Personal Safety From Google

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by yogi »

Of course I don't know for certain how Nova/Elavon ran their network, but it sure sounds like each client had a mirror copy of itself on a server somewhere. It also could be that the client machine was actually a virtual environment and that the users were doing what we call today Cloud Computing. The technology has always been there but supporting VM's required special training. A lot of companies never went into Linux exactly for that reason.

I'm trying hard to think of what could be generating the RFI in the Silver Yogi. The only thing I know of that uses those frequencies are the old old old GSM/CDMA cell phone networks. Some of radio telephones Motorola made also uses those frequencies, but it all died when cell phones emerged. Are you sure the source of the RFI is the Silver Yogi and not something else?

People are very complacent when it comes to computers. I used to be the Go-To guy for a gal I knew in England. She always had problems with her computers but never did much with them other than Facebook and E-mail (Eudora, by the way). It seems that there was a pattern. Random problems would appear after she recycled the power to the system. It took me quite a while to discover that when she turned the power on and off the Windows session was still live. She never bothered to shut down gracefully. I told her why she change her ways, but she never did. Go figure.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

All I know about Elavon is that their main computer room looks like a server farm with the normal rows of cabinets you see, but in the front are two large mainframe computers. I'm almost certain they were IBM.

I'm certain it is the Silver Yogi because after a power outage I left all the other machines off and turned on only the Silver Yogi to see if it was the machine doing it, and not a combination of all the machines running.
If the Silver Yogi is on, but goes to sleep, the RFI stops, and no it is not the monitor, I checked that too.

All of the computers put out some RFI but in different bands. The Silver Yogi is the only one with a WiFi card in it, but I tried turning it off and I still get the interference.
What the RFI affects is the remote signal from my weather station, of which the monitor end is at least 6 feet away from where all the computers are located.
I used to keep the weather monitor on top of a paper bin on my desk and never had any problems.
After I got the Silver Yogi I moved the weather monitor to the tall shelf that used to be to my left, it always read right in the morning, because the computers were all off when I came in and checked it. Since the computers all display the outdoor temperature I didn't really look at the weather monitor on the shelf much, and couldn't really see it while sitting at my desk.
Well, I moved the tall shelf to the other end of the room and placed my weather monitor to my right side where I can see it easily. This is when I started noticing it wasn't getting it's remote input. I was replacing batteries a few times in the remote units until I realized it was interference. I tuned my scanner to the frequency of the remote and if the Silver Yogi was on and not asleep, I got a lot of static, but I could hear the remote sensor sending its data spurt every 30 seconds.
The weather monitor shows the signal strength from the remote and if the Silver Yogi is asleep it gets all 5 bars, but if the Silver Yogi is running, it gets el zippo.
The weather unit does say to keep it at least three feet away from any computers, and I had it a over 6 feet away. If I move my weather monitor over to the other side of the room, too far away to read it, it might get 1 bar of a signal with the Silver Yogi running, but a full 5 bars with the Silver Yogi asleep.
I know, crazy! I have a scissors arm with a clamp I can hook to the edge of the desk. It has a plastic clip board for holding paper while you type. I covered the plastic clip board with aluminum foil, about five layers worth, and am moving it around so it is like a block between the Silver Yogi and the weather monitor. Seems like it may be coming from the power supply area. It helped a little, but then after I added an alligator clip wire from the foil to ground, it does act as a shield. I also put a piece of aluminum foil folded up to cover the two holes where computer cards used to be. Actually, I did that first and it made no difference.
The next time I move all the computers around after cleaning, I will put the Silver Yogi on the other desk which will then have 3 other computers blocking it from my view, and see if that gets my little weather monitor back to reading right.

Debi's computer used to come up with the warning screen to run in Safe Mode every time we had a power outage.
Now we never turn off a computer like we used to back when we all turned them off every night.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by yogi »

Two things come to mind about computers in general. One is that they make extensive use of square wave signals. It's not only the processor that lives on square waves, but also some power supplies are switching. All those square waves generate harmonics up the yin yang and it is possible they are concentrated in the frequency band you suggest. Unless you have access to a spectrum analyzer I don't know how you would be able to pinpoint the source, but it seems like you are in the ball park. Regardless, I'm amazed that aluminum foil does anything. Unless you changed the cabinet, I recall it being solid aluminum sheets on all six sides. If the foil can block the RFI, why can't the box itself do the same? It's even thicker than foil. You made one comment that might be significant. Try hard grounding the metal cabinet of the Silver Yogi. If that doesn't act as a shield, I don't know why the laws of physics are being ignored over there in Knoxville. :lol:

And, by the way, if the power supply in the Silver Yogi is the original, it might be about time it needs replacement. Just grabbing at straws here.


