Author Topic: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?  (Read 434 times)

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Offline gfmucci

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VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« on: June 17, 2018, 11:27:20 PM »
I have my VantageVue on an 8' pole mounted above the peak of my garage roof.  I live in a forest and have a tree canopy that covers my entire lot.  Every month the rain gauge gets clogged with tree scum/debris/residue/crap.  Yes, I could climb up there every 20 to 30 days and clean it out 8 months of the year, but I'd rather not.

I'd like to run a possible solution by you and get your reaction.

I'm considering fabricating a fine aluminum wire screen (window screen material) into a cone shaped object maybe 4 or 5" high, with the diameter of the largest end a little smaller than the diameter of the large top opening of the VantageVue rain gauge.  The idea would be like a "gutter helmet" where the pointed tip of the screen cone would be up, and the large side setting into the gauge.  The tree crud would settle or drop off along the lower perimeter of the opening while the rain would still be able to enter the screen over a the entire surface area of the screen (except where crud gets stuck along the bottom perimeter outside of the screen material.)  I'd have to monitor it to see to what extent the crud drops off versus collects on the screen.  The reason the screen cone would be mounted just INSIDE the top opening of the gauge cup is to be sure water is directed into the cup and not run down along the screen and miss the cup.  I'm thinking that while some crud may collectd along the perimeter edge, all the water would still be collected and measured.

Has anyone done anything like this to help minimize the need to clean and unclog the the rain gauge in difficult to reach locations?

Offline Aardvark

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 11:42:39 PM »
I have a  VP2   and have in the cone a sink strainer screen.  what you are thinking is a good idea.
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Offline pfletch101

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 11:05:11 AM »
I'm considering fabricating a fine aluminum wire screen (window screen material) into a cone shaped object maybe 4 or 5" high, with the diameter of the largest end a little smaller than the diameter of the large top opening of the VantageVue rain gauge.  The idea would be like a "gutter helmet" where the pointed tip of the screen cone would be up, and the large side setting into the gauge.  The tree crud would settle or drop off along the lower perimeter of the opening while the rain would still be able to enter the screen over a the entire surface area of the screen (except where crud gets stuck along the bottom perimeter outside of the screen material.)  I'd have to monitor it to see to what extent the crud drops off versus collects on the screen.  The reason the screen cone would be mounted just INSIDE the top opening of the gauge cup is to be sure water is directed into the cup and not run down along the screen and miss the cup.  I'm thinking that while some crud may collectd along the perimeter edge, all the water would still be collected and measured.

The following thoughts are purely theoretical and from first principles: assuming the rain is falling straight down, it would seem that this should work reasonably well, although some heavy rain may and a substantial proportion of any hail or snow predictably will 'bounce off' the cone and/or overflow at the edge and not be collected in the 'cup'. I am not sure, however, how reliable the measurements will be if there is substantial wind - it seems to me that a significant amount of rain which would have blown past the unadorned 'cup' may be 'caught' by the projecting cone and add to the measured total. I would love to see the results of a side-by-side comparison of this setup with the regular one.
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Offline mcrossley

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 12:43:41 PM »
The following thoughts are purely theoretical and from first principles: assuming the rain is falling straight down, it would seem that this should work reasonably well, although some heavy rain may and a substantial proportion of any hail or snow predictably will 'bounce off' the cone and/or overflow at the edge and not be collected in the 'cup'. I am not sure, however, how reliable the measurements will be if there is substantial wind - it seems to me that a significant amount of rain which would have blown past the unadorned 'cup' may be 'caught' by the projecting cone and add to the measured total. I would love to see the results of a side-by-side comparison of this setup with the regular one.
+1  :-k
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Offline hankster

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 05:20:11 PM »
I think it would actually cause under reporting in almost all cases. The rain will get caught in the screen filling, the holes and not drop into the bucket. Heavy rain will also fill the holes but will also wash down any dirt or sap that may have collected on the screen. Heavier rain could also run down the outside so fast that it would splash out over the edge of the bucket. Used to have rain helmets and heavy rain was a big problem with it not going in the gutter.

Offline gfmucci

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 08:50:49 PM »
So far the responses are maybe under reporting and maybe over reporting - depending on wind.  Yes, I too, would like to have a side by side comparison.  The next best thing is to fabricate my device and compare my rain figures over time with some other local stations nearby and report my findings.

Offline Paul03

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 07:49:08 AM »
I broke the handle off a wire-mesh colander and the rim fits perfectly.  I also live in a forest and would rather have slight inaccuracies than a clogged gauge. JMO
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Offline CSB

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 09:02:21 AM »
Here is the screen that Aardvark is talking about. It has worked for a number of us.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/DANCO-2-3-4-in-Mesh-Tub-Strainer-in-Stainless-Steel-88821/100391403

Offline gfmucci

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 09:12:15 AM »
Here is the screen that Aardvark is talking about. It has worked for a number of us.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/DANCO-2-3-4-in-Mesh-Tub-Strainer-in-Stainless-Steel-88821/100391403

Fantastic!  Do you invert it?  Is this for the VantageVue?  If not, is the top of its rain funnel the same as VantageVue's?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 09:19:58 AM by gfmucci »

Offline CSB

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Re: VantageVue Rain Gauge clogging - possible solution?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 12:30:38 PM »
I myself and a few others have used it on the VP2 collectors. I use mine with the screen hump? down. Just drop it right in the collector.

 

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