Author Topic: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.  (Read 33971 times)

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Offline DanS

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DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« on: July 14, 2009, 06:45:09 AM »
This inexpensive project takes only a couple days to build. It uses a home doorbell transceiver set for the wireless portion and a scratch built 4026 decade counter circuit. The tipping bucket reed switch takes the place of the doorbell push button and the decade counter circuit input is from the doorbell ringer circuit. The digital readout is 3 places with a dot next to the farthest left digit giving 1's, 10ths and 100ths of an inch. Mine is in the final calibration "tweek" stage but believe the figures using an eight inch funnel are in the ball park. The tipping bucket tips (each side) 25 times with 200ml of water showing 0.25 on the readout. 400ml for .50, 800ml for 1.00, etc. 8 inch funnel gives a 50 cubic inch area and converts to about 800ml. All very rough but got me close enough to do the final bucket adjustments for fine tuning against a manual gauge.




Obviously lacking in the cosmetics department, perhaps some UL, made in Thailand, patent applied for, etc. stickers would help it some. :roll:

Update, Nov. 2009: We have had several rain storms where I have had the opportunity to check and adjust the bucket stops. Comparisons were done with a manual gage and my weather station. I now have it reading pretty accurately. It has kept up with some fairly heavy downpours when then bucket was tipping about every 6 or 7 seconds. The distance I am setup with between the bucket/gage and the digital readout is about 50 feet. This is through a brick wall also.

Added note: The wireless doorbell set could possibly be modified with the addition of RJ-11 (or RJ-45) type sockets on each and used to make an existing PWS wired rain gauge, wireless. Haven't tried this yet but in theory should work by plugging the rain gauge into the doorbell button part and plugging the doorbell ringer part into the rain jack on the thermo/hygo sensor, replacing the wired portion.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 08:03:45 PM by DanS »

Offline Downlinerz2

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 09:37:33 AM »
Dan,
   WOW!!  WOW!!  Absolutely incredible. I wish I was proficient in making things like that.  Did I mention WOW?  You make me feel like a total dunce :oops: #-o!
           Mark

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 10:02:31 AM »
Hey Mark. Lets see if it actually works first. I might be the dunce going through all this for nothing. :roll: Keeps me busy though and I like tinkering. Stuff's so cheap over here too making experimenting easier. It cost more for the gas to and from the electrical shop than the parts cost. This whole thing cost less than $25, including the wireless doorbell, digital readout stuff, etc. I'll post results when the rain returns.

Dan

Offline SlowModem

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 10:36:34 AM »
I'll post results when the rain returns.

Dan


So what measurement units do they use there?  metric?  Or some Asian units?
Greg Whitehead
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Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 10:49:26 AM »
Greg, they use all pretty much metric here so you constantly have to do the conversions. I'm always referring to charts and programs. The gas stations are the ones that give me a headache, the pumps measure in liters. Price is in Thai baht per liter. Lots of fun comparing with stateside prices per gallon.  :-k

Offline JOE

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 12:55:51 PM »
.... 8 inch funnel gives a 50 cubic inch area and ....


Shouldn't that be square inches?

You knew that, just busting you.

Looks like a neat project.  I don't have the patience to do that kind of thing.  Or the smarts...
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Offline offroadjosh

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 01:03:43 PM »
Wow! thats awesome!



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Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 03:50:40 AM »
FINALLY I'm at home long enough to catch a rain storm passing by and got everything setup in time to run a comparison. I set out a manual rain gage next to my untested wireless rain gage. Both were about 20 feet from the weather station's rain sensor. The shower came and passed and all three read close to 0.09 in. I realize that there may still be water in the tip buckets, not quite enough for one more tip, and the scale accuracy of the manual gage is not so detailed. All three are reading close to each other on this first comparison though and I do feel confident with the wireless homemade gage now. \:D/ It took only a couple of days to construct but weeks to get it checked out. :roll:  I'll experiment with it's RF transmission range during the next passing shower. Today's reading was from a distance of about 50 feet through a brick wall.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 05:55:29 AM by DanS »

Offline wxtech

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 09:18:25 AM »
Dan,
You got a winner there.  Make it sticky so we can find it easier.  What do you think is the max rain rate it'll transmit, the max switch closure?
I like this.
Al
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Offline Bushman

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2009, 10:19:31 AM »
Way cool!  And don't you just love the Chinglish on the original packaging?  "Professional Produce"?  I don't see any veggies. Not even amateur ones.  :)

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2009, 07:51:29 PM »
Thanks Al and Bushman.

Al, that's a good question about the rate. So far we've just had light rain showers and it's keeping up with no problem.  When I was tweakin' it in by pouring the manual gage water through it, it kept up with a fairly rapid flow rate. I poured the water through so the bucket was tipping around every 2 secs and the counter kept counting and the amount of water (volume) remained consistent. I didn't pour fast enough to see where it couldn't keep up. Next down pour, gully washer, may tell. We get enough of those around here.

