Wednesday, December 26, 2012

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Davis Vantage Pro 2 Envoy, Vantage VUE, and USB Weatherlink Unboxing - Part 2



This is the second part of the article about selecting, unboxing, and reviewing a Davis USB data logger (6510USB) and Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy (6316) (Part one of the review is here).

  1. Vantage Vue Wireless ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite) - 6357
  2. Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy - 6316 
  3. USB data logger with WeatherLink software - 6510USB
In this part of the review we look at items 2 and 3 of the system  Both of these units can work with other sensors, but the ISS wireless sensors met my needs. It also allows me to move the sensor assembly around as I find the perfect location for it.

USB 2.0 datalogger and WeatherLink software box - front
USB 2.0 datalogger and WeatherLink software box - back
 
 
Software manual, DVD, USB data logger, and 8 foot USB extension cable
Very happy with the design of the USB logger and the USB extension cable quality. Truth be told I wish I could have bought just the USB datalogger. I really only needed the logger.

The software did get loaded up on Windows 7 (supports back to Windows 2000) for some quick diagnostics. I will say the software was easy to configure and I was getting weather measurements as quick as I could install it (about 15 minutes). In the end the windows software seemed pretty limited and the interface was a bit clunky.

I was much happier installing Linux wview open source weather package. I considered the IP version, but just couldn't justify the added expense. The serial version just seemed way to old fashioned and the USB unit was the same price.
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 - Manual
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 - Box Contents
  
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 - AC adapter
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 - Front with antenna

The envoy is a very compact unit that replaces the traditional LCD console. As with most things the dedicated consoles are nice for setup, but once things are connected to the internet, I usually never look at them again. I preferred this headless design, since the computer I wanted to hook it up to runs 24/7 in our basement. The unit is 6.5" x 3.75" x 1.5" thick and only weighs about 1/2 pound.
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 - Back with mounting screws
The back of the unit allows for wall mounting (screws included). The unit also has internal temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure sensors - so think about where you mount it. You can easily get another measurement, if you mount it somewhere where temperature and humidity are not influenced by it's surroundings (like not next to a computer server exhaust fan).
USB data logger plug side
USB data logger installed front side - chrome clip is to remove it after installation
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316
Installed USB data logger (bottom)
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316
Installed 3 AA batteries (not included)

The USB data logger just pushes onto the circuit board of the Envoy. You have to remove the three screws on the back of the case and just push it down securely. The batteries are there to hold settings on the unit in the event of a power failure. The batteries provide 4 months of power for wireless units (only 1 month for cabled systems).


The unit beeps twice to let you know that everything powered up correctly.
Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless - 6316 with USB datalogger and AC adapter installed
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS mounted on pole in our backyard
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS - closeup of the sensor assembly

Full Davis 6357 ISS sensor assembly (from the first part of this blog post) mounted on my back deck with the solar cell facing south.
Fully assembled and mounted Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Envoy Wireless USB receiver

It is a bit of a bonus that the Envoy also has an internal temperature and humidity sensor in it. This give me the ability to measure long term fluctuations of the temperature wherever you have it mounted. In my case I have long term monitoring of my basement temperature and humidity.

Overall my review of the unboxing an assembly process went well. Davis had quick start guides that really gave me the essentials I needed to quickly put the system together. The pairing of the Davis 6357 wireless sensor assembly and the headless 6316 Envoy unit was simple and "just worked". I enjoyed that the computer weather station system is modular. I can add and subtract the elements I want to make a system that meets my needs.

Later on if I want to add or upgrade a sensor, I think it will be just as easy. If I need a repair part I think that Davis will also always be there.
You can see the data reported by this station at:
https://www.trebacz.com/weather/index.html

Please note that the software I'm running is an wview open source weather software and not the Windows WeatherLink software. I prefer more flexible software that will integrate with my websites easier and run my 24/7 Linux servers.


Weather Underground PWS KAZFOUNT19
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Davis Vantage Pro 2 Envoy, Vantage VUE, and USB Weatherlink Unboxing

I decided to take the plunge and buy a Davis Vantage VUE weather station for my house. I wanted a quality unit that I wouldn't have to mess around with that reported reliable results. I also didn't want to pay a fortune for what is really a hobby. I planned this to be the perfect compliment to the McHenry Illinois radar weather that shows on my family website.
ISS Sensors (big brown box - back), Weather Envoy (white box - left), and USB datalogger and software


After talking with application specialist at Davis Instruments I came to the conclusion that to meet my needs I needed:
  1. Vantage Vue Wireless ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite) -6357
  2. Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy  - 6316 
  3. USB data logger with WeatherLink software - 6510USB
For me this made sense, since I wanted:
  • To measure a variety of outside parameters
  • Publish frequent measurements to the web (always available anywhere from my smartphone) and measure long term weather trends
  • Convenience of wireless transmission from the sensors to my computer
  • Clean installation. I didn't want or need the traditional LCD console (plenty of computers, phones and tablets in my house)
  • Ability to easily publish weather station data to 3rd party websites to help the community

