Author Topic: $30 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!  (Read 111270 times)

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Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2008, 12:05:35 AM »
Lowes also carries those plug in 120V thermal switches for heat tape in their plumbing section.  I think the one I have cuts in and 35F and off at 45F.
Mark 
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2008, 11:07:02 PM »
Since I have a long way to go for a plug in-

I can plug this heater into a temperature sensitive plug-then into another extension cord to go into my room.


In Minnesota, we have consecutive days under 20 or sometimes under zero. 

I can still unplug it on clear days and plug it back in for weekends and nights when needed.

Yes is sounds like overkill-but I do not have access to my station 24-7
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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2008, 10:10:04 PM »
Noobie here.
Since this came back to top as winter (for most of us) is approaching, I have a question.

I understand how this was initially done, but in the thread different ones have discussed placing the cord around the inner cone.

Is it OK to have the heated cord directly in contact with the inner cone?   Would you just be able to turn the thing inside out and have the foil/insulation facing the outside of the inner cone?  Make sense?

That would require a slightly different size and shape. 

I'm thinking if the heated cord was in direct contact with the inner cone and then wrapped with foil/insulation that it might get too hot.  I don't know because I'm not familiar with the product.  But having it on the outter cone provides some air space seems better.

I was thinking just a couple of small light bulbs might provide enough heat for a lot of us not in the extreme cold areas.

Joe
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Offline NiceBill

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2008, 10:39:32 PM »

The idea is to heat the entire inner chamber. 
Heating just the inner cone may allow the melted snow-ice to come to the tipping buckets and possibly freeze in the buckets and or eventually freeze in the drains and really screw up the unit.

But, you may live in an area where a 15 watt bulb would do the trick.

Bill.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :-)
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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2008, 11:01:27 PM »
I'm about 110 miles or so south of you down US 51, Bill. :grin:

15w just might work?  I dunno.

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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2008, 10:21:07 PM »
I am going with this method.  But Bill-yours is really cool.
I ordered a heat cable for 11.90 plus 5 for shipping
I can plug it into a thermocube or thermo-outlet in a dry box on the post

http://www.rdale.k12.mn.us/classroom_connections/web_folders/david_reynolds/Files/weather/about.htm

Then into the building.

it could snow any day-It is October in Minnesota.
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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2008, 10:05:36 PM »
I got my heater put together today and installed.

I hope it works.  I did it very similar to mrgpk's original post in this thread.

I found some foil lined heating/cooling duct insulation that was 12" wide instead of using strips of insulated tape.  But most of the rest is similar.  I drew out a template in my CAD program, plotted it out full size and cut it out.

The ZooMed heating cables must have changed some, as the heated portion is fairly long now.  I only put a little over half of it inside the collector.

I had it plugged in for 3 hours and 20 minutes this evening, and didn't notice any temp rise.  It actually dropped the same as another outside thermometer did.  There was a chance of freezing rain or light snow, but that's not going to happen tonight. Have to wait to see how it works.
Joe
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Offline IslandMan54

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2008, 11:39:26 AM »
For another $12.60 you can add a Selco OA-60 Thermostat.
I come from a Meteorological Sensor Mfg and this is what we used to control the heater in our precipitation sensor.
http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?SKU=5570001&DESC=&SEARCH=&MPN=
Opens at 50F +/-5 and closes at 32F +/-10

Now you don't have to remember to turn on the switch... :-)


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Sensors: RM Young Wind Sentry, Vaisala Temp/RH Sensor, Vaisala Pressure Sensor, Texas Electronics Rainfall Sensor

Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2008, 03:36:05 PM »
I used an easy heat thermo switch

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1904121&cp=&sr=1&kw=easy+heat&origkw=easy+heat&parentPage=search&searchId=38832615654

Cheaper at lowe's, can't get it at Home depot.


I will try the terrarium heater this year.  It has only been tested once so far.

Here is the link to my set up
http://weather.sms.rdale.org/about.htm
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It's not you-It's WU.

Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2008, 02:53:16 PM »
My concern with having a thermostat on it, is that "most" of the time around here when it's cold, there is no precip of any kind.  No use having it heated then.

