Author Topic: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?  (Read 5134 times)

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Offline GeeEmm

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WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« on: August 18, 2022, 08:03:01 AM »
My WH40 rain gauge had dropped off the HP 2550 console, no data, not even a signal strength indicator.  Activated around April, so not been up all that long.  Unfortunately, for reasons, I can't access it for a week or so to check if a new battery brings it back.

Q1 - is that a reasonable battery life (April-August)?

Q2 - is there any history of failures of this item?  I found one thread with two failures https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=42382.msg432613;topicseen#msg432613, anything else I have missed?

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, but in the meantime I'd be interested in what the hive mind here thinks.

Online Rover1822

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2022, 08:09:31 AM »
Quote
Q1 - is that a reasonable battery life (April-August)?

It is a bit short, but battery quality also comes into play.

Ambient:
  WS-2000
  PM 2.5(2)
  WH31B(2)
  WH40E
  WH31P
EcoWitt:
  GW1100
  GW1000(4)
  WH31(2)
  WH57
  WH51(12),
  WH40
  WH5360B
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Offline Gyvate

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2022, 03:54:17 PM »
My WH40 rain gauge had dropped off the HP 2550 console, no data, not even a signal strength indicator.  Activated around April, so not been up all that long.  Unfortunately, for reasons, I can't access it for a week or so to check if a new battery brings it back.

Q1 - is that a reasonable battery life (April-August)?

Q2 - is there any history of failures of this item?  I found one thread with two failures https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=42382.msg432613;topicseen#msg432613, anything else I have missed?

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, but in the meantime I'd be interested in what the hive mind here thinks.
Did you check the sensors ID page in the Settings ? (settings --> More [settings] sensorsID ) and tried to re-register the WH40 ?
If you got a bad batch of batteries - or they had already self-discharged quite a bit, new batteries could do the job. Re-registering might still be required.
WS2350 1.6.7, GW1000(3) 1.7.7,WH2650 WiFi (2) 1.7.7 (test/backup), GW1100 2.3.2, GW1200 1.3.1, GW2000(3) 3.1.3, HP2551 1.9.6,5.1.6;HP3500 1.7.2,WS3800 1.3.0, WN1910 1.2.3,WN1980 1.2.3;
Ecowitt WS90(2)1.4.3/1.4.0, WS80(2)1.2.8, WS68, WS69, WH40,WH31,WH31-EP,WN30,WN34L,WN35,WH32,WH32-EP, WH32B, WH57 [Lightning], WH41[PM2.5], WH51, WH45, WH55
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Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2022, 07:04:06 PM »
Quote
Q1 - is that a reasonable battery life (April-August)?

It is a bit short, but battery quality also comes into play.

Good point, they (it?) were new Duracell alkaline.  How long they had sat on the shelf though, who knows.

My WH40 rain gauge had dropped off the HP 2550 console, no data, not even a signal strength indicator.  Activated around April, so not been up all that long.  Unfortunately, for reasons, I can't access it for a week or so to check if a new battery brings it back.

Q1 - is that a reasonable battery life (April-August)?

Q2 - is there any history of failures of this item?  I found one thread with two failures https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=42382.msg432613;topicseen#msg432613, anything else I have missed?

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, but in the meantime I'd be interested in what the hive mind here thinks.
Did you check the sensors ID page in the Settings ? (settings --> More [settings] sensorsID ) and tried to re-register the WH40 ?
If you got a bad batch of batteries - or they had already self-discharged quite a bit, new batteries could do the job. Re-registering might still be required.

Thanks Gyvate, tried that, no luck  :sad:.

Edited:  I should add that all other sensors are showing full strength signal, which suggests battery is not the problem, but that will remain speculation until I can get it down and have a look at it.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2022, 07:07:56 PM by GeeEmm »

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2022, 08:41:58 AM »
Update time!

Mast came down today, WH40 removed, cleaned, new battery, re-registered on the console.  It connected for a few minutes, and then disappeared again, and nothing I did would bring it back again.  :sad:

I have emailed Ecowitt about this, and the occasional temperature spikes on one of my WH32s.

The WH40 badly needed a clean, I have now installed the ring of spikes so hopefully that will deter the birds from using it as a loo!  In any event I now have a mechanism for easily lowering the mast so cleaning and battery replacement should not be a big hassle.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2022, 07:42:35 PM »

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, ...

New WH40 on its way (under warranty).  Let's see how this one goes.


Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2022, 03:46:29 AM »

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, ...

New WH40 on its way (under warranty).  Let's see how this one goes.

WH40 arrived, logged on as soon as the new battery was in, and is now sitting up the pole waiting on the forecast rain over the next few days - great timing!  Went up with the ring of spikes, so hopefully that will keep the birds off it.

Fingers crossed on this one ...

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2022, 06:26:36 AM »

I guess I will have answers to these questions soon enough, ...

New WH40 on its way (under warranty).  Let's see how this one goes.

