower ID; I occasionally use an extra temp sensor, which is also at a lower ID; and I pick up other stations, always on ID #1, at least).

In the absence of any other ideas, it would certainly be worthwhile rearranging the IDs. If you want to avoid #1 then I'd suggest:

#2: Anemometer transmitter
#3: ISS
#4: Whatever else you have eg extra temp etc
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Offline NorthNJwx

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Re: Extremely Strange ISS Behavior
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2018, 02:12:31 PM »
EDIT to add: is it potentially at all relevant that my ISS is on Transmitter ID #8?  I have heard, anecdotally, that it could be somewhat more difficult to re-establish connection with higher transmitter IDs.  (As to why I use #8, it's a combination of reasons: my anemometer transmitter kit is on a lower ID; I occasionally use an extra temp sensor, which is also at a lower ID; and I pick up other stations, always on ID #1, at least).

In the absence of any other ideas, it would certainly be worthwhile rearranging the IDs. If you want to avoid #1 then I'd suggest:

#2: Anemometer transmitter
#3: ISS
#4: Whatever else you have eg extra temp etc

I might try that next time I'm on site, though I vaguely recall potentially having problems on both #2 and #4 in the past (I have changed IDs several times).  On the "receiving from" screen, I always see another station on #1 and seem to recall sometimes seeing them on others as well, apart from my own.

Yesterday I temporarily removed the console from its regular location to work on it and oriented the both the console and ISS antennae in roughly horizontal positions.  The ISS is not directly below the console, but is at a lower elevation -- about 9' lower -- and is roughly 70' or so horizontally from the console.  I regained connection and returned the console to its regular location.  I have no idea if moving the console, orienting the antennae more horizontal, both, or neither led to the re-establishment of a connection.

The console is located within several feet of a router and a TV cable box.  Could this have anything to do with my issue?  I would still note that there were no problems before November 23, including no issues with the Vue ISS that was previously in use.