Author Topic: WS-2902a in the winter  (Read 1239 times)

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Offline madkiwi

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WS-2902a in the winter
« on: November 16, 2018, 02:09:08 PM »
We have not had any significant snowfall since I got my WS-2902a set up, but wondering what might happen. It is not unheard of in Montana to get 4-8" of snow in a few hours, and looking at the Osprey sensor array I am not confident it is up to the challenge.

My old La Crosse WS-2813 had the anemometer underneath the body of the sensor and therefor keep spinning no matter how much snow fell. The wind vane could get "trapped" by snow piling up on the body of the unit, which happened more often than you'd think.

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Looking at the arrangement of the Osprey unit, I can see that snow on the array is going to be far more problematic- stopping the anemometer as well as the wind vane from moving.

For those of you in climates where this is a concern- How do you deal with this?

Thanks!
WS-2902A WU:KMTFLRE23
WS-2813 WU:KMTMISS015

Online galfert

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 02:36:58 PM »
One of the improvements with the newest Ambient (Fine Offset clone) is that they decided to make the anemometer and wind vane and rain gauge black. This way it radiates more heat and should do better than the older generation. It could still be a problem as you stated though but the black should help prevent and melt snow and ice.

Old Fine Offset clone (not good in snow/ice - it is all white and doesn't help melt snow/ice):
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New Fine Offset clone (notice black areas to work better in snow/ice):
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Below is a typical picture used on sites that sell these Fine Offset clones. But it is an old picture. I don't think this was ever sold with the white rain gauge on top and black below (it probably hurt temperature radiation shield below too). I think this is just old stock photo that sellers never got around to using new stock photos unfortunately. If someone has this please take a picture and show us, as I don't think it really exists. The final design that shipped (previous picture) was a good move.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 02:40:18 PM by galfert »
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | Ecowitt GW1000 | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
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Online galfert

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 02:45:13 PM »
Now if you really think having the anemometer underneath the wind vane is necessary to better deal with snow/ice then you should take a look at the Ecowitt HP3500B.  It too is a Fine Offset clone with all the same features (yep UV and Solar too).

Notice the skinny connecting arm to the anemometer and wind vane. It also is tapered down.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 02:46:47 PM by galfert »
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | Ecowitt GW1000 | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline SupaWX

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2018, 10:02:59 AM »
Yeah, snow easily piles up on the Osprey, even a couple of inches will hold the anemometer and wind vane in place. If it’s in an exposed location I guess high winds would help keep the snow build up to a minimum, but every snowfall isn’t accompanied by decent winds. I have to continuously clear the snow if I’m home. The black instruments help with snow melt, but does nothing during actual storms.

Edit: I see you’re in Montana, which is colder and drier than here, I assume your snow is the light and powdery variety vs the wet and heavy variety we get here, that may make a big difference.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 10:20:34 AM by SupaWX »
Ambient Weather WS-2902A / Wunderground / Weathercloud / Ambient Weather / PWS Weather

Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 05:22:40 PM »
About a week ago, I took the black rain funnel off of my WS-2902A.  I put a couple of large, clear sandwich bags over the hole where the funnel was and secured them with rubber bands.  I use my regular 4" rain gauge to measure rain, snow, ice, slush, etc. during winter.  I'll probably put the rain gauge funnel back on around mid March.

After doing that, we had a real good snow.  It piled up on to of the osprey sensors so the wide vane and anemometer couldn't turn.  A couple of days in the sun freed them up eventually.

Offline Sir_MAK

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 06:46:31 AM »
I did not experience any issues with the Osprey last year with snow (Ohio).

We had freezing rain on Friday and it stopped reading rain and then several hours later wind direction (direction did not change).  Another hour and lost wind speed (0 MPH).  The wind speed and direction came back about 8 hours later  Rain fall reading did not come back until the next morning. 
Ambient WS-2000, Central Ohio - WU WC
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Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 11:05:24 PM »
I did not experience any issues with the Osprey last year with snow (Ohio).

We had freezing rain on Friday and it stopped reading rain and then several hours later wind direction (direction did not change).  Another hour and lost wind speed (0 MPH).  The wind speed and direction came back about 8 hours later  Rain fall reading did not come back until the next morning.
Other than reporting precipitation on the wrong days and amounts.

Offline kbellis

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 11:43:04 PM »

Offline jzinckgra

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 12:38:58 PM »
Now if you really think having the anemometer underneath the wind vane is necessary to better deal with snow/ice then you should take a look at the Ecowitt HP3500B.  It too is a Fine Offset clone with all the same features (yep UV and Solar too).

Notice the skinny connecting arm to the anemometer and wind vane. It also is tapered down.
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This looks a lot like the WS-2000. Are they made by the same company?

