Author Topic: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue  (Read 3663 times)

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Offline 92merc

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Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« on: October 23, 2009, 12:08:52 PM »
I have a problem with my VP1.  Iíve done a lot of trouble shooting over the past year, but nothing has fixed it.  So Iím going to throw this out to the forum members and see what you think.  This is over the past year, so hopefully I can remember my troubleshoot details correctly.  WARNING: Long post ahead!  It's so long, I wrote it in Word first.

I bought a VP1 back in late 2003, put it on my PC in 2004.  I had it mounted above my old house until last July.  I had no reception problems at all.  ISS was about 30 feet from the console.  Last July, I moved into a new bigger house.  I put the ISS above the roof with anemometer like the old house.  I put the console in the basement near the PC.  Console was probably 20 feet from the PC.  I was noticing a lot of Lís and Rís.  Then I started getting blank displays on the temp.  I donít recall if wind dropped since it has been a year now, but I know the temp/hum dropped.

About that time, a forum member put a VP1 ISS, console, and wind anemometer transmitter kit up for sale.  I bought it all.  Console for upstairs, ďspare ISSĒ, and the wind kit so I could bring the ISS down off the roof.  I thought my rain readings were off because Iím now out in the country with lots of wind.  So being above the roof made a difference for me.  Bringing the ISS off the roof brought the readings to the same as my CoCoRahs style gauge.

Thinking my reception issues could have been the ISS board; I setup the new ISS on channel 2 and put it in the backyard.  I setup the ďnewĒ console upstairs, and put the wind transmitter on channel 8.  Everything worked for a month or so.  But then, same issue.  Dropped temp/hum sensor.  But now with the wind on a different transmitter and channel, that kept working.  Weird part is the ďnewĒ console kept working, only the original console had issues.  It could be a console issue, but I also had my original ISS board too.  So I swapped that into the ďnewĒ ISS.  Things worked again for a few weeks, then dropped reception.

So now I thought it had to be my original console with a reception issue.  I put wiring in my laundry room and moved it upstairs.  That worked, for a couple months.  Then start losing reception again.  So now my thought is it is the console going bad.  I rented a Davis updater and updated the ďnewĒ console to the latest firmware.  I manually entered all of my monthly/yearly highs/rain, etc into the ďnewĒ console.  I then swapped consoles.  Same story, it would start losing reception in about a month.  Now Iíve moved my console back downstairs thinking maybe I have interference in the house.  Even though I never lose wind reception.

When I moved the data logger console downstairs, I decided to try some new channels.  Channel 1 was the original channel I had when I moved.  Channel 2 is what I changed to with the new ISS.  So I tried 3, 4, and 5.  All had Lís within minutes.  Channel 7 took an hour before it happened.  So Iím down to channel 6.  It worked.  I left it.  Knocked on woodÖ

Everything works for 2 months now.  I wake up this morning and dropped temp/hum again.  Dang! Temp/hum drop out, but still reading wind.  The second is console working normally.

Hereís the weird part.  Whenever these drops happen, either console, I could go into the console, change the altitude by 1 foot, and then go back out.  Console starts working again.  It might work for a week or 2, maybe a month.  But then out of the blue, itíll act up.  When the data logger console does act up, my second console reads just fine.  Even after I swapped them.

Usually I donít notice the drops until morning.  It might have died when I went to bed and I didnít see it.  At one point, I was able to catch it in the afternoon and do some testing.  I turned everything off in the house that could emit a radio signal.  Wifi, cordless phones, cell phones, wireless keyboard.  I dang near killed the main power to the house.  Same thing would happen. So I would have to surmise if it is radio interference, the problem is coming from outside the house.  A buddy of mine who lives 300 yards from me had to change from 900 MHZ phone to a new 2.4 GHZ after he moved in too because of reception issues.  My cordless phones are even higher in the GHZ range I think.  Whatever DEC6 is, but I have no cordless phone issues.

Iíve come down to this conclusion.  With 2 consoles, 2 ISS boards, and all the swapping and moving Iíve done, my problem is either:
1)   I just have some 900 MHZ interference and I need to move to the VP2.  I donít know why it doesnít affect the wind readings though.
2)   The data logger is somehow screwing up my console.  This is the only part that hasnít been changed out with all the swaps.  I donít know how a logger could do this, but my troubleshooting skills have to admit it is possible.

Iím a frugal guy, I donít like to spend more than I have to.  So buying a VP2 seems to be a bit of a waste.  Itís not that I canít afford it.  Iíd just rather spend my money elsewhere.  But if I do have to buy a new VP2, Iíll probably go the whole she-bang and do one with solar/UV/FARS, plus Envoy for PC, wind anemometer.  I think I might even buy a new serial logger just to say Iíve replaced everything.  But I donít know what else to do.