That Windows warning about starting in the Safe Mode is standard when the system shuts down unexpectedly, such as during a power outage. My Widows 7 will on occasion not come out of the sleep mode properly. At those times I have to hit the reset button and the next boot will give me that menu from which I can choose safe booting. I always decline because I know what caused the problem.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

On the Silver Yogi, the back of the computer faces me at my desk, the power supply has a black screen which you can look through and see the components inside. And as I said, two of the card slot ports don't have a cover on them, or didn't until I stuck the tin foil folded up over those openings. So I'm guessing the RFI is coming through the screen of the power supply.
By the way, grounding the aluminum foil wrapped around the plastic clipboard worked. My weather monitor now works again in the spot where I like to keep it.

If I had my Ham gear set up, I could pinpoint the exact frequency and how wide it spreads, hi hi.
But alas, my entire ham station has been packed in boxes ever since I moved down here.
So I imagine most of it will not work anymore for one reason or another.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by yogi »

You fixed the problem, and that's good news. I have a weather station too and I even read the directions when I got it new. I'm not sure about it but I seem to recall that the band for data transfer on the unit I have is 40MHz, or somewhere thereabout. I recall that number because I never heard of that frequency being designated for toys. LOL Now that I think about it I need to get a supply of lithium batteries. It's been a while since I changed them.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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I have one very old weatherstation that was all hardwired. It uses a wall wart in lieu of batteries, and has been working every day now for 15 years or so. However, the hailstorm damaged a few of the outdoor components on the pole. So I no longer know windspeed or direction, which I never paid much attention to anyhow, because of the winds that blow around the building here are always crazy, hi hi. It still shows the temp accurately, but the rain gauge is only accurate if I clean it and keep stuff out of it, because it works by weight. However, if know it shows .65 inch of rain when it is dry, and it rains, I just deduct the .65 from it to get how much rain we got. The humidity still matches what the weather service says it is on my computer. I get two temp readings on my computer from two different sources, one right now shows 77 outside, that's the one at the airport, and the other shows 73 which is from a TV station's box in a big field near the football stadium, which is visible from our house and on the other side of the river. So that's the one I go by. It's also the one that matches both of my outdoor thermometers, the old and the new ones.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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I mounted my weather station on the furthest from the house deck post, which isn't more than 15 feet from the outside wall of the house. I did that because there is a solar cell that needs to be facing the sun and the deck is on the south side of the house. But, the house shields the anemometer from any north winds and I'm not so sure there is a clear path for east and west either. Any wind from the south, however, is accurately recorded. LOL The temp and rain gauge can be calibrated. They tell you how to do it in the manual. The rain measuring mechanism depends on a paddle wheel inside the box. A certain number of drops of water on a single paddle will cause it to advance and display the amount of rain that represents. It's 25 drops if I recall correctly and that has to be spread over a certain period of time. That is pretty accurate as far as I can tell. The temperature reading is bogus during the daytime because the heat reflections from the house and the deck mess things up. There is a fan inside the box used to draw in ambient air and keep it moving through the box. If that air didn't flow the inaccuracies would rise dramatically. As is true in your case, the humidity and barometric pressures seem to be accurate as well.

The solar cell apparently is used to run the motor. The batteries are used to transmit the data from the box to a console inside the house.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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I don't know how my rain gauge actually worked, I assumed it was by weight due to the type readings I got, which would go up over time if I didn't clean the upper feed tube which could get filled up with gunk. I do remember the tube had a couple of screens and four holes around the sides at the bottom. So maybe inside the box it had a spinner like you said.

My old unit did not have a solar panel or batteries. It had a six-wire phone type cable that ran from it to a plug on the box inside, and the box uses a wall wart. It does have a battery box which is used for keeping the memory I assume. But since it worked without batteries in the box, I never put any in it, other than maybe when it was brand new. The temp still showed the daily high and daily low, as long as I kept the clock set. It was always an hour off due to daylight saving time and short electrical outages. But after the hailstorm messed up the remote stuff, it basically just shows time, temp, and humidity now. It does show both outdoor and indoor humidity.
Now that I think about it, the reason I didn't keep batteries in it was because if the electric is out, the display is off.
So I think the batteries only kept the memory alive.

