Back on track?

So you may have noticed that today’s weather was reporting a much more pleasant temperature of +21 celcius.  Was a nice day, as long as you stayed indoors.

The weather station was having transmission errors and were causing me grief as it was reporting “Low Battery on Station 1”, but a new battery was in and the station was reporting data packets were being received without error, but no outside temperature, outside humidity and rainfall data was being received.

lowbattery-error

After 8+ hours, the diagnostic screen showed lots of good packets and very few bad packets, but no data was recorded.

station1-stats

The view from WeatherLink Graph showed a lack of data recorded during this time.

graph-outage

I then proceed to verify that the solar panel was charging the super capacitor, which it was (This is what powers the sensor most of the time).  The CR123 backup battery was new (powers the sensor if the super capacitor runs out of power after a long night or cloudy day).  I then checked the main console’s backup battery and found that one of them had corroded, so I replaced the 3 C batteries.  The main console runs on AC power so the batteries are just for power outages.  My previous Oregon Scientific weather station would have transmission errors when the main console batteries were exhausted.  But even with new batteries in the Davis, the problem still existed.

So after some reading online, but still with no really solution, the last thing to try before calling Davis for support was change the transmission channels.  So I changed it to a new channel and things started working correctly again.  The interesting thing is the main console started reporting Channel 1 as possible data after the sensor was changed to the new channel. So I left the console to gather data from Channel 1, but no good or bad packets were received even through it thought something was there.  So the problem now appears to be frequency channel confusion and not a bad battery.  Time will tell.  So as of late this evening, I’ve put the station back outside. Once I’ve verified no more blank data, I’ll then re-enable uploading to Weather Underground.

I sure noticed that I missed the local data today!  Wasn’t sure what to wear outside on my walk.  The Weather Network data was so 1 hour ago and it had cooled off since that report.

Happy weather watching!

Battery problems on main sensor unit

Replaced main sensor unit battery again.  Noticed today that the console was reporting a Low Battery on Station 1. Look into the log files, I had 3 outages over the last week from that sensor unit.

wx-iss-outages

This battery was just replaced August 1, 2015.  Luckily I had an extra battery, so I ran out in the -21 Celsius evening and replaced the battery.  The backup battery should last for 8 months without any solar panel assistance, so the batteries I purchased to replace must have been bad batteries.  Hopefully this fixes the issue.

 

Also noticed that the new batteries for the 24 hour Fan-Aspirated Shield don’t appear to be working that well.  The fan was not running the other day when I checked on the unit, but today 4 hours after dark, the fan was still spinning.  I’ll have to look into this.

Anemometer Sensor Battery replaced

Cleaned the anemometer and replaced the backup battery today.  Sensor appears to be in good shape.

 

Maintenance on main sensor suite

Been 3 years since I installed the new weather station and I haven’t done any maintenance on it. So it was long over due.

The 11:30am to 1pm data for outside temp and humidity today will be missing as the sensors were offline.

New batteries for the 24 hour Fan-Aspirated Shield. This should hopefully correct temperature readings as the old batteries were not keeping the fan running 24/7 anymore.

New backup battery for the temperature/humidity/rain collector.

Full cleaning and wipe down for the Intergrated Sensor Suite.

In check the console’s battery and signal reception of the station, I somehow reset the console, so today’s historic data was reset.

July 2,2015 – drought report

June wasn’t our monsoon season that we often have.  With only 50.5mm of rainfall record and of that 50mm, 20mm was a localized 1 hour downpour.  Same storm but just 2km north received 20mm less rain during that storm. That weather station only recorded 27.2mm of rainfall for June.

Start conserving water.  Going to be a dry summer. I’m surprised we don’t have any water restriction yet.

http://www.drought.gov/nadm-media/nadm/nadm-201505.jpg

June 1, 2015 – Where is the rain?

Historically, at least since I’ve lived in Central Alberta, the end of May and early June is usually wet.  Here is looking back at the records I’ve measured:

Year  May  June  July
2005 21mm  158mm 53mm
2006 57mm  87mm 37mm
2007 102mm  101mm 21mm
2008 90mm  100mm 67mm
2009 5mm  37mm 51mm
2010 49mm  77mm 63mm
2011 75mm  102mm 49mm
2012 75mm  116mm 102mm
2013 87mm  132mm 31mm
2014 73mm  152mm 27mm
2015 31mm  ?mm ?mm

Few graphs showing the data: (click to enlarge)

RainFall2005-2015-Graph1

RainFall2005-2015-Graph2

RainFall2005-2015-Graph3

 

My predictions: Going to be a dry summer.  Maybe 70-90mm for June?

