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> USB Disconnection
Has The Random USB Disconnect Happened to You?
Yes, Frequently [ 16 ] ** [32.00%]
Yes, Infrequently [ 8 ] ** [16.00%]
No [ 9 ] ** [18.00%]
No; I Don't Have USB [ 17 ] ** [34.00%]
Total Votes: 17
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WeatherMatrix
post Jun 2 2006, 01:49 PM
Post #1




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I'm not a frequent visitor here, so if this has already been discussed in this forum, send me a topic URL.

Davis says on their support FAQ:

I'm using WeatherLink with the USB connection. At times I lose communication with the PC software.

We have had a smattering of folks report that they lose their USB connection when using the USB Weatherlink data logger on a PC. We have tried in vain for a number of months to recreate this here at Davis and have been unsuccessful. I am calling on you all to keep your ears to ground and help us figure this one out.

Some people have reported that with their USB Weatherlink loses connection to the weather station and reports "Com x is either open or not present on your system." Looking in ďDevice ManagerĒ the user will normally see a CP2101 driver under BOTH "Ports" and "USB Controllers". When the failure occurs both drivers are also still present and active. Only very occasionally is the driver under "Ports" missing.

We are not sure why this is happening. The temporary solution has always been to re-insert the USB cable into the PC or reboot the PC. This of course gets tedious after a few incidences.


I installed two Vantage Pro systems at separate locations in the past 6 months, and this has happened to both. It is very frustrating.

The really frustrating thing about it is that WV32 canít detect the disconnection and keeps picking up the same data forever, so all the graphs flatline but there are no errors from WV32. However, if you restart WV32, it canít connect, until (as you mention) you unplug the USB cable and plug it back in.

It happened very frequently here at AccuWeather HQ for weeks until we moved the computer to another area, then it stopped. At home, it happened the first day, but hasnít since then.

My guess is that it is either: Interference in the cable (I have had weather stations in the past have severe interference with the serial cables), interference with other USB devices (I typically am using several USB devices at the same time and I have seen similar disconnection problems with other devices, such as a streaming camera), or it depends on which USB port it is plugged into (I have always noticed that USB devices get confused when they are plugged into a different port on the computer).

Thoughts?


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talbert1952
post Jun 2 2006, 07:54 PM
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I ran across lots of complaints about this problem while I was researching the VP2 so I went serial. I haven't had any comm problems with the serial logger.

Most likely it is the computer hardware. Probably noise from the cheap switching power supplies used in most computers today. Could be RF interference. Some people have had success after replacing the Davis supplied USB cable. Others have had to exchange the USB logger for a serial version to fix the problem. If you have serial ports available I would have Davis exchange the USB loggers for serial loggers.


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tstolze
post Jun 3 2006, 12:19 AM
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I had a usb setup work fine for 6 months and then the connections problems started. I have a dedicated computer for this and nothing was changed, sometimes it would go for weeks and then the next time and hour or so. I called Davis and they sent me a serial unit and I had 30 days to send mine back. Not one problem since! 8)


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WeatherMatrix
post Jun 4 2006, 03:55 PM
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1st was a 400mhz 128 RAM
2nd was a 2.6ghz 3000 RAM

So couldn't be the type of computer or computer age

I really hope it doesn't start happening to them again because I can't go serial, I often use the serial port for other things.


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talbert1952
post Jun 4 2006, 04:33 PM
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PCI serial port cards can be bought for $10-$20. Others have had good results using serial to usb converters.


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WeatherMatrix
post Jun 4 2006, 05:36 PM
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I guess it's the price that really gets me. If I shell out $150, why should I have to shell out another dime or have to reconfigure my PC?

Davis has always been the most expensive Station-To-PC dongle. Other stations connect directly at no cost. If they can't solve the USB problem, they should lower the price.


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talbert1952
post Jun 4 2006, 06:48 PM
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The last Weatherlink package I bought was $119 from Provantage.

Even at $150, I think it is a pretty good deal since you are buying a fully supported weather database and reporting package and a logger that allows data collection without a PC being connected full time.

