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Weather Station Hardware => Other Weather Station Hardware => Topic started by: looney2ns on April 01, 2019, 08:53:23 PM

Title: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: looney2ns on April 01, 2019, 08:53:23 PM
I need a replacement Wind Vane for my Texas Weather Instrument weather station. I have tried calling them, you get an answering machine directing you to email and a site where you can order parts.
I ordered a Wind Vane, Received a confirmation, then crickets. The charge to my CC was pending in my account for a couple of days, now it has dropped off, and was not charged.

Anyone know where I might obtain a wind vane? I've looked at ebay, and no luck.
Thanks!

Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on April 02, 2019, 01:08:44 PM
Thatís unfortunate news, I was about to call them for support myself.  I have two consoles, a malfunctioning WRL-32 and a fully working WR-25.  Looks like they may not be in business at all at this point.  You can follow my saga which Dale Reid has been a huge help with in the Climatronics/WR-25 thread in this section of the forum.

The last TWI sensors available were in 2013, on eBay.  There were two new WPS complete packages up for auction.  There have been none listed since then, sensors or parts.  The consoles do appear time to time. Your best option would be to fabricate a replacement vane if youíre handy with that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: BeauDodson on August 02, 2019, 03:16:14 PM
I need some parts, as well.

I called but no luck.  It goes to a message.

I have emailed them.  No response.

It appears you can still buy instruments from them.  I think.

Wish there was another phone number to call.  I am not sure who owns the company or I would call them.  :)
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Bushman on August 02, 2019, 03:29:43 PM
President:  David Patterson
TEXAS WEATHER INSTRUMENTS, INC.
Texas Taxpayer Number   17521866768
Mailing Address   555 E BLACKJACK RD PILOT POINT, TX 76258-7208
 Right to Transact Business in Texas   ACTIVE
State of Formation   TX
Effective SOS Registration Date   07/16/1987
Texas SOS File Number   0104464500
Registered Agent Name   NANCY P PATTERSON
Registered Office Street Address   15820 MIDWAY ROAD DALLAS, TX 75244
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: ValentineWeather on August 02, 2019, 07:29:05 PM
The online store is closed also.

You get this message:
texas-weather-instruments.myshopify.com is currently unavailable.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: BeauDodson on August 03, 2019, 03:10:37 PM
President:  David Patterson
TEXAS WEATHER INSTRUMENTS, INC.
Texas Taxpayer Number   17521866768
Mailing Address   555 E BLACKJACK RD PILOT POINT, TX 76258-7208
 Right to Transact Business in Texas   ACTIVE
State of Formation   TX
Effective SOS Registration Date   07/16/1987
Texas SOS File Number   0104464500
Registered Agent Name   NANCY P PATTERSON
Registered Office Street Address   15820 MIDWAY ROAD DALLAS, TX 75244

I found this lady.
http://www.nancyppattersonpc.com/contact_us

She may be their lawyer.  I called and emailed her.

It does seem they closed.  Unsure.

How odd to just close and not tell their customers.  Sort of rude.  A lot of us spent a lot of money with them.

Their phone service is active and acts as if they are in business. 

Nobody can place an order.  The orders are never filled.

Beau
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: BeauDodson on August 05, 2019, 10:47:20 AM
She emailed me back.

She is their attorney it appears.  As their attorney, she can't say much.

She did say she would forward my email to someone at the company. 
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: TNWeatherGuy on August 05, 2019, 03:08:08 PM
Hey, thanks for digging into this.  I am following this saga as well, so the updates are appreciated.

Might be wishful thinking ... but with TxWx's main web site still being up, and the message stating "we're not manufacturing weather stations at this time", there might be some hope of David's company coming back on-line once whatever is going on resolves itself.  I've spoken with David many times over the years, and he has always been responsive, so this is totally out of character.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: BeauDodson on August 05, 2019, 03:43:47 PM
She sent me a second email.

I forwarded your email to me and the request. I haven't gotten a bounce back yet.  So, I hope that they get it.  One would assume that the email address is still valid.

