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Data Plug Replacement

Lessees are responsible for the replacement of the data plugs at their site. Here's a checklist for replacing the DataPlug and batteries:
  1. Open the shelter box, unscrew the four cover screws, and remove the cover on the Wind Data Explorer data logger
  2. Press and hold any key to start the display
  3. Press the [Down] button until you get to the Present Ext. screen.  This screen shows the present value from the sensor on the extra channel. There are no extra channels installed, but the second line of this page shows the battery voltage. The batteries need to be changed when their voltage drops below 7 volts. Check battery voltage. Always remove and replace one battery then the other, so that the logger is continuously powered.  Be sure to pay attention to to polarity when replacing the battery.
  4. Press the [Down] button until you get to the screen that says Site.  Write down the four-digit Site Number for the data logger.
  5. Pull the DataPlug.  To replace the DataPlug, simply pull the plug straight out - it should not be jiggled.  Note the DataPlug number, when it was collected, and the site number on the data plug replacement sheet that is sent with the data plug.
  6. Plug in the new DataPlug, taking care to simply push the plug in without jiggling.  Note the DataPlug number, when it was started, and the site number on the sheet.  When a DataPlug is inserted, the Wind Explorer checks to be sure that the DataPlug has been erased. If so, time-series data logging begins, and the page shows the DataPlug serial number and the message "Logging".  The new data plugs are usually erased the new data plugs before they are sent out so this is what you should see.  If for some reason there is still data on the new DataPlug, the Wind Explorer detects that there is data on the DataPlug. To prevent data loss if this is done accidentally, the Wind Explorer will ask for confirmation before beginning to store new data over the old data. The page will display "Data on DataPlug, Press [Right] to erase". Then press [Right]. Time-series data logging begins, and the page shows the DataPlug serial number and the message "Logging."
  7. Cycle through the present readings for reasonable values; make a visual check of the site and the sensors.  If the wind vane is pointed straight in the direction of its boom, it should read about 0 degrees.  If it reads 0 degrees and it is pointing somewhere not near the boom direction, that may be the indication of a failed direction sensor.
  8. Also, note and write down the time.  It should be an hour off because we set it to Mountain Standard time.
  9. Replace the logger lid, tighten the four cover screws and close the shelter box.

Don't panic if the screen in the Wind Explorer goes blank.  If no keys are pressed for one minute, the display is turned off to conserve battery power. To re-start the display, press and hold any key for 4 seconds. The display will re-start at the Identification page.

In addition, the tower manufacturer suggests checking the following site maintenance items when replacing the data plugs:

  • Check guy wires for excessive slack and adjust as necessary. It is normal for guy wires to stretch over time, and it is especially important to adjust them before they are subjected to icing or high winds.  You've also got to check to see if the guy wires are too tight.  The fear here is from icing.  The extra load from ice on the guy wires puts additional stress on the wires and increases the chances of failure.
  • Check each anchor for movement or loosening. A loose anchor can also cause excessive slack in guy wires.
  • Confirm that all grounding connections on the tower and on the logger are secure and haven’t corroded.
  • Check instantaneous sensor readings on each channel of your data logger.  Contact the CSU ALP if the readings seem off or incorrect - it may be a sign of a sensor that needs replacement.

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Last updated: June 2009
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