Data outages during routine Connect operation

Symptoms

Data outages during routine operation will be noticed in one of three ways:

  • The two ‘Current conditions’ webpages at weatherlink.com will stop updating and the status line at the bottom of the main ‘My Weather’ screen will turn red;
  • If you’re downloading archive data to a local copy of the Weatherlink program (or any other software) then there’s an error message that no new data is available;
  • Data updates and/or archive downloads continue as usual, but data from one or more specific sensors is missing;

If the webpage status line is red than this indicates some issue with the Connect unit – see below for the Further Troubleshooting section.

If, however, you’re experiencing problems with archive downloads but the ‘Current conditions’ status line is not red then this is more likely an issue to do with data corruption on the local PC – see the Troubleshooting Steps section in Archive Downloads topic.

If data from only one or more specific sensors is missing then this indicates a fault with the relevant sensor transmitter, eg the main ISS, or system configuration. It’s very unlikely that this type of issue is caused by the Connect unit itself. Provided data is still flowing in general between Connect and weatherlink.com and pressure & inside temperature readings are still updating as expected then check the sensor transmitter(s).

A Connect system obviously uses the same – usually wireless – ISS and other sensor transmitters as regular VP2 systems and so the same occasional faults can crop up as on any other VP2. The commonest fault will be that the transmitter battery has been exhausted or, less often, that there may be some issue with T/H sensor or anemometer. For more complex Connect installations using multiple sensor transmitters or maybe repeaters then it’s always worth double-checking that the eg channel settings have not inadvertently been changed. (Remember that the Connect channel settings are made via your online weatherlink.com account and not directly on the Connect unit itself.)

Note re archive uploads: The archive record upload process is a little different on Connect compared to the WeatherlinkIP logger or the WLv6 subscription in that there seems to be no real distinction between current conditions and archive data. Rather than uploading archive data hourly (as the IP logger and WLv6 subscription do), Connect adds a new archive record to weatherlink.com every time that a Connect upload occurs. This will happen every 5, 15 or 60 minutes, according to the Connect data plan currently in use and this same interval will also be the archive interval seen in the archive data. In other words, the data granularity or archive interval for Connect data is determined solely by the timing of the data plan in use – there is no separate archive interval setting for Connect systems. (NB If cellular connectivity is temporarily lost then the Connect unit should continue to accumulate archive records at the data plan interval and up to the 2560 record limit and will attempt to upload these when network connectivity is re-established.)

Further troubleshooting

This section covers troubleshooting when no uploads at all appear to be flowing from Connect to weatherlink.com:

1. Connect data plan expired: The commonest cause of upload interruptions is simply that the annual data plan has been allowed to expire without being renewed. Check the expiry date on your weatherlink.com account dashboard – see the My Service Plan section. If your plan has expired then you will need to purchase a new one – in the UK please contact Prodata Support for assistance. Remember also that simply buying a new plan is not enough – you also need to enter the new keycode into your account dashboard and have it accepted. It may take a few hours before the Connect unit has correctly re-registered with the network and resumes normal uploads.

Please note: It is not currently possible to ‘pause’ or suspend Connect accounts. Once Connect has registered with a network then it is expected that the service will continue uninterrupted until the unit is decommissioned. If some time elapses before an expired plan is renewed then the new plan will automatically backdate to the previous expiry date and the new expiry date will be 12 months after the old expiry date. This is no easy way of modifying this behaviour – it is built into the contract with the mobile phone networks.

2. Connect data plan remains active: If the Connect data plan is still valid then follow the checks below:

  • Physically check the Connect unit to ensure that it is in the expected location and eg has not been stolen;
  • Open the Connect door and check visually for any anomalies – eg is a battery connection loose?
  • Then observe the two LED’s in the centre of the unit. The upper LED signals reception of data from sensor transmitters while the lower LED reflects interaction with the mobile phone network. Both LEDs can show a variety of colours and both may be continuously on or off, or flashing slowly or quickly.

If both LEDs remain off then the signalling circuit might be powered down to save power. Firmly press and release the button labelled ‘Status LED on/off’ in the schematic. It may be necessary to wait at least a minute or two for the circuitry to react fully.

When the LEDs are active and the Connect is in normal operation then the upper LED should show a steady green and the lower LED a steady blue. Any LED pattern that differs from this (after a stablisation period if the button has been pressed) suggests that a fault may be present. A detailed table to interpreting the flash pattern will be found in the troubleshooting section of the Connect manual.

Important: If the Connect door has been opened at all then please insure that it is fully closed with both latches firmly in place before leaving the site, to prevent water ingress.

If a fault is suspected: If the LED pattern is anything other than steady blue/green indications then a fault may be present. As with many electronic devices, it is always worth trying a simple reboot of the Connect unit to see if this cures the issue. (The local cellular network may have had an outage, for example, and a reboot may be required for the Connect to re-register with the network.)

Rebooting is achieved simply by removing the main power jack (see schematic) completely from its socket above the test button, waiting a few moments and then firmly reinserting it. Remember that it may then take some minutes before the Connect unit runs through all its initialisation checks and potentially up to an hour or two (especially on an hourly data plan) before uploads to weatherlink.com are fully operational again.

If rebooting does not clear the problem

A persistent fault is more likely and a discussion with Prodata support will be needed. Please proceed as follows:

  • Raise a support ticket as per instructions at www.weatherstations.co.uk/support.htm ;
  • On the ticket please include your username at weatherlink.com and, ideally, if you’re willing to do so in confidence, the password too (We have no privileged access to your account and can only double-check the account settings etc if we have the password);
  • Summarise the fault symptoms and the LED pattern you’ve observed;

We will then review the incident. If we cannot easily diagnose the issue, we will then raise an incident with weatherlink.com – they have access to more detailed systems performance information than we can see and can usually pinpoint the problem. But please be aware of the time difference to California and the fact that there’s often a 1-2 day response time to such incidents.

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