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Niwot Ridge Instrumentation Update #32

kbarnhart opened this Issue Sep 12, 2014 · 0 comments


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kbarnhart commented Sep 12, 2014

In June 2014 Andy (Wickert) and I installed two soil sensing stations up on Niwot Ridge, CO with many sensors (see list below) on the newest version of the ALog. We built the stations in instruments in mid-late June, revisited them in early August, and then Katy visited them on Sept 11, 2014. This Submitted Issue is part update part issue (because there were some).

Two Sites, North and South
At each site:
1 Air temperature thermistor
5 Ground temperature thermistor
2 Decagon MPS-2, soil water potential
2 Decagon 5TM, soil water content
1 self built heave meter (2 linear potentiometers)
1 self built flex meter (2 flex sensors)

Between June and August we had one large rainstorm that got water into the box of the North Site. The board had a good deal of water damage and corrosion that affected the region around the USB connection. This damage re-set the clock back to the year 2000. Since this time we have not been able to re-program or use ALogTalk.

As of Sept 11, 2014 there is no observed physical damage to the logger board at the South site. However, an issue that began in August persists. In August we found that we were unable to communicate with the logger board using ALogTalk. It gave gibberish in the command window. Katy and Andy tried all possible baud rate options and were still not successful. We were able to re-upload the program in Arduino, however we were not able to get non-giberish from the serial monitor in the Aduino program. However, in August the South Site board seemed to still be logging AND its clock was not reset.

Over the period August-Sept 11 the South Site did not log any observations. The text file on the SD card was 15 MB (not sure if this matters). Upon return in September, Katy cleared the files from the SD card and changed the battery. A reading using the LogNow button yielded a date stamp for the year 2025 (and thus no syncopated clock reset error flashing upon pressing the reset button). Katy tried to reset the clock using ALogTalk and failed, she could also not re-upload the program using the Arduino and an AVR ISP mkII. She left the station for an hour to work on the North Site. Upon return, she found that the South station had logged observations.

We have no idea why
(a) The South site now speaks gibberish
(b) The South site did not log data over the month of August (is there a 15 MB file size limit?)

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