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Author Topic: WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??  (Read 6790 times)

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K4GPS Rich

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« on: August 14, 2003, 02:15:29 AM »
I just noticed that for the past day or two my WMR-968 (Radio Shack Wireless) has apparently stopped sending data. The battery sensor showed good in WD then I restarted the program and now it shows bad, but previously I had no readings. I searched the channels again but nothing.

The sensors have been installed since 12/31 and all the other ones still have 90% battery life. I am hoping that it is just a bad battery, if not how difficult is it to get a replacement. I don't even know what the warranty is, I have heard that support from OS can be difficult at best. Where can someone purchase replacement sensors ?

The intersting part is that the rain gauge appears to also not be sending data and they are mounted to the same PVC pipe. I am worried that I may have taken a lighting strike since they are 2 different units, just mounted  on one pipe and both appear to have died at nearly the same time or at least day.

My wind sensor, mounted 20ft away from the others at 30ft on a metal mast is still operating properly.

Go figure.. we have a tropical wave/depression/storm about to hit in a few hours and it decided to die on me. Forcasters from the NWS still can't make up their minds as to what we will be hit with before I wake up in the morning!

Thanks,
Rich K4GPS

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Re: WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2003, 10:32:10 AM »
I'd have thought that a lightning strike would have affected the sensors on a metal pipe rather than a non-conductive PVC pipe, although I suppose if there was heavy rain at the time the pipe may have been full of water giving a path to earth.

Not totally serious, but did the sensors stop reading at a time when the wind sensor showed a high wind speed? Perhaps the PVC pipe that the sensors was on has blown away in the storm  :wink:
Chris
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K4GPS Rich

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2003, 10:58:05 AM »
No not that... the pipe is full of concrete, I filled the PVC with concrete when I was done setting it in the groud since it vibrated too much.


They did not blow away, I can see them out of my window here but it is raining too much for be to be able to get to the sensors and open them to check the batteries or reset at this time.


Yes a metal pipe is a much better conductor but lighting is strange, it can hit wherever it want's.

Offline CaptDilli

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OS Wireless Sensor Loss of Signal
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2003, 11:16:23 AM »
I have intermittent problems with my OS WMR968 console not receiving data from sensors. The remote sensor that is ‘failing’ indicates it is sending a signal as the red LED is flashing.  Hmmm?  If the remote sensor that is ‘failing’ has an external antenna I rotate the antenna back and forth once or twice.  If the remote sensor does not have an external antenna I move the sensor close to the console. Holding down the ‘channel’ touch screen area will start the console searching for signals from all sensors. After the console receives a good signal from the antennaless sensor I move the sensor back to where it was monitoring the temperature.  Some times I must repeat the procedure more than once. I have had this problem most often with my rain gauge and my remote sensor #2.  My outdoor temperature/humidity sensor has also failed once.  The cause of the loss of signal from a sensor may be to radio interference?   :?
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K4GPS Rich

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2003, 11:49:38 AM »
Interesting you should mention that... I was thinking the same thing, RFI. I have been playing with wireless gear the past few days after a bunch of sales on D-Link equipment. I am looking to do a remote DSL link and have been designing the system inside of the home and testing it before I try long range.

I did appear to get a somewhat believeable temperature hit today at 5:25am but it has not even moved a few tenths since then. It is overcast and we are in the middle of a troppical wave that has hit us, we are almost ground Zero here in Jupiter Florida. Once the wave passes us and we get a bit of sun if the temp is still 77.7 degrees I know there is a problem. I would go look at the batteries now but it is just raining too hard. We are still expecting 50 MPH winds this AM.

The rain gauge also appears to be working (not that it was ever accurate, off my .5 inches!) so I am going to buy some batteries once I can brave the storm and change them later.

Rich

Offline CaptDilli

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OS WMR968 Sensor Failure
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2003, 05:14:05 PM »
Did you try holding down the ‘channel’ touch screen area which will will start the console searching for signals from all sensors and a restart of WD?
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K4GPS Rich

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Re: OS WMR968 Sensor Failure
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2003, 08:24:49 PM »
Quote from: CaptDilli
Did you try holding down the ‘channel’ touch screen area which will will start the console searching for signals from all sensors and a restart of WD?


Yes I did all of that last night and no luck. This morning we had a break in the rain for a short time where it was only a slight mist. I went in the back yard and checked the LED on the bottom of the unit, it is slightly dim all the time, not fully out. Every 15 or so seconds I do get a brighter flash during the TX period but the light does not fully extinguish.