Nancy 
 
Nancy P. xxxx, Atty
Fee Attorney for Fidelity National Title Agency, Inc.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Bushman on August 05, 2019, 06:40:23 PM
Interesting that the attorney for the company has the same last name as the company owner...  :)
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on August 08, 2019, 06:57:15 PM
Thank you guys for digging into this, greatly appreciated! Hopefully the company will break its silence and at least confirm whether or not they are closed permanently.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on August 08, 2019, 07:04:31 PM
I located him on LinkedIn, I will try to contact him there and see what happens-  EDIT: I am not premium on there so I can't direct message, I sent a connect request, if it gets accepted I can message him.  If anyone has a premium LinkedIn account you can message him directly. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-patterson-3833721/

(https://www.mediafire.com/convkey/75c2/tg3dnbyh7hn0m7p4g.jpg) (http://www.mediafire.com/view/tg3dnbyh7hn0m7p/Screen_Shot_2019-08-08_at_7.00.36_PM.png/file)
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: WeatherHost on August 08, 2019, 07:44:44 PM
Why are we stalking these people?  Perhaps they have some sort of personal issues and would like to be left alone.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: BeauDodson on August 31, 2019, 03:28:21 PM
Why are we stalking these people?  Perhaps they have some sort of personal issues and would like to be left alone.
 

1.  It's an open business.
2.  They have not posted anything on Facebook, Twitter, emails. Online support telling us what is happening has gone silent.
3.  Some of us own thousands of dollars in equipment and they guaranteed that equipment.  We are looking for answers.
4.  True.  We've thought of that.  If true then just tell everyone in an email what is going on.  Not that hard and it would be professional. 

All of us understand personal issues.

 Those of us who own businesses also know this isn't appropriate. 

Hopefully, everything is okay within their families.  If not, then we are all sorry to hear that. 
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Phil14 on September 09, 2019, 07:35:03 PM
Does anyone know where I can get a  Texas Weather Instruments console repaired? It lost power and I donít know how to fix it. The company appears to be out of business
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 09, 2019, 07:55:23 PM
Phil,
they are gone.  The repairs were well done and honest, but the company has closed up.  As far as I know, no one has been given or bought the schematics and the various codes to program eproms or know in depth what to do to fix them.

However, not all is lost.  While it doesn't happen often, the fuse can blow and is easily found, just make sure you get the right amperage and I think they all are slo-blow.  Please check that before disparing.  Next is to make sure the power supply isn't zapped, and can be fixed with a swap.  Not too hard, but can be intimidating for someone who hasn't an idea of what to do.

If there is some part that does light up, both the fuse and the power supply are less likely.

Is there a knowledable ham radio operator in your area to assist with opening, testing power supply and check fuse?  I'm not saying they can analyze a CPU on board, but they can look for loose connections and such.

Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Phil14 on September 09, 2019, 08:02:11 PM
I did try changing the fuse. I went to Auto-Zone and bought a package of various amp fuses but that didnít work. With radio-shack gone itís hard to find fuses.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 09, 2019, 08:13:45 PM
Phil, no kidding. When I had to change mine if it weren't for an ancient store associated with a local TV station supply that had parts dating to the 50s (and new stuff too) I'd never have found the 3/4 amp slow blow I needed one time. 

Well, if you've been inside it to find the fuse, do you see any green LEDs on the board only visible with the back off (depending on revision number) that light up?

Can you take a picture of the rear of the unit, there usually is a paper glued on the back with serial number and some humidity setting values typed onto it.

Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Phil14 on September 09, 2019, 11:11:32 PM
I tried a 5amp fuse but the black box that you plug into the wall outlet started smoking. Pulled it out right away, somethings fried.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 10, 2019, 06:57:14 AM
Phil,
Yes, failing the smoke test is never a good thing, unfortunately.  I think the fuse was a 3/4 amp but can't recall for sure.
There must be a short on one of the boards.  At this point things seem a bit dismal.  There is a small diode near the fuse, that sometimes blows and is a sort of a safety net.  but if it blows, there is an interruption in the current, not a short to ground

At this point the best you can hope for is to ask a local ham radio club if there is someone who has some experience with troubleshooting radios and other gear who might open things up, and examine the boards to see if there are signs (subtle or obvious) of some failed part.

Failing that, and if you want to keep this station working, I would suggest you make  a request for anyone with a working display (there are more of them than there are complete stations, since the sensors frequently are abandonded in place if someone moves, dies or otherwise leaves the world of observing weather. 

The problem is knowing which of the three kinds of a display box you had, and that can't be determined reliably without the box powering up. 

If it gets to that point, and you can take a picture of the wind speed and direction sensor, it is almost certain which kind you have. 

