WxWorx receiver stops working

Dan Robinson

On the way back from North Dakota this week (between Fargo and Minneapolis to be exact), my WxWorx system stopped operating. When it failed, we had my brother's laptop in place of mine, in the front running ThreatNet. When I arrived home and plugged everything back into my laptop, it gave the same error and still doesn't work. Due to the fact that we haven't changed any wiring, and the fact that both laptops gave the same error, leads me to believe that something may have happened with the receiver.

The XMLink window continuously says 'sending powerup to radio' and an error dialog pops up that reads 'cannot determine radio serial number'. Basically the error you'd normally see when the USB cable is unplugged. But, the USB cable is plugged in, and the LED on the receiver is solid green, indicating that the unit 'sees' it is plugged into the computer.

I know this isn't a WxWorx forum, but since we have so many users here I thought I'd try this first before plunging into the depths of telephone tech support.

I had a similar problem and discovered I was shorting out the fuse in the cig-lighter plug. I just skimmed through your post and may have overlooked any mention of this, but check the fuse... it was a simple less-than-a-buck fix. My theory was I was shorting it out when I would have it plugged in while I turned the car on.
Just an update. I tried power-cycling (unplugging) the receiver, and it fixed whatever problem there was. Everything works now.
Just an update. I tried power-cycling (unplugging) the receiver, and it fixed whatever problem there was. Everything works now.

I had the same issue a few times this year. It would suddenly lose its connection and I would have to unplug and replug the power into the cig lighter. I feel I was overusing the 3 outlet lighter plug and when it pulled too much power it shut down. This also happened a few times when I would shut off and restart the car. next year I am going to hard wire the WxWorx and have it connected to a toggle switch so when I need wxworx all I have to do is hit the switch. I feel going direct to the battery would solve the cig lighter issue.

Seems like every time it happened was right as we got close to a storm or were making a critical desicion on which storm or which route... figures :rolleyes:
I had the same problem several times this year - never had the problem before. I usually have the receiver and many other devices running off a 750 watt power inverter hardwired to the battery via heavy gauge jumper wire. This year's chase plans were abruptly altered however, when my Explorer's transfer case failed ON DAY ONE - very glad it didn't happen around day ten while in North Dakota. I borrowed my dad's sedan and ran a 300 watt power inverter through the cigarette lighter. We blew numerous fuses and struggled with the receiver issue before scaling down and altering our power setup. The receiver seems to draw power in bursts at times.

Murphy really gave us a hard time at times this season. I have yet to post to the "Season of broken stuff" thread, but I definitely have an entry :( . Glad to hear you discovered the problem. I would definitely recommend using a 400+ watt inverter tied to the battery to anyone running Threatnet + other devices (laptops, chargers, scanners, etc.) I didn't even have to drill through the firewall, the cable passes through the driver's side door and under the hood straight to the battery.

Best of luck in the future.
I too had problems with my Wx Worx this season. I had the wx worx receiver running off the cigarette lighter plug-in along with my inveter (175 watts). The problem I had wasnt really a problem with enough power, but everytime I shut the car off to get gas and during other longer stops, the wx worx would lose the signal and I would have to reboot the program to get the signal and radar up and working again. After a couple of chases I realized the problem and it wasnt really bad as the season went on. All I would do is reboot the program which only took about 5-10 minutes no problem. The only thing I had running off the inverter that was plugged into the cig. lighter was one laptop and cell phone charger. However, I went on a chase a few weeks ago and nothing would work. The inverter wouldnt work in the cig. lighter and neither would anything else. Inverter was ok (checked it in another car), inverter fuse was ok, and the fuse to the actual cig. lighter was ok. I even replaced the cig. lighter fuse just incase it was weak or something weird like that. I tested my cig. lighter plug with a voltage meter and was getting nothing........dead. Not sure what the problem is, but for the rest of the season I am using a deep-cycle marine battery(in my floorboard) that I keep charged at all times just incase I go chasing again sometime this season. I also bought a good battery charger and it has worked great on 2 chases. It seems that the battery will last about 12 hours before it gets down to about 30% capacity which is as low as they recommend. Only thing I run off the battery is a 750 watt inverter hardwired, laptop, and wx worx. I may use this setup again as a backup plan or just to charge batteries and what not, but the optimal thing I will do is hardwire my 750 watt inverter to my car battery. I also plan on carrying an extra inverter and car battery just in case I run into problems.
Oh, I also have two trickle charging solar panels I picked up from Pep Boys wired to the car battery. With four chasers in my vehicle, I run quite a bit of stuff off the 750 watt inverter (three camcorders, two laptops, Threatnet, scanner & cell phone chargers, etc.) I don't know how much the panels actually help to keep the battery at peak charge level, but I figure they can't hurt. I haven't had a battery problem yet, and they only cost about $30 each. They attach to windows or lie flat on the dashboard and come with both clamps and cig. lighter plugs. The extra battery's not a bad idea, though.