I agree that you shouldn't have to spend additional funds because the USB version doesn't work in your case. Unfortunately I don't know how to get around it if you can't get the USB to work reliably and you don't have a spare serial port.


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Tim_McManus
post Jun 5 2006, 10:45 AM
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I am using an IBM ThinkPad T40 connected to my console. I bought a 16' USB expansion cable, and I run WeatherLink 24/7/365.

The T40 is running Windows XP (latest version) and a server version of TeamSpeak. There are no other services running.

I may have had an occasional problem with the logger when I first set the machine up, but I have not had a problem in months. It may be the new cable, but I cannot be sure.

I like the USB implementation and would recommend it to anyone.
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thunderdrummer
post Jun 12 2006, 09:56 PM
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When I first bought my VP2 I also got Weatherlink 5.5.1 USB. I had the exact same problems as listed above and contacted Davis. The were unable to resolve the issue and sent me the serial version. It has worked flawlessly for a little over a year now. I agree though...it probably has a great deal to do with computer config. I also agree that if they can't make it compatible with more systems than it already is, the price should be lowered.


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jaded
post Jul 15 2006, 11:48 PM
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I've had problems with other USB devices not recovering from faulty communications when they're behind a hub (or two) but work fine when plugged directly into one of the motherboard's USB ports (or into a PCI-attached USB card.) It could be that some extra traffic (possibly from another USB-attached device such as a mouse, keyboard or printer) might be causing it to have a momentary failure from which it is unable to recover.

(My data logger is RS-232 and has never had these problems.)

I know I can cause my USB-attached Motorola phone to 'puke' while uploading just 40kb of data by stacking up a couple of USB hubs together and then plugging the phone into the end of the chain. According to USB spec, that should work, but apparently some finicky devices don't like all the delays and hops.

If anyone from Davis is following this, perhaps you could try chaining two or three USB hubs (mine are USB 2.0 Hi-Speed) and plugging the data logger into that. For grins, you could even add a mass storage device to the same distant hub; streaming music or video from it would generate tons of traffic, too. A nasty setup like that should cause occasional errors. That would give you a worst-case scenario to test with. If your software can at least recover from the occasional glitches then it should be robust enough to deal with the problems in the field.


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The PIT
post Jul 18 2006, 12:10 PM
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Nothing to do with overloading the usb port or hubs. My's plugged directly into the usb port and I get these errors sometimes they correct themselves other times they lock up the software.

The contacts on the usb connection are very poor quality. On the orginal cable they had worn off completly within a month or so. I had to replace that which briefly sorted the problem but if anyone moves the cable theres a 90% chance I'll lose the connection.

I've now ordered the serial version as Davis wouldn't swap the orginal out and suggested I contacted there UK dealer who wasn't interested at all.
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WxSteve
post Jul 24 2006, 01:19 PM
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I ran my VP2 via USB into both an AMD 1.2ghz machine (XP Pro with the latest updates & SP2), and had disconnects. Sometimes twice a day, other times not for two weeks. I currently have a dedicated box that runs absolutely nothing else, so other applications aren't the issue.

I also ran it on my Intel 3.2ghz (1gb ram) rig, same frequency of disconnects. There is either a memory leak someplace or a driver incompatability issue.

I run about 75' with USB, see below:

http://www.marengoweather.com/vantagepro2.htm

using something called the USB Rover.

The National Weather Service (and the safety of millions) doesn't hinge on the performace of my station, so in reality these disconnects are no big deal. Would it be nice if Davis would research and fix this? Yes. Is it imperative? Not from my perspective.

I prefer the convenience of USB to serial, so I will stick with it (plus, I'm unsure I can run a serial connection that far).

What I would like is some sort of an alarm that tells me when the station has lost connection to the USB port - that would be enough for me to get off my tail and re-boot the rig and restart the software.

Ideas on that one? Anyone??