Does your station do more than just temperature, humidity, rain and wind?  Is there a lighting sensor?  Is there a solar readout?  Those are about the only two options that were out there that anyone got.

Once again, a picture of the back of your station is helpful.

Finally, if you throw in the towel and determine that the station is unfixable, and that you cannot find a replacement console, since Texas Wx is out of business, there are a few people who'd love to have the outdoor sensors.  They are nearly impossible to find, and would be very well worth the effort to others keeping their stations going to get the humidity and temp 'pagoda' and also the (usually harder to get down) wind direction and speed sensor.  I encourage you to keep this in mind and if you finally just say chuck it, please let us know so someone could offer to buy them from you in an attempt to keep an old station somewhere else running, as these are great devices and a very visible display.  Yes, it is that important, so please let the group know. 

Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: TNWeatherGuy on September 18, 2019, 04:09:39 PM
Dale is spot on.  I am such a person who'd be interested in the outdoor temp/humidity sensor.   Let us know what you decide.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on September 18, 2019, 05:05:09 PM
Phil,

A 5 amp fuse is much too high for the console, Dale is correct, the fuse required is a .75 amp fuse (3/4). The manual unfortunately doesn't say whether it is a slow blow or not, it simply says use a .75 amp fuse. You can find all the types and ratings of appliance/electronics fuses at any local hardware store.  I found the correct fuses for both my TWI WR-25 console and my Heathkit ID-5001 at my local Aubuchon Hardware.  Ace, True Value, any of the regular hardware stores will have them. If you look in the electrical department they will have a section with parts drawers where you will find the fuse drawers.

From what you've described it appears the wall transformer is defective and finally cooked itself.  You need to find a replacement transformer and try that.  If you go on eBay you can easily find one with the correct ratings matching the original.

Photos of your console and the model would be very helpful.

As everyone has said, be sure to not throw anything away.  There are plenty of folks on here needing sensors and parts as you can see.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Phil14 on September 18, 2019, 07:44:27 PM
The fuse that was in the unit looked like it said 5 amp but It was hard to see even with a magnifying glass.I know the manual says .75, I tried the .75 first and again itís hard to tell but it looks like it blew. Then I tried the 5amp and thatís when the transformer smoked.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on September 19, 2019, 02:27:15 PM
If the fuse installed was indeed a 5 amp, someone put a larger fuse in at some point. Did you buy your console new or second hand? However, you may have been reading it as 5 amp when in fact it was a .5 amp, (1/2).  Both of my consoles when I got them had fuses in them that were slightly overrated, not by much, but still not correct.

I think the wall transformer frying after the fuse change was merely coincidental.  I still recommend trying another transformer correctly rated and see if that works.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: FDWxNet on April 27, 2020, 10:02:42 AM
Hi All,
So, I've started to repair my station... the sensors just need a little TLC.

Does anyone have the TWI Software? TWICal in particular?

I have the WRL-25

Thanks!
Matt
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on April 27, 2020, 11:47:05 AM
I might, and since it was listed on their web site, which I can no longer find, I would assume that it could be distributed for free to a TWI owner for their use.


I'll let you know later today.
Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: FDWxNet on April 27, 2020, 12:14:11 PM
Dale,
So i was able to locate the file by using an archive web site. If anyone needs cable diagrams or manuals... I can more than likely find that too.

The only program I've not been able to locate is the LOG software.

Too bad TWI went out of business, I kick myself for not getting the newer LAN card before they went out. I still think this is one of the best stations on the market (well off now).  Does anyone know the reason behind their shutter?

Thanks again!

Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on April 27, 2020, 01:09:37 PM
I'll see if I can find what you refer to as "log" software.  I never used their stuff to configure, always did it on the front panel.  I know that there were WPS-10 units which were basically stations with the boards in them without the display, and I assume some different firmware.

Is the program you're looking for called log or has log in the name?  And was it to read data, and write to a file on a DOS based computer?  Just so I know what I'm looking for.

As an aside, those doc files and pdf's were relatively small, so IF you've found them and have the time, I'm wondering if you can attach them and upload one or two at a time with messages to this thread?  I know pictures of some size, up to fractions of megabytes, come through.  I don't know if the owner of this board can be contacted to see if there is a way to store this without making the costs go sky high, so I'd check into it but you having done the hard work of finding and gathering the files, it would be  a shame to miss the opportunity to 'put the books on the shelf' for others to have access to.

