Dead sensors intervention

Sensors and DIY

I've got a good few sensors in the field that have gone "radio silent" (i.e. FP app cannot connect to them) over the last few data collection rounds (i.e. over a month), so i guess it is time to intervene in some way. We have had rains, so it could be that the battery compartment has suffered infiltration; could be a dead battery, or what else i don't know...

Question is; what should i do now? Pull sensor out of ground, open battery compartment, see if there's water, if so dry it out, then try to reboot with a fresh battery? This would be my inclination, but i just thought i should ask if anyone's been down this road before, if anyone can offer guidance. ?

4 comments

Hi Walt, In the first place if your phone is telling you that the battery is 'dead' then please try doing as you suggest and replace the battery and the sensor. If a sensor runs out of battery it will not lose the data captured up to that point. After the battery is replaced, the sensor data collected by the Flower Power app will include any measurement collected until the sensor stopped working.

Please keep your community champion in Lisbon informed of your progress as they may need to replace any sensors that are broken and will be able to advise you.

Amanda GROW Comms Officer

Thanks Amanda -and, to be clear: the FP app didn't tell me the battery was dead; it simply failed to connect to the sensor when i was within bluetooth range (inches away, in fact: when this occurs, i go right up close and wait a couple of minutes). If it can't connect, it cannot know status of battery, obviously.

So when this happens: only option i can see is to yank the battery and see if it will work with a new one.

In any case: I will certainly advise Gil (community champion for PT), once i have finished this data collection round (getting dark now, must finish tomorrow), as to how many sensors have croaked.

I also had a sensor that became unresponsive, even after replacing the battery. I also wondered if it could have been caused by water but even when the battery compartment was dry the sensor didn't 'come back to life'. In the end I had to replace it.

Thanks Sarah: i have had a few "dead" sensors come back to life, but some (one i just tried to resuscitate this afternoon -clearly a case of water infiltration, i could see) are beyond hope, and must be replaced.