So how many out there are using power boosters? How long do they last on 8 AA batteries without hooking up to AC power? I am in the Pacific Northwest and have been experiencing a lot of gray days where at max I only see about 100W/m2 of sunlight. Since I got my Tempest my battery voltage has gone down from the initial charge and is now sitting at 2.34V. I am anticipating ordering a power booster as soon as they are available again, and would like to know what others are experiencing with this accessory.
I am using 2 of my prototype Field Tester Power Boosters (but I also have a production version as a backup). My Proto Power Boosters use the suppled AC Adapter (see below) and are connected to a power cord reel that has an on/off switch.
As of this writing. . .the proto power boosters are connected to both of my Tempest devices. . .but the cord reel power switch is off. The Tempest voltages are 2.61v and 2.56v respectively. When the voltage drops to a point where I think the Tempests should be “booter’d” back up to 2.78v & 2.81v respectively. . .then I merely switch the power cord reel back on. . .and the Tempests begin charging back up via AC plug-in Adapters.
Image below. . .Left: prototype Field Test unit. Right: production version of WF-PBA01.
I used to place both Tempest devices on the boosters. . . .let them Boost up for a day or so. . . .then take them off the boosters… . . then pack up the boosters for the next time. I got SO tired of doing it that way and I decided to just leave the Tempests connected to the proto power boosters all thru the winter and only flip the cord reel switch on when there are days and days of cloudiness. . .and the Tempests need another “shot” of AC juice! If and when there is / are sunny periods. . .I switch off the cord reel (but Tempests are still connected to the power boosters). The transition from Power Booster to Sun on the Solar Panels is totally seemless when the voltage hits maximum. i.e. I can not tell on the battery graph when I switch off the cord reel and when the Solar Panels took over. After sun down. . . the Tempest batteries will begin to draw down slowly in voltage. . which is totally normal.
Below is my Winter Tempest setup. The proto Power Boosters are in a “weather-proof” plactic tote-box with a covering to keep the box dry from snow or precip. The bottom table contains to power cord reel. . .which has the Power Boosters AC Adapters plugged into it. It also has a weather-proof covering on the to keep it dry. . .especially since that is the promary electrical hub. I never use the batteries in my Power Boosters. It’s AC / electrical cord all-the-way.
My station at Tempest is on a PBA with batteries and they have been installed for over a year, IIRC. I used 8 Energizer Lithium Ultimate batteries. The PBA can work with 2, 4, 6 or 8 batteries. The Tempest will charge from the batteries when the voltage drops to 2.42V and will charge up to about 2.6V.
I wait for a dry day, and then run an extension cable from my mains supply out to the Tempest, Using the mains adaptor supplied with the PB, it only takes a few hours to charge to full capacity (about 2.77v), and that lasts for several weeks before I need to do it again. This saves the cost of lithium batteries. (Solar charging is fairly minimal here in the winter months.)
Given that our winter temperatures here in the PNW are rarely low for long periods of time, alkaline batteries would probably work just fine.
I purchased a production Tempest PBA back when they first came out, and never had a reason to install it so far here in upstate NY.
Last fall, I installed a Tempest station at our vacation place south of the Mason-Dixon line. It is in a wooded area, and only gets about 1-2 hours of sun per day. I wasn’t expecting it to make it past the winter solstice, but surprisingly it has made it through the dark days while rarely dipping below 2.50V. I’ll probably bring the PBA along on our next trip, just as insurance since I already own it…
I’m also in the PNW and I Alkaline AA in mine and they lasted a year in which there was very little direct sunlight except for a few months.
My Station is still rather newish. I see unit is in Battery Save mode. Is this a kind of normal Winter occurrence? Should I add a Power Booster (when available) to the mix? Or might our few sunny Winter days provide enough solar gain to charge the unit? I’d go battery power for the booster since running power to it could be “electrifying”!
Battery Save mode is ‘normal’ for our location (I’m in Port Orchard). I got the booster because my Tempest completely lost all power and we had a good 2 months of no sun and very spotty prior to that. The battery modes cause information to not be sent as often and in some cases turn certain sensors off.
From my experience, the Power Booster is a necessity for our location. My station is only shaded just prior to sun set, so just a few sunny days is not enough to maintain for us.
Thanks for the reply. Battery is showing 2.35V. It has registered NO RAIN today which is definitely not aligning with my other weather station showing 1/4 inch.
It did register yesterday’s 1/4 inch.
Now I have to hope that they get those boosters back in stock (or is there a thing-a-ma-jig workaround?
The haptic sensor does shut off in certain modes. There is documentation on what shuts off when, but I know from personal experience that the latest firmware updates modified that a little and the documentation was not completely updated. I monitored all the UDP traffic and tracked the frequency of reports at various voltage levels.
The rain sensor gets turned off, as well as the wind not updating as regularly, which causes you to lose the ability to track Lull and Gusts.
Most Tempests never go below Mode 0 and more than 90% will never go below Mode 1.
Mode 0: Voltage ≥ 2.455
All sensors enabled and operating at full performance
Wind sampling interval every 3 seconds
Mode 1: Voltage ≤ 2.415 from Mode 0 or ≥ 2.41 from Mode 2
- Wind sampling interval set to 6 seconds
Mode 2: Voltage ≤ 2.39 from Mode 1 or ≥ 2.375 from Mode 3
- Wind sampling interval set to one minute
Mode 3: Voltage ≤ 2.355
- Wind sampling interval set to 5 minutes
- All other sensors’ sampling interval set to 5 minutes
- Haptic Rain sensor disabled from active listening
I will say that I’m a little disappointed that my new system is NOT reporting rain and that it needs the UNAVAILABLE Power Booster. Tempest makes it seem that most locations will not need the booster. But it appears a large swath in the northwest corner of the US, as we call it, the pacific northWET or northWET Washington does need the booster. Oh, well, until it is back in stock I guess I’m out of luck and it is much dryer here than we think in endless days of dreary weather.
I agree. Tempest should be recommending that people that purchase the equipment and live in the Pacific Northwest, or areas like Denmark, Norway or Sweden need to purchase the additional power pack. I am okay with this, but they really need to let people that the unit probably will not stay powered during the winter months with solar power.
Seems like a problem to me. I’d think anybody below about 60deg lat should never leave mode 0.
I’ve had mine installed for the last two winters and just put in third set of four batteries, energizer ultimate lithium.
This is what I was referring to as not being correct; I contacted WeatherFlow over a year ago about the documentation not being correct and they said there were more changes that were coming before they updated documentation.
Lame alert. If you play that game you never update any documentation.
I hope this is not considered a rude question but how much money were these Power Boosters when they were available?