I'm not sure why they went under.  I assume that even for a small volume place they just didn't have the cash flow to employ two guys, pay the utilities and so on.  Thank goodness their initial design work was solid and had but a few updates.  I can't imagine the cost of re-engineering a board, getting it produced and stockpiled.  Of interest would be what their sales volume was and I'll bet it almost all was repair and service rather than new units going out the door for the last 5 to 10 years, but that is all speculation on my part.

Let me know the name of the program if you can.  Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: looney2ns on April 27, 2020, 02:47:36 PM
Dale,
So i was able to locate the file by using an archive web site. If anyone needs cable diagrams or manuals... I can more than likely find that too.

The only program I've not been able to locate is the LOG software.

Too bad TWI went out of business, I kick myself for not getting the newer LAN card before they went out. I still think this is one of the best stations on the market (well off now).  Does anyone know the reason behind their shutter?

Thanks again!

Most likely the influx of the China made stations, they just couldn't compete.

You can get a Serial to IP converter board that will make it a lan capable device. Here is my journey in doing so to mine.
https://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,63314.msg507830.html#msg507830

This is like the board I used: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HLK-RM04-TCP-IP-Ethernet-Converter-Module-Serial-RS232-UART-to-WAN-LAN-WIFI/312118538635?hash=item48abb6f18b:g:jlAAAOSwBY5a4JnC
Its still plugging right along 4 years later. Not bad for less than $10, and little time.

I remember asking about the TWI lan board, and it was sky high priced. Like $300 or so. But it did have an embedded web page I think.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on April 27, 2020, 03:37:36 PM
Toonz:
Looks like ONE MORE thing to do, but would be an enormous boon to cut down on the limited distance to the station from where the computer is.  And tripping over already stretched to the max cables.

So, if it isn't too much for you to recap, can you tell me:

How does WD that you said Brian enabled to do so, see the station?  As just an IP address?  And what station type do you choose for the data stream to be in the sequence and units that WD expects?  I have a RainWise ip-100 running that worked out well as an IP address for WD to get data from, so I assume it is similar, but how do you tell WD the input stream to expect?

Does the unit operate in a continuous output mode or does it have to be queried to produce a string?

Looking at the photo of you putting the serial cable onto the board, there seems to be a DB9 'dongle' that you wired up.  Does this just act as a gender changer, or is there some specific pin to pin changes, and a jumpering inside one of the DB9 caps to get this to work?  Can you summarize the exchange you had with Niko (RIP, buddy) on the research and discovery you did to get this to work?

Finally, in the intervening 4 years, are there any things you'd do differently or just the same?  I'm curious as WiFi has gotten more market share that it would eliminate even more cable running hither and yon, but perhaps one giant leap then if that works for me a small step to put up a WiFi version if I can find one.

I wonder how long stuff is taking to get here from China now, with almost all those boards being sourced from over there?

thanks, one more project I will try if I can get through the many distractions that already face this old brain...
Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: looney2ns on May 01, 2020, 03:16:18 PM
Dale, I'll have to refresh my memory and get back to you. :?
There is no difference as far as WD is concerned in obtaining data with the IP method over a normal serial cable. Station push's the data each second.

I seem to recall you had the same issue I did with WD stopped picking up rain from the TWI. Did you get your issue solved? Is it still working with the latest version? I'm still running the test version that Brian linked to me.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: looney2ns on May 01, 2020, 03:52:07 PM
Serial port setup in WD. Enter IP, and port, select inabled.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on May 01, 2020, 07:36:42 PM
Yes, either Brian tweaked something or the gremlins in my setup took flight, but without any major work on my part, all of a sudden things were just like old times.

Now we just need some rain to test it repeatedly.

Thanks for the setup screen shot.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised with all the functionality Brian has worked into this program.

The only experience I've had was to have an IP for the Rainwise IP-100 and didn't know if there were generic interfaces or that each driver receiving the info had to be specifically tuned by him to have a chance at working.

Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on May 01, 2020, 07:38:50 PM
FDWxNet:
I have found a TWI-Cal disk and found a reader that pulled the program in, so I could post it or somehow make it available for you.  I have a web site with my weather stuff on it (ecwx.info) and wonder if I put it on there and sent you a link to it you could just download it from there and then I could remove it when you had successfully pulled a copy?
Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Sparky2990 on September 22, 2020, 06:46:07 PM
Realize this is an old thread but I would also be interested in downloading the TWI-Cal program.  My WR-25 is still going strong after 23 years.  It feeds a tiny server running wview software, something else that no longer has support: http://panneton.net/weather.  It will be a sad day here if it dies before I do!
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 22, 2020, 07:48:17 PM
Glad to know the hardware is chugging along, and the DOS level software from back then is still OK for some of us.

I have the TWI disk but didn't upload since on of the members said he was archiving things for folks like you/us and did have it already.

I can't recall the link to it, but maybe this awakening on the thread will have him respond with a link.   If not post back.

I am still trying to find time to do a setup to transilluminate the temp/humidity board and get that for reconstruction.   The temp sensor is a piece of cake and the humidity sensor is still available but I'm not sure why the extra chip and all for it on board.  Like I've told other folks, when I get to it....  I know you're all waiting.

If you ever find your system ailing, PLEASE post a message, especially if you know what, other than the temp/humidity and the windspeed (for the original type of sensor) since I, for one, have a few stations that I've accumulated with trades, ebay, or have been given.  One of the techs at TWI when they were in operation told me that when he got a board and it wasn't the little diode blown and the fuse was ok, he just started swapping boards out (there are three levels, if I recall) and hope to get it working as long as you have a pretty plain Jane setup, no lightning detector, etc. 

I think that one of the reasons, among many of course, that they didn't sell much is that it was indeed so well built.  There are a few quirks to the hardware (especially the occasional runaway wind speed if using an RM Young wind monitor) and being hard wired, but gee whiz, I'm not putting as many years on my first unit as you are but it has to be at least 15 or 16 years old, used.

Thanks for tweaking the old thread and best wishes.  Just drop by again if you haven't gotten a link to the software and I'll find the disk and send a copy to  you.  Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 22, 2020, 07:51:05 PM
Sparky:
Nice time lapse!  That certainly wasn't in the TWI software, so can you tell us what you capture the image with, how you 'movie-ize' it and then how do you send it to your web site?

Do you keep generating the movie and upload or just send images to the web site and have software there stitch them into a movie to keep bandwidth usage down?
Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Sparky2990 on September 22, 2020, 08:49:07 PM
Hi!  My webcam is a Sunba 601-D20X that I have setup to send an image to my file server once per minute.  On my Raspberry Pi4 web server, I have a crontab that runs four times an hour to stitch those one minute images together into an mpeg video using this utility: cat *.jpg | ffmpeg -loglevel warning -f image2pipe -r 24 -vcodec mjpeg -i - -vcodec libx264 daily.mp4.  Then it just copies that daily.mp4 to the web image directory.  My web server is local so bandwidth isn't an issue, the files are all on my network file server; the web server uses NFS to access the files on the file server.  It takes the RP4 about 30 seconds to create each movie.  I move the webcam around as the seasons and weather changes.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on September 23, 2020, 09:38:35 PM
The link to all the files currently available is pinned at the top of this forum HERE - https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=39501.0
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 23, 2020, 09:48:40 PM
Thanks Kev.  I knew you were archiving all you could get ahold of. Thx. Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on September 23, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
Youíre right Dale, and you were right that Iíd see the thread update, haha. Came through on my email notifications. The TWI-Cal is uploaded with almost everything TWI had available. I know thereís a few items missing that need to be added, but not too many.

So good news! I finally have all the missing sensors to get my WR-25 functional thanks to looney2ns. Iíll be attempting a careful dissection of the humidity board to see about cracking the mystery and drawing up a schematic. Iím incredibly overloaded with work right now, but as soon as I have time (probably over the winter) Iíll dig into it.

I still need to run your rain gauge calibration too!
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on September 23, 2020, 10:22:20 PM
Yes, I know there is work to do, but the ability to keep these classic stations running will be helped with any material you can keep on line and up to date.

Good luck on the temp/humidity project.  I have had little time, believe it or not, to keep on it.  The temp sensor is a piece of cake.  Just across the terminals and out.

I don't know how the humidity sensor works, nor the reason for the DIP chip on the board, and with some traces under the chip, hard tofigure where they go.

