Cheap wireless rain guage

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14 years 2 months ago #22254 by Organix
Seems like a bargain, but you'll have to be quick [;)]
www.1-day.co.nz/products/AA2EDN0PB

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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14 years 2 months ago #320763 by arnie.m
Replied by arnie.m on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
Certainly is :D [8D]

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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14 years 2 months ago #320765 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
I bought one exactly like that at Fieldays a couple of years back. It lasted just over a year before ants got into the battery compartment and ruined the circuit board inside. With proper waterproofing that shouldn't be able to happen, but this product is not well designed at all.

Also, the wireless range was pathetic. The indoor receiver would only work in some locations around the house, and needed to be in very close proximity to the rain gauge.

As with all these things, you get what you pay for...

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #320786 by OakhengeFarm
Thanks for that - just got one. I'll let you all know how well (or not) it works.

11 acres (4 in QEII Covenanted native bush), 15 sheep, 2 beefies, large vege gardens and a goat, and still no dog!:(

Oh, and uncountable wild birds - including fantails, swallows, yellowhammers, morepork, magpies, hawks, pukekos, and even quaill, pheasants and rainbow lorikeets [:D][:D] Not to mention possums, hares, rabbits, rats...

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14 years 2 months ago #320806 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
A rain gauge here at the moment would be hanging around bored to the back of its' circuit boards. Every day, sun! [}:)] The grass is nonexistent, just dry brown crunchy nothingness. The only thing growing is the paspalam and the Kikuyu and there's not much of that in the paddocks.

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #320847 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
I am totally confused (as usual) by rain gauges such as this one. Put it on your window sill - say what? Aren't the eaves of your house there to protect the windows from rain unless it is blowing a gale and depending on the direction of the rain/wind how does this little gizmo know what is happening outside it's zone? It senses rain?

I have a gizmo that measures power useage plus (apparantly greenhouse gas useage but haven't set that one!) plus temperature,humidity etc, however, I can take it from the North side of my house to the South side of my house and get different readings. What use is that? Do I need to know what the temp/humidity is in the shade? The one time I put it on my deck in the sun it effectively stopped working at 34degrees but I think Metservice was telling us it was 26. It came back to life in the shade at 31. So how does a rain gauge on a window sill measure rain?

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14 years 2 months ago #320856 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
OK, Principles of Weather Stations 101 [;)]

DiDi;306487 wrote: I am totally confused (as usual) by rain gauges such as this one. Put it on your window sill - say what? Aren't the eaves of your house there to protect the windows from rain unless it is blowing a gale and depending on the direction of the rain/wind how does this little gizmo know what is happening outside it's zone? It senses rain?

No, no, no, no...

You put the console (with the numbers on it) inside on your window sill and put the rain gauge itself outside on top of a nearby fence post is a good place, well clear of any trees or buildings. Otherwise you get the effect of "rain shadow" as you mentioned.

DiDi;306487 wrote: I have a gizmo that measures power useage plus (apparantly greenhouse gas useage but haven't set that one!) plus temperature,humidity etc, however, I can take it from the North side of my house to the South side of my house and get different readings. What use is that? Do I need to know what the temp/humidity is in the shade? The one time I put it on my deck in the sun it effectively stopped working at 34degrees but I think Metservice was telling us it was 26. It came back to life in the shade at 31.

What you have found is typical of what happens when you put a temp/humidity sensor near to a building. Ideally, you are supposed to put the sensor over grass, at 4 feet above the ground inside a white coloured device with louvres on all sides. The correct meteorological term for this is a "Stevenson Screen". The real purists will then put a fan inside it to draw air through the louvres and over the sensor, giving it the acronym "FARS" (Fan Aspirated Radiation Shield).

If I had a setup like that, our cows would love to rub their necks against it, unless I put it inside a fenced-off enclosure (meaning grass to mow) so I have made a compromise there and just put my Outdoor Temp./Humidity sensor on top of a fencepost (about 3 feet above the ground) inside an upturned white plastic icecream container with some holes drilled in it to let the air pass through. Inside that is another plastic container so rain cannot land directly on the sensor. I can't be bothered putting a fan in there because it would mean wires, whereas the beauty of my system is that it is totally wireless except for the indoor console which plugs into power and a USB port on my PC.

I will not make any pretence that my outdoor temperature readings are as accurate as the MetService would require, but it works for me because the temperature it reads is what we actually experience on the lawn in front of our cottage and that is what I am more interested in. It is a sheltered, north-facing location, which means that the temperatures are sometimes 3 or more degrees higher than the nearest MetService weather station, which is on a rocky range of hills 200 metres above the Pacific Ocean. In light of the substantial difference in locations, it is not surprising that our temperatures usually read higher than the nearest MetService weather station.

