Author Topic: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests  (Read 60361 times)

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Offline Bushman

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2008, 01:17:51 PM »
Here's what I am gettting at.... http://www.padheaters.com/fh50.html


Offline sam2004gp

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2008, 04:12:14 PM »
Bushman, again I am confused about what the temps it operates at.  Plus if you inverse this on the inside it may work well, but without being sure of heat output who knows.  It would also require a power supply twice the current load I have now.  But for others who are looking for ideas this seems to be a good one too.

EDIT: I found this in there FAQ, for what it's worth.
Quote
Q: How long does it take a Pad Heater to do it's Heating job?
A: Pad Heaters will generally raise cold oil temperatures by 38C (100F) in 1.5 - 2 hours.
Full Heating is usually accomplished in 5-6 hours.

That would be too hot if you ask me.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 04:16:31 PM by sam2004gp »
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Offline Bushman

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2008, 04:50:55 PM »
OK - all the flexible heaters deliver a certain number of watts/sq. in.  It does not get much simpler than that.  The pad heater I linked/showed would raise the temp by 100 degrees IF you let it run continuously.  WHich a thermostat would not.  :)  The flexible heat things look to me to be a much better idea than a wire wound resistor from a 1950's Philco TV.  :)

Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2008, 08:47:32 PM »
Day 2 temp check.  Outside temperature -1.5c (29.3f), temperature just inside funnel opening using probe thermo 22.7C (73F)
That seems pretty good.  Not too hot I would think.  Was worried it got up to 130F in my basement with a room temp of 70ish.

Andrew

ps: pix will have to wait, just spent an hour on data issues, wife will be expecting some "work" around the house now...

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Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2008, 09:31:46 PM »
Ideas credit to Jim and Sam...

Well here it is.

Ceramic mount coutesy of a non functioning piece from some track lighting my previous owner left me. its actually for an mr16, but the mr11 fit perfectly.  The screw holes also line up perfectly with an existing unused mount inside gauge, and another piece of plastic lined up with other side.


Heat shield, diet coke box cut into small rectangle, covered with metallic duct tape, hole in middle so the tipping axle/pivot was not slowed. Took this from Jim's pic, but my bucket would not tip freely without cutting the hole.


The usual, wrapped inside with metalic duct tape to reflect the heat in and up.


Temp check, I reduced the resolution on the pix, they were taken with a 10 megapixel camera, the meat thermo is at 130 F.  room temp 70F


Here is one of my personal mod's.  I put some more tape on the roof of the funnel directly above the lamp.  It was extremely hot to the touch.   I did not want to risk meltage, kind of like when you have a candle to close to the bottom of a cabinet.  plently of warmth still got through afterward.


placed the wires through a hole drilled in bottom.  soldered wires, then capped.


voila



And here it is in place.  Just tied into existing low volt system.  Not a great pic, did not have my tripod (shaky time exposure) and a bit overexposed.


Future enhancements will be its own 12volt line, so I dont need to keep my landscape lightly on during the day, and a thermostat.

Fun hour or so, here and there through the day yesterday.  Last nights dusting of 3" was just the start.  We are supposed to get back to back winter storms on Friday and Sunday.  So we'll see how the temps hold up with 60k winds, but it will only be -3 to -6....

Andrew

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jwyman

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2008, 08:00:25 AM »
Guys,
  We need to start a company for mods to OSI eqipment! We'd get rich!  \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

Seriously, this is such  great place to get ideas and trade them too!

Well done guys!

Jim

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2008, 08:53:01 AM »
Looks great Mackbig.  =D> =D> :grin: :grin:
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Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2008, 12:31:27 PM »
thanks Sam.

Here's the next question for all.  Now that my site has "melted snow equivalent"

What should I call my "Rain" section...?

Rainfall Totals
Hourly Rain    0.00 mm
Daily Rain:    0.00 mm
Yesterday's Rain:    11.00 mm
Day's since last Rain:    1
Monthly Rain:    47.00 mm
Yearly Rain:    851.00 mm

Yesteray's rain was actually 22cm's of snow...
Should rain be changed to precipitation?  Footnote that snow is melted as it falls, and reported in equivalent water in millimeters?

Thoughts???