I apologize for the long post.  But I thought posting my experiences might at least help someone else with their troubleshooting.  Iím just hoping I can find a solution to my weather frustration, short of finding a new hobby.  I am open to suggestions at this point, even though Iíve trouble-shot the hell out of this.
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Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 02:27:03 PM »
Have you ever used WL plots of the ISS reception to help you isolate the actual drop out times and maybe any related weather conditions?

I have a VP2 that drops sync on occasion and I've isolated the problem to the ambient temperatures around the ISS using WL.  Whenever the temps drop below 45 at night I have a chance of a sync drop and temps dropping below 35 the chances really increase.  The ISS battery was replaced long ago at the advice of Davis tech support without a complete improvement.  That battery change may have reduced the number of sync drops and shortened the duration of the out of sync period at any ambient temperature range.

My sync drops occur both with both an Envoy and console, but the sync drops are not synchronized between the two receivers.  Those on the console are more common.
--Dave--

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People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 02:38:42 PM »
I'm not using WL, I just have VWS.  No reception info there that I'm aware of.  I thought I read somewhere that with the Davis, it looks at wind for the "reception info".  Since I have 2 transmitters, I don't know which reception it's showing, or if it even knows the difference.

I have watched the outside weather conditions a bit.  I can recall it dropping when in the 50's.  Today it was 33.  So I've found no correlation there.

I did forget to mention, when I replaced the ISS board with my original, I cleaned all connections and put an electrical grease on all the connections to make sure everything is absolutely weather proof.  I also replaced the battery, just to finish that off so that I know the outside box is as good as it's going to get.

Time-wise, it seems "most" the drops happen about 8:00 pm or 9:00pm.  But in my neck of the woods, that could be 2 hours before sunset, or like now, 2.5 hours after.  But I can also recall a couple of drops around 3:00 am.

But like I said before, it's always the console with the data logger that will drop.  Never the "other" console.  And swapping consoles didn't fix it.
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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 02:58:59 PM »
>>> "2)   The data logger is somehow screwing up my console.  This is the only part that hasnít been changed out with all the swaps.  I donít know how a logger could do this, but my troubleshooting skills have to admit it is possible"

Has the computer changed? (new/different computer?). 

It appears that you probably have a serial logger.  Suggestions:

1.  Try getting a USB-to-serial adapter, and using the USB connection to the computer.

2.  Try another computer (does a friend have a laptop, for instance?)  Unfortunately, that's a long-term thing, I guess.

3.  Make very sure of the grounding on your computer.

4.  Is your computer wirelessly-connected?

Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 02:59:41 PM »
The reception percentages are based on wind packets (a wind packet can read zero wind and be counted as a packet) received vs. the maximum number of packets that can be transmitted in each archive interval AND station ID.  Higher numbered ID#s transmit a few less packets per interval.  If you are using an anemometer transmitter, then the reception percentage would be for that unit and not the ISS.

I don't know how to determine the reception percentage for the ISS without an attached anemometer or if it is even possible.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 03:37:54 PM »
Dalecoy:

I moved into the new house in July.  It was about November that I switched to a new PC.  I upgraded because the old PC was 7 years old.  That and I worked an upgrade to VWS at the same time.

Both the old and new PC's have physical serial ports built in.  No adapters.  That's a part of why I chose the Dell PC I did.

Funny thing about the grounding questions is that in my old house, I had no ground.  It was built in '59 before they had ground wires.  New house obviously does have grounding.

But I run my weather PC hard wired on a switch before my firewall.  No wireless for the weather machine.  Just my laptop and Wii.
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Offline Bushman

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 04:25:09 PM »
Have you ever used WL plots of the ISS reception to help you isolate the actual drop out times and maybe any related weather conditions?

I have a VP2 that drops sync on occasion and I've isolated the problem to the ambient temperatures around the ISS using WL.  Whenever the temps drop below 45 at night I have a chance of a sync drop and temps dropping below 35 the chances really increase.  The ISS battery was replaced long ago at the advice of Davis tech support without a complete improvement.  That battery change may have reduced the number of sync drops and shortened the duration of the out of sync period at any ambient temperature range.

My sync drops occur both with both an Envoy and console, but the sync drops are not synchronized between the two receivers.  Those on the console are more common.

Strange.  My VP2 has already experienced ~20F and no drops.  I wonder if there is a cold jopint or something in one of the ISS boards?
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Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 04:59:55 PM »
[Strange.  My VP2 has already experienced ~20F and no drops.  I wonder if there is a cold jopint or something in one of the ISS boards?

Might be, but different receivers don't drop at the same time.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 05:13:53 PM »
Dalecoy:

I moved into the new house in July.  It was about November that I switched to a new PC.  I upgraded because the old PC was 7 years old.  That and I worked an upgrade to VWS at the same time.

Both the old and new PC's have physical serial ports built in.  No adapters.  That's a part of why I chose the Dell PC I did.

Funny thing about the grounding questions is that in my old house, I had no ground.  It was built in '59 before they had ground wires.  New house obviously does have grounding.