So ... when siting a weather station, you have to decide what is most important to you:

- If you want to get the closest approximation to the temperature in the shade, you can locate the sensor under your house, so long as it has a free flow of air underneath. I tried that for a while, but found that the maximum temperatures read were always lower than the MetService by 2 or 3 degrees.

- I have also tried up in the branches of a tree, but that skewed the humidity readings and I lost communication when it was raining because of signal loss through the wet foliage.

- To my mind, what I am trying to read is what the temperature feels like away from any sources of shade or reflected heat such as building walls or concrete, because these can really skew the readings. For example, one place I tried was affected by the afternoon sun being absorbed by a nearby wall. The maximum temperature occurred at 6pm every summer afternoon. So obviously, that wasn't a great location to choose.

- On top of a fencepost above grass takes a lot of beating in my experience. If we didn't have animals to contend with, I would probably construct a better radiation shield with a fan, but for now, the ice-cream container doesn't do too bad a job.

Weather Station design in some ways involves a bit of art rather than science. Think about what you want to achieve and experiment a bit. There are no right and wrong answers if the data is just for you. It's not like you are trying to compete with the MetService or anything :)

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #320867 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
Yes I am :D Their forecasts for my paradise are totally bollocks!

I'm with you Yakut and receiving even more rain than she supposedly gets yet my clover turns to crinkled dust under my feet. 26 degrees today? It is way hotter where we live.

Saw an ad in the local paper asking for sites to measure the weather and I laughed thinking my statistics would blow it all out of the water. Unfortunately I can't commit to daily readings or I would have offered in a heartbeat.

The climate, the sun, wind etc facinate me but the older I get the more cynical I get about the 200km radius weather we are fed as the norm. It is bollocks! Either our public weather reporters need to put in more correct localised weather stations or stop wasting public money on nonsense is my call. Not sure who was asking for the weather stations but it didn't sound like any Government paid Department.

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14 years 2 months ago #320873 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Cheap wireless rain guage

DiDi;306508 wrote: Yes I am :D Their forecasts for my paradise are totally bollocks!

I'm with you Yakut and receiving even more rain than she supposedly gets yet my clover turns to crinkled dust under my feet. 26 degrees today? It is way hotter where we live.

Agreed! Here's an example from the last two days:

MetService Purerua Daily Maximum Sunday 21 Monday 22
Our farm at Russell Daily Maximum Sunday 29 Monday 30

As you can see, a difference of 8 degrees. This is a fairly extreme example as usually the difference is not this large. Our elevation is 10 metres ASL in a sheltered inlet, whereas the MetService is 82 metres (not the 200 I said earlier) in a very exposed position on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean.

When we lived in an inner-city Auckland suburb, we used to read temperatures up to 5 degrees higher than the MetService which was on the windswept runway at Auckland Airport.

So, the temperatures you experience may differ significantly from the nearest MetService station. I do keep an eye on my Barometric Pressure readings to make sure they correlate closely as there is no reason they should differ by more than a few tenths of a mBar. But everything else -- Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity, UV and Wind Strength -- can and will differ significantly.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #321019 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
I have just checked out NZ metservice on their web site, what a contradiction! Three day forecast suggests we will get up to 6.1mm of rain on Thursday and showers over the next three days. On the seven day forecast it shows a couple of light patches, one around the Manukau area and one possibly around the Raglan or further south area. ie two little clouds. The three day forecast showed a large band on rain cloud covering most of the area from North Auckland (possibly further North) right down the through to maybe South Waikato. The band moves from South to North .

So, are they telling us we will get up to 6.1mm of rain, or no rain at all? Surely the boffins at the department would notice the contradiction between the two rain maps?
I don't know whether to get out the umbrella or slip slop slap!

It's bloody annoying, I keep seeing or hearing the promise of rain and thinking YAY!!!!! and we swelter in yet another scorcher of a day with not a cloud in sight.

We had a small shower a couple of weeks ago but within an hour or two the sun came out and sucked it all up again. I'd just like them to get it right once in a while.
Seems those people over on the East Coast of the North Island are wishing CD could get onto things a bit quicker too. Are they getting so weighed down with technology and protocol that they can't see what's actually happening?

As was mentioned on Good morning Vietnam, Q: "What's the weather like?" A: "You got a window!? Open it!!"

I have no doubt that when we do get rain and are floundering around in mud, they'll be telling us to expect a nice fine day.

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #321024 by OldMcDonalds

GrantK;306497 wrote: OK, Principles of Weather Stations 101 [;)]

So ... when siting a weather station, you have to decide what is most important to you:

- If you want to get the closest approximation to the temperature in the shade, you can locate the sensor under your house, so long as it has a free flow of air underneath. I tried that for a while, but found that the maximum temperatures read were always lower than the MetService by 2 or 3 degrees.

- I have also tried up in the branches of a tree, but that skewed the humidity readings and I lost communication when it was raining because of signal loss through the wet foliage.

