Author Topic: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.  (Read 8716 times)

elagache

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 4499
    • DW3835
    • KCAORIND10
    • Canebas Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro-2, MacBook Pro (Mid 2009)
Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« on: October 10, 2012, 09:31:37 PM »
Dear WeatherCat fans,

Given California weather patterns, weather stations here really need one annual inspection before the start of the rainy season.  So the time has come for me to do that and . . . . . golly where did I put that maintenance checklist?

We had an old checklist on MacWeather that was in need of updating.  So I went ahead and cleaned it up and parked it on the WeatherCat Wiki:

http://wiki.trixology.com/index.php/Station_Maintenance

However, given how frenetic my life is, I decided . . . . maybe I need a printed copy.  That way, if I can't finish the job, I'll know how far I got by checking the items thus far completed.  I've parked a copy of that checklist in a RTF (TextEdit) format on my Canebas server:

http://www.canebas.org/WeatherCat/Wiki%20Support%20Documents/Weather%20Station%20maintenance%20checklist.rtf

That link is also noted on the Wiki entry.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this checklist over the years and if anyone had additional contributions or edits, scoot them my way!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

WCDev

  • WeatherCat Developer
  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 2735
    • CW9739
    • ISCOTLAN25
    • Trixology
  • Station Details: Main Station: Vantage Pro-2, 24hr fars, solar, soil/leaf station, extra temp stations, no U.V. WeatherLink IP.
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 11:13:20 PM »
Nice one Edouard - thanks for this  [tup]

elagache

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 4499
    • DW3835
    • KCAORIND10
    • Canebas Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro-2, MacBook Pro (Mid 2009)
You're welcome! (Re: Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 05:57:46 PM »
Howdy Stu and WeatherCat fans,  [cat]

Nice one Edouard - thanks for this  [tup]

No problem . . . I needed it for my station!!  Easy enough to share!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

JosBaz

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
    • INBRSON2
    • Weatherstation Son en Breugel, The Netherlands
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro2 Wireless, WeatherCat on Mac OS X 10.9
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 10:29:12 AM »
Hi WeatherCat fans,

Thanks Edouard for the Maintenance checklist. I used it when cleaning my station over the weekend.  [tup]
As recommended on the Wiki, I also put the VP2 console in diagnostics mode to "...avoid collecting erroneous data that might be caused by your mucking around with the instruments."

However, when I reconnected it again after an hour or so, and put it back into normal mode, the console showed 1376,2mm daily rain.  ???
So had to go and edit all data manually.

How do I prevent this? My experience is that putting the console in Setup or Diagnostics mode does not prevent erroneous data. I considered clearing the Archive Memory before reconnecting but I think I need Weatherlink for that?

What is your experience? Have I overlooked something obvious?

Many thanks.

Jos

elagache

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 4499
    • DW3835
    • KCAORIND10
    • Canebas Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro-2, MacBook Pro (Mid 2009)
VP-2 shouldn't do that. (Re: Weather Station Checklist.)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 09:28:44 PM »
Dear Jos and WeatherCat weather station caregivers,

Thanks Edouard for the Maintenance checklist. I used it when cleaning my station over the weekend.  [tup]

Glad it was helpful!  :)

As recommended on the Wiki, I also put the VP2 console in diagnostics mode to "...avoid collecting erroneous data that might be caused by your mucking around with the instruments."

I must confess I never bother doing that in part because I would have to put both the console and Weather Envoy into diagnostic mode.  I'm not even sure there is a diagnostic mode for the Envoy.  So I'm afraid I'm little help in terms of experience.

However, when I reconnected it again after an hour or so, and put it back into normal mode, the console showed 1376,2mm daily rain.  ???
So had to go and edit all data manually.

How do I prevent this? My experience is that putting the console in Setup or Diagnostics mode does not prevent erroneous data. I considered clearing the Archive Memory before reconnecting but I think I need Weatherlink for that?

What is your experience? Have I overlooked something obvious?

Honestly, I've used the diagnostic mode only once to make sure that data was coming in clearly from my instruments and it worked perfectly, no erroneous data.  I don't think what you experienced is normal for a Davis station.  If you are concerned, you might send an email to Davis technical support.  Perhaps it is an early sign of trouble with your station.  A quick inquiry might give you peace of mind.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

KeithC

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • Denton Rainfall
  • Station Details: Vantage Pro2 (daytime FARS) w/ Macbook OS 10.9.2
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 02:40:31 PM »
Unplugging all sensors before any maintenance activities eliminates the need for diagnostics mode. Plug the sensors back in when finished and there will be no bad data - at least this has been the case for me.

Thanks Edouard for the great list!!

elagache

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 4499
    • DW3835
    • KCAORIND10
    • Canebas Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro-2, MacBook Pro (Mid 2009)
Added your suggestion. (Re: Weather Station Maintenance Checklist.)
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 10:01:58 PM »
Hi Keith and WeatherCat station caregivers,

Unplugging all sensors before any maintenance activities eliminates the need for diagnostics mode. Plug the sensors back in when finished and there will be no bad data - at least this has been the case for me.

