Tempest Battery Not Charging; Need Power Booster

Station id: 22962
Any idea on when the battery booster can be pre-ordered? It will be at least 6 - 8 weeks before the Sun gets back up to an angle where my Tempest will get enough sunlight to really get a good charge.

3 Likes

It’s still slated for the first couple months in 2021.

2 Likes

I’m ready for it! In fact. . .my Tempests have been ready (hungry) for it since July!

1 Like

In some way I am happy to see that I am not the only on who has this problem. In Luxembourg we have more or less the same climate and since I received the tempest it had enough charge only the 3 first weeks. Now winter starts and I can forget about it. You seem all rather cool about this defect ! I consider it as a major problem : we should have been advised that Tempest only works in Florida and Afrika !

3 Likes


Mine is charging with a low angle sun. Even if the solar radiation isn’t getting much higher than 160W/m2.

It’s not much, but it is something. :blush:

1 Like

In Spring, Summer, and Fall. . .my Tempest devices are Surrounded by trees – lots of trees. The leaves from the 60+ yr old Silver Maples provide Tempests with 98% shade! That means they barely reach minimal charging status.

In Late Fall thru Winter to early Spring. . .42° North Latitude x 95° West Longitude is generally overcast – 2, 3, 4 days in a row. . . sometimes as much as 3 weeks in solid 800 foot overcast. . . providing NO sun what-so-ever. Yes – that external power booster is badly needed. . .and can’t come out soon enough. . .in my book!

1 Like

it is not a defect, it is a feature that it reduces the sampling rate in the dark days of mid winter. It does this, so it can keep running even if there isn’t a lot of sunlight. However, they might want to consider the power saving mode on, a bit sooner, so it keeps on sampling through winter at a slightly higher frame rate.

Actually the angle is pretty good in winter as the panels are mounted vertically. It is the long stretch of dull, short days that prevents it from getting a good charge.

I luckily haven’t had any issues with battery level on my Tempest but there has been minimal charging this month with the low sun angle and limited solar radiation…until today.

The sun has peeked out but I’m thinking that the bright 30 inch deep snowpack may be helping some with the sudden boost in charge. :thinking::face_with_monocle:

1 Like

Sorry I can’t help but I got a chuckle out of this, wonder how fast it would charge it up? :wink:

On a serious note, what is a battery booster and how do I find more information on it?

Is there an end user accessible terminal by chance? There are plenty of readily available POE converters which extract power from POE delivery, for example.

[…disclaimer - I previously was a field tester for some pieces of the puzzle, but nothing below is limited data, and I have no inside knowledge anyway on this one…]

My recollection is that there are pogo pins on the bottom of the Tempest unit if you pull it down and remove your pole or keyhole mount, but it’s been a long time since I looked at the bottom of one. Pull yours down to take a look, or ask for somebody to take a photo of theirs.

Assuming my memory hasn’t faded completely, you’d have to reverse engineer which pin is which experimentally, as well as figuring out what exactly the solar panels generate and what that looks like electrically.

Since the unit is not user-modifiable, I’d expect that it’s reasonable to assume that cracking the case open to look inside will void your warranty almost certainly, unless you can find somebody with one already torn apart to work with you. I think that I saw mention recently of somebody who opened theirs up. Maybe you can do a search of the forums and get them to PM you some photos.

That said, my guess is that you will either [a] not power it enough to power it up, or [b] brick the unit or [c] release the magic smoke if you fiddle with trying to cobble something together.

Personally I’d just wait for the official power booster rather than risk it.

2 Likes

Right on the bottom of it.

As best that memory serves me, I remember seeing something like this before. The far LEFT-most contact [just above the “T” and nearest the black arrow] is positive (+) and the RIGHT-most contact is negative ( — ). Similar to a Fitbit device. . . the two middle contacts are unused. Something to externally charge the Tempest would have to have a positive pogo pin make contact on the far left and a negative pogo pin on the far right. Supposedly. . . this is how that Power Booster Accessory will be designed.

1 Like

interesting enough there is a label at the bottom telling us: input DC 2.8V 500mA

“Verrrry Interesting!” My older versions of Tempest do Not have that statement printed under the ON OFF swtich!

I live in the Dolomites (46.6N) in a deep valley surrounded by high mountains that provide shade in winter and my Tempest charges the battery every day…

2 Likes

Thanks. I send you my report since I have the device. As you can see it goes only down …

my power booster at work…


it is only a 15W led, but at least power went back up enough to get it to sample once a minute. Not sure if this led is strong enough.

1 Like

Definitely report what you find. Some acquaintances of mine have a home solar system which perform best on cloudy days so there are definitely different types of cells. Not sure if the cells on the Tempest are multi-spectral or not but I recall a comment about the SPA (Solar Power Assessory) for the SKY had high efficiency panels. The ones on the Tempest look the same.

hopefully my english is good enough for “here”
my Batterie Status is now low so the station didn´t report any rain
rain detection an reporting was one of the most reasons for me for tempest
for the next day´s the weather would not get better

can i do something?