- To my mind, what I am trying to read is what the temperature feels like away from any sources of shade or reflected heat such as building walls or concrete, because these can really skew the readings. For example, one place I tried was affected by the afternoon sun being absorbed by a nearby wall. The maximum temperature occurred at 6pm every summer afternoon. So obviously, that wasn't a great location to choose.

- On top of a fencepost above grass takes a lot of beating in my experience. If we didn't have animals to contend with, I would probably construct a better radiation shield with a fan, but for now, the ice-cream container doesn't do too bad a job.

Weather Station design in some ways involves a bit of art rather than science. Think about what you want to achieve and experiment a bit. There are no right and wrong answers if the data is just for you. It's not like you are trying to compete with the MetService or anything :)

I'm absolutely with you on those observations, Grant :) Metservice's Whangarei station is at the airport, approx 30 metres ASL and copping every gale that blows through, so our observed temperatures differ widely and the vagaries of our Northland coastline mean rainfall can be patchy at best. I do check the barometer and we seems to be pretty accurate there. It and the radio were all I ever used at sea, anyway. :)

Now a question: Does anyone else have problems with spiders making webs in their tipping rain gauge? This really screws-up the rainfall records; they either block up the hole the rain goes through or tie up the 'tipper' with web, so that it can't move - strong stuff that web! :( Perhaps I need to squirt some of that 'no more spiders' stuff in there....but it may eat electronics.

BTW, if the gauge completely stops working, replacing the little reed-switch in there is usually a cheap fix. I got the last one from DS's, but they are really not stocking many components any more.[:(!] Took me 5 minutes to unsolder & re-solder the new one. :) This was with my old Lacrosse, which eventually succumbed to the weather eating the PCB. I have a really cheap & nasty DS one now,until I feel justified in spending loads of money on a decent set-up. :(

2 cows, 1 steer, 1 calf, 2 milking goats, 2 Romney wethers, 2 of Inger's ewes, 4 alpacas, 5 large horses, 4 minis, 30 chooks, ducks, 2 turkeys, 2 pigs+ 1 piglet, 2 dogs, 4 cats, bees & 7 humans!

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14 years 2 months ago #321032 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Cheap wireless rain guage

OldMcDonald's;306691 wrote:
Now a question: Does anyone else have problems with spiders making webs in their tipping rain gauge? This really screws-up the rainfall records; they either block up the hole the rain goes through or tie up the 'tipper' with web, so that it can't move - strong stuff that web! :( Perhaps I need to squirt some of that 'no more spiders' stuff in there....but it may eat electronics.
/QUOTE]

I don't have that problem, but I suffer from Bumblebees swarming and committing group suicide in my rain gauge:(


3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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14 years 2 months ago #321036 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Cheap wireless rain guage

OldMcDonald's;306691 wrote: Now a question: Does anyone else have problems with spiders making webs in their tipping rain gauge? This really screws-up the rainfall records; they either block up the hole the rain goes through or tie up the 'tipper' with web, so that it can't move - strong stuff that web! :( Perhaps I need to squirt some of that 'no more spiders' stuff in there....but it may eat electronics.

Yes, this does happen to me occasionally, so if we get rain, and the gauge doesn't respond, that will be the problem. My gauge is very easy to clean out, and it's not often that the webs will block the drain hole sufficiently to stop it working.

In order to stop the spiders making webs underneath, you can use some of that "Crawling Insect Killer" which lasts for 30 days or more. Spray it on the surface which supports the rain gauge, rather than the gauge itself, if possible. Having said that, the electronics is all enclosed in plastic anyway, and insect killer won't harm plastic.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #321059 by wyseyes
Replied by wyseyes on topic Cheap wireless rain guage

OldMcDonald's;306691 wrote:
Now a question: Does anyone else have problems with spiders making webs in their tipping rain gauge? This really screws-up the rainfall records; they either block up the hole the rain goes through or tie up the 'tipper' with web, so that it can't move - strong stuff that web!

Sure do... and the only way you find out is when it is raining. Then when it's raining is when you want it working, and the worst time to want to climb up to clear it out.
I have wandered up there and chased out 10 spiders from up around the wind and rain gauges, and a couple of nests in/around the temp/pressure sensor (which has a little louvered hat on). I've found a spider in each side of the tipper, with one being obviously heavier than the other so it wouldn't tip.

Copious amounts of spray, and a couple of spiders mashed with a screwdriver and it's clear for another couple of weeks.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 2 months ago #321292 by jdnz
Replied by jdnz on topic Cheap wireless rain guage
I bought one of these on 1-day too and thought on top of the water tank could be a good place or I can think of a redundant fence post that could do just as nicely. I will need to figure out a way of attaching it to something though so that the wind doesn't pick it up and send it flying. How do you others keep your wireless rain guages in place?

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