Author Topic: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders  (Read 4154 times)

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Offline sam2004gp

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Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« on: September 17, 2008, 05:05:36 PM »
I was doing some testing/measuring to my radiation shield outside mounted on my fence post.  As I was removing the bottom "pie plates" for this testing,  I noticed that there was some dust and dirt that had accumulated on them.  So I thought that perhaps I should look up inside the temp sensor's "cheesy" shield, while I was there.

Sure enough a brown spider :shock: about 1/4 inch in size how made a residence in there, and started packing what appeared to be an egg sack in there. 

I wonder if that had anything to do with my weird humidity readings I had been observing in the last month or so.  I removed the small shield, and washed it out thoroughly and reassembled everything.  Now I am waiting for things to settle down before I start trying to determine if my numbers need recalibrating in VWS .

So don't forget to check the "crevices" of your sensors or rain buckets every once in awhile for one of mother natures little visitors.

I guess I will need to check the rain bucket when the wife gets home to spot me on the ladder.

Also does anyone notice that the sensor wires going to the transmitters attract mildew on them?
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 10:43:31 PM »
Thanks for the tip Sam!!
I have oodles of spiders around here so that's definitely worth a look :shock:
I have noticed the mildew issue on the cables myself. I haven't looked into the situation but IIRC the cables are terminated by RJ11 type connector. I'm not sure what the actual  placement of the conductors are but
I have some outdoor CAT5 cable (telco type) maybe that would look and hold up better 8-)
I'll have to look into that :grin:


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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 06:40:33 AM »
...I have noticed the mildew issue on the cables myself. .....
Wayne
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I was wondering if some of the folks that have had their station in service for the last couple years, would let us know what to expect from this?
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Offline tomwxman

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Re: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 09:45:28 AM »
You can expect the outer casing of your sensor wires to blacken; mine certainly are awful after just two years (we're in the clouds however). But I don't think, so long as the mildew is restricted only to the outer sheath, that it affects the electronics in any way.

OTOH it MAY be a mistake to trim (shorten) these cables, which is certainly easy to do if you have an RJ11 crimper and some connectors (just use the old connector to verify which-color-goes-to-which-pin). The change in resistance of the wire might affect calibration or something. I doubt it though. Intuitively in fact the less wire between sensor and transmitter should mean less load on the solar cell/rechargeable battery/AA cells.

PS spiders are a common problem too. To my knowledge there's no way to repel them, or at least any such attempt e.g. a moth ball or chemical or something might corrode the electricals. Probably best just to clean the sensor whenever replacing batteries. Though I did have a spider web stop the rain gauge teeter-totter from working!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 09:48:15 AM by tomwxman »

Offline mackbig

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Re: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 10:28:41 AM »
My wires have blackened too.  Not sure if its mildew.   However I have been inside the x-mitter for the rain gauge and the thgr968, and the wires inside look like new.  So the weather proof'ness of the electronics appears intact....

Having done some work on the wires, the quality inside is very low (the wires inside are about as strong as hair, so very hard to strip), so not sure if that would make putting a new connector more difficult, so if shortenning is desired, you might want to try some better quality cat5 or cat 3 with net new connectors. Then if it did not work for some reason you could fall back to you stock cable.....  After mine was cut right in the middle of the run,  I just did an inline splice on mine, then wrapped it like crazy with waterproof tape...

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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: Friendly reminder about sensors and spiders
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 12:05:35 PM »
With all being said, I will leave my wires in their current rolled up wire-tied state.  Better safe than sorry at this point. ;)
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