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Battery life

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
User avatar
KarlS
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue 30 Nov 2010 3:01 pm
Weather Station: Ecowitt GW1003 w/AQ
Operating System: Buster Lite on Pi4
Location: Bridge Lake, BC, Canada
Contact:

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Post by KarlS »

I have used Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries in a WH1080 for 3 years running, through -40°C winters and 35°C summers. When I eventually exchanged them for new ones, I could still use the old ones for a TV remote our my computer mouse for a long time. I have no experience with rechargebles, but since they are way more expencive ...
watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

Thanks Karl,
I'll give them a go...

£7.50 for 4 Ordered

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Energizer-Lith ... 16&sr=8-10


Update 14/1/2022 First set of Lithium Batteries installed in Weather station. :D
Last edited by watsonm on Fri 14 Jan 2022 3:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Regards Mike

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AllyCat
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Battery life

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,

These stations rarely achieved the claimed 150 metres "open field" range, but it shouldn't affect the transmitter battery consumption, which is simply a "transmit and hope" protocol. I have experienced the Console's microcontroller "crashing" when its batteries get down below about 1.1v each, and then quickly killing the cells, but not the transmitter.

You should be able to test the continuous (very low, i.e. microamps) and transmit (mA, pulse) currents by putting say 1 ohm and >100uF in parallel, in series with the battery and measuring the voltage drop. Those lithium rechargeables look interesting and will probably have a capacity (and voltage) quite similar to the expensive lithium primary AA cells.

Cheers, Alan.
watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

The Lithium batteries are installed and the system is running OK.

Measured the no load voltage of each cell is

1.8 volts as compared to the
1.3 of ni cad rechargeable
1.6 of fresh alkaline.

Obviously the low temp spec and maintaining that voltage over its life is the major plus.

Thanks to Alan and all others for the help and suggestions.

(currently fiddling with RTL_433 as a backup receiver on another Pi box for when the console dies! 8-) , got it working just thinking about how best to display it)
Regards Mike

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watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

Disappointing. :cry:

Only 15 days with the Energizer Lithium batteries in the WHx080 fine offset transmitter.

Strangely one cell is down to 0.989 v off load and the other is 1.32volts. I would have thought they should both be with a few millivolts of each other.
They both came from the same sealed packet. No longer have the packet and didnt check BBE!! :oops:

Well the other two gone in, let's see what happens with those!
Regards Mike

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User avatar
HansR
Posts: 3326
Joined: Sat 20 Oct 2012 6:53 am
Weather Station: GW1100 (WS80/WH40)
Operating System: Raspberry OS/Bullseye
Location: Wagenborgen (NL)
Contact:

Re: Battery life

Post by HansR »

Strange. I use the same batteries for my Ecowitt station/sensors and they are now running for three months without significant change in voltage. This way they will hold the said 1 - 1.5 year per sensor. So, maybe it is the Fine Offset which has some battery drain implemented?
Hans

https://meteo-wagenborgen.nl
https://meteo-wagenborgen.nl/CMX4
CMX build 3182 ● Ecowitt GW1100/WS80/WH40 ● RPi 3B+ ● Raspberry OS 5.10.103 ● Mono 6.12.0.122
CMX build 40xx ● Ecowitt GW1100/WS80/WH40 ● RPi 4B ● Raspberry OS 5.15.32 ● .NET 6.0.1
AllyCat
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Battery life

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,
watsonm wrote: Tue 11 Jan 2022 5:14 pm If a set of new Duracells Plus Alkalines last more than a month I am happy.
It appears that your Transmitter is fundamentally "faulty", but I can't add any more on testing than in my posts each side of yours above (on 11th January 2022). AFAIK, Lithium (Primary) Cells have a similar discharge characteristic to most rechargeable cells, maintaining their voltage very well until a "Cliff Edge" voltage fall when nearly discharged. So your 1.32v might represent only one or two percent higher capacity that 0.99v.

As discussed in the similar enquiry in Another Thread recently, spare transmitters do still appear to be available, albeit at rather high prices now (perhaps shipped from China). Alternatively, you could arrange for an external, auxiliary power supply from the mains or a "large" battery (possibly replenished by a Solar Panel in the Summer).

Cheers, Alan.
watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

Thanks Alan,

I'll see how this other pair (albeit from the same pack) of Energiser Lithium does. Then I'll go run rechargeable Ni CAds for a while.

Might source some lithiums from another supplier in case this pack was "dodgy"
Regards Mike

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watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

Measured 9.8mA with a pulse of 12ma during transmission using a couple of metal strips and insulator between +ve terminal and transmitter contact.

Seems a bit high to me... I would have thought it should be a lot lower than that for the quiescent current.

Also sticky label inside says MC-2806B (could be MO) and cant see a 7 , 7B or A7B as mentioned in this advert.

https://greenfrogscientific.co.uk/trans ... nd-ws1093/

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Regards Mike

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AllyCat
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: Battery life

Post by AllyCat »

Hi,

There have been various versions of the transmitter (at 433, 868 and 915 MHz) but IIRC the typical current drain whilst transmitting was about 20 mA. However, the transmission should last for less than 100 ms in each 48 second cycle. For most of the remaining time the microcontroller should be "sleeping" with almost no drain on the battery (the major drain should be some tens of uA if the anemometer reed switch is closed). There might be brief periods of drain every few seconds when the microcontroller reads the wind "gust" value, temperature/humidity and wind direction. But 8 mA seems quite high for the microcontroller (alone) even when not sleeping, so maybe there is another faulty component?

"UK specification" could use either 433 MHz or 868 MHz, but it appears that the "Aercus WS2083UK" uses 433 MHz. That is the frequency that the "Maplin" versions always used; I'd always assumed that the "868" in the "Watson w-868x" indicated an 868 MHz frequency, but I think I may have seen one that wasn't. Certainly Maplin sold several different hardware versions under (their own) same Model number(s) and maybe "Watson" did the same. Also, I believe that "Pro" was sometimes added to a very similar model number to describe a totally different product. :(

The only "good news" is that the RTC and Solar features employed separate data packets, so the basic Temp/Humidity/Rain/Wind data packet should be compatible. But versions without a wind vane were produced that are NOT compatible. Overall a real "can of worms", so you ideally need to buy from a seller who can/will accept a return if the replacement proves unsuitable.

Cheers, Alan.
watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

Thanks again Alan,

Well I may try dismantling the transmitter unit and see if there is anything obvious. Otherwise its a another £27.50 unit from Aercus...... :shock:

This was a Maplins kit bought about 6-7 years ago,
Regards Mike

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watsonm
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2016 3:39 pm
Weather Station: N96GY -but like Triggers Broom!!
Operating System: Raspberry Pi4 Vers:11 Bullseye
Location: Poundbury, Dorset

Re: Battery life

Post by watsonm »

New transmitter received and it seems to be draining a lot less current... :D
Regards Mike

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