WH40 arrived, logged on as soon as the new battery was in, and is now sitting up the pole waiting on the forecast rain over the next few days - great timing!  Went up with the ring of spikes, so hopefully that will keep the birds off it.

Fingers crossed on this one ...

Hmm.  Two months, almost to the day, and it looked like the battery had died - red indicator on the console.  Pulled it down, new battery, put it back up.  A week later no data at all - again.  Tomorrow I'll put another battery in and see what happens.

Online Rover1822

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2022, 06:30:43 AM »
Is this the old one or the new one?
Ambient:
  WS-2000
  PM 2.5(2)
  WH31B(2)
  WH40E
  WH31P
EcoWitt:
  GW1100
  GW1000(4)
  WH31(2)
  WH57
  WH51(12),
  WH40
  WH5360B
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  WittBoy WS90 + GW2000
  WS90 (other one) + GW1100
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Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2022, 06:32:53 AM »
It's the new one  :sad:

Online Rover1822

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2022, 06:46:56 AM »
Do you have a voltmeter with which you can measure the voltage of the AA batteries?
Before you put them in (new), and after they appear to be depleted.
If so, could you post those values?
Ambient:
  WS-2000
  PM 2.5(2)
  WH31B(2)
  WH40E
  WH31P
EcoWitt:
  GW1100
  GW1000(4)
  WH31(2)
  WH57
  WH51(12),
  WH40
  WH5360B
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Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2022, 07:11:23 AM »
Yes to both.  I will post tomorrow when I have replaced the battery in the unit, and report on its and the replacement's voltages.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2022, 08:39:26 PM »
Do you have a voltmeter with which you can measure the voltage of the AA batteries?
Before you put them in (new), and after they appear to be depleted.
If so, could you post those values?

OK, done.

I think I found the old battery that lasted two months - .9v (would this voltage be low enough to cause issues?)
The battery I took out now after two weeks - about .3 -.4v
The new battery just put in - 1.4 - 1.5v.

Looks like something inside is chewing battery, maybe getting worse with age.  If it is stable, that would not be an issue if I could get a (solar) power supply regulated to provide current to charge the battery during the day and allowing the battery to do the night duty.  If it is not stable and deteriorating further over time, the sensor needs replacement.  The acid test will be how long this battery lasts.

The REALLY bad news is that when re-erecting the mast, the cable failed at one of the swages, and the case has been fractured.  Looks to be fixable with good old silicone though, but the cable failure is more worrisome.  The good news is that the sensor is still working and sending data to the console.

Edit: Sensor all bandaged up, hopefully the glue is providing the real strength holding it together.  Still transmitting to the console.  Swage failure probably down to not stripping the nylon sheath from the gal cable - both ends of the cable re-swaged after stripping the sheath, mast is back up sans WH40.  The rain collector broke from the impact, fortunately still had the old original non-functioning WH40 and cannabalised the collector from that one.  If the glue gives problems I might see if I can strip out the contents of the old one and put the new internals in it - if this battery issue doesn't mean that the new internals are not worth transferring.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 11:19:47 PM by GeeEmm »

Online Rover1822

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2022, 06:33:39 AM »
Quote
The new battery just put in - 1.4 - 1.5v.

That is low for a brand new battery. I would expect 1.5 - 1.6V. I think your issue is batteries.

Are all the batteries you have been using from the same batch?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 06:45:47 AM by Rover1822 »
Ambient:
  WS-2000
  PM 2.5(2)
  WH31B(2)
  WH40E
  WH31P
EcoWitt:
  GW1100
  GW1000(4)
  WH31(2)
  WH57
  WH51(12),
  WH40
  WH5360B
  WN34S
  WittBoy WS90 + GW2000
  WS90 (other one) + GW1100
Personal Sites: Weather Cam

Online Rover1822

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2022, 11:50:05 AM »
Also note, counterfeit AA Duracell batteries are on the market.

For reference https://thecounterfeitreport.com/product/106/Coppertop-AA---AAA-Batteries.html
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 11:57:32 AM by Rover1822 »
Ambient:
  WS-2000
  PM 2.5(2)
  WH31B(2)
  WH40E
  WH31P
EcoWitt:
  GW1100
  GW1000(4)
  WH31(2)
  WH57
  WH51(12),
  WH40
  WH5360B
  WN34S
  WittBoy WS90 + GW2000
  WS90 (other one) + GW1100
Personal Sites: Weather Cam

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2022, 07:05:33 PM »
Thanks Rover, I did wonder about the new battery being below 1.5v, they are Costco sourced in a 40-pack.  They are all I have in AA at the moment, and seem to doing OK in other applications and the other sensors, but maybe this sensor asks more of its battery, and there is only one battery in the WH40 too.

Given the sensor has survived yesterday's crash test and appears to be functioning ok (8.8mm this morning) it will go back up the mast today and I will monitor battery life again.

I looked at your link, and as I don't have the packaging it is difficult to say but the batch number (if that is what it is) on the battery itself does not have the rough feel described there for the genuine article, but that may be a reference to a batch number on the packaging.  It would be a worry if Costco was selling counterfeits too.  So I tried another battery on the multimeter and it came up 1.6v so whether that is variation within batches, or I misread/mishandled the earlier read, I don't know. 

