Weather Station Hardware > Other Weather Station Hardware

Springtime, tipping bucket raingauge tune up


Now that up nort' here where the precip may be more likely to be liquid than white and fluffy, it is time for tuning up the old tipping bucket rain gauges.

I can't find the notes I've made and things may have changed in the couple of years since I read some comments about this subject.

Other than a careful cleaning, swabbing out the air borne dust that comes with rain and the bugs and pollen and other detritus, and wiping down the collector funnel, what more can one do?

I have toyed with the idea of using some car paste wax to polish the inside walls and funnel of the collector.  I know that stuff gets in the rain and likes to stick, so anything gummy or sticky would only accentuate the problem.  Well, maybe if it stuck to something on the inside of the funnel it wouldn't get through to the tipper?

How about a very light coat of wax, then polish it down so there is only slipperiness?

And how about the tipper itself?  I have some dry spray silicone which is pretty slippery stuff and not gummy when dry.  Would a light puff of that after careful cleaning and drying of the tipper be of any value to help make sure that it dumps completely with each tip?

Of course the bearings need a little care, and I have used a drop of something called Liquid Bearings which I got to oil clocks with. I think that someone said 3-In-1 oil worked pretty well too.

Since I have a few of these to go through, I'd like to do it right.  Any suggestions or comments?

I haven't used anything on the funnel or housing, but on my Novalynx I lubricate the pivot with sewing machine oil or 3-in-1. I don't lubricate the Davis, counting on some lubricity of the plastic parts.

When I first got the Novalynx (used), it would screech like mad at every tip. Someone tried "calibrating" it in that condition. Once I applied the oil, it stopped the noise but needed a re-calibration since the tipping bucket would move more freely. I used the Novalynx calibration set. (spent all day doing the cal)

Currently, the Davis tipping spoon gauge agrees quite well with the Novalynx.

Greg H.

Thanks for sharing  your experience.  I figure a drop of light oil is OK on metal parts, and some plastic tends to wear over time and get a rough surface, so if it moves, I put a tiny drop on it.

In a dusty place (hopefully not inside my tippers) oil can combine with stuff to make something sticky, so I am cautious there.

Good to hear that the Davis is doing OK.  There were a lot of stories about non-agreement with other measuring systems which should be close, but it is hard to know which one was accurate.

Maybe this means I have too much time on my hands to go around making like a locomotive engineer with my squirt can, or I should take some of the oil and put it on my hip to see if that makes it move more freely?

Good to hear from you.  Glad to see you sending lightning strikes.  I hope we get a few more Microsferics on line for the summer.  The net needs a couple dozen more stations.

Garth Bock:

--- Quote ---or I should take some of the oil and put it on my hip to see if that makes it move more freely?
--- End quote ---
Tinman just don't get caught in the rain unless Dorothy is around with the oil can.. 😀

Just be careful with lubrication. Some parts are designed to run "dry" as in no lube. Clean with a very light solvent but no lube. It can actually bind with dirt/dust and cause wear and friction. Also some of the lighter lubes are not good for outdoor use because they can evaporate and may leave a residue.You should check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend.

Yep, what Garth said. I never lube any weather part, be it the anny vane, cups, or tipper fulcrum. They didn't come lubed, nor should they be, at least my gear. Clean only. If you must lube, go the dry lube route.


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