The weather station and webcam need attention every now and then, This is where I record when changes are made
I got on the TW200 dirt bike and headed up pikes again to get the webcam fixed.
It was blowing about 20 MPH winds and fairly cold in the valley, so I trucked the bike to the base of pikes.
and headed up the mountain on the bike. The top of Pikes was white so I knew I was going to hit a little bit of snow. And it was blowing 30 MPH on top, I knew I was going to be in for an adventure.
In the above picture are the towers I am headed to. Just up the road from where I took this picture the road was getting drifted in and there was a bunch of blowing snow. Not fun on a motorcycle!
Over the last week, I have been troubleshooting with Steve at Pocket Inet. We came up with a bunch of things to try. The 1st thing I tried was using a differn't port on Pocket Inets Cisco switch. Sure enough, the camera immediatly came alive and was working.
I checked a couple other things and then loaded up tohead back down the mountain.
Pictured above is the TW200 in front of the Pocket Inet shack, and the tower with the webcam and weather station. When I took this photo, it was blowing 30+ MPH, VERY COLD!
I headed up on the dirt bike, through the mud and snow drifts to figure out why the webcam stopped working. Spent most of the day up on the mountain. The webcam works, but I cannot get it to get on the internet. I tried five seperate times, for whatever reason when I plug the switch into the switch, it will not communicate.
The wind guage suddenly stopped working during the winter. The road was closed so I didn't get to it for a while. On Easter Sunday I headed up to see what was happening on Pikes
I geared up and jumped on the XT
The mountain dead ahead in the distance is where I am headed
The rough road up pikes. Part of it is single lane like this, but all of it is pretty rough.
Finally, I arrived at the top and opened the gate
The far tower is the one I am headed to
I wonder what could be the problem ...
The cups on the wind guage had fallen off. I climbed the tower and took the station down. Luckily, I brough a new station with me and was able to swap parts
About an hour later, I got the station fixed up and mounted on the tower. I also brough with me a replacement fan for the webcam and replaced that while I was here
View of Walla Walla from the tower site
View of the Walla Walla valley on the way down.
The weather station is up and running again. I need to put new bearings in
the weather station this summer, and replace the main weather station body and
the wind direction guage, they are both getting pretty fragile. Also the computer
The wind speed was not working right, so I headed up to get it fixed before the road closed for the season.
I headed up alone in my Dodge truck and found snow drifts at the gate
I was able to get in the gate and headed down to the tower.
I took the station down and took it apart to figure out what was happening with the wind speed.
I found the bearing had failed and siezed up. Then a high wind storm came through the area and caused the seized bearing to bore through the plastic casing. Luckily, I had brought lots of parts and was able to swap out the bearing and the plastic casing and had it up and running again.
I headed in the shack to make certain everything was running smoothly and loaded up to head home.
It was sunny when I arrived, then the fog moved in. Finally when I got done, the fog moved out.
And finally headed back down the mountain
Thats the Walla Wallay Valley down below
At 4:11 PM on March 5, 2009 the Pocket Inet tower in Pikes Peak got hit by lightning, taking out a bunch of Pockets network gear and my weather station.
The good news is my camera survived, the bad news is that the weather station
failed, the computer will not even boot, the road is closed and legally I cannot
get up there, untill today. I have made numerous attempts to get up Pikes but
gotten snowed and and stopped by locked gates, but my brother and I finally
got up there and replaced the broken gear in Michaels pickup.
After replacing all of the gear, we are back online and fully operational.
The Walla Walla area got hit with a huge windstorm, almost the entire town lost power for several hours (Including the Vivio Data center, my house, 911) It was bad!
The wind peaked at 10:15 AM to 79.26 MPH, please note thats the 60 second average. I am certain the gusts were more then that.
Unfortunitely these high winds repositioned my web camera so it was staring at the side of the shack, so I gave a shout to Rob Stilson to see if I could hook a ride up the mountain. Fortunitely, Rob just happen to be on Pikes and adjusted my camera for me, free of charge. Thanks Rob!
Saved me a ton of time and effort!
My brother and I got to the top of Pikes and swapped out the weather station with a differn't one. Also we checked the camera to make sure everything was good to go.
I forgot my camera, but Michael snapped a couple shots of the miserable conditions with his camera phone.
Richard climbing up the tower in the miserable conditions
Richard working on getting the old weatherstation down1
Richard working on getting the old weatherstation down2
Richard working on getting the old weatherstation down3
A weatherstation freshly off the tower
Needless to say, our trip was a bit of a waste. We thought we are all good to go and headed down the mountain after swapping the station and checking everything. 2 hours later, the weatherstation stopped reading data. Its probably just the RJ11 connector needs recrimped, those things are famous for being flakey. My brother and I are headed back up on the 26th to try again.
Also, I wanted to note the bearings on the old weather station were in very good condition! I think I am just going to put the old one back up there!
A big storm came through the area, my neighborhood lost power for almost 2 hours due to a tree taking down a powerline. I hope to head up the mountain soon, the weather station is probably due for new bearings anyway. I must admit, I am impressed. Everything on that mountain has ran with no problems for 5 months. I haven't been up there since!
The shack containing all of the gear at Pikes
All of the gear just inside the door
Here is Pocket's gear, the dell next to the UPS is my weather station.
The webcam had a bit of a problem, at about 11:45 PM on Tuesday night, the webcam from looking like this:|
Not sure what happened, after work my brother Michael and I headed up pikes to find out. When we got there it was 6:00 PM at night, pitch dark, 32 degrees, with a 15 mph wind. Not too bad until you get up on the tower!
We found the camera hanging on the tower with one bolt. Turns out two out of the three bolts holding the camera mount to the mount that Michael welded together had fallen out. We scrambled and found another bolt to stick in it and pointed correctly again. While checking that we noticed the weather station wind gage wasn't spinning when we obviously had some fair winds, so we took it down and apart to find out whats up with it. Turns out the bearings were shot after running for 4 months. I plan to swap out the weather station very soon with a new one so it runs all winter with no problems.
Richard climbing up to the broken camera
Richard remounting the camera
Richard tightenin up the bolts
Richard taking down the weather station
The guts to the weatherstation, its seen better days
Richard remounting the weatherstation
Michael taking down the weather station
Michael next to the webcam
Richard putting the webcam back up
|Picture of Richard looking up the tower||
Here is the server sitting on top of pikes peak (and is supplying this webpage)
The maintenance was successfull, the weather station wind vane is now recording
correctly. We discovered that before, it was at least 90 degrees off, and
backwards. While we were there we had a couple other minor fixes and we checked
up on everything to make sure everything was running smoothly. I think the
station should be good to go for the next year with no problems.
Also, the rrd file that records all of the weather data got damaged, so for now the old weather data is gone, I will work on getting it back.
The weatherstations winds speed and wind direction stopped working for almost an entire week. The cause was most likely ice built up on the weather station because of the cold temperatures and some images from the webcam
Webcam photo, January 31st
Later, Rob Stilson (A very awesom guy by the way!) confirmed they had large
ice accumulations on just about everything that wasn't heated on Pikes.
The weather station started functioning properly again when the temperature warmed up. I hope to head up Pikes soon to check everything out and give it a health diagnosis to insure everything is running smoothly.