Weather Station Hardware > Rainwise Weather Stations

MK-III Locks up when temps hover around 0F

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Thanks for the info. I had read that the series 2 XBEE needed to be programmed but hadn't heard about this regarding series 1. I figure it's worth a try. I've also had two phone calls into Rainwise Technical Support w/o a return phone call. They were bought out by Nielsen Kellerman. Not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing.

I also checked the database ever since this unit was in operation 5 years ago and the problem has always been there since day 1. I hope Rainwise will fix this. I am about ready to escalate this up the food chain since Rainwise is not responding.

--- Quote from: WA7FWF on January 12, 2022, 10:37:25 AM ---It's been a long time since I played with the XBEE's but memory says swapping one in will not work, rainwise programmed them to be address 1 so a stock one does not work, there is also different code in the console one also. I could be wrong, but if you swap in a replacement and now it doesn't talk at all then don't be surprised. I have the code images saved somewhere, but you would still need a programmer to install that code. This was on a MK-III LR.

--- End quote ---

This is disappointing to hear or even think that the company would in effect sabotage making these things fixable, except at their tech bench.

I love (d) my rainwise stations, two here, one at the airport where the guys love seeing the display from across the room at the clubhouse, and one at a friend's place where he is getting addicted to watching the weather.  Yet I have three out in the shed that don't work, for whatever reason.  I have had some of the same experience trying to contact tech support.  Way back when, a guy there (who has since retired) was a wealth of information and help.  Since he retired another pleasant person (Ralph?) was almost always the one to call me back.  In the last year I have left maybe ten messages, not one of which has been returned, so I'm not sure he is still there or not.  When I called the main number the receptionist said that all she could do is transfer me to the tech line, and couldn't make sure a message got through to them or not. 

One of the disappointing things was that I offered to pull the motherboard and send it in, but was told they really wanted the whole unit.  Ever try to figure out how to even package it up, say nothing of finding an affordable way to ship it?  I was told that there were at least a half dozen versions of the Mark III main board, and I agree that the three I have all look different, and one, maybe the latest one, seems to have a lot of the individual components replaced by a few larger chips.

Other than replacing the temp, humidity and the wind, there isn't a lot one can do.

I see a lot of accessories like displays and such, an occasional computer interface, and so on, but few stations, which seemed to come up for sale every few months on eBay.

I guess that continuing to produce a moderate quality station, one which generally lasts for awhile, is taking it's toll.  Texas Weather Instruments, now it seems Rainwise, and who knows what other ones will go by the board.  Davis will be the only reliable, albeit pretty costly, advanced amateur station left in a bit, which will be sad if it comes to pass.

The most certain killer for Rainwise will be their continued ignoring of calls for technical assistance or even giving the appearance if you ever did send a unit in for repair that you'd ever see it again.

I'm not sure who it was that bought this once famous time honored company, but I agree with ajay that things don't look good.  I hope he can test out the idea that a generic xbee board won't do it, and let us know.  Dale

It looks like my XBee modules haven't been shipped as of yet...hopefully soon. In the mean time I did some digging with regards to RainWise parent company: Nielsen-Kellerman Company. I wrote a lengthy email to their CEO Alix James the other day and got a hold of someone in their office today via phone. I also sent my original email to Alix to him. I made sure he received it. I also copied him on Dale's text message regarding RainWise's lack of response to phone calls.

I'm not sure if my original email made it to Alix James. It appears that my email today ended up in a junk mail folder but was eventually recovered when I called back about the status of my email. I feel it never hurts to reach out to the upper management of a company. Sometimes they aren't aware of customer frustrations and will fix the problem once they are made aware. Covid has certainly caused problems and staff shortages but I don't buy that as an excuse to not return phone calls.

I really, really hope RainWise will continue to exist or at least have their products exist under the NK name brand. The LED display is wonderful and was one of the reasons why I bought the MK-III in the first place. I hope I can keep my station up and running for years to come.

So...Let's see how NK responds. How a company treats their customers says a lot about them. I'll report back as to what kind of response I get, if any.

Reaching out to NK's CEO did make a difference. I received a phone call from Brad at RainWise last Sunday afternoon. After discussing the problem we decided to try a different Xbee radio inside of the MkIII. Brad did mention that the Xbee board had to be programmed by them first so it would appear that a stock Xbee board will not work. I received the new Xbee board two days ago and after cycling through two nights of temperatures going below 0F, then rising above 0F during the day, the unit has not locked up!

Although I'd like to get more below 0F instances under my belt, it is looking as if the Xbee board may very well have been the problem. I have been looking at the raw data from the 2.4GHz Xbee packet and it does appear there is a series of bit flips that occur when temps go below 0F. The 7th and 8th octet flips from 00's to FF's when the temp goes below 0F and back from FF's to 00's when temps once again climb above 0F. (If anyone knows how to decipher the radio packet from the MKIII, I'll buy you a coffee!) Maybe somehow those bit flips confused the Xbee logic?

If the problem reoccurs, I will follow up here. If not, consider this one resolved.

One final note: Nielsen-Kellerman who owns RainWise really needs to work on their customer service for those who have invested in RainWise weather stations. Leaving messages on their support line and then not getting a call back in a timely manner is not only frustrating but is a terrible business practice. I realize this isn't something that has the urgency level associated with a kidney dialysis machine, but it would be nice to receive a phone call back within 24 hrs. It used to be that when you called RainWise you got a live human being. It would be nice to see NK provide the same level as once before.


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