But I run my weather PC hard wired on a switch before my firewall.  No wireless for the weather machine.  Just my laptop and Wii.

OK, that answers my questions.  But I still suggest trying:

>>> 1.  Try getting a USB-to-serial adapter, and using the USB connection to the computer.

Or, as you said, buy a VP2.

Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 05:35:15 PM »
92merc, I think when you change the altitude setting you are forcing a reset of the console's sync acquisition  which helps it reacquire the signal..  You can probably do the same thing with Weatherlink by simply hitting the save button on the Set Transceiver window without any transceiver changes.  I know that also resets the console diagnostic stats to zero.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 06:52:45 PM »
I have Virtual VP.  One of the things I've always meant to do is install Weatherlink.  I've never run it on my station.  I'll have to chalk that up to one of my winter projects.
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Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 07:04:50 PM »
BTW, I haven't always been running Virtual VP.  I bought that when I bought the new PC and upgraded my version of VWS from 12 to 14.  So I had the problem before hand.

But that begs the question, can Virtual VP do something like WL and "reset that connection"?

Also, if WL can reset that connection, could that mean maybe my data logger is loosing communication with the console?  Maybe that is the issue.  That would make sense since I have the same problem on 2 consoles.  But it still doesn't answer why the drops don't happen on the wind readings on the same console that drops.
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Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 07:22:27 PM »
The loss of temp/hum readings would be a loss of sync between the console and the ISS. The data logger would have no temp/hum data to read in the console in that case and it shouldn't have anything to do with that loss of sync.

If you aren't losing the wind readings with an anemometer transmitter, then that transmitter is maintaining sync with the console.

What all this suggests is that the reception from the ISS's transmitter is periodically weakened due to reduced output from the SIM board or from some other interference or ???.  The reception of the anemometer transmitter's signal is not affected by that reception problem for whatever reason.

Don't know about Virtual VP to say if it can do those nice little diagnostic functions of WL.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 11:12:26 AM »
Well, it did it again last night.  Dropped about the same time as the night before, 9:00pm.  You can see on my site, my temp will flat line.  I got out of bed late this morning since I have no work on Saturdays.  It picked up on it's own about 9:00 am.  Looking at the graph, about a perfect 12hr drop today.
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Offline 92merc

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 04:29:35 PM »
I thought I would throw out an update.  Saturday afternoon, it dropped some more.  So I looked at my other console upstairs and it was working fine.  So I swapped consoles again.  Same story, console on the PC quit working, the one I moved back up worked fine.  But now the story gets stranger.  I moved the console hooked to the PC 5 feet over to another stud and nail on the wall, dang thing started working.  Reason it is even stranger, is because I had that nail there when I had issues a month and a half ago when it wasn't working.  Back then I moved it 5 feet to the left to get it to work.  Now I moved it 5 feet back to the left.  I guess the console needs to be danced once in awhile.

About the only other connection I can come up with is that my console that hooks to the PC always has an AC adapter.  The stand alone console doesn't.  Maybe somehow some interference is being created/picked up by the adapter and the console is reading it.  Now I did switch adapters way back.  So I don't think that is it.  But that is the only other connection I can come up with.

Stranger yet, my buddy lives in a house about 1000 feet from my house.  He had to switch from 900 MHz old cordless phone to a 2.4 GHZ when he moved in.  So I was talking to him about my issues.  He has an atomic clock that flaked out this weekend and won't sync up.  It started exactly the same time my console started having reception problems.  Coincidence, maybe.  But just plain weird.

I said the hell with the frustrations and ordered up a new VP2 with extra console and anemometer kit.  I'm hoping that $800 early Christmas present fixes the issues.

Any tips on transferring equipment so that I don't hork up my monthly/daily low/high settings?  I'm assuming I can manually enter in the data at the console like I did when I bought my other spare.  But suggestions are always good.

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Offline d_l

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Re: Unsolvable VP1 Reception Issue
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2009, 04:58:49 PM »
Unless you live in a Faraday cage (maybe even something like foil covered cellotex or aluminum siding), then I'm sure you won't have any data transmission/sync dropout problems.  Heck, I can pick up a neighbor's ISS over 1000 feet away at 20-40% reception even through my furnace's sheet metal and duct work or at 80-100% away through three or four interior and exterior walls.

The yearly rainfall can be entered into the WL database manually as well as the monthly amounts.  I'm not sure about updating the console amounts though. There was another thread here about a fellow trying to change an erroneous high rain rate:    
Erroneous Monthly High Rain Rate
.  Changing data in the console is a bit involved.
--Dave--

Wireless VP2 w/ solar, 24hr FARS, Heater, (Envoy-WLIP)*3-Meteohub, plus custom VP2 @ 26', WL 6.0.3, WU & W4U=KNVRENO37 NetcamXL

People always talk about the weather, but they never do anything about it.  Not me.  I'm gonna measure it.  https://www.tceweather.com

 

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