Offline kbellis

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 12:53:47 PM »
Yes, there is a varied line up of products manufactured by a Chinese company, Fine Offset, which they offer to secondary companies tailored to fit their specific requirements and branding. Fine Offset doesn't sell to the public.

Offline kbellis

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 12:56:00 PM »

Offline StephenR0

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 11:54:54 PM »
Well, I just had to climb up and clean the snow off the anemometer and wind vane of my WS-2902a sensor array.  We've had about five inches of powdery snow.  That seemed to be enough to keep things from turning.  It's kind of too bad it happens so easily.

Offline quailvalleywx

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2019, 11:06:51 AM »
Has anyone used the Teflon spray
https://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Teflon-Snow-Repellant-10-Ounce/dp/B0031T82NO
I haven't tried that but in the product comments someone mentioned Rainx worked better for their satellite dish.  It looks like Rainx may need less frequent application (with maybe the Teflon needing re-applying per snow?).  I'm going to look at applying Rainx for Plastic after it reaches application temperature outside.  Way too cold now.

We had a lot of wet snow over a week ago in Kansas City that took out wind measuring of seemingly all models of PWSs for a couple days.  I've got the WS-1400 and it seems more susceptible to freezing rain than most.  In fact it's still frozen from 2 nights ago.  The rain can wick between the anemometer cup assembly and the mounting shaft and then potentially freeze.  Hopefully Rainx on the shaft and measurement parts reduces the surface tension and will limit that.  Not sure how long Rainx for Plastic lasts under UV though.
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Offline Sir_MAK

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2019, 11:15:24 AM »
Just keep anything you put on away from the solar panel and the UV sensor.
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Online galfert

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2019, 02:15:58 PM »
Someone should do a test comparison of RainX vs Teflon. You could use some other plastic. Maybe take a plastic bin and flip it upside down and do half with RainX and half with Teflon and then let it ride for a few weeks. Then compare and share the results.
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | Ecowitt GW1000 | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Online galfert

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2019, 02:17:41 PM »
Just keep anything you put on away from the solar panel and the UV sensor.

Good point. Maybe mask by using blue painters tape in those areas.
WS-2000 & WS-2902A | Ecowitt GW1000 | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Windy: pws-f075acbe
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline quailvalleywx

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2019, 03:05:25 PM »
Someone should do a test comparison of RainX vs Teflon.
I couldn't find Rainx Plastic local in stores so searching around I ran across this ceramic hydrophobic coating that works on plastic https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYU17EA/. It's too much quantity for the small job of coating wind measuring parts but maybe I use the extra on other stuff.  The ceramic type is supposed to have better longevity than the wax type products. Plan is to apply it via cloth and report back after some more frozen precip events.

Maybe this helps with also with wind measuring by shedding water better during rains, freezing or not.  From observation though the 2902s are much less likely to freeze than the older WS-1400s.
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Offline kbellis

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2019, 04:42:55 PM »
You may want to read this from Ambient Weather before applying Rain-X, Hendlex, and other car care products to your Ambient Weather devices:

How do I prevent snow build up on my weather station?

Snow build up is difficult to prevent, especially “wet snow”. You can spray the top of the unit with teflon snow and ice repellent like this:

https://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Teflon-Snow-Repellant-10-Ounce/dp/B0031T82NO

but this is not 100% effective.

Snow is considered normal maintenance, and accumulated snow can be brushed off gently with a broom
.


I sprayed a fairly good coat of the DuPont Teflon spray onto my WS-2902A sensor array before installing it on its 10' high tilting mast the day after Christmas. While I considered masking off the solar panel and UV sensor, I didn't bother after testing the spray on other objects including the several snow shovels, the snow blower, and the rain gauge funnel. In all cases, it remained clear, and with a dull glossy finish. Below is what the unit looked like after receiving a coat of the snow and ice repellent.

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Since then, we've had a number of snow events. The first snow event shortly after Christmas was a wet sticky snow through the night. At about 4:00 AM, the anemometer stopped, but wasn't noticed until about 4:45 when I went out and simply tapped the mast a few times until enough snow fell off freeing the wind cups to begin spinning again. None of the other snow events since have resulted in the anemometer stopping, nor has there ever been any noticed reduction on the radio signal strength from the outdoor sensor array located about 80' from the Console Display. The last major snow event began late on the 19th and ended early AM on the 21st with very cold temps, blustery winds and a very dense type of snow, none of which stuck to the sensor array.

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Of course, there's plenty of Maine winter left to come, and I may have to lower the mast to clean off the sensor array, but so far it hasn't been needed.


Offline platokidd

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Re: WS-2902a in the winter
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2019, 07:25:02 PM »
Looks like it works well, going to give it try.
The snow does pile up and I think the extreme cold (-28f) has play heck on the sensors.