Maybe we should make it a contest to see who can get an accurate schematic on how it works.
Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: amino1958 on October 06, 2020, 04:37:41 PM
Hi All,

I have PLENTY of parts for the Texas Weather Instruments WPS-10 station and I am putting them on ebay for sale. We used to be an OEM for their weather stations and we are no longer doing that and getting rid of our inventory. I have brand new WPS-10 processor boxes - $50 each , and a few used sensors. Selling everything AS-IS at rock bottom prices.

Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on October 07, 2020, 08:39:55 AM
Nothing new for a few weeks has shown up on eBay for TWI stuff.

What key words did you use when you listed, so we can search for your auctions?
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: amino1958 on October 07, 2020, 09:33:04 AM
Just looking at inventory today and hope it have it posted today or tomorrow. I will post an update here with details as soon as I do since there appears to be some interest.

 
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Kev on October 24, 2020, 08:14:37 PM
Yes, I know there is work to do, but the ability to keep these classic stations running will be helped with any material you can keep on line and up to date.

Good luck on the temp/humidity project.  I have had little time, believe it or not, to keep on it.  The temp sensor is a piece of cake.  Just across the terminals and out.

I don't know how the humidity sensor works, nor the reason for the DIP chip on the board, and with some traces under the chip, hard tofigure where they go.

Maybe we should make it a contest to see who can get an accurate schematic on how it works.
Dale

Yes, same as the Heathkits they are well worth continuing to support for sure.  I'll be sure to add anything new to the folder I have posted as a sticky in this forum.  If you or anyone else come across anything new, let me know and I can add it.

Well it turns out that IC is an instrument amplifier.  All it does it amplifies the signal for the humidity sensor.  I successfully hooked up the humidity sensor on a short wire to the console, and it works perfectly.  So it can work wired straight through, problem is it's going to need that amplifier IC once you have it on a 50' or more line to outside.  All I need to see is the configuration of the traces of that amplifying IC on the board.  You mentioned there were a couple resistors on the board too, yes?

You're on with the contest Dale, sounds good, haha.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Sparky2990 on November 13, 2020, 03:44:20 PM
Can anyone point me to documentation on how to use a non-TXWX wind sensor with my WR25?  The bearings in mine are failing and I'd like to use a more robust sensor if possible.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on November 13, 2020, 04:21:16 PM
Sparky,
Of course with no technical support, this is my best guess.

From numerous visits with them over the years, it is my understanding that the basic board set, which was used in all their products and modified for high precision, bigger cpu, more sensors such as solar or lightning, the wind sensor was one of three, chosen when you bought a unit from then, or returned to have them do a board modification and a ROM firmware update.

The choices were Texas Weather Sensor, R M Young sensor (the 5016 I believe) and the Texas Electronics type sensor, of the last version (was it a 114 or something like that?), and each was NOT interchangeable with the other.

I had most of mine changed to RMYoung (one came that way off eBay) and still have two with the TWI sensor package as the board-level wiring.

I asked either David or the other tech was went on with the mods (they charged me $90 plus shipping back then) and the best he'd say was some 'components' on the mother board were changed, a few jumpers, and a new firmware chip with code to do the wind speed and direction.  They wouldn't divulge more no matter how sneaky I was in trying to find out.

I know the Young wind monitor uses an AC 3 pulse per revolution signal for wind speed and a standard potentiometer for wind direction. Their wind head uses an optical encoding, with pulses from a chopper disk for wind speed (sort of like the Heathkit ID-4001 and ID-5001) and the Grey Coding scheme (I think) for the wind direction, again very much like Heathkit.

The Texas Electronics earlier devices used a reed switch for pulse per revolution for speed, and the very expensive potentiometer for the direction, and that one could NOT be used for connection to the TWI boxes, since I had one and they said it wasn't a supported version.  They needed the optical type, so much along lines the their device or the Heathkit type from what he alluded to, but again didn't go into details on the differences.

It sure would be nice if someone that had all the schematics and service notes would release them into the public domain for those of us trying to keep these things running to fix or modify what we could.  If the ROM goes, I think that the whole thing will have reached the end of the line. 

Nice stuff, good readouts with good visibility,and while wired vs. wireless, I have three running here right now and hope they keep going longer than I do.