Interesting that since 2009 our June rainfall total has continue to rise each year by 20mm or more.  Is that due to more cloud seeding?

July 16, 2014 big bird adjustments to anemometer

Was puzzled why the wind speed was reporting nothing but the plants in the yard where swaying. Looking up at anemometer I found it twisted 45 degrees and all muddy.

20140716-110804-40084317.jpg

 

Below was a nice mess to clean up

20140716-110837-40117716.jpg

 

This happen sometime overnight and was corrected by 10:45am.

This has been a first for my weather equipment in the last 9 years.

Enjoy the warm weather!

iPhone/Android Current Didsbury Weather

Do you wish you could get current live weather conditions (updated every 15 minutes) for Didsbury on your mobile phone?  Now you can, just follow these steps:

iPhone (Excellent app!):

  1. Download the free app: http://itunes.apple.com/app/wundermap/id486154808?mt=8
  2. Run the App, and select More and enter your home city: Olds AGDM, Canada (unless you have the GPS on)
  3. Select the wind anemometer button (top right corner) and select “Valarosa Crossing Didsbury IALBERTA158”
  4. The current conditions are now from this weather station.
  5. Select Map button, then Stations menu and add Personal Stations.  You can also see my webcam here as well.
  6. Add Overlays and custom icons here as well.
  7. If you sign up for a year membership from WUnderground, you can get rid of the ads.

iPad:

  1. Download the free app: http://itunes.apple.com/app/wundermap/id364884105?mt=8
  2. Steps to use should be similar to the iPhone. (have tried this yet)

Android App (not as good as the iPhone app, but it sort of works)

  1. Download the free app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wunderground.android.weather
  2. Run the App, and select More and enter your home city: Olds AGDM, Canada (unless you have the GPS on)
  3. Select the wind anemometer button (top right corner) and select “IALBERTA158” or Search for a Personal Weather Station by typing ‘PWS:IALBERTA158’ in the search bar.
  4. Tap the Star button to save it as a favorite.
  5. Tap Menu and Favorites to view this stations weather conditions.

 

15 Minutes too long to wait for current conditions, then I have two options that are minute by minute conditions:

  1. Use: http://weather.bluevistaventures.ca , updated every minute
  2. Use iPhone app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weatherlink/id329190236?mt=8 (Android version always crashed on me, so skip it if you use an Android phone).  Select the {+} button and search for Didsbury, AB or Valarosa Crossing.  This app doesn’t provide any forecasting, just current and basic historic data.

Enjoy!

 

New Station online

The new weather station is now broadcasting current weather information to the Internet.

Upload your bookmarks to: http://weather.bluevistaventures.ca/

Currently I’m going to use the Davis WeatherLink website to make the information available.  In the coming days, I’ll start uploading to WUnderground Weather site to provide access to historic data and graphing.  Also WUnderground now has a very nice iPhone and Android app that can display my weather station with forecasts and radar images.  I’ll provide information on setup once this is ready.  I’ve also enabled the skycam image.  This image is uploaded every 5 minutes and is point West NorthWest.
Current Image:

 

I have plans for additional content and formating of the data which I’ll continue to work on when I have time.

Enjoy – Jeff

Major Changes in the works…

There will be some massive disruptions to the live weather conditions over the next few weeks.  The new weather station has arrived and I’m in the process of getting it setup and configured.  This is just in time as the old one which has been in operations since February 2005 has become very brittle.  I was gently cleaning a spider web off the anemometer just last week and ended up breaking one of the wind cups.  Lucky some Crazy Glue fixed it.

After a fair bit of research and consideration about mounting options, I’ve mounted the new anemometer 6+ feet above the roof line with a full 360 degree reading.  Old one was mounted on the fence which had poor reading from the south.

I’ve gone with a satellite mounting bracket with a PVC extension tube with a wood insert.  Didn’t want to put holes in the roof and didn’t want to create a lightning rod. I’m monitoring the setup as there is a little bit of sway in winds over 20km/h.  The base is very stable up till about 3-4 feet in height.  Currently the new wind reading have had better accuracy.

I’m still working on placement of the rain bucket and temperature module.   I’m also testing a new “skycam” setup and will hopefully have a eye to the sky with the new site.

The current Live Weather Conditions site is still displaying the data from the old station.

Stay tuned, Cheers Jeff