At about 10:40 yesterday the outdoor unit of my remote Wittboy station stopped reporting. The gateway is still working because I’m seeing pressure and indoor temperature and humidity reported. The battery in the outdoor unit was good when last reported 5.4v with backup of 3.2v so it’s not lack of power.
Has anyone else seen this happen and if so what needs to be done to fix it. I can try to get the gateway reset but it might be a couple of weeks before my brother will be at the property. Hopefully it doesn’t need someone to climb on the roof to reset the outdoor unit!
Also I think I probably need to get a mains plug that I can control remotely to help with gateway restarts!
Im using a Wittboy for a while now and had no issues at all. Perhaps its just a clinch in the unit.
Mine always reports a good battery etc, Hope you can sort it out.
Chris what was the weather like immediately prior to it failing?
It’s just started reporting again even though nobody has touched it. How strange!
The weather was typical late spring up on the moors. Sunny, no rain, with wind speed of about 25 km/h and gusts of about 40 km/h.
I don’t believe there were any conditions that the station hadn’t seen multiple times since it was installed. There’s definitely been much higher wind speeds and solar was about 30% below a peak I’ve seen. Temperature and humidity were unremarkable too.
I’m seeing flat lines again and I’m puzzled what’s causing them
- These are only on the external sensors so it’s not due to loss of the internet connection.
- The lost external data seems to be at random times and for random periods. I’ve seen 10 hour outages and 1 hour outages.
- It doesn’t seem to be a battery issue. Backup battery is about 3.2v and the haptic battery varies from 5.4v down to 4.8v each day. One outage started at about 16:30 and data started again at about 02:00. So the battery would be pretty well charged when it went off and couldn’t have been recharging to come back in the early hours of the morning.
- The location is very isolated (nearest house is probably 0.5 miles away) so radio interference is pretty unlikely. There is passing traffic, but cars are unlikely to be near the location for more than 30 seconds so they’re an unlikely interference source too.
- The data can flow without problems for days and then there can be three outages in one day.
- The weather, like most of the UK, has been quite settled recently, so no rain, moderate temperatures (low of about 4C and high of about 23C) and no particularly high winds, although being in the hills gusts of 60km/h are seen fairly regularly. I could imagine the rattling a loose connection, but it seems odd that something would rattle loose and then rattle back into place many hours later.
I can’t get near to any part of the station until the end of July and I doubt that even then I’ll be able to get to the external sensors because I’m there for an event which probably won’t give time to go climbing on the roof!
Has anyone got any thoughts of what might be going wrong?
Atmospheric conditions. . .
My old-fashioned 433 MHz sensors have been dropping out and back in again for days. High pressure problem.
I guess that’s possible, although whilst atmospheric conditions can enhance reception of distant signals I suspect that they’d be too weak to cause problems to a stronger local signal.
Also I’m not sure what distant signal could cause the connection to be wiped out for 10 hours. For example, amateur radio signals which share the band might be on air for an hour or two at the most, and usually far shorter periods.
I also assume that the gateway can negotiate a different frequency to be used if the one currently in use gets blocked, so it would need a pretty wide band signal to completely block the external sensors signal.
Chris there is no way the gateway can switch channels the sensors are fixed at the supplied frequency and transmit only as far as I know. Since you said this setup is in quite a remote place is there anything nearby which could interfere like a radar station or transmitter tower or the like?
I was thinking that it was maybe frequency agile within the 430-435 (ish) ISM band so that if there was something else on the chosen channel then it could hop to another nearby channel. I guess it’s not so clever.
There might be a mast or two nearby, I’ll have to check the maps to see if I can set anything. It’s also possible that being as high as it is, it can see the radar at Manchester airport. Having said that, some outages have been overnight and I don’t know if the airport radar is turned on overnight when there are no flights. Also I’m not sure why there would be long blocking transmissions in the ISM band (or on amateur radio frequencies) from a mast.
Might be worth emailing Ecowitt support and ask them for ideas.
There is also a problem with the distance between outside unit and console.
The advertised “100 meters” is valid in open-filed conditions only.
Adding (stone or concrete) walls and modern glass windows makes the real max distance far shorter.
Although the GW2000 seems to be receiving from larger distances, it also has its limits.
My situation: 15 meters or less is OK.
I live in an apartment and two GW1000 are about 10 meters apart inside the apartment.
Distance between outside sensor arrays and first GW1000 is 8 meters and with only 1 high-isolation glass window. Never a problem.
It even detected an old municipality weather-station 60+ meters away before a new building was erected in the line-of-sight.
Second GW1000 has 2 walls and again the window. This one often fails.
It is not a malfunctioning device issue as I switched the devices and tested with a third one.
And it is not an “always on / always off” situation.
Outside temperature seems to be a deciding factor when running on solar (batteries).
Added the 220v cord and reception improved.
Looking at the arrival and departure pages for Manchester suggests flights in and out all night every day so the radar will be on 24/7 365 days a year as is the airport
I’m still monitoring this but not getting any closer to an answer.
In the last 3 weeks there haven’t been any flat lines. That compares with 6 in the 3 weeks before that and 1 in the next earlier 3 week period. So it’s pretty intermittent.
The flat lines vary from about an hour up to about 10 hours in length. They’re a mixture of day and night too.
So no obvious clues there.
There’s no correlation between the same people being in the building. Guests are usually present for 3 day weekends or 4 weekdays, or very occasionally for a full week. So no guest with some dodgy electronics would be present for 3 weeks in a row. The cleaners/maintenance staff are only there on Mondays and Fridays and there have been flat lines on other days.
It could be some electronics in the house but again it’s difficult to think of what might be turned on intermittently for three weeks in a row and then not turned on at all for 3 weeks.