HydroLynx 5096 – Download Data

Downloading ALERT data is often performed once per year. The process described below creates three files: (1) a diagnostic file prior to the data download (SA); (2) the data file (DAT); and (3) another diagnostic file after the data is downloaded (SA2). For this, you will need a laptop with RS-232 cable for communicating with the Hydrolynx 5096 unit.

Radio transmission strength is also tested at this time. For this, you will need a wattmeter and radio scanner. Also,  battery voltage and solar function should be tested.

Test Radio

equipment_hydrolynx5096_wattmeterMake sure either an antenna or dummy load is always attached to the transmitter to prevent damage to transmitter.

1. Use wattmeter set at the following:
• FWD and 15 watts – should read > 5 watts
• REV and 5 watts – should read < 1 watt. If reverse power is greater than a few watts (1-2), check the following:
  → Antenna at correct length for frequency (ALERT2 – 171.925 MHz) – adjusted antenna = 33.75″; omni with radials = 28″)
  → Antenna damage (bent, dented, excessive corrosion, etc.)
  → Damaged cable or fittings
2. Use scanner to confirm transmission
3. Use Novastar5 and vcwatershed.net to confirm arrival at base station

Download Data


  1. Unscrew two black nuts from top plate
  2. Grasp handle, lift slightly, then rotate 90 degrees to ensure that wiring does not catch on threads before lifting fully out of the can
  3. Connect unit to laptop via RS-232 serial cable and with 9-pin connector
  4. On field laptop, open PuTTY
  5. Under Session, confirm that the serial line is set to COM1 and the speed is set to 9600 baud
  6. Further under Session, select Logging and then select the Session Logging: All session output radio buttonequipment_hydrolynx5096_download1
  7. Browse to the appropriate location (data folder on the hydrographer’s laptop), enter name in  SiteMonthDayYear format, followed by the letters “SA1” (e.g., 199111515SA1), then press Save
  8. Press Open to activate a terminal session
  9. Enter command showall
  10. Confirm and record the following:
    • Real Time
    • RAW Reading
    • Reset Count
    • (Memory) Percent Used
  11. Close window
  12. Reopen PuTTY and repeat steps 5 and 7; however, the file name shall be followed by the letters “DAT” (e.g., 199111515DAT)
  13. Again press Open to activate a terminal session
  14. Enter command get-mem
  15. Press Close when finished downloading data
  16. Reopen PuTTY and repeat steps 5 and 7; however, the file name shall be followed by the letters “SA2” (e.g., 199111515SA2)
  17. Again press Open to activate a terminal session
  18. Enter command showall
  19. If necessary, change time on 5096 to match computer’s time in 24-hour format with hours and minutes separated by a comma (e.g., time= 13,15 for 1:15 PM) and press Enter
  20. Enter command align to synchronize all internal sensor timers
  21. After confirming that all files (SA, DAT and SA2) have been downloaded, enter command clear-mem
  22. Enter command showall to verify memory has been reset (Percent Used should read 0.00%)
  23. Press Close
  24. Tip rainfall bucket 3 or 4 times to confirm transmission via radio scanner (which should be set to same frequency as transmit signal from site)