Andrew

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Offline racenet

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2008, 12:40:19 PM »
Yep, Precipitation
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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2008, 07:35:47 PM »
Yep, Precipitation

Hmm, that reminds me I should have changed my labeling over too.   #-o
Mark 
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #60 on: December 21, 2008, 01:43:58 AM »
While on the OS rain collector subject...has anyone experienced a failure with one where when exposed to outside air temps it causes a no transmit condition?

That is what I have narrowed mine down to as the root failure. Evidently it is related to the MPU section of the sensor board that is potted.
I have re touched all the component joints twice or more and still have the same results. When in fail mode I can switch to another bucket ( which has same problem) and the transmitter will again operate...for awhile. I have swapped different transmitters and gotten the same results so I am confident the problem is related to the sensor board in the bucket.  I can keep the bucket inside where the temps are 70 ish and it never fails to transmit!  But we are in a weird warm spell where the ambient temp is in the 50's so it obviously doesn't take much of a drop to fail this thing!

I have been reading my manual collector and operating the tipping bucket as required to keep my rain data somewhat near correct.  Beats manual corrections to VWS :)

I was curious as to whether anyone else had experienced or heard of such a failure of the RGR968.

I have a replacement coming from Ambient but ups says it will be the 29th before it arrives...even with it being ordered earlier this week!

So much for the 3-5 business day thing huh?

I am seriously considering some sort of heater to keep the unit at what it determines is operational temperature but I haven't yet had the opportunity to measure it during this time..


Wayne
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2008, 06:06:55 AM »
I think "Business Days" are counted a little differently during the week of Christmas.
Greg Whitehead
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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #62 on: December 21, 2008, 08:10:51 AM »
Yep, Precipitation

Hmm, that reminds me I should have changed my labeling over too.   #-o

I will have to do the same as well, when I get a chance.  It's Sunday and I have to spend the whole day at the inlaws.  :roll: ](*,)
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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #63 on: December 21, 2008, 08:18:16 AM »
While on the OS rain collector subject...has anyone experienced a failure with one where when exposed to outside air temps it causes a no transmit condition?

That is what I have narrowed mine down to as the root failure. Evidently it is related to the MPU section of the sensor board that is potted.
I have re touched all the component joints twice or more and still have the same results. When in fail mode I can switch to another bucket ( which has same problem) and the transmitter will again operate...for awhile. I have swapped different transmitters and gotten the same results so I am confident the problem is related to the sensor board in the bucket.  I can keep the bucket inside where the temps are 70 ish and it never fails to transmit!  But we are in a weird warm spell where the ambient temp is in the 50's so it obviously doesn't take much of a drop to fail this thing!

I have been reading my manual collector and operating the tipping bucket as required to keep my rain data somewhat near correct.  Beats manual corrections to VWS :)

I was curious as to whether anyone else had experienced or heard of such a failure of the RGR968.

I have a replacement coming from Ambient but ups says it will be the 29th before it arrives...even with it being ordered earlier this week!

So much for the 3-5 business day thing huh?

I am seriously considering some sort of heater to keep the unit at what it determines is operational temperature but I haven't yet had the opportunity to measure it during this time..


Wayne
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I have never had a failure on the rain gauge, but my system has only been up for 11 months. I have already replaced the primary outside temp/humidity sensor once.  Since your shipping time is not very good, I say take this time and use your broken unit to fabricate your heated rain gauge parts and stuff.  And perhaps do not use your "new" transmitter and it's "new" battery until one of those go bad.  That way if you have a transmitter issue in the future you are covered.  My only problem was to get my "bad" temp sensor fixed, I had to send them both parts back.  So I have no spare parts.
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Offline racenet

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #64 on: December 21, 2008, 10:23:24 AM »
I think "Business Days" are counted a little differently during the week of Christmas.

http://www.compass.ups.com/article/article.aspx?id=2289

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Offline W Thomas

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #65 on: December 21, 2008, 01:14:34 PM »
I have never had a failure on the rain gauge, but my system has only been up for 11 months. I have already replaced the primary outside temp/humidity sensor once.  Since your shipping time is not very good, I say take this time and use your broken unit to fabricate your heated rain gauge parts and stuff.  And perhaps do not use your "new" transmitter and it's "new" battery until one of those go bad.  That way if you have a transmitter issue in the future you are covered.  My only problem was to get my "bad" temp sensor fixed, I had to send them both parts back.  So I have no spare parts.