I'll update this thread when I next replace the battery in the WH40.


Online broadstairs

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2022, 04:23:25 AM »
I always use lithium batteries in all my sensors which don't need rechargeable ones. Currently have a pack of Energizer Ultimate Lithium a brand which so far has not let down. Maybe not the cheapest but certainly reliable which is what you need in sensors.

Stuart
Ecowitt GW1003 with ultrasonic wind gauge, lightning sensor and PM2.5 sensor with Personal Weather Tablet as a console.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2022, 05:21:22 AM »
I'll update this thread when I next replace the battery in the WH40.

Well that happened fast.  Sensor is back in the house already!  I am getting quite practiced in getting the mast up and down, and the repaired cable is holding up well, no more 'incidents'!

Initially when the sensor was erected on the mast it indicated two bars of data transmission with the new battery, then three a little later.  A bit later nada zilch nothing.  The console showed the data up to the last transmission (apparently,  there was no rain in this period).  I removed the battery and I noticed the whole rainfall display was replaced with a cloud indicating rain falling, whether this was a 'time out' after the last transmission, or a result of removing the battery I don't know.

Replaced the battery with a new one (1.6v), nothing.  Re-registered the sensor, nothing.  The battery I removed showed 1.2v ...

This failure shows some similarity to the previous one.  Both happened after loss of signal and battery replacement.  Both reactivated with the new battery, and both quickly died thereafter.

I will now contact Ecowitt and see what they have to say.  If not for the crash test I would strongly suggest a component problem somewhere in the unit, based on the two similar failures.  The fact that it continued to function when reassembled and supplied with a fresh battery implies that it survived the impact without fundamental damage, but I can't be certain that this failure was not a result of the impact.

Edited to add:
Currently talking to Ecowitt, and have some testing to undertake on the failed unit (I will attempt it on both, as I still have the original too),but this will have to wait until I return from travelling interstate.  Stay tuned for results.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2022, 05:17:55 AM by GeeEmm »

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2022, 05:25:07 AM »
I always use lithium batteries in all my sensors which don't need rechargeable ones. Currently have a pack of Energizer Ultimate Lithium a brand which so far has not let down. Maybe not the cheapest but certainly reliable which is what you need in sensors.

Stuart

Agree Stuart, and I will be buying a packet when next I shop.  However I believe there is some other problem beyond battery longevity.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2022, 11:34:06 PM »

Currently talking to Ecowitt, and have some testing to undertake on the failed unit (I will attempt it on both, as I still have the original too),but this will have to wait until I return from travelling interstate.  Stay tuned for results.

OK, testing is complete, results are far outside the spec provided by Ecowitt.  Results basically identical for both of the 'problem' units.  Awaiting further advice from Ecowitt.

However, it now seems clear to me that batteries are not the problem (as previously noted, all batteries are from the same pack, and those in my other Ecowitt sensors are providing satisfactory service).

Offline giusCB

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2022, 03:43:15 AM »

I have the exact same problem with a wh40, it could be a reception problem...
Have you tried holding the rain gauge near the 2550 for some hours?
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Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2022, 06:47:08 AM »

I have the exact same problem with a wh40, it could be a reception problem...
Have you tried holding the rain gauge near the 2550 for some hours?

I don't think that is my problem.  I did that earlier left it overnight nearby the console, didn't work.

My units are chewing power - more than three times what they should be using, and not going into stand-by so that consumption is continuous - no wonder the batteries won't last! 

Ecowitt tell me the units are supposed to be drawing 40ma for a few seconds on connection, then go into standby mode drawing bugger all.  Both mine are drawing over 130ma!  And no standby mode, so that consumption is ongoing and the battery goes flat very quickly.  The question for Ecowitt is what is causing this big drain, clearly something is wrong with the electronics.

I have updated Ecowitt support but I won't hear anything from them until sometime next week.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2022, 05:26:38 PM »
Ecowitt support have asked me to photograph the insides of the unit(s) to identify the componentry (?!) and (I think) whether I have previously opened up the units (no I haven't).  I'll post the photos here to satisfy the curious!

The saga continues!

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2022, 11:12:30 PM »
The two boards seem identical (board located on the back of the battery box):


I hope I don't have to reassemble them!


At least when I got the first one apart, the second was short-cut to just get the battery box out.

Offline GeeEmm

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Re: WH40 - dead, or just dead battery?
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2022, 07:38:13 PM »
The latest is that two innards are on their way back to Ecowitt, and (yet) another WH40 is on its way to me.  The onset of the festive season got in the way of more timely completion of packaging and posting, but that is life!!

I will do the diagnostics assigned to the failed units on the new one, so that a baseline is established - I am not very confident about these units, though I have to assume there are a lot out there functioning faultlessly.  But it is strange that I have drawn the short straw twice ...  :???:

 

anything