The following is a brief overview of the maintenance which needs to be carried every week. For more detailed descriptions of the procedures below, see the Cimel or Vitel manuals
1) VERIFY SYSTEM INTEGRITY
Check battery connections, untangle zenith/azimuth cables, check sensor data cable, check enclosure box for leaks (remove water, repair leaks as necessary). If it is raining, verify that the wet sensor is reading '1'
If it is not raining, wet the sensor and verify that the wet sensor status changes to '1' Wet Sensor Info
2) CHECK BATTERY VOLTAGES
Check battery voltages--internal Cimel battery should be above 5 volts (read from control panel); small external Cimel battery should be above 12.5 volts; VITEL DCP Transmitter battery should be above 12.5 volts. Periodically, also check Vitel battery DURING a transmission--this is more informative to us. The voltage should drop by less than about 0.5 Volts
Check solar panel connections if battery voltages are low. Internal battery voltage should increase when solar panel is put in sunlight and decrease when solar panel is shaded (this verifies the battery is being charging)
3) CHECK INSTRUMENT CLOCKS
Check Cimel and GTM/DCP clocks; reset the Cimel clock if more than 10 seconds off. The GTM/DCP clock should be more accurate than the Cimel clock and needs to be within 5 seconds of the correct time, and it is better to be slightly slow than fast--otherwise it will transmit before its allotted 2 minute window.
4) VERIFY THAT THE ROBOT AND PARKED SENSOR HEAD ARE LEVEL
Put the instrument in MANUAL mode and park the sensor head. Using a small level, verify that the top of the robot body cylinder and the parked sensor head are level. (If the instrument is parked in the AUTO mode, it will not be level.) The level of robot can be adjusted with the silver screws on the base. To adjust the sensor head, loosen the zenith nut and rotate the head until level, then re-tighten bolt. For more details see the Cimel manual.
5) CHECK INSTRUMENT TRACKING AND CHECK FOR OBSTRUCTIONS IN COLLIMATOR
a. Check the ability of the instrument to automatically track the sun. With the instrument in MANUAL mode and the sensor head parked, select the GOSUN command and observe the alignment of the sun image through the pinhole on the top end of the collimator onto the circular mark at the base of the collimator. If the alignment is more than 2 mm off the mark, rotate the robot base until aligned. Be certain to retighten the bolts from the Cimel base to the mounting base.
b. Remove the collimator (the double tubes on the sensor head) and look through it toward the sun or a bright light to verify there are no webs . Even a SINGLE strand of web must be removed. Check the area around the 4 quadrant detector (the SMALL dark circular lens on the sensor head--NOT the large sensor head windows) for spider webs and other foreign matter. Clean collimator with provided cleaning tool and wipe away obstructions to 4 quadrant detector with soft cloth. DO NOT clean the sensor head windows unless specifically asked to do so.