I opened the unit up and it was fully dry, before I installed the sensors I put a bead of silicone RTV all over the exterior where the back cover connects to the transmiitter body and also a drip loop before the sensor cable coming in.

The batteries on a volt meter showed just fine, but then again that does not put a load on them so I installed 2 new batteries. Still no change, I also hit reset on the Transmitter while I had it opened.

The question now is if it is the temp sensor or the transmitter. They are both mounted on the same PVC pipe so it if were lighting I would have thought the rain gauge would also have been fried, they are only a couple of inches away from each other.

Where can I purchase sensors ?
Rich

Offline CaptDilli

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Re: OS WMR968 Sensor Failure
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2003, 01:00:15 AM »
Quote from: K4GPS Rich
Where can I purchase sensors ?
Rich

Email 'HelpMe <helpme@oscientific.com>'  with your story and the particulars of your sensors and station.  

Look at the transmitter LED in the dark.  In the daylight when the LED is off it looks like it is dim (daylight reflection).
BC
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K4GPS Rich

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Re: OS WMR968 Sensor Failure
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2003, 03:09:01 AM »
Quote from: CaptDilli
Quote from: K4GPS Rich
Where can I purchase sensors ?
Rich

Email 'HelpMe <helpme@oscientific.com>'  with your story and the particulars of your sensors and station.  

Look at the transmitter LED in the dark.  In the daylight when the LED is off it looks like it is dim (daylight reflection).


Thanks for the link, I will give them a try. I thought of the daylight but that was not it. The rain and temp transmitters are next to each other, it was quite clear something was wrong. When I saw it the first thing I did was cup my hands over it before I took it apart and it was indeed partially lit which tells me a partial short somewhere.

I have been involved in electronic repair before 8th grade, now I actually do it for a living but since it is under warranty I want to give them a chance first before I hack away at it. The only reason I ask about buying sensors is that I have heard stories that support from OS is almost non-existant. Maybe they have become a bit better now, all I got to do is try to find the receipt.

Rich

Offline CaptDilli

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Re: OS Wireless Sensor Loss of Signal
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2003, 10:59:15 AM »
I don’t know which sensor I would like to do without.  I believe the three outside sensor power supply/transmitters are interchangeable.  To isolate the problem and get your rain gauge back on line you could try exchanging one of the good sensor power supply/transmitters for the defective one.   :?
BC
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K4GPS Rich

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2003, 12:05:48 PM »
Good point, I could change the rain gauge TX with the Temp TX since they are next to each other. It' is just a matter of swapping cables.  That would also tell me if it is the transmitter or the sensor that is bad.  I do believe it is the transmitter that is bad since a short in the sensor would probably not cause the LED to light up as it is.

K4GPS Rich

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2003, 07:22:14 PM »
Well I changed the transmitters but that is not going to help... Just before I walked in I thought to tap the sensor a few times in case it was a partial short like I had thought. Welll it was...probably caused by a few ants inside of the housing which is inside of a solar shield made out of a landscape light holder.

The ant's are dead now, but the sensor also is. I will need to remove it from the pipe and solar shield tomorrow and see if it can be anything that can be fixed. Maybe it is just ant bodies that have died and started holding moisture against one of the traces. The sensor was also well protected. I had covered it with several coats of UV Protection clear spray before it was assembled, maybe I will get lucky and it will work after a full cleaning.

Clam Bagger

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2003, 08:40:22 PM »
Almost sounds like my rain bucket problem!  I had a cockroach or two using my tipping mechanism for a seesaw!  Had to spray all over including the pole mounting to discourage the buggers!

Ed

DavidThijs

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WMR-968 Temp Sensor Problems, Smoked ??
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2003, 12:42:16 PM »
Quote from: K4GPS Rich
No not that... the pipe is full of concrete, I filled the

...SNIP

Yes a metal pipe is a much better conductor but lighting is strange, it can hit wherever it want's.



I personally don't think that it does matter if you use plastics or metal. Lightning is at such a high voltage that sparks kan jump meters of insulation.

If lightning hits a tree, and you are 8 foot from the tree, then there is a giant risk that you will be electrocuted too.

Offline Zackg

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os support
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2003, 07:19:25 PM »
My experiece with OS support was they were not knowledgable on their product and they will tell you to take your sensor/unit back to the retailer where you purchased it.  They will do an RMA if you have 6 weeks or so to spare.  Fortunately for me my dealer replaced mine on the spot.
Life is what you make it.
wmr-968 WinXP

Zack