Okay, that's a fair enough suggestion.  So you are getting sensor errors during this time I presume?  However, you ignore them - correct?

That's better than nothing, and will work with the Weather Envoy.  I added the suggestion to the Weather Station Maintenance Checklist.  However, I don't know of any other weather stations besides the Davis VP-2 where that strategy will work.  I don't know if you even have access to those cables on the Vantage Vue.

Since it would be good to know, I started up a new thread for all those non-Davis folks to contribute strategies to avoid bad data on their stations. 

http://athena.trixology.com/index.php?topic=1198.0

It would be good to document any ways that other weather station models can set to avoid receiving erroneous data.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

KeithC

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • Denton Rainfall
  • Station Details: Vantage Pro2 (daytime FARS) w/ Macbook OS 10.9.2
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 10:36:00 PM »
Hi Edouard.

By your questions it sounds like I might be misunderstanding something. So please allow me to explain the scenario where my suggestion works for me. Hopefully that will help pinpoint for you anything I might be misunderstanding.

Whenever I clean, lube or adjust anything on my VP-2, I disconnect the rain and wind sensors. In this way, for one example, if the tipping bucket tips back and forth, it won't register as any rain. So there's no data errors at all, and none for me to "ignore".

The short time it takes me for maintenance stuff - and thus the short time the sensors are disconnected - does not have a mathematically significant effect on any of the running averages.

If I am missing something, please let me know. But it's been my experience that, since I can in fact disconnect these sensors during maintenance, it's a foolproof way to go about it.

Wildwood

  • Gentle Breeze
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • CW6892
    • KAZCAREF2
    • Carefree Weather
  • Station Details: Davis VP2+, data since 8/2008
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 05:49:38 PM »
I'm not sure if this goes here but I am having a wird one. My solar & UV sensors keep dropping off line. I have reset all the connections, checked for dirt on top. Anyone else have this issue?

Thanks


KeithC

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • Denton Rainfall
  • Station Details: Vantage Pro2 (daytime FARS) w/ Macbook OS 10.9.2
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 07:43:21 PM »
Hello Wildwood,

To better serve your question, you might get more responses if you were to re-post this question as a new thread. You're in the correct category -- i.e. Weather Hardware/Measurement -- however, your question is at the bottom of a totally different thread. So please try starting a new thread.

Cheers,

Keith

JosBaz

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
    • INBRSON2
    • Weatherstation Son en Breugel, The Netherlands
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro2 Wireless, WeatherCat on Mac OS X 10.9
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 07:59:22 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks for the input and suggestions. I think KeithC's suggested way of working (disconnecting sensors as the 1st step) is simple and kinda foolproof - so should work even for me.  ;)

Jos

KeithC

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • Denton Rainfall
  • Station Details: Vantage Pro2 (daytime FARS) w/ Macbook OS 10.9.2
Re: Weather Station Seasonal Maintenance Checklist.
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 09:47:19 PM »
Hi Jos.

Most of the time we probably only need to disconnect the rain sensor during maintenance. Other sensor disconnections will cause brief, insignificant gaps in your historical data. But that's all. So please be aware of that.

dfw_pilot

  • Gale
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
    • EW7118
    • KTXLEWIS26
    • WX Page
  • Station Details: Davis Pro2 Soil Temp/Moist
Rain Connection
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 11:34:44 PM »
I cleaned up my Davis station today and put Rain-X in the rain cup for the first time. Here's to more accurate rain readings! Using a terry cloth in there was tricky though, with the bird guards in place. Anyway, I also noted that diagnostic mode did nothing to stop errant readings. I'm not sure where that idea came from, but I feel it is inaccurate. There is an easier way however, just like noted above -- simply unplug the rain sensor while the station wobbles from the Rain-X wiping. Easy!

All the best,

dfw
A clear conscience is a great pillow.


elagache

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 4499
    • DW3835
    • KCAORIND10
    • Canebas Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro-2, MacBook Pro (Mid 2009)
On the buckets or cone? (Re: Rain Connection)
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 12:55:20 AM »
Dear dfw and WeatherCat station caregivers,

I cleaned up my Davis station today and put Rain-X in the rain cup for the first time.

Did you put Rain-X on the buckets or just the cone?  I don't think you really need Rain-X on the buckets.  The problem is only with water clinging on the cone and never making it to the buckets.  The Rain-X should only help with the water getting out of the buckets - that has nothing to do with accuracy.

By the way everyone, it is time to think about station maintenance.  Those of us in the northern hemisphere should be thinking about longer term repairs.  For example I need to repaint the support for my anemometer.  Those in the southern hemisphere should be doing those last minute checks before winter sets in.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

dfw_pilot

  • Gale
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
    • EW7118
    • KTXLEWIS26
    • WX Page
  • Station Details: Davis Pro2 Soil Temp/Moist
In the Cone
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 01:04:27 AM »
Negatory on putting it in the buckets.
A clear conscience is a great pillow.