Weather Station Hardware > Oregon Scientific Hardware

'Cheap' Rain Collector Heater - Ideas - Plans - Tests

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I started this thread as a continuation of the Davis Instruments thread of    Since I am more Oregon Scientific equipment specific.

.....I do not have my "test setup" in my rain collector yet, but I am doing some outside testing with.  But wouldn't you know we have a freak warm spell now.  It is 59 outside and I am waiting for it to get colder before I turn it on. 

Below is my "Test graph"  for now.  The "Special Sensor" is a temp sensor in the "test bucket/collector". Outside is my Official Outdoor Temp.

I am basically using a white plastic trash can roughly twice the size of the WMR-968 Collector, and a 12volt 20Watt Halogen Landscape Bulb, my "Heat Lamp".  I located the sensor on the upper inside of the "test bucket/collector.   Since the "test bucket/collector" is twice the size and the sensor is located on the further most wall of the "test bucket/collector", I should be able to tell if this "Heat Lamp" can create enough heat, to melt anything.  If the results look good, I will then move the sensor to the outside of the "test bucket/collector" to expose it to the elements and see how it does there. 

If results are promising again, I will then purchase on of those temp controlled switches from Lowes that keep water pipes from freezing as mentioned earlier.  I will then install it in my uninsulated storage building with a small scale landscape power supply that will have a wire ran out the eave to my sensor tray.

^^^ the images are updated every 5 mins or so, if anyone wants to check in. 

At this time the "Heat Lamp" is ON. 9:00 PM

EDIT:At this time the "Heat Lamp" is OFF. 5:50 AM.   The temp appears by my graph to have held at least a 13 degree spread overnight, so now I just wait until the temp gets lower.  When I got up this morning it rained over night and there was a pretty good size puddle of water in the concave of the "test bucket/collector".  So it looks like it was able to hold these temps even with lots of water on it.  So again the tests are looking good. \:D/.  When I finally mount it in the actual rain collector, and since the actual collector is 1/2 half the size of my test setup.  It should be able to heat well without a "meltdown" of the collector.  If my local temps don't drop soon, I may fabricate something so that I can do the test in the deep freezer.  Assuming I can get the permission of the wife. ;)

At this time the "Heat Lamp" is ON.  Outside temp 38,  Special sensor temp 48 now.

The "Heat Lamp" is still on, when I get home from work today, my test rig is being sent to the deep freezer for some more test.  I would like to see what heat I will get produced when the temp drops close to 0.  Even though I never get winter precip at that temp, it would be good to know what my "heat lamp" can do.

The testing phase is complete, now working on the fabrication. \:D/

Can't wait to see your design. But what I would really like to do is modify my guage to read in 0.01" instead of 0.04". And that infor was unfoutunately on the old forum. If any one here happens to have that info would you please post it and I can make the topic sticky. (I think).


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