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W8681 frustration

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
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AllyCat
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: W8681 frustration

Post by AllyCat » Wed 07 Mar 2012 8:10 pm

Hi,

From your OP it seems that the Console should still be "good". The Quality Control of FO modules doesn't appear to be all that it could be (particularly the Solar units) so you might have been sent another "bad" transmitter, or it might be incompatible (i.e. for a different model).

In addition to the different radio frequencies, I believe that the Solar (data) units use a different protcol to the non-solar (and probably the solar charging-only) versions, but the transmitter boxes can be almost indistinguishable (if not labelled).

So, two more quick checks that you could try. (1) Look inside the "rain" socket on the transmitter - are there 6 wire contacts (non-solar units have only 4). (2) Plug in the Solar Pod (to the rain socket), wait and then press the reset button - does the red LED on the transmitter immediately come on for a few seconds (I think it should).

There are possibly a few other tests we could devise if you have a multimeter (and the inclination to use it), if returning/replacing the whole system is particularly inconvenient.

Cheers, Alan.

anabatic
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat 26 Nov 2011 9:29 am
Weather Station: Fineoffset
Operating System: Windows XP Pro 64-bit
Location: Burray, Orkney

Re: W8681 frustration

Post by anabatic » Fri 09 Mar 2012 10:18 pm

Hi Alan

I'm currently in possession of two transmitter units, one of which I think is definitely faulty as it doesn't do the LED flash sequence on power up that the supplier told me it should do, whereas the second one does.

The only external markings I can find on either transmitter is the CE mark and the Wind/Rain socket identification.

Internally in the battery compartment there is just an indication of which way round the batteries go and the only markings on the battery compartment covers are the words 'RF REMOTE SENSOR'.

I have looked at the Rain socket on both transmitter units and both of them only have four contacts whereas the plug coming from the solar unit has 6 wires. That shouldn't stop the control panel receiving the temp/humidity as far as I'm aware but may explain why there is no solar info.

If I connect the solar unit to either of the transmitters and press the reset button the red LED on the tranmitterr unit does illuminate for 3-4 seconds. I seem to recall from the original transmitter that there was also an LED on the solar unit that should illuminate on doing a reset but it doesn't with these transmitter units.

I do have a multimeter and I am quite happy to use it if you have further tests that can be done.

The more information I can pass back to the supplier the better as it will show that I have investigated the problem and I'm not just being a pain.

As I said before, I was very happy with the weather station before the bracket got broken in one of the storms we had and the fact it carried on for several hours before the battery cover came off, ejected the batteries and exposed the transmitter to the elements for a couple of weeks before I could retrieve it, was quite pleasing.

Cheers Dave
It's only a breeze until the windspeed gets into 3-figures then it's windy.

AllyCat
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat 26 Feb 2011 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset 1080/1 & 3080
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: SE London

Re: W8681 frustration

Post by AllyCat » Sat 10 Mar 2012 12:21 am

Hi Dave,

IMHO if there are only 4 contacts in the "rain" socket of the transmitter, that's conclusive proof that you have been sent an incorrect (old model) replacement. You can see from the Solar Pod internal photos half-way down page 6 of this thread that there are 6 wires. The legend on the top of the PCB suggests that one of the end wires is not used (NC) but at the other end is the solar data (RF-D), so there would be no way for the solar data to get through. Sadly the 6 contacts are not obvious in the photos of the transmitter, but 6 soldered pads can be seen on the underside (2 rows of 3 to the left of the "black blob").

However, more fundamentally I believe that FO have completely changed the transmission protocol of ALL the data, so there is no way that any of the data from an "old" transmitter can be received by a "new" receiver Console. When I bought a new Solar Console, I did attempt to synchronise it to an original transmitter (with the same radio frequency) but had no success. Yes, there is a LED on the solar pod which should flash once per minute, but I don't think that it's as bright as that in the transmitter unit.

Do you still have the original transmitter so that you can "prove" to the seller (with photos of the sockets) that the two transmitters are different? I can't think of any simple multimeter tests ATM, but if the seller won't accept that the protocols are incompatible then I will try to take some 'scope photos of the current pulses (48 seconds apart) taken by the two transmitter types (I have measured both but have never actually done a direct side-by-side comparison).

Cheers, Alan.

anabatic
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat 26 Nov 2011 9:29 am
Weather Station: Fineoffset
Operating System: Windows XP Pro 64-bit
Location: Burray, Orkney

Re: W8681 frustration

Post by anabatic » Sun 11 Mar 2012 9:34 am

Hi Alan

Unfortunately I don't have the original transmitter unit, I had to send that back before they would send me the first replacement unit.

However, armed with the information you have provided I will be speaking with them tomorrow to see what they have to say and to get them to send me a correct replacement unit.

Hopefully I can get the correct unit this time and be back up and running with the weather station soon.

I'll keep you posted.

Dave.
It's only a breeze until the windspeed gets into 3-figures then it's windy.

anabatic
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat 26 Nov 2011 9:29 am
Weather Station: Fineoffset
Operating System: Windows XP Pro 64-bit
Location: Burray, Orkney

Re: W8681 frustration

Post by anabatic » Sat 10 Nov 2012 8:43 am

The final update to this saga.

Having been back in touch with the supplier and again explained that they were sending me the wrong transmitter unit they then sent me a replacement housing to go over the transmitter rather than another replacement transmitter unit.

That was the last straw so I boxed everything back up and returned it to the supplier. Then I have had ongoing discussions with them to then get my money refunded which finally happened just over a fortnight ago.

So now I'm looking for a replacement weather station.

I have about £200 to spend and would like a weather station that can store its data so that I don't lose anything when the PC isn't switched on. What would forum members recommend?
It's only a breeze until the windspeed gets into 3-figures then it's windy.

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