That is exactly what I have decided to do.. Having a spare transmitter could turn out to be a real blessing. Also have the heater section ready to go less controller.. I haven't decided whether to go with a fixed duration setup or one that works totally on temperature.

I am in hopes the package will arrive earlier than the last of the month but with the approaching holiday I doubt it will.



Wayne
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2008, 01:18:01 PM »
I think "Business Days" are counted a little differently during the week of Christmas.

Yeah.. I think that's the case !  I would like to receive it earlier so as to get back to some aspect of normal sooner..but I am very fortunate that
it is not the anemometer or outside thermo/hygro sensor... I'd be somewhat stuck then for sure!  at least I can manually manipulate the bucket for an almost real time reading :)




Wayne
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Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2008, 01:54:00 PM »
I think I am going to stick with manual. Thermostat does not really make sense for me.  I know it will be below freezing pretty much till March.   It can be minus 20 for a week with no snow, so after this round of storms, I will dial it back, and turn on based on the forecast.  Regardless its on from 4pm to 11pm as that is when my landscape lights are on.  I can adds some "timer ons" midday just to catch some none forecasted precip.

Andrew

I haven't decided whether to go with a fixed duration setup or one that works totally on temperature.
Wayne
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2008, 04:02:59 PM »
I think I am going to stick with manual. Thermostat does not really make sense for me.  I know it will be below freezing pretty much till March.   It can be minus 20 for a week with no snow, so after this round of storms, I will dial it back, and turn on based on the forecast.  Regardless its on from 4pm to 11pm as that is when my landscape lights are on.  I can adds some "timer ons" midday just to catch some none forecasted precip.

Andrew

I haven't decided whether to go with a fixed duration setup or one that works totally on temperature.
Wayne
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Strange part of my failure is that it seems to make the sensor board operate outside it will require heat almost all time in the winter/fall seasons due to whatever is at fault...problem is I haven't yet determined how much heat is needed.

I have about decided to wire the heater(providing it's a halogen bulb) into my landscape lighting around the deck which hasn't been used in ages...if I can locate where I put the timer/transformer. Strangely no one I have talked with has ever experienced a failure of a RGR968 sensor like this!!  Go figure..If its odd It'll happen to me here  :)

BTW did you clear up your interference issue on channel 1 ?



Wayne
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Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2008, 04:42:04 PM »
It fixed itself, luckily.

Andrew


BTW did you clear up your interference issue on channel 1 ?


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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #70 on: December 21, 2008, 08:47:06 PM »
My heater is plugged in inside a tool shed.  I used a thermostatic power cube for awhile on it but found it was staying just warn enough inside the shed that it could be snowing and still not kick on especially if temps had been warmer during the day.  So I bought a wireless plug in switch like used to turn off Christmas lights without going outside.  That works fine from inside the house but left me wondering with no indicator if it had actually turned on or off.  So digging through the workshop boxes of junk stuff I might still use,  ;) I found an old 9 volt charger for a long tossed battery grass shear and an automobile side marker lamp that I had on my moped many years ago as a kid.  I mounted the lamp on the outside of the shed and plugged the old charger powering it into the switch with the heater.  When the heater is on I can see the red light glowing from the house.  Makes for a quick way to check for those times I have a brain fart and cannot remember if I turned it on.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 08:51:38 PM by Mark / Ohio »
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jwyman

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2008, 09:07:26 PM »
That 's what i did with my FARS. I have an LED mounted near the top and aimed at the house so I know I have 12v supply going to the fan and heater unit...

Offline mackbig

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2009, 07:26:25 AM »
I missed getting a temp reading in the gauge when it was -25c out the other day. However it was a balmy -16 last night.  I used my probe thermometre.  the temperature in the opening registered +16.6C (62F)

Andrew

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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2009, 09:16:44 AM »
I missed getting a temp reading in the gauge when it was -25c out the other day. However it was a balmy -16 last night.  I used my probe thermometre.  the temperature in the opening registered +16.6C (62F)

Andrew

Sounds good.  I am still waiting for some frozen Precip of some kind, to give mine the two thumbs up approval.  It's been an unusual winter here for us this year.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: 'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests
« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2009, 09:35:09 AM »
Sounds good.  I am still waiting for some frozen Precip of some kind, to give mine the two thumbs up approval.

Well, if you don't have any laying around, here's some for you to use:
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 09:37:50 AM by Slowmodem »
Greg Whitehead
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