The cheap one I currently have does tell me when it is going to rain, and even gets it right on occasion, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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The display console for my weather station keeps statistics. It can run off batteries only, or batteries as a fall back mode. I keep the wall wart plugged in because then the display is bright enough to see from a distance. When the power goes out the display keeps alive but the brightness goes way down, almost to off. I have max and min readings for just about everything this station can do, plus the day on which those extremes were reached. I can also look at wind chill, or feels like, or heat index, or a couple other nonsense calculations that I laugh at every time I see them. The outside station is self contained and run off the solar cell and the lithium batteries. They specified lithium because they stay alive at lower temperatures than alkaline; down to -4F or something like that. The only improvement I could ask for is to be able to get all those statistics from the console into my computer where I can actually see them. There are models way more expensive than what I have and I suspect they have apps to do just that.

The instructions said that the weather station needs a few weeks to learn about my environment. What's to learn? I guess they have an algorithm in the box that is used to predict the weather. It's accurate more than 50% of the time, but then I don't look at that very often. That's what clever phones are for. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

Mine are all cheap jobbies. Well except the really old hard wired one, I've had that for many years.
None of mine connect to a computer at all. My newest does have a 45 day learning curve to predict the weather.
It is usually pretty close, but living in this micro-climate valley fools it some times, hi hi.

You can laugh, but I used to be an avid follower of the Old Farmers Almanac, and as long as you tracked corrections it was more accurate a year and a half-ahead of time, than the local weatherman working only an hour or so after the fact, hi hi. It took me about a year to learn how to use the OFA to make it accurate. Then I was hooked on it for well over 15 years. But then it changed enough it is more like they don't really have good sense anymore. So I quit buying it.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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Way back in the beginning of time and in the days when I was attempting organic method gardening, I also would buy the Farmers Almanac. It's accurate in the same sense as is the local weather forecast. All predictions are made for a huge area and conditions may vary inside that area. So when they predict rain they consider themselves accurate if it rains anywhere within that large predefined area. There might be thunder, lightning and 2" of rain in St Louis, but sunny and dry out here in O'Fallon. They can call it either way and consider themselves accurate. I found the Farmers Almanac uses the same assumptions but for larger areas. A colder than normal November might be predicted, but what does that tell me? Nothing! LOL I found that the almanac was about 50% accurate which is about the same you can get by using a random number generator. Like the weather lady on TV, the almanac can be dead on at times. But the other half of the time they are out in left field. There were some interesting articles in the almanac, and I must have bought it regularly for a dozen years or so, but not necessarily for the weather forecasts.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

I had three shelves filled with the OFA, and the lower shelf of them got drenched in the flood. I didn't bother to salvage them, but still have all the rest packed away. Yes, lots of great stories in them.
Yes, the predictions covered a fairly large area, but even so, if you followed the daily corrections it was usually dead on.
You had to do the daily corrections yourself using a Calendar or else the weather report would be way off by the end of the year.
I used to get a couple of other smaller almanacs with weather predictions and would compare them.
Once the OFA went from a folded and stapled booklet to the bound booklet it was no where near accurate anymore.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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My weather station seems to have lost it's accuracy. Two nights ago we experienced what I can only describe as a mini hurricane. Betwen 11PM and 3AM, four hours, seven+ inches of rain fell. I was up half the night with all the noise and watched the water come down in sheets. The winds were gusty adding to the ferocity of the storm. I've seen this kind of rain before, but rarely does it last so long. There was water in the streets, but when I got out around 7AM the streets were nearly dry. O'Fallon has one hella storm sewer system is all I can say. I went over to the weather console to see how much rain was recorded, and it said zero. Hmm. Very strange reading, indeed. I didn't find out how much water fell on us until much later in the day. But it was mostly gone and I was OK with that. Later on in the day wife noted the "feels like" reading was outrageous. It was around 120F but I knew that couldn't be right. That weather station is located in the direct sun on the deck so that I seldom pay attention to those calculated indexes, but this was too far out.