I'll just plug it in when conditions are favorable for freezing rain, sleet or snow.  Perhaps 5 or 6 times a winter around here.
Joe
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Offline IslandMan54

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2008, 03:36:44 PM »
Well, you could add a present weather sensor to determine if it snowing then that can enable a relay to enable the power to the thermostat to turn the heater on..... ;)

Hardware : Campbell Scientific CR1000 Data Logger with NL115 Ethernet
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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2008, 05:39:43 PM »
Semi-off topic, but for us Oregon Scientific guys that have a really small bucket. :oops:   What do you recommend, I was thinking sort of light bulb, does anybody have an install or something of that nature?
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2008, 09:33:31 PM »
I have been unplugging mine when there is no chance of major snow-like this week.
It is usually below 38F and we won't see 50F for about 4-5 months.

If I leave for the weekend, I plug it in. I figure I am paying the taxes so I can run a heater.

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Offline SpartanWX

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2008, 11:07:20 PM »
I'm glad everyone has found this to be a success!

For those that had advised using something other than scotch tape, that's a great idea.  I just whipped it together with what I had handy =)

I like all the suggestions for thermal switches!

But you're right, a way to switch it off when there is no precipitation would be ideal.  What we need to figure out is some sort of precipitation detector that could switch it on.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I've got a few ideas.  But right now I'm about 10 projects behind both time and $$$$ wise.  I still haven't purchased/whipped together my ultra low power PC so I can get this sucker up and online.  And still no time lapse webcams grrrrrrrrrr.  Gotta catch up =)

Offline SpartanWX

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2008, 11:14:43 PM »
Semi-off topic, but for us Oregon Scientific guys that have a really small bucket. :oops:   What do you recommend, I was thinking sort of light bulb, does anybody have an install or something of that nature?
For the smaller buckets (and I'm just guessing because I've not seen how small they are), maybe you could just use the snake wire without any insulation and pack it in there best as possible without mucking up the internal workings.

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2008, 02:30:53 PM »
Thanks for the info. Don't think you application would be practical for those of us who have stations like the OS WMR-968. The rain guages on these stations are much smaller (almost 4x).

But it is a very practical design for Davis station owners. And much less expensive that the Davis heated rain guage option.



Anthony and all,
  I have just completed an intial heater for my WMR-968 gauge. It uses a 10 watt halogen lamp. I am using refelctive duct tape in the cylinder to reflect the heat... I will let you all know the results and post the photos if sucessful.. Now a little sleet, freezing rain and the such...

Jim

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2008, 07:46:23 AM »
Oooohh goodie, I want to see that.
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Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2008, 08:02:37 AM »
Yes. deffinately.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



Thanks,
Anthony
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2008, 11:29:47 AM »
Sounds interesting!! 
Gotta see that one!
And believe it or not I think I have everything to construct one :)


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Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2008, 02:50:26 PM »
After doing some thinking. Seems like on the Ambient forum. Someone constructed one using 12V automotive bulbs. Even a 10 watt halogen bulb is going to but out a ton of heat. Remember, all you need to do is keep the collector a few degrees above freezing. Even if the internal temp of the collector is say 36 or 38 degrees. The snow or freezing precip is going to melt. It doesn't have to melt fast. Remember, all we are interested in is liquid equivilant. To fast and there could be evaporation. But lets not get to technical here.



Thanks,
Anthony
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Offline NiceBill

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2008, 07:40:31 PM »

Do you have a heater Anthony?

Bill.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :-)
[note: Bill passed away December 31, 2008 -- Rest in Peace Bill, you'll be missed!]

Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2008, 08:35:19 AM »
No Bill I don't. I keep resisting to do any modifications to the rain guage like modifying it to read in 0.01 instead or 0.04 and installing a heater. Reason being. I keep hoping that I can afford to get me a Davis station.



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Anthony
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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2008, 07:38:56 PM »
Might get to try mine out this weekend.
Joe
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jwyman

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2008, 08:03:16 PM »
Same, we have mixed snow and sleet coming tomorrow night. I JUSt got the heater and equipment installed this afternoon... Will see if it works tomorrow night...

Jim

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2008, 09:21:42 PM »
Sunday and Monday is looking to hold some promise here too! 
Mark 
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