Author Topic: Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...  (Read 1060 times)

Smithsonite

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Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...
« on: February 08, 2016, 12:20:46 AM »
Quite the deluge ...  [roll]

First post here. I see lots of knowledgeable people here, so figured I'd run this one by all of you.

As you can see from the title, the rain gauge on my 8+ year old weatherstation has gone haywire. Happened after we had a warm front moved through with lots of rain and humidity, and then the temp crashed to the 30's in a matter of hours. I suspect that humidity condensed inside the reed switch, or whatever triggers the signal for the rain gauge.

Does this sound like a cut-and-dry solution to replace the reed switch, and this will be fixed? Or is there more to it than this?

The unit was very reliable for the first 5 years. The last 3 have been one problem after another. Just replaced the super capacitor, and added an additional one to the board 2 years ago, and just last month I had to clear-coat the solar panel to keep the better from dying during long overcast periods. Still getting a "battery low station 1" message with a fresh battery in there. Could be related - not sure.

Blicj11

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Re: Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 05:03:58 PM »
First of all, welcome to the WeatherCat forum!

When my VP2 Pro turned 7 years old, I had some similar issues. I sent the whole thing, console and ISS to Davis. For US$125 they replaced all the sensors, updated the firmware and sent it back to me. I decided to take that approach rather than deal with one thing at a time.

I still had to deal with a super cap that went bad so the refurbishment wasn't perfect, but I feel it was still worth it.
Blick


elagache

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Dear Smithsonite, Blick, and WeatherCat forum welcome wagon . . . .

Definitely not the best circumstances to make your first posting but nonetheless, welcome to the WeatherCat forum.

As you can see from the title, the rain gauge on my 8+ year old weatherstation has gone haywire. Happened after we had a warm front moved through with lots of rain and humidity, and then the temp crashed to the 30's in a matter of hours. I suspect that humidity condensed inside the reed switch, or whatever triggers the signal for the rain gauge.

Does this sound like a cut-and-dry solution to replace the reed switch, and this will be fixed? Or is there more to it than this?

Unfortunately, your description isn't enough to make it a cut and dry situation.  You might take some pictures of the rain gauge and post them here so that we can effectively "inspect" your instrument to see if it looks damaged compared to ours.  Your posting isn't clear, did the temperature drop below freezing or just into the mid-30s?  If there is any chance water froze in the rain gauge that could do a lot of damage.  Come to think about it, where the skies clear during that episode of 30s temperatures?  If so, it is possible to water to have frozen even if the thermometer never went below 32˚ because of radiation cooling.


The unit was very reliable for the first 5 years. The last 3 have been one problem after another. Just replaced the super capacitor, and added an additional one to the board 2 years ago, and just last month I had to clear-coat the solar panel to keep the better from dying during long overcast periods. Still getting a "battery low station 1" message with a fresh battery in there. Could be related - not sure.

Sounds like your station is starting to get worn out.  Not sure how to deal with that, but given the problems you are having it might a good idea to give your whole installation a careful inspection (at least when the weather makes that practical.)

When my VP2 Pro turned 7 years old, I had some similar issues. I sent the whole thing, console and ISS to Davis. For US$125 they replaced all the sensors, updated the firmware and sent it back to me. I decided to take that approach rather than deal with one thing at a time.

I still had to deal with a super cap that went bad so the refurbishment wasn't perfect, but I feel it was still worth it.

This is definitely an option but you'll be down for the time Davis spends repairing the station and shipping both ways.  There is also a certain hassle factor associated with packing up these large and fragile items.  Other WeatherCat users have considered buying a second weather station so that they can send their old station in without losing any data.

I don't know of a good solution for this situation.  Blick's experience with the super-capacitor suggests to me that refurbished isn't the same as new.  I don't know how long you can expect these instruments to hold up and of course that question depends in part of the severity of your local weather and how much down time you are willing to put up with.  If losing data doesn't break your heart, obviously you can just call Davis technical support and see where that takes you.

Sorry, not the most encouraging answers but we would need more information about the state of your instruments to be of more help.  If you could take pictures that would most certainly help us make a good guess of your rain gauge (and other instruments) condition.

Cheers, Edouard

Smithsonite

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Re: Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 07:32:04 PM »
Sorry I dropped the ball on this one - I'm a little late! Almost 2 YEARS to be exact!!

 I appreciate the responses - I must not have my settings correct, because I never knew they were posted.

Anyway ... it's been almost 2 years, and I never touched that reed switch! No idea what the problem was, but it hasn't occurred since! Must've been a stick, a piece of ice, or a droplet of water in the switch ... or the tipping buckets were stuck right where the magnet triggers the switch, and vibration from the wind made it as if it was tipping 3x per second or something - who knows?!?

Thankfully the repair didn't cost me a dime, but it did cost me my 9 year prior history stored in the station. The unit became logic locked, presumably from the excess data - whenever I would accidentally get into the annual, or monthly rainfall totals, the unit would freeze up. Getting it back up & receiving signals from the ISS was an exercise in anger management. Sometimes it would be down for days. I'd have to keep yanking the batteries, waiting a bit, reinstall the batteries, then jump through the setup screen, THEN, MAYBE it would start to work.

This was SUPER aggravating. What I ended up doing, since I had nothing to lose at this stage (besides the data I forgot to write down first for annual rainfall totals - probably because I couldn't access it, now that I think about it), I did a hard reset: WIND, 2ND & CLEAR (hold until "CLEARING NOW" appears). Voila - fixed! Lost some data that became corrupted from the excess memory, but I have the majority of the data written down - that was a chore, too.

Anyway, she's been back to normal since the reset. Did that maybe a month after my first post here. So far so good! :)

I'll finish my post with shots of the screen from just 5 days apart. Welcome to New England, lol. :D

Blicj11

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Re: Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 07:39:33 PM »
Glad to hear you resolved the issue and sorry for your data loss. Most of us have had the opportunity to mourn the loss of some data. Welcome back to the forum.
Blick


Smithsonite

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Re: Davis Vantage Pro2: 166.28" of rain in 2 days ...
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
Thank you! :)

Just wanted to translate my readings above here: -11.5°F = -24.17°C and  60°F = 15.56°C

Sorry about that - we Americans forget everyone else uses Celcius. :)