Maintenance and Troubleshooting
You should keep the surfaces of the sensor suite clean, since the radiation shield and
solar panel are less effective when dirty. Remove dust from the solar panel and
radiation shield with a damp cloth.
Several times a year, inspect the rain collector and radiation shield and remove any
debris (such as twigs, leaves, webs and nests) obstructing water flow through the
rain collector or air flow through the radiation shield.
At least once a year, or more often in very dusty installations, dismantle and
thoroughly clean the radiation shield as described on the following pages.
Note: Do not spray the sensor suite with insecticides of any kind. Some insecticides can
damage the sensors and even damage the radiation shield.
Maintaining the Solar Radiation Sensor
The solar radiation sensor has an outer shell or shield, which protects the sensor body from thermal radiation and provides a path for convection cooling of the body, minimizing heating of the sensor interior. It houses the precision-shaped diffuser, exposed through the top of the shield; a hermetically sealed silicon photodiode; and an amplifier.
Try not to touch the small white diffuser on top of the sensor. Oil from skin reduces its sensitivity. If you are concerned that you have touched the diffuser at any time, clean the diffuser with a soft damp cloth.
Due to the sensitivity of solar radiation sensors it is common practice for manufacturers to recommend re-calibration after a period of time. Users demanding high accuracy typically recalibrate their sensors annually. Here at Davis Instruments, we have seen less than 2% drift per year on the readings from these sensors.
Maintaining the Anemometer
The free movement of the wind vane and cups can be inhibited by dust, debris, insects, and spider webs. With an Allen wrench, remove the cups and vane and clean any dust or debris from the shafts and housing. Turn the shafts the cups and vane rotate on. While the wind direction shaft should have more resistance than the wind cup shaft, if either feels gritty or stiff, contact Davis Technical Support. Reattach the cups and vane and tighten with the Allen wrench.
Note: Do not lubricate the shaft or bearings in any way. When replacing the cups, make sure
they are not rubbing against any part of the anemometer head.
Maintaining the Radiation Shield
The outer plating of the radiation shield should be cleaned when there is excessive dirt and build-up on the plating. Wipe the outer edge of each ring with a damp cloth.
Note: Spraying down or using water excessively to clean the radiation shield can damage the
sensitive sensors or alter the data and readings the sensor suite is transmitting.
Check the radiation shield for debris or insect nests several times a year and thoroughly clean as often as necessary. A buildup of material inside the shield reduces its effectiveness and may cause inaccurate temperature and humidity readings.
Tip: This also a good time to inspect and clean any debris or dust from the temperature humidity sensor assembly which is located on the underside of the top plate in the radiation shield.
To thoroughly clean the radiation shield:
1. Remove the rain collector cone.
2. Open the transmitter shelter and unplug the temp-humidity cable from the sensor interface.
3. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, loosen the three 4'' (~100mm) screws holding the radiation shield plates together.
4. Taking care to maintain the order in which the five plates are assembled, separate the plates as shown and remove all debris from inside the shield.
5. Reassemble the plates in the same order in which they were disassembled, and fasten them together using a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten the 4” screws.
Maintaining the Rain Collector Cone
To maintain accuracy, thoroughly clean the rain collector several times a year.
Note: Cleaning the rain collector and tipping spoons may cause false rain readings. Unplug the rain sensor from the sensor interface before cleaning so that no inaccurate readings are logged, or clear the weather data that was logged on the Vantage Pro2 console after cleaning is complete. See your Vantage Pro2 Console User Manual for instructions on clearing weather data.
1. Separate the cone from the base by turning it counter-clockwise.
2. Remove and clean the debris screen.
3. Use a soft, damp cloth to remove any debris from the cone and tipping spoons. Be careful not to scratch the silver-colored coating on the tipping spoons.
4. Use pipe cleaners to clear the funnel hole in the cone and drain screens in the
5. Re-attach the cone and replace the debris screen. (If you unplugged the rain
sensor from the sensor interface, be sure to plug it back in.)
Sensor Functions Intermittently
Carefully check all connections from the sensor to the sensor suite. Loose connections account for a large portion of potential problems. Connections should be firmly seated in receptacles and plugged in straight. To check for a faulty connection, try jiggling the cable while looking at the display. If a reading displays intermittently on the console as the cable is jiggled, the connection is faulty. Try removing and then re-installing the cable to correct the faulty connection. If the sensor still functions intermittently contact Technical Support.
Reading Are Not What You Expected
Comparing data from your sensor suite to measurements from the Internet, TV, radio, newspapers, or a neighbor is NOT a valid method of verifying your readings. Readings can vary considerably over short distances. How you site the sensor suite and anemometer can also make a big difference.
Rain Collector Problem
If the rain collector seems to be under-reporting rainfall, remove the rain collector cone to clean the tipping spoon and clear out any debris. Make sure the cable tie around the tipping spoons has been cut and removed.
Please contact FarmQA Support with any further questions