I’ve been using Davis weather stations for the past 15 or so years. Mine weren’t very reliable after five years or so. My second one got to the point where I thought it needed a complete replacement, but I didn’t want to get another Davis unit, since it seemed like, for the thousand bucks it cost to buy them, that the quality that you’d expect just wasn’t there. I’d been connecting to Weather Underground with a package that I’d purchased from Rainwise, and that appeared to work pretty well, so I thought I’d just get a Rainwise weather station. They had one that was supposed to be plug-and-play with Weather Underground, so I bought one in mid-May.
Installation was straightforward, and I was able to change to the new weather station on Weather Underground with out losing the history from my old Daviss station. I only had two problems: my barometric pressure was not corrected for my altitude, and I couldn’t get the Rainwise website to take the exact location of the station — it would look like it saved it OK, but when I went back in it had forgotten. The first was just a matter of finding out that the correction wasn’t automatic and loading in a fixed offset. I never did get the second figured out, and after I while I stopped trying.
Everything went swimmingly for two months. In July, the weather station stopped talking to the base station. The base station indicated that radio signal had been lost. I went to the Rainwise website and filled out a form.
Wed, 4 am, the system reported 1.5 inches of rain (no actual rain occurred) then shut down. No radio signal. Power cycled receiver. Reset receiver. Examined station on roof. No apparent problems. I await instructions.
Four days later, I got a message saying:
It appears your battery voltage has dropped substantially. Please reach out to us to trouble shoot a bit better. Sorry our phones have been swamped
I can’t see the details now, but I checked the battery voltage 24-hour and 7-day graphs when the problem first occurred, and it looked like it was experiencing its normal nighttime drop.
They said they were going to send me a new battery. Without much hope, I waited for it to arrive.
The next day, the unit came back online, with low battery voltage, but working. The battery voltage rose over the next couple of days but never did get back to what I should have been. After a week, the battery arrived. I installed it. It charged up to the right voltage in a couple of days.
I was back in business.
A month passed, and the system failed again with the same symptoms. I sent them an email. A couple of days later, on August 14, I got an email saying that I should call them for troubleshooting help.
I did. The call went straight to an answering machine. The message said that the service department — sounds like a one-person show — would be out of town for two weeks. The machine said it wasn’t accepting messages.
When I left Davis, I may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
I called the Rainwise service department and left messages on their answering machine last week and this week. No response. I sent them another e-mail.
[Update later 9/11/17]
Rainwise called. They will swap me for a new unit, which will have to be manufactured, so it won’t happen overnight. I’m encouraged. Stay tuned.