Well, this morning the temp and humidity didn't jibe with the app on my clever phone. Not even close. So, finally, I decided to go inspect the station to be sure everything was OK. It was missing. Not there on the fence post. Gone. Wife did not take it down as far as I know and burglars would have to come through the house to get it. I probably would have noticed that. LOL After some closer inspection I found it under the table on the deck. Two of the three cups of the anemometer were broken off, but otherwise there was no physical damage. I had this station mounted on a plank of hard wood and tied down to the railing with heavy duty ty-wraps. The ty-wraps broke which caused the station to go flying. This was some serious storm, apparently.

Well, that station has been out there a couple or three years and those ty-wraps probably were not as strong as the day I mounted the station. It seems as if the only thing working correctly is the temperature, and that's not perfect anymore either. The barometer and humidity are out of whack too. I have it on a chair right now facing the sun hoping that it might come back to life, sans anemometer, and be useful again. I'm guessing some of the sensors and the internal motor are damaged, but only time will tell. I found a replacement already and it has one additional feature the original doesn't have: a lightning detector. Sounds dumb because I don't need no weather station to hear the thunder and see the light. Anyway, I ordered the new one. If the old one comes back to life I'll send it to you to add to your collection. LOL
Last edited by yogi on 11 Aug 2020, 16:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

Sorry to hear it took a tumble. Those zip ties are only good for about a year, then they crumble. Especially if the sun hits them. The frau had several hanging plants she held to the deck with zip ties and they were all on the ground in less than a year due to the high intensity of 3 pm sun we have here.

I hope the new one works great for you!

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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I didn't expect the ty-wraps to last forever. We happen to have an iron penguin decoration also hanging from a railing on the deck. The weight of the penguin must be close to that of the weather station, and it gets the same direct sunlight too. It's still hanging. The penguin has less air resistance because it's surface is less, plus it is hanging between the vertical bars along the railing. Compared to the weather station in the open air on top of the railing, the penguin is sheltered. That could explain why it's still there.

When I looked for replacements I found that there are only a few being offered for general use. I found the exact same model but the one I ordered is the next step up with that lightning detector. I'm a bit curious to see exactly what that does and the price was right to find out. There was another brand with a slightly different design for around $100 more. That one worked off your WiFi and it was my first impulse to purchase. However, after reading the details that WiFi connection is used to talk back to the mother ship where it keeps records of the weather sensors. If I want to see all that, pretty charts and graphs, I would need to subscribe to their service. The first year would be free given that I pay nearly $300 for the station. It also had an app that can be installed on your clever phone, which I think would have been super cool. But, no. I'm not going to pay extra for that ability and then subscribe for the luxury on top of that.

From what I can see the new station will be delivered tomorrow, Wednesday. Given that it is essentially the same model as the old one, it should just be plug and play. Right? I should not even have to change the console. What are the chances of that actually happening? LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

You can get zip-ties that are UV protected, some are guaranteed for 5 years, some for 10 years, and I think some for 25 years in direct sunlight if you want to pay for that expensive of ones.

Seems nearly everything they sell these days they are adding subscription services too, and/or requiring you have a Schmartz-fone to even set-up to work, which often included downloading their app so they can keep tabs on you too.

I hope your new weather station head comes in complete and works right for you.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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Since I have a whole bag full of those ty-wraps, I think I'll be using the same ones again. Now that I know they deteriorate, I will be changing the mounting straps at least once a year. I have a few fancy ty-wraps that are about twice as thick as the ones I used. I might try those but I also may have to change the eyelets I put into the mounting plate to accommodate the larger strap. I'm doing all this ty-wraping because apparently real wood decks are not acceptable in O'Fallon. They would clash with the cheap plastic decks everybody else has, and I would not doubt the the HOA Gestapo Police would be on my back if I tried to do something out of the ordinary. Back home in Chicago the deck was all wood and I could have just screwed or bolted the weather station in place permanently. If I did this on the deck I have now, I'm sure the first gust of wind over 15mph would rip out the entire railing.

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

Post by Kellemora »

I have a pole that holds two large hanging baskets I mounted on one the deck posts.
Every year when we go to add new plants, I add four new zip-ties to it.
I usually leave the existing ones, but I've never got more than three up there before the oldest ones get brittle enough that a touch pops them off.

I did have some zip-ties left by the telephone installer on top of my AC unit.
I used them to bundle all the wires that run from the house to the garage, cable, LAN, Phone, and a switch wire.
Then after the hailstorm I had to wrap it all with black tape because there was damage to the jackets on some of those wires and in a lot of places. I first taped up the damaged area on each, then put an overwrap of tape over the whole bundled wires group. Has held up now a lot of years.