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laurie
post Jul 24 2006, 05:22 PM
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(WxSteve)
I run about 75' with USB, see below:

http://www.marengoweather.com/vantagepro2.htm

using something called the USB Rover.
I prefer the convenience of USB to serial, so I will stick with it


If you have to spend $100 - $ 200 (?) for the USB Rover to extend USB to 75', I don't understand the convenience of it when you could extend serial that far with just cable :?


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WxSteve
post Jul 24 2006, 06:46 PM
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I got the rover on ebay for $15 ($20 shipped). :wink:


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WeatherMatrix
post Jul 27 2006, 07:36 AM
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One problem with Davis saying "use the serial" is that modern computers, including mine, do not HAVE serial ports.

As somebody already mentioned, I could use a serial-to-usb converter, but again it's the premise of having to spend more money on an already-expensive dongle.

Say what you will about the Oregon Scientific stations, but they did as well as they did because they had the computer data port built in.


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The PIT
post Jul 29 2006, 06:03 PM
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Perhaps Davis couldn't feel justified charging £175 for Weatherlink.
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pelle
post Aug 29 2006, 10:27 AM
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MY SOLUTION

I ran across this problem with my Davis VantagePro2 and WeatherLink USB. My connection between the console and the computer stopped working after either ten minutes or three hours. Seemed to depend on the daily mood of the program...

I contacted the retailer Wetterladen in Germany (very good, by the way) where I bought everything, and they were willing to swap the USB for a serial, but only if I send the USB-version back first. That would mean several days of lost data, so I decided to try other solutions.

After I had checked all drivers, programs, conflicts and stuff in the computer, I got a new USB cable. Then I had the program running overnight, the next day, the following night... I ran different programs with other USB connections at the same time, shifted from one user to another, disconnected the internet connection abruptly.. I tried different things trying to disturb the connection.
After three days I gave up.
The problem was solved. laugh.gif

So, in my case:
Getting a new USB cable was the solution.

For scandinavian users it might be worth paying Clas Ohlson a visit.
They have the USB cable that helped me. 32-6848.

/Good luck from Sweden


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moondog52
post Sep 2 2006, 03:35 PM
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There is a new driver for the CP210x USB Composite Device written by SiLabs (which is the chipset used by the Davis data logger) ...

version 4.38 is available here ...

http://www.silabs.com/tgwWebApp/public/web.../en/mcu_vcp.htm

The revision notes specifically mention it as a fix for USB port hangs in
previous versions. There is also a driver update for the CP210x USB to UART
Bridge Controller as well in this update, and I have installed that too.
(Look under the Windows 2k/XP hardware devices, Ports COM&LPT).

I have installed it on my Windows 2k system a month ago and have not had ANY disconnections during several wind and rain storms during our monsoon season here in Tucson. Previously I would always lose the USB connection during any kind of heavy rain/wind.
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The PIT
post Sep 3 2006, 08:36 AM
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Basically it doesn't fix the disconnection problem just prevents an error condition. So you may go for a day without any downloads and the only time you'd notice if you checked the Weatherlink software.
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The PIT
post Sep 3 2006, 08:38 AM
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(pelle)
MY SOLUTION

I ran across this problem with my Davis VantagePro2 and WeatherLink USB. My connection between the console and the computer stopped working after either ten minutes or three hours. Seemed to depend on the daily mood of the program...

I contacted the retailer Wetterladen in Germany (very good, by the way) where I bought everything, and they were willing to swap the USB for a serial, but only if I send the USB-version back first. That would mean several days of lost data, so I decided to try other solutions.

After I had checked all drivers, programs, conflicts and stuff in the computer, I got a new USB cable. Then I had the program running overnight, the next day, the following night... I ran different programs with other USB connections at the same time, shifted from one user to another, disconnected the internet connection abruptly.. I tried different things trying to disturb the connection.
After three days I gave up.
The problem was solved. laugh.gif

So, in my case:
Getting a new USB cable was the solution.

For scandinavian users it might be worth paying Clas Ohlson a visit.
They have the USB cable that helped me. 32-6848.

/Good luck from Sweden


The above worked for me for six months or so then it started again. Now on serial.
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