Let us know if you uncover anything different, and if I've recorded something wrong here, please chime in with corrections to my note here.   Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Sparky2990 on November 13, 2020, 05:17:30 PM
Thanks, Dale.  From what you say and what I can discern from published specs, there's no easy replacement for the TWI WR25 wind sensors which came with my system 22 years ago.  TWI sent me replacement bearings for their sensor back in 2011 and I've just been getting by with a small dab of oil to prevent it from squeaking until now.  My fear is that it's probably so brittle now from many years of our high altitude UV exposure that I may break it trying to disassemble it.  It would be a shame to retire my WR25 just because the wind sensor died!  If I'm reading prices correctly, an RMYoung wind sensor costs more than an entire Davis Vantage Pro 2 station! 

You mentioned the Heathkit ID4001 -- I built one of those in 1980.  Lightning zorched my first one but I was able to find a replacement until another close lightning strike finished the second one, too.  That's when in 1997 I bought my WR25 to replace it.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on November 13, 2020, 06:13:51 PM
I keep thinking one of the reasons that TWI went out of business is that their stuff was built so well it seldom needed replacing.  I have two units that don't work, one I owned originally and got tickled by lightning.  The other I bought for almost nothing off eBay and was not really functional, but paid so little for it that it wasn't worth complaining to the seller who had no way of testing it.

That said, I have a lot of units that aren't on the air just because of no wind or humidity sensors.  Seems a shame, but what can you do.

As I'm many times older than my TWI stuff, I cannot recall but there was a wind sensor that looked exactly like the TWI units, but I've not seen that in awhile and cannot recall what off-brand it was, and there is no way to know if it would be compatible or not.

TWI actually built a bunch of stuff, including the displays and guts for a school project that was in the east part of the US, and I see the light oak finished display boards for sale on eBay now and then, but without the guts to run them, completely useless.

I have no doubt that some genius with Arduino or Raspberry Pi could take any wind direction and speed sensor and have it do a conversion and send the data to a TWI console, but I see little chance of that happening, what with the limited call for it, and it would have to be a labor of love, not profit.

I don't have the humidity sensor board fixed or traced out yet, so I don't know if I'll ever get to it,  but I might try to find out what signals (they aren't multiplexed in any way) come down the wires from a TWI sensor, and that might help others with the desire to do something weird and wild bring it forth.

I recall the bearings, and wonder if there ar replacments from McMasters/Carr or even if the  bearing set for a Heathkit ID-4001/5001 would fit?

Nonetheless, I have found an oil that is for clocks and such that is very good, doesn't get stiff with age or weather, and might be a chance to keep your unit running.  Is your sensor easy or relatively so to get to?  Did you disassemble the whole plastic head and lube it, or just put a drop on the shaft and let it run down in?

Keep trying.   Dale
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: CW2274 on November 13, 2020, 06:34:36 PM
Nonetheless, I have found an oil that is for clocks and such that is very good, doesn't get stiff with age or weather, and might be a chance to keep your unit running.  Is your sensor easy or relatively so to get to?  Did you disassemble the whole plastic head and lube it, or just put a drop on the shaft and let it run down in?
Using certain lubes outdoors on sensitive equipment can eventually cause more problems than it solves if it collects the particulates in the air. If a lube is used, I highly suggest a 'dirt/dust' free dry lube. Personally, on my VP2 anny, I merely clean it with CRC, never lubricate.
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: Sparky2990 on November 23, 2020, 11:03:50 AM
I was able to replace the bearings in my TWI wind speed sensor so it's back to happy operation, no oil used :-)
Title: Re: Has Texas Weather Instruments gone out of business?
Post by: DaleReid on November 23, 2020, 11:16:20 AM
Sparky:   Glad to hear that.

As for the insight given by CD2274, I often forget that I live in God's country, with pure running streams, gentle soft rains, fragrant meadows and forests, and little or no dust, and certainly no long harsh summers with plastic being degraded by sunlight.

I have always subscribed to the idea of if a little is good, it's good.  I know some who slather gallons of stuff on everything in their path, but a good friend who fixes clocks uses a tiny tipped needle on the end of a micro syringe (called a TB syringe, I think) to just touch a wee bit of lube to the bearings in question.  A small bottle has lasted him decades.

But again, if you get dust or abrasives blown about by the wind, it will turn into cutting slurry.

I recall a relatively new rental car we had getting caught in a high wind dust storm and as we pulled over because we couldn't see the road, wondered how this was different from a sandblaster on the windshield and finish of the vehicle.

Glad it's working and I read the comments to become more educated and appreciate learning  how things are different from where I live.
Dale