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> Davis VP2 - Bug in new firmware
dalecoy
post Mar 20 2006, 03:18 PM
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At least for the Cabled VP2 - and probably for the wireless VP2 - there is apparently a significant bug in the latest console firmware update. The latest firmware was released on 2/2/06. For the cabled VP2, the firmware date is actually November 30, 2005 (and November 28 for the wireless firmware). I have worked for over 2 weeks with Davis to confirm the problem (including swapping out the console with one sent by Davis). At the moment, it seems that Davis has confirmed the PROBLEM, but has not found where in the firmware the cause exists.

The problem exists in handling of stations with higher elevations. My station is at 7320 feet. With the new firmware, the barometer reading randomly changes from around 30 inches to around 24 inches, and then goes back to 30. This happens at random times from several hours to over a day.

As a test, I changed the station elevation to 5490, and got random changes from normal barometer to readings around 28.2 inches.

Davis' suggested workaround is to set the station elevation to zero. Of course, that works, but slightly messes up other corrections.

Davis is located near sea level, so their testing apparently can't (at the moment) catch this problem.

If anyone else has a VP2 with latest firmware, and is located at high elevation, I would like to compare notes.
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Jarron
post Mar 21 2006, 02:40 AM
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Dalecoy,

How long have you had your station and how well did it work with the older firmware?

Even with the barometer acting as it's supposed at just over 7,000 ft on my VP1, it's erratic enough that I have set my elevation to 0 and use an offset and wish that they had an option to use altimeter rather than barometric readings. I can't say that my changes were generally quite as drastic as yours, except in the first 12 hours I had the station (the barometer algorithm uses the present temp and the temp from 12 hours ago to compute the reading.)

When I first got my VP1, almost three years ago, I didn't have any idea what was going on and it was fairly clear that Davis didn't either (as you mentioned, they live near sea-level), but some people here helped with it.

One interesting thing I did was to graph the correlation between the 12 hour temp average (present temp plus the temperature from 12 hours ago divided by two) and the barometer readings. There was a very clear inverse relationship, the barometer swings being almost entirely due to the temperature changes.

If that's the same in your case it may give you a clue as to what's happening until some VP2 owners at high altitudes confirm that the problem is more specific to the latest firmware.
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dalecoy
post Mar 21 2006, 10:45 AM
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I've had Davis gear for about 5 years - WMII, VP1, and the VP2 for the last year. It has worked perfectly with the previous version of the firmware, and the problem started immediately after I loaded the new firmware.

Of course, the station elevation setting didn't change with the new firmware (until the diagnostic phase started).

I agree that the barometric pressure algorithm that Davis uses clearly depends on temperature, and perhaps other factors. However, after I originally installed the VP2, and went through a few-day period of making small corrections (adjust toward the reported corrected barometric pressure at the local airport), the barometer readings stayed VERY close to other stations in this area.

After loading the new firmware, the barometer readings were still very close to other stations - except that, at random intervals (a few hours to almost 2 days), the reading would suddenly go to 24.xxx (different xxx each time). My archive interval is 5 minutes, and (since the console normally samples every 15 minutes) there would be 3 readings of 24.xxx, and the "daily low baro pressure" would be 24.xxx

Davis sent a replacement console pre-loaded with the same firmware, and the problem repeated. Etc.
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dalecoy
post Mar 21 2006, 12:07 PM
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Well, I see that this board interprets three x's in succession as xxx.

Please interpret the 24.xxx things in my previous post, as being 24.something. smile.gif

Also, one footnote - I believe that the barometric pressure algorithm used by the VP2 (before the new firmware) seemed to be substantially better and more stable than the one used by the VP1 that I previously had.
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thundercloud
post Mar 21 2006, 12:46 PM
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Did you ask Davis if there is a way to revert back to the previous firmware version? This would solve your problem right away.


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dalecoy
post Mar 21 2006, 12:59 PM
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(thundercloud)
Did you ask Davis if there is a way to revert back to the previous firmware version? This would solve your problem right away.


Yes, of course. They would have to (again) loan me an updater, and updaters are "on backorder".

Or, they would have to ship me a replacement console pre-loaded with the previous firmware.

Or, they would have to tell me how to use the new PC download feature to send the old firmware to the console.

Since there is a "workaround acceptable to them" (set the station elevation to zero), they haven't yet seen fit to do either of the above.
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dalecoy
post Apr 12 2006, 01:14 PM
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Note that Davis is now NOT permitting downloads of the firmware. They acknowledge that there is a problem with it.
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°rjan
post Apr 12 2006, 06:03 PM
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thunder, ..............i really envy your job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really blame myself for not handing in the paper for them 6 months at Bear Island met. station! :cry:

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dalecoy
post Apr 19 2006, 12:59 PM
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(dalecoy)
Note that Davis is now NOT permitting downloads of the firmware. They acknowledge that there is a problem with it.


The latest "beta" is dated April 10, 2006. I'm told that it's the "release candidate".

The release is going to be interesting, though. There will be one set of stuff for people who have NOT installed the November 2005 firmware (this stuff will require use of the updater box), and a different set of stuff for those who DID install the November 2005 firmware (this stuff will download from your PC).
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johnd
post Apr 24 2006, 12:25 PM
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I see the latest firmware updates for the standard wireless VP2 console (though not currently for other console variants) are now posted on the Davis site, including the direct-from-PC versions for anyone lucky enough to have the fully-installed Nov 2005 firmware.
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Bugs
post Apr 25 2006, 02:42 AM
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The Direct-from-PC version appears to work fine and certainly heaps better than having to use an Updater. Basically automatic, run the application, which searches for a station, verifies the firmware version then waits to be started. Once updated the software resets the station and it's done with basically very minimal affect on data loss.

The only thing I can see at this stage is once the console is reset it requires user intervention in pressing the done button to get the station running normal? This then might not be suitable for remote updates over a modem or wireless etc?.

One might assume the Envoy would not require any intervention and will be able to be updated remotely? Once the Envoy version is released then we will know.
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johnd
post Apr 25 2006, 04:04 PM
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New firmware versions for all VP2 console types are now available on the Davis site.
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