Windtalker service unavailable


The magic jack customer is unavailable?
Anyone else notice this?

Looks like Windy took off with MagicJack. Who'd a thunk?

Some men you just caint reach. 

We switched to a MJ phone first week of March.

By switching to a MJ over verizon landline, the phone bill drops from $63/mo. to $40/year. 

The apparent tradeoff being the landline's reliability.

Is there such a thing as a reliable voip phone?

Anyone know?

Question: Is there such a thing as a reliable voip phone?

Answer: For VoIP, some like ooma.

Is the MJ line going through the computer that's supposed to be giving the CSS website wind & temp info, but has been not working for the last day or two and so the problem might be the computer, not the landline?

Look at the graph - See the temperature line? That's from the weather station. The temperature has been below frreezing; the flat-zero wind speed means the anemometer iced up.  That happens.  There was ice on the webcam dome this morning and again in the afternoon.

The Magic Jack uses the same router as the computer and the webcam.  I rebooted the router yesterday remotely but that didn't fix the Magic Jack.  We need to get one of those net-connected power switches so we can turn EVERYTHING off and on again remotely.  I know nothing about them and would welcome info from anyone who does.



I went up there around noon and cycled the power to everything.  The 'puter had been online but very balky for some reason. Tried various sequences of powering off the MagicJack and other devices.  Everything worked but the MagicJack.  It has two indicator LED's that produced no photons whatsoever.  Kevin is negotiating a replacement MagicLemon.

The raspberry pi uses a LAN9512 ethernet controller chip. The LAN9512 is specified by the manufacturers being qualified from 0°C to 70°C. Narrow range for a chip actually; i would expect more like -20C to 120C.

Anyway Crestline got well below 0°C this week and figure this might have something to do with it. Someone interested to identify root cause could try to duplicate the issue at home with a freezer.

On the other hand, the magic jack sounds like it just might have shorted out. What is it's housing and how moisture proof is that housing? Thanks.


And if that is the issue we can fix it by utilizing some better insulated enclosure for the electronics. This keeps moisture out (pretty sure Crestline went below dew point before freezing) while also filtering out the extreme temperatures.

On the other hand, during the Summer, I doubt that cooling would be much of an issue since both magic jack and rPi devices are fairly low-power anyway.


It's all in a steel box bolted to the brick wall. The box has a nice gasket around the door so I'm pretty sure water isn't getting in.  There is a 2" hole in the bottom that all the wires go through, so air can go in and out also I suppose.  Sealing up the bottom hole and putting some insulation in would likely help with the cooler temps.

The old Simba SBC was rated for lower and higher temperatures.

The gasket on the door is reassuring, but the 2 inch hole at the bottom cancels some of the benefit. .

Anyway, I bet if we wire it all up, then silicone that hole on the bottom shut then we will have a more reliable setup.

Think we can get any insulation in there as well? I have some bulk 1/4" neoprene sheet..




Windtalker seems to be down again for about a week this time so far. I wonder if saving  a couple dollars a day is worth the down time of mr magic jack. I don't recall the more expensive phone service to be down this much.  It's not a huge deal when the online wind data is available but it seems to go down with moderate frequency and when that happens we really need the windtalker as our backup. And even when the online is up and running it is often easier to make the phone call. The more reliable phone service we used to have cost less than a penny a day per CSS member. I know the pennies add up but so does the "unavailable" windtalker.


Prez Dan was up there the other day and tried cycling power on the Magic Jack and the router to no avail.

He said the power LED was on. The last Magic Jack just seemed to have quit working. Kevin is handling the Magic Jack account. I agree that, so far, the switch from the landline hasn't been worth it even though I only call Windy on rare occasions.



If that line is only used for anouncments, then a cloud based VOIP provider (with DID number) could be considered. No need for an actual VOIP hardware at our location, or even a fast connection. The voice mailbox must be set to "announcment only", to not accumulate/discourage spam calls etc. Only the greeting message (i.e. voicemail greeting) needs to be updated with the provider. With Google voice FI, that can be accomplished for free (incoming calls are free), again, all that's needed is to update the voicemail greeting message (which can be done by text/script). Another benefit of google voice is that the existing Windtalker number -once ported to them- can be rerouted (forwarded) to any other service.

Jimmy, the Windtalker is a standalone weather info device that predates the internet.  Callers get wind and temperature information covering the last hour. Separate weather sensors from the online weather station so there's redundancy but also backup.

Kevin thinks the MagicJack's problems are related to humidity in the steel enclosure that houses our various devices at Crestline. We've got some absorbent crystals to keep with the MagicJack and plans to check the gaskets on the enclosure and to seal a cable opening in the bottom.

Might get a temp/humidity sensor for inside the enclosure and have a heater or dehumidifier kick-on when needed.


Thanks for that info, Ken.
When I asked around, I gathered it was a software on a PC with an old school voice modem, sorry about that.

This should then work, too:

A) A simple cellphone with a tmobile $10 unlimited monthly family plan, or something like RingPlus (free up to 2000 minutes) as the phone line. Add a bluetooth gateway like the XLink BTTN Cellular Bluetooth Gateway  to connect to the windtalker unit.
Not as cheap as MJ but extremely reliable.

B) If the Raspberry Pi has access to data from a weather station, the Pi can easily do what I mentioned earlier. Most elegant solution, but not as reliable because it needs internet.

Also, absorbent crystals do just that, they accumulate/bind humidity in them.
So unless there is a drying session somewhere, once those polymers reach their absorbent capacity, they won't take in any more humidity.

If ambient and generated heat are no issue, sealing would be the best solution.

But maybe a replacement MJ will magically take care of all.

the crystals i gave Kevin start out blue when the accumilate moisture they turn pink so when there is a shut down at least you know if it is moisture that is the problem