The electric to my storage sheds I put underground and in PVC conduit, which was overkill.
But when I installed the three light posts along the driveway I bought the Romex you could bury and put most if it down about three feet while I was replacing the supply water line from the meter to the house.

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yogi
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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There are all kinds of cable clamps and sheathing. I must have used every kind they make when I was wiring up a server center in the days of Motorola. I like the idea of enclosing electrical wires in PVC; it's a much better idea, in my opinion, than those metal conduit pipes. However, my godmother's brother made us a wind chime out of conduit cut to different lengths. Some plexiglass circles were added to bang on the pipes. It sounded great while it lasted. The pipes were hung from a base using monofilament fishing line, which lasted 4-5 years. I never restrung it, but I'm pretty sure I have the pieces in a box somewhere in the basement.

The new weather station is up and running. It looks a lot like the old one with the exception that there are now two solar panels facing south instead of the single panel on the old unit. The inside display is different too. I had thoughts of just replacing the outside station and not needed to do anything inside. Well, it turns out the old display can't show what the new one does, plus it's not accurate anymore with the new equipment. The coolest part is the lightning detector. The detector is a remote gadget about the size of an old expensive cell phone. It has a few LED's to show when it detects lightning, when it's transmitting a signal to the display, and when there is interference preventing it from detecting lightning. It has a 25 mile range. They say to mount it somewhere in the shade outside and to protect it from the weather as much as possible. I put it on the window sill in my Command and Control Center. It works by mysterious means. I have no idea why it works but it does correlate, in most cases but not all cases, with the real time lightning web site i look at. I get occasional indications of interference, which is not a surprise to me being in the computer room.

And that brings up an interesting point. The communication frequency is 433MHz and not the 45MHz I thought it was. That's the number you gave me for the interference in your computer room. First of all I find it interesting that the detector and the weather station use 433Mhz, and I would guess there is something in the computer room causing the interference. It's low level and sporadic because the lightning detector works well most of the time. Fortunately we are surrounded by storms at the moment, which allows me to set up things. I'm not sure we will get hit with lightning, but this would be one rare occasion when I look forward to it. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Personal Safety From Google

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Back home, I used to make LARGE wind-chimes from tempered brass tubing, which I had anodized in various shades.
Making them was easy, but tuning them could drive ya nuts. Ironically the key of E♭ was the tone of choice for most folks.
Some I made using tiny chain, others I used marine grade nylon seine twine. A few had a combination of both.
I probably sold over 150 of these in the 3 to 4 foot lengths 1-1/4" pipes, but also made a few using 2" pipes.
Each pipe had a stiff nylon screen in the top and bottom to keep dirt dobbers from building nests inside. These had to be installed prior to tuning them. I had to have them special made so they didn't damper the sound.
I tried my hand at horn sound producing hangings that looked about like a wind-chime but the wind would make them sound like blowing on a bottle or jug. I only had one that I thought would sell well because it sounded like a faint train horn and worked in a much lower breeze than the others. But technically none of them sold, a couple did but were returned.

I was thinking about that when you said you ordered a new outdoor portion.
I had bought two more temperature sensors for an AccuRite thermometer I had that could use up to four sensors. It came with two and a year later I bought two more sensors. Never could get them to read all four even though I had the switches on them set as shown. I placed one sensor in the main rooms of my house so I knew if the Heat/AC was balanced for each room. The two new ones would show a temp sometimes, other times it would show HH or LL on the display, which means out of range too high or too low. Which is impossible inside the house, hi hi.
Funny thing though, I played around with using different sensors on different settings and for a short time, all four were reading properly. Then came battery change time and I was back to them giving strange readings again, hi hi.

If you recall, there are four big thumb screws on the back by the power supply of the Silver Yogi.
I had a Malt Straw that fit snugly over those thumb screws. I cut the straw into 2-1/2 inch long pieces and then mounted a piece of aluminum foil folded until it was six layers thick and about 1" larger on all sides than the size of the power supply. I put a piece of modeling clay in the open end of the straws so I could hold the foil in place with push pins.
It bulges out a tad where the power cord is, but has blocked the RFI from getting to the receiving unit and has read right ever since. I was glad to get that big swingarm paper holder down and out of the way, hi hi.
So my summation is, the RFI was coming from the power supply itself.

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