Author Topic: Ceilometer or visibility hardware  (Read 13241 times)

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Offline wmiler

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Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« on: November 09, 2006, 12:53:32 PM »
Along the lines of the homebrew lightning detectors, does any one know of a homebrew ceilometer or for that matter, a visibility sensor?

Offline carterlake

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 05:49:08 PM »
Shooting a laser into the sky?  :shock:

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Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2006, 08:27:26 PM »
Well, it's a bit more complex than just 'shooting a laser', I was wondering if anybody had any how-to's. I'm not looking for professonal-grade systems, since I'm not rich :D

Offline carterlake

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2006, 08:36:41 PM »
Quote from: "wmiler"
Well, it's a bit more complex than just 'shooting a laser'


Yes, you're correct... it involves the FBI, FAA, and a federal prison.  :shock:

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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 09:30:24 PM »
This topic came up before somewhere.  I found this when I plugged "measuring sky temperature" into google.  

http://www.kollar.com/observatory/cloud2/

An infrared surface temperature thermometer will show a different reading if clouds are overhead.  I've tried it with an off the shelf Sears Craftsman.  (Be sure to turn off  the laser pointer first.:lol:)  Trick being automating the measurements and getting them into the computer.   :-k
Mark 
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Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 10:14:28 PM »
Quote from: "carterlake"
Quote from: "wmiler"
Well, it's a bit more complex than just 'shooting a laser'


Yes, you're correct... it involves the FBI, FAA, and a federal prison.  :shock:

This would be the obvious reason that Vaisala uses LiDAR which is infrared based, instead of an outright laser, which was the original intent of my question. I suppose I should've been a bit clearer regarding which technology in my question.

Besides, I don't think any of the major manufacturers even use lasers in their products any more, it all seems to be LiDAR.

Offline METARMan

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 07:24:57 AM »
Every once in a while you'll see an old GMQ-33 (military cloud height "kit') offered on EBay or through a government auction.  These are old units, but from what I understand you can probably pick one up that still works.

A lot of AWOS units are being replaced because they are old and parts are difficult to find.  You may be able to pick one up if you have an "in" with the people that own it, usually a county or city government.

Offline METARMan

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2007, 10:44:29 AM »
Murphy's Military Surplus, a store outside of San Diego, still has a couple military GMQ-33 ceilometers (measure clouds to 3,000 feet).

I got one recently and was impressed with the service.  These were bought by the U.S. government years ago for approximately $90k, but obviously you can get one for a TINY fraction of that cost.

The one I received was tested and I've found it works just great.  Mike at Murphy's Surplus gave me a 30 day money back guarantee if I couldn't get mine to work.  Instead of using the battery, I have an AC adapter hooked up to mine.

Anyway, probably as good of place as any to get a decent ceilometer:

http://murphyjunk.bizland.com/id16.html

Offline METARMan

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2007, 04:57:04 PM »
I've got a GMQ-33 laser beam ceilometer for sale.  If anyone is interested, PM me.

Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 09:38:50 PM »
Well, it's been just over a year and another state since I asked about this, but today I got my CT12K ceilometer up and running. Now I just have to figure out how to get it into my system :) Luckily it has a simple rs232 port available, just need to concoct a simple reader plus parser for the data. It works fairly well just using hyper terminal.


Offline capeweather

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 10:46:52 PM »
Where did you get it from if you don't mind me asking?

Chris
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Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 11:15:08 PM »
Where did you get it from if you don't mind me asking?
Hmm, would I have to kill you if I told you? Hmmm.  :evil:

Actually, since I do this for a living, we had a site upgrade their equipment and as part of the deal, we get to 'dispose' of the old gear. The CT12K was in perfectly good working condition when I removed it :) So I've 'disposed' of it into my backyard :)

Offline wuhu_software

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 11:59:02 PM »
Where did you get it from if you don't mind me asking?
Hmm, would I have to kill you if I told you? Hmmm.  :evil:

Actually, since I do this for a living, we had a site upgrade their equipment and as part of the deal, we get to 'dispose' of the old gear. The CT12K was in perfectly good working condition when I removed it :) So I've 'disposed' of it into my backyard :)

If you 'dispose' of another one, let us know.  ;)

Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 12:03:26 AM »
If you 'dispose' of another one, let us know.  ;)
Well, I do have another one, it's an old Qualimetrics ~28 years old, and you *really* don't want it, trust me :)
It was a pain in the behind to keep it going when it was commissioned, and it's a power hog. Also, not sure how well it works since some one else took it out, dunno if they took a sledge hammer to it or not (I would have :)

Offline wuhu_software

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 09:17:56 AM »
If you 'dispose' of another one, let us know.  ;)
Well, I do have another one, it's an old Qualimetrics ~28 years old, and you *really* don't want it, trust me :)
It was a pain in the behind to keep it going when it was commissioned, and it's a power hog. Also, not sure how well it works since some one else took it out, dunno if they took a sledge hammer to it or not (I would have :)

I tried to find info on that older CT12K mentioned above at the surplus shop. It was impossible to find if it is there as there is no search function at the site. Reading up on it, it has accuracy to 3000ft.

What can the CT12K handle?

Also, what type of home station (or Airport AWOS) are you running at home? ;)

It seems like their would be a good market for high end airport surplus, but I did not find anyone out there on the Internet.


Offline wmiler

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2008, 12:34:15 PM »
I tried to find info on that older CT12K mentioned above at the surplus shop. It was impossible to find if it is there as there is no search function at the site. Reading up on it, it has accuracy to 3000ft.

What can the CT12K handle?

Also, what type of home station (or Airport AWOS) are you running at home? ;)

It seems like their would be a good market for high end airport surplus, but I did not find anyone out there on the Internet.

Per the manual:
Range:                  0 - 12,650 feet *1
Resolution:            50 feet
12,000 feet aquire: 30 secs max *2

*1 NOTE: In air traffic systems, the maximum reported value allowed is 12,000 feet.
*2 NOTE: This is for the "instantaneous" cloud height. In air traffic systems, the minimum average required is 20 minutes.

At most, 2 cloud layers can be reported by the CT12K.

Offline METARMan

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2008, 07:41:45 PM »
Has anyone found any reasonably priced visibility sensors (either new, used and/or surplus)?

Offline NiceBill

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2008, 12:47:59 PM »

Not really into em, but would this help anyone.

http://www.cyanogen.com/products/cloud_main.htm

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Offline SLOweather

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Re: Ceilometer or visibility hardware
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2008, 01:18:49 PM »

Not really into em, but would this help anyone.

http://www.cyanogen.com/products/cloud_main.htm

Bill.>>>>>>>>>>>> :-)

I've been looking at those for a while. It's on my want list, but will probably wait until fall and the possible return of rain here.