What follows is a review of the products and the assembly of the system.
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS Instructions, Wind Direction, and Wind Speed Sensor
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS sensor array, rain sensor, and mounting hardware
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS - all parts from the box
Wind Speed cups up close
Solar panel - minimizes battery use by the sensors
Level bubble (top) helps assure level sensor mounting
The solar panel is a pretty neat design. With it facing southern sunlight you are supposed to be able to get greater than 2 years from the CR-123 lithium battery. Eventually I want to mount ours on our roof and getting up there to change a battery to frequently would be a real pain. The battery is rated at 8 months with no sunlight.
Bottom of Davis 6357 Vantage ISS with nothing installed
Top of Davis 6357 Vantage ISS with nothing installed
Small parts and hardware for ISS
The sensor assembly had good quality components and everything I needed included.
First step - securing the wind speed cups onto the sensor array with the supplied hex wrench
Slotted shaft where the wind direction vane mounts on the bottom of the ISS
Tightening the wind direction sensor with the included allen wrench
Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge (7345.280) assembly - before installation
The rain collector assembly is real easy to fit into the housing. It also seems like it would be easy to replace if it were ever to have a problem. It's a tipping spoon type with 0.01" resolution.
Bottom of Davis 6357 Vantage ISS showing where the Rain Gauge is installed
Davis 6357 Vantage ISS Rain Gauge installs with a thumb screw
Installing the little black plastic debris shield for the rain gauge collector
Inserted the battery and the sensor array LED began blinking green
Once the unit is powered up it needs at least 10 minutes to connect up with the Envoy (or the console). The two units need to be at least 10 feet away from each other while their locating each other. Since I only had one sensor and Envoy, the defaults were great and found each other with no hassles.
Installed the stainless steel mounting hardware (1 u-bolt, 2 washers, 2 nuts, and a bar)
Next part of the unboxing is the Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy 6316 and the USB datalogger and WeatherLink software. I also have some pictures of the final sensor assembly.

You can see the data reported by this station at:

https://www.trebacz.com/weather/index.html

Please note that the software I'm running is an wview open source weather software and not the Windows WeatherLink software. I prefer more flexible software that will integrate with my websites easier and run my 24/7 Linux servers.
Weather Underground PWS KAZFOUNT19

Friday, December 21, 2012

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How to Fix Leaking Moen High Arc Kitchen Faucet -DIY

Our Moen high arc kitchen faucet started to leak around the base of the high spout. We had the Moen Monticello 7700 series single handle faucet for 8 years and it still looked great, it just developed a leak around the base of the spout. Looking at the Moen Monticello 7700 series faucet instruction manual this kitchen faucet has a lifetime guarantee for homeowners and there is an o-ring (#25 in the parts diagram) that is likely the source of the leak. Use the exploded diagram on page 2 of the manual to get the part numbers in the rest of the article.
Moen 700 Series Single Handle High Arc Kitchen Faucet
The high arc faucet would leak around the base for several hours after being shut off. It came from the water that was in the spout assembly after shutting the faucet off.
Water Leaked Out of the Spout Nut at the Base of the Cathedral Spout Assembly
I called the 800 number at 1-800-289-6636 and requested an o-ring kit for the faucet (think ours is model 7730). They sent it out no charge in about 10 days. It included the o-ring that was leaking, the plastic bushing that keeps the faucet steady, and a packet of silicone grease to lubricate it when putting it back together.
Free Warranty Replacement O-ring Kit

To keep from marring or scratching the faucet when I took it apart I used a pair of strap wrenches that I bought at Menards ($3 for the pair). They worked great since the calcium build up had made the faucet threads very tight. Using the strap wrenches, I could get a grip on the chrome, without scratching the chrome surface. When I first removed the nut, I needed to use both the small and large wrench to loosen the spout nut (#26) without spinning the spout deck ring (#30).
Adjustable Strap Wrench

Teeth Grip the Rubber when Tightening (or Loosening)
The rest of the faucet repair process is shot on video (below). It literally took me about 5 minutes once I had the free replacement parts from Moen to fix the leaky faucet.



I hope it helps you fix you leaky high arc kitchen faucet, with a minimal amount of effort and cost. After replacing the o-ring and plastic ring the faucet felt pretty much like brand new.

UPDATE 2-9-2014:
On this same Moen faucet I needed to replace the cartridge. It had started to drip a little and it was getting hard to move the sigle handle. If you have a similar problem check out my blog and video on replacing the Moen 1225 cartridge that's in the main handle of this faucet. It also pretty simple to do yourself.