Bushman, thanks and welcome to the orient. You know I didn't even notice that "produce" writing on there. After a while I guess you just get used to stuff like that. It is funny though. Maybe they're referring it's construction being "corny".?. :lol:

Moderators, is it possible to make this a sticky? (I'm also receiving PM's for construction info on this) Thanks.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 07:54:52 PM by DanS »

Offline quickster47

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 07:41:17 AM »
Dan,

'Quick' question, pun intended.  :roll:

What exactly would be the purpose for a 'Wireless Remote Control Doorbell'?  Just seems a little bit odd.

But other than that, it sure is a great idea and that is also the kinds of things I like to tinker with.

Carl
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Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 08:02:52 AM »
Carl,

Ah good, another tinkerer! It's only a ringer/buzzer box for inside the house with a wireless transmitter button for outside by the door. I guess if you wanted to add a doorbell to the basement door and didn't want to mess with running the wiring? A dime a dozen and more useful for projects other than a wireless door bell.

Like your signature. I'm just now beginning that "partying" stage of my life.

Dan
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 08:21:56 AM by DanS »

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 08:21:05 PM »
I use a modified wireless doorbell as an announcer that my very quite sump-pump under the house is running.  They do serve many good purposes.
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Offline bayu

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2011, 04:28:28 AM »
That look good... but may be one day I can Improve With Logger Circuit Using AVR bay Atlmel
Just need Time To Develop Them,

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2011, 04:52:30 AM »
Should be no problem. Just use the unused portion of IC1 (c and d) and tap off IC1b's output to make a logger output port. Your logger would just need to count the pulses there.
Let us know how it goes if you decide to.

Regards,
Dan

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2011, 06:58:11 PM »
Old Tele-man,
 No. I personally haven't seen that book but it appears to be interesting and one I would enjoy reading.

regards,

Dan

Offline wxtech

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2011, 05:49:58 AM »
Tim's book is well worn on my bookshelf.  I used it to build a 1-wire system then interfacing the Maxim chips to BasicStamp microcontrollers.
I highly recommend "Weather Toys" to anyone who wants to tinker with a weather equipment system.  It has good reference material on cabling and sensors also.
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Offline wxtech

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2011, 10:42:34 AM »
wxtech -- did you do any "Hurricane Hunting"?
No airborne wx jobs.  Fort Benning, Ga., and Kirtland AFB, NM.  Some interesting AF Weapons Lab and Sandia Labs research support projects at Kirtland. 
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2012, 04:06:15 AM »
I use a modified wireless doorbell as an announcer that my very quite sump-pump under the house is running.  They do serve many good purposes.

I found another good use for them today. I wired a motion activated flood light behind my father-in-law's house and connected the wireless doorbell button/transmitter end to it. The ringer is inside so he knows when the light is activated/tripped.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 07:17:29 AM by DanS »

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2012, 08:12:28 AM »
I use a modified wireless doorbell as an announcer that my very quite sump-pump under the house is running.  They do serve many good purposes.

I found another good use for them today. I wired a motion activated flood light behind my father-in-law's house and connected the wireless doorbell button/transmitter end to it. The ringer is inside so he knows when the light is activated/tripped.


Awesome  :grin:
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Offline kray1000

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2012, 09:12:21 AM »
I use a modified wireless doorbell as an announcer that my very quite sump-pump under the house is running.  They do serve many good purposes.

I found another good use for them today. I wired a motion activated flood light behind my father-in-law's house and connected the wireless doorbell button/transmitter end to it. The ringer is inside so he knows when the light is activated/tripped.

I need something like that for my mailbox.
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Offline SomeCallMeTim

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2012, 05:44:15 PM »
Dan,

What sort of plastic bottle/container did you use? That red lid-turned-base looks almost custom designed for your adaptation! I assume you had to drill those nice drain holes?
 
I'm sure the identical type isn't available in the states, but it might suggest likely places to look for something similar.

I've been tinkering with adapting a sensitive postal scale's guts for a weighing precipitation gauge inspired by the lovely Vaisala VRG101, but the temperature compensation issue makes it a mess using cheap HW. Maybe enclosing the whole electronics/strain gauge assembly in a temp controlled styrofoam oven will work better. I just need a fit of energy to tackle it...

Offline DanS

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2012, 07:05:34 PM »
Hi Tim. That's a common container over here. Mostly used for rice storage, powdered laundry soap, etc. I cut the bottom of the container out to fit in an eight inch funnel.  They're in most department, 5 and 10 type, stores around here. :-)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 08:04:49 PM by DanS »

Offline Greg_M

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Re: DIY wireless digital rain gauge.
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2014, 11:12:33 AM »
Very creative!
I like it.
The other Greg....
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anything