Weather station problems

This is for misc. problems in an existing setup.

Getting "spammed" with email or txt messages from PMI.
PMI sends messages for a reason - if you're getting a message, there's something that needs to be considered. That said...
  • FTP Connect Timeout:
    • Cumulus on your weather station computer is griping that it had a problem doing the regular updates (typically every 10 or 15 mins, configured in Cumulus). This is probably just a poor internet communications channel. You can click the red flashing error indicator on the Cumulus screen to clear this.
    • If you're using wireless, you probably just have a marginal connection, perhaps you're right at the edge of the local wifi range. If possible, move the weather station computer closer to the wifi, or perhaps get a wifi extender.
    • If you cannot improve the connection, you can choose to not be notified. Log into PMI, go to "Preferences" screen, select "Ignore FTP Connect Timeout from Cumulus", and of course, hit Save.
    • Consequences:
      If you are on a marginal connection and get this error more than occasionally, you may be all right. Each time Cumulus writes it's data to the PMI server, it writes the entire month's data file. So as long as there was at least one update in any given hour, that's good enough - you really don't care that it had a problem a while ago. Additionally, if the problem persists so badly that no update is done within an hour, you'll get the "data is overdue" error (below).

  • "data is overdue":
      This is the PMI program on the server telling you that the files it's working on have not changed since the last run (hourly). This means that your weather station has not communicated with the server for an hour. Your system could be crashed, Cumulus may not be running, power outage at the weather station computer, or simply a bad internet connection.
    • If you have Cumulus configured to write to WUnderground, WeatherBug, etc., you can go to those websites to see if they are showing "offline" as well. If they're Ok, but PMI is not, contact MikeL -- if everybody shows down, it's your problem...
    • These problems will probably require a manual intervention - you'll have to go to the Cumulus weather station, determine the problem and fix it.
    • You'll see this if you have Cumulus set up on a laptop or some computer that is not turned on 24/7. When you shut down, you'll start getting errors, hourly, until you start back up.
    • In this event, you can choose to surpress this message. Log into your PMI account, go to the "Preferences" screen, and check "Disable data is overdue from PMI", and of course, hit Save.
    • Consequences:
      You should be aware that on the last day of the month, the data file changes over to a new name at midnight, so you really want that last file written in order to have complete data -- so you'll want to leave the machine running overnight on the last day of the month.
    • If you're doing the not-turned-on-24/7, you must be willing to accept that the PMI page data for you is not always current. Most importantly, this means that alerts like low temperature will not be timely, and thus not useful.
You got an email from PMI for your weather station that looks like the following:
  From: PV pmi
  Date: March 28, 2020 at 9:08:19 PM PDT
  To: 
  Subject: PV pmi: admin

  #LatestError: Data input appears to have stopped - check your station and connections
  #LatestErrorDate: 3/28/2020
  #LatestErrorTime: 9:00 PM

  Station: 
The bottom line is that your instrument cluster battery is probably dead. See Davis Vantage Vue Batteries webpage.

It is also possible that your instrument cluster has simply croaked and needs to be repaired or replaced. Mine did this after about 10 years.

This is NOT a problem with the computer, the internet, or the PMI server - this problem is entirely the station setup. Rebooting the computer won't help... <grin!>

The instrument cluster is no longer communicating with the base station. In the Davis base station, look for the blinking circles at the top of the antenna image. (blue oval)

On the Cumulus screen on the computer, look for the "TX Battery Status: 1-ok ...". (green oval)
Also check the "last data read at:" (purple oval)

In the PMI website, "Manage station" screen, you'll find the same data. Look for "#LatestError", "#LatestErrorDate" and "#LatestErrorTime" (orange oval). These should match the contents of the email.

Also look for "#txbattery". It may say "1-low", indicating it was low at the time of the last successful communication. See Davis battery page for info on replacing battery.
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