Tempest Offline - Last Reported Battery Voltage = 2.38V

Hello, folks!

This evening, I received an e-mail indicating that our Tempest had gone offline. I wondered if the same thing that happened to me before had happened again, where there was a known glitch in the firmware which caused certain units to go offline. I pulled the mounting pole down just now, untwisted the Tempest from its base and hit the LED reset button. Unlike last time, this time, the LED never gave me any visual feedback. I tried turning the unit on and off with the power switch, but got the same negative results.

When looking at the settings, I noticed that the last reported reading of the battery voltage was 2.38V. This leads me to believe that I have a bad battery or a defective solar panel charging system.

Regardless, I opened up a support ticket, but would like for the community gurus to take a look and confirm what I’m seeing.

Thank you, in advance, for your time and efforts!

Have a wonderful evening…

Indeed there seems some weird behaviour
Already your Tempest is on FW129 when all are supposed to be 134 (linked to an old hub, pre Tempest, or the latest one ?)
It did charge but not enough seen your solar radiation.
Guess it is now waiting game for customer support.
Maybe if tomorrow you can get it extra sun, it will charge a bit most probably but not sure it’ll hold long.

@eric, I didn’t catch the firmware revision issue. Thank you for pointing this out. I am on the new hub that came with the Tempest, so it should’ve updated automatically.

I left it under a light all night and it’s still not powering up this morning, so I’m thinking it’s defective and will need to be replaced. Will wait to see what support says. Hopefully, they’ll remedy a replacement soon.

I had the Tempest controlling our irrigation system and home security lighting, so not having it online is a bit of an inconvenience.

Thank you for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated!

i’m not sure a light is anywhere strong enough to charge the unit. Direct sunlight is, but even diffuse daylight isn’t enough to give a big boost in charge levels.

we need an external power booster for the Tempest device when / where there is not enough sunlight to provide adequate charging.

@sunny, you’re correct. I left the Tempest’s power switch in the “on” position and placed it by the window all day with the three solar panels facing outwards. When I arrived at home this afternoon, I cycled the power switch and now I see a very faint red and blue LED light shining steadily at the side of the push button. It still won’t power up and I don’t see the typical bright green LED, so there definitely seems to be something wrong with the unit. Thank you for your feedback, by the way.

I haven’t heard anything back yet from the folks in the support department. Is there are typical time frame that they have for contacting customers with open tickets? I just figured I’d ask.

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just leave it in the sun a bit longer, as it doesn’t charge really fast. Once it is up and running, have a keen eye on the charge, to check if something is wrong.

I charged an early field test unit with the worst charging circuit in a Tempest and running a firmware without power save features. I used a 250W heat lamp aimed at the Tempest with white Styrofoam boards as reflectors.

I couldn’t find a graph of temperature so here is the day I charged it with the light.

Here is a graph I captured after putting it back outside.

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250W isn’t just an ordinary light. I like this (but would be a bit worried about the Styrofoam starting to melt or worse.

Max temperature was 103°F. There was absolutely no chance the Styrofoam could melt with the arrangement I used. I checked it periodically. That high temperature was after being in that arrangement overnight.

How did the charging circuit / battery do with the heat lamp! Did it go all the way up to ~2.75v or so? Max Lumens indeed!

As you can see in the graph of temperature above, it didn’t last long. Remember this was very early in the testing and the firmware was running flat out so the battery drain was higher than when the debugging code was not being run. Also, this was one of a very few with a test mod to improve charging but it had the opposite effect. I may have been the only tester to receive a Tempest with such a modification.

One week later and I’m happy to report that Weatherflow’s support has completely taken care of my issue. I received a replacement Tempest this afternoon and just finished installing it. The RSSI improved, the firmware came updated and everything seems to be working correctly. The unit that failed was online for months and I feel that it was dialed in nicely, so I hope I get the same results with this one. The defective unit is already packaged up and it goes back in the mail tomorrow.

Thanks again for everyone’s input!