Station is Not Transmitting

For better troubleshooting, gain an understanding of the overall transmission process: first the signal is sent via a specific radio wave frequency from the station to the IP-100, then the IP-100 receives signal, and sends the signal to the RainwiseNET server via the internet. For more information watch this video on station transmission.

Failure to transmit data is usually indicated when the red light on the receiving base fails to blink every 2 seconds or when the RainwiseNET status reads “No signal received”. There are issues such as firewalls and secure networks that may need to be modified to allow the data transmission to go through.

A majority of the time, problems with station transmission are environmental, can be intermittent and affect the 2.4 GHz radio signal. These can include: snowfall, rainfall, dew or water on walls/ windows, heat tempered windows, mirrors, concrete, stone, brick, porcelain, tile flooring, metal, aluminum insulation, multiple routers, newer cordless land line phones, microwaves. Obstructions that limit cell phone signals may limit radio transmission. The station transmits the signal in a downward outward pattern, so the station should be about 10 ft higher than the IP-100.

The solution can be as simple as moving the IP-100 to new locations, possibly even a few inches higher on a windowsill, and checking for improved reception. Another option is to consider the high gain antenna offered by RainWise. It is a more powerful, directional antenna that may help you get through or around obstacles.

If the signal has always been good and now it has failed, it is likely a hardware problem. There are four hardware issues that can cause the station to not transmit properly (1) having low battery voltage, (2) a hardware issue indicated by the motherboard status light, (3) check D.I.P. switch settings to make sure they are properly aligned, and (4) the radio needs to be reseated.

1.    Low Battery Voltage

a)   Download the station data from the RainwiseNet webpage. You must be logged into your account.

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b)   Make sure the date range includes the time the system last communicated. Click Export.

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c)   Click the downloaded, exported file to open it. The file will open in an Excel spreadsheet. The “Station Voltage” column is the last column on the right. Look for the last recorded battery voltage which will be at the bottom of the Excel sheet.

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Because the battery is solar powered, the voltage should rise during the day and fall during the night. Voltage will be lowest when the solar panel receives little sunlight, on cloudy days, during winter, and at night. Battery voltage that drops below 5.9 volts is insufficient and indicates the battery needs to be replaced (continue with step d).

If the battery is less than 5-7 years old, there may be a bigger issue. Contact RainWise Technical Support for assistance.

 

d)   Battery installation: The replacement 6 volt battery is a Werker WKA6-5F. It is also best to charge them before installation, or to install them on a sunny day to ensure maximum performance.
 

 I.  Turn off the weather station power switch.

II.  Remove the solar panel from the sensor assembly. This is done by loosening the four screws located in the corners of the solar panel. Once the solar panel and cover are free from the housing, disconnect the solar panel connection and TAKE NOTE of the way the connectors clip together so you can reconnect them. The motherboard inside the unit is now exposed to view.

III. Remove the battery from the compartment and disconnect the two leads from the battery.

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IV.  Install the new battery by connecting the leads on the battery and placing it back into the compartment.

 V.  Reassemble the weather station. Switch the power on.
 

 

2.    Check Motherboard Status Light
It is recommended that you contact RainWise Technical Support for assistance with this. Before you begin working on the interior of your weather machine or handling the motherboard, make sure you discharge any electrostatic charge you may have and make sure that you are grounded. The station will need to be on for this test.

**Note** If your weather station was purchased before 2014 the motherboard may look like the one pictured below, which is different than the motherboards in Parts 2,3, and 4; those Parts of the Guide will not apply to your weather station. In this case, contact Rainwise Technical Support (207) 801-4036, for help diagnosing the problem with a multimeter.

a)   Remove the solar panel from the sensor assembly. This is done by loosening the four screws located in the corners of the solar panel. Once the solar panel and cover are free from the housing, disconnect the solar panel connection and TAKE NOTE of the way the connectors clip together so you can reconnect them. The motherboard inside the unit is now exposed to view.

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b)  Check the status light and make sure it is blinking every two seconds.

 

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c)   If the status light is NOT blinking, try the three steps below. After each step, turn the weather station on and check the status light, if blinking, the problem is solved.

  I.    Reboot the system by turning the weather station power switch off for at least one minute.

 II.    Turn the weather station off and check the motherboard for loose connections. Disconnect and reconnect everything, one connection at a time.

III.    Turn the weather station off and check that the battery voltage is above 6 volts with a multimeter. If voltage is low, replace the battery. 

If the battery is less than 5-7 years old, there may be a bigger issue. Contact RainWise Technical Support for assistance.

Battery installation: The replacement 6 volt battery is a Werker WKA6-5F. It is also best to charge them before installation, or to install them on a sunny day to ensure maximum performance.

 i.   Turn off the weather station power switch.

ii.   Remove the solar panel from the sensor assembly. This is done by loosening the four screws located in the corners of the solar panel. Once the solar panel and cover are free from the housing, disconnect the solar panel connection and TAKE NOTE of the way the connectors clip together so you can reconnect them. The motherboard inside the unit is now exposed to view.

http://newa.cornell.edu/uploads/images/Solar%20panel.JPG

iii.      Remove the battery from the compartment and disconnect the two leads from the battery.

iv.      Install the new battery by connecting the leads on the battery and placing it back into the compartment.

 v.      Reassemble the weather station. Switch the power on.

  

d)   If this solved the problem, turn off the weather station, reassemble it and switch the power back on. If this did not solve the problem, continue on to Part 3.

 

3.    Check D.I.P. Switch Settings
It is recommended that you contact RainWise Technical support for assistance with this. Before you begin working on the interior of your weather machine or handling the motherboard, make sure you discharge any electrostatic charge you may have and make sure that you are grounded. The D.I.P. switch settings control what software the motherboard is currently using.

a)   Remove the solar panel from the sensor assembly. This is done by loosening the four screws located in the corners of the solar panel. Once the solar panel and cover are free from the housing, disconnect the solar panel connection and TAKE NOTE of the way the connectors clip together so you can reconnect them. The motherboard inside the unit is now exposed to view.

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b)   Unless you are aware of the station being “coded” due to interference, the system should normally have all the D.I.P. switches in the off position (downward). If this is an MK-III-SP1, 418 MHz, 400 ft model, all of the D.I.P. switches will be down except #5.

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c)   If this solved the problem, reassemble the weather station and switch the power back on. If this did not solve the problem, either continue on to part 4 for long  range (LR) weather station models (such as MK-III-SP1LR, 2.4 GHz, 1 mile or AgroMET) or check the data receiving device (such as the IP-100 or computer  interface.) 
 

4.    Radio Needs to be Reseated
It is recommended that you contact RainWise Technical support for assistance with this. Before you begin working on the interior of your weather machine or handling the motherboard, make sure you discharge any electrostatic charge you may have and make sure that you are grounded. This step is only for long range (LR) models (such as MK-III-SP1LR, 2.4 GHz, 1 mile or AgroMET). The radio is a blue chip labeled “XBee.”

a)   Remove the solar panel from the sensor assembly. This is done by loosening the four screws located in the corners of the solar panel. Once the solar panel and cover are free from the housing, disconnect the solar panel connection and TAKE NOTE of the way the connectors clip together so you can reconnect them. The motherboard inside the unit is now exposed to view.

http://newa.cornell.edu/uploads/images/Solar%20panel.JPG

b)  Remove the XBee chip and re-insert it to ensure a good contact is being made.

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c)   Reassemble the weather station and switch the power back on.

 

d)   If the data transmission issue has not been resolved at this point, the next step will be to check the data receiving device (such as the IP-100 or computer interface) or to contact RainWise Technical Support directly.

 

Download the Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guide.