WXforum.net

Weather Station Hardware => Davis Instruments Weather Stations => Topic started by: fredericowessel on March 30, 2021, 04:05:30 PM

Title: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: fredericowessel on March 30, 2021, 04:05:30 PM
I have a Davis Vantage Pro 2 6163 that working since July 2019. It worked fine until May 2020, so it started to have lack of RF signal in some occasions, but it was very few moments. In June 2019 this problem got more serious, so I thought it was battery problem. I switch the CR123 battery and it start working fine again, but in 2 months, during some hours almost everyday, ISS was not transmitting, could be at 3, 4 or 6 am, even 3 or 4 pm in a sunny day. Now, in February 2021 and March, it was almos 95% of time, with no ISS signal. Some days ago, start working again. Se WU graphs below:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Station is installed in a electricity pole and console is inside a building, less then 100m away from station, in a lower level. The building have a metallic coating and there is maybe 2 or 3 walls on the way. Console is inside a rack mount for routers and switches. See pictures below:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Console is inside a building like this:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Here the distance between ISS and console, less then 90m:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

One day I went to the location with a Davis Vantage Vue console and I stayed there about 20min without get ISS signal. When I arrived home, did the same test with my other Davis VP2 and I got ISS signal in less then 5min. I don't know if can be something there that make signal weak sometimes or if it's a kind of problem with PCBA. Strange is that ISS started again to trasmitt, but ISS reception is always below 60%, 30% sometimes.
Title: Re: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: johnd on March 30, 2021, 04:13:50 PM
You need to check the wireless signal strength (the RSSI figure) on the second wireless diagnostic screen of the console. (See the console manual if you're not sure what I mean)

For reliable reception you need an RSSI figure of 30 or more. If the figure is eg 25 then reception will become unreliable and intermittent.
Title: Re: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: azchrisf on March 31, 2021, 02:29:27 PM
I’d do as Johnd suggested first. If the range is too far a Davis repeater can be bought and utilized.

Second since you mentioned that when you replaced the battery it worked fine,  and it was dead again in 2 months, you may also have a failing supercap. If it’s dead or dying it needs replacement if you can solder, otherwise it’ll need to be sent to Davis. I can replace them too.
Title: Re: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: Mattk on March 31, 2021, 03:51:47 PM
Key points are:

Distance around 100m
Building has metallic coating
2-3 interim walls
Console is mounted inside a metal rack

Signal will be struggling with those points.

Could also be some power line interference?
Title: Re: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: azchrisf on April 03, 2021, 05:08:35 PM
I think Matt is spot on. Who knows what may have changed you donít know about that could now be causing interference and cutting range.

I believe a regular Davis repeater with Solar would be a good choice in this situation. I have one for sale if the op is interested.

Here it is:
https://www.davisinstruments.com/product/wireless-repeater-with-solar-power-3/
Title: Re: Davis VP2 6163 - Problems with RF signal
Post by: johnd on April 04, 2021, 03:47:57 AM
I think Matt is spot on. Who knows what may have changed you donít know about that could now be causing interference and cutting range.

This is why I say upthread that checking the RSSI is very helpful in this sort of situation - it gives you a numerical fix on the signal strength that the console is seeing  and a value you can monitor when trying various remedial measures. Otherwise you end up being in the dark as to what measures might have worked or were of no help. Users are often put off from checking the RSSI because it's an unfamiliar console feature, but actually it's very easy to do, just a couple of button presses - just a question of checking the troubleshooting section of the console manual to find out which buttons.

On repeaters: I always leave this as a last resort. If you can avoid using repeaters then do so, they can be a right pain to troubleshoot at times, especially if you need more than one in a chain (and one long-range repeater is then usually much better than multiple 7627 units). Occasionally repeaters are the only viable solution and so end up being unavoidable but if you can achieve reliable reception without a repeater then that's always for the best IMO.