Vantage Connect is the fully self-contained and solar-powered device that provides a data link from Vue and VP2 ISS units up to the Davis weatherlink.com service via the mobile phone/cellular network. This section is only relevant to Connect owners.
The standard 2G version of Connect is part 6620, while 6622 is the more recent 3G-compatible version. (NB Connect uploads only very modest amounts of data and the speed of 2G is perfectly adequate for weather station applications – indeed the potentially greater range of 2G may be an advantage in some locations.) Connect is available in both wireless and cabled versions (ie connections to the ISS), though wireless is far more common and the usual limitations of cabled VP2 sensor transmitters apply equally to the Connect unit.There are a number of Connect subtypes manufactured, not only to cater for US or OV wireless frequencies, but also for compatibility with local mobile phone networks – it is obviously important to have the correct subtype for your own territory. In the UK and Europe, 6620SOV and 6622SOV are the standard types.
In general, Connect units continue to run autonomously for extended periods of months and years and problems are rare. However, two types of issue may be encountered:
- Initial set-up of a new Connect unit does not run smoothly
- Upload issues – problems are encountered with an established Connect installation
Set-up issues are discussed below, while the separate Connect upload issues topic describes troubleshooting for established Connect systems.
Initial Set-up issues
In particular, it is essential to register your new account at weatherlink.com BEFORE powering up the Connect unit for the first time. Leave 5-10 minutes after fully completing the registration process before activating Connect.
If you are encountering problems then please run over the following points:
- Fully complete the account registration process;
- Remember that the DID and keycode for the Connect hardware must be correctly entered (NB The DID consists only of the letters A-F and digits – any round character is a zero and not the letter ‘O’);
- Remember also that a valid data plan Activation Code must also be entered. Every Connect unit needs an annual data plan to be purchased separately – if you have overlooked this step then contact a Davis main dealer to buy the Code. Setting up a new Connect installation cannot proceed until this step has been correctly completed;
- Wait 5-10 minutes and then reboot the Connect unit by pulling the power jack, waiting a few moments and then replacing it firmly. The sequence of LED signals will report on what the Connect unit is doing in establishing communications with the local ISS and with the mobile phone network – see the troubleshooting section of the Connect manual for full details of the LED signals. Note that it may take up to an hour or two (especially for users with the 60-minute data plan) before communications have fully initialised;
Configuring Connect units
Note that all configuration of the Connect unit (setting active wireless channels, repeater usage etc) is done via your online account at weatherlink.com. Any changes that you make to this configuration will need to be propagated back down from weatherlink.com to your Connect unit and this can take time to happen. Many Connect installations listen only to a single ISS on the default wireless channel #1 – this simple configuration should start to work reasonably quickly because it is also the default Connect configuration. But more complex configurations may take longer to initialise correctly.
If the Connect unit is not able to register correctly to the local mobile phone mast then configuration obviously cannot complete because there is no communications link back down from the cell network to the Connect unit – look for a steady blue indication on the lower LED.
It is always worth leaving a new Connect installation for up to 24 hours before concluding that there are some installation issues, just in case there are any delays in communication or initialisation.
Connect configurations without an ISS
In some circumstances users may wish to set up a station without an ISS, for example just to monitor soil moisture and temperature. There should be no problem running such a configuration HOWEVER, for the station to report data correctly, the station must be configured as if an ISS is present even where this is not the case. So, for example, a phantom ISS can be declared as being on channel #8 and this should enable data from other transmitters to flow normally.