Author Topic: $30 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!  (Read 112849 times)

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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #75 on: December 11, 2008, 08:28:59 AM »
It's raining cats and dogs here and I need to find a decent camera to get the photos..... #-o


jim

Yea we got some rain too, that is why I am doing all of my tests on the back deck, with out yanking the latter out and set it in the damp ground and climb up to the collector.
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #76 on: December 11, 2008, 08:35:32 AM »
Quote
Yea we got some rain too, that is why I am doing all of my tests on the back deck, with out yanking the latter out and set it in the damp ground and climb up to the collector.

From the looks of the radar, yours is just starting.  You might get some snow, too.  Bundle up Sam!
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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #77 on: December 11, 2008, 08:55:27 AM »
Quote
Yea we got some rain too, that is why I am doing all of my tests on the back deck, with out yanking the latter out and set it in the damp ground and climb up to the collector.

From the looks of the radar, yours is just starting.  You might get some snow, too.  Bundle up Sam!

...and again, the heated rain collector is still in the testing phase.  Da** my timing!  :sad: :oops: 
I estimate a week before I have a final design install.
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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #78 on: December 11, 2008, 09:17:56 AM »
Bring on the Snow! Heater is installed, working and thermostat is set just right!  \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

Seriously, I HOPE to get photos on the site soon... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Jim

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2008, 09:38:44 AM »
Be sure to post them on the http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=2686.msg19471#new    Us OS owners have stole the thunder out of the thread for these Davis Folks.
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Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #80 on: December 11, 2008, 11:24:15 AM »
All I can say is. I'm glad the temps are going to be on the warm side as all this rain goes thru. Otherwise we might be gidding for awhile.



Thanks,
Anthony
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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #81 on: December 11, 2008, 04:02:57 PM »
Be sure to post them on the http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=2686.msg19471#new    Us OS owners have stole the thunder out of the thread for these Davis Folks.

I read your testing procedure.  Good job.  My testing was not nearly as elaborate, but I am satisfied with my results.  Don't have my results with me at the moment, but I was not worried that mine would not melt ice, snow, sleet, etc, but rather that it would not cause incorrect air temp readings.  Integrated sensors. 

I ran the heater in the house on kitchen counter for about an hour.  Inside rain collector showed an increase of approximately 27 degrees.

After putting the collector back in service (mine is on roof for various reasons) and watching the temp for the sensor right under the collector and a different thermometer nearby, the temperature change matched for the nearly 4 hours of my experiment.  I felt comfortable that the heater was not effecting the air temp.

Now, if it only increases the temp inside the collector 27 degrees and it gets below 5 degrees outside, I might have a problem.  But where I'm located, it won't see any precip at that low of a temp. Or rarely will.

I just plug it in when conditions are likely for any freezing precip.  No need in having it on just because it's cold with little to no precip, hence the reason I didn't go with a thermostat controlled unit.

Ugh.  That got long.  I better take a nap.
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #82 on: March 19, 2009, 02:53:01 PM »
I hate to bring this up since it is now because spring is almost here-happy early spring.

My heater with the cable worked a little- I would not say it was a success especially in cold temps.

As always, a problem solvers brain is always turning.

My wife is throwing away a hair curler.  As I stared at it in the garbage this morning I had a few thoughts.

1. Why does she need a new curler if it still works?
2. How could I use this again?

#1 will never be answered
#2- Put it in the rain bucket as a heater.
It gives off radiant heat (thanks NiceBill) :cry:
The heating element could fit with a mount.
Maybe the voltage is too high

Thoughts? Remember- Teacher- not electrician
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Offline mackbig

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #83 on: March 19, 2009, 03:20:26 PM »
Join the light bulb club.  Only draws 20 watts (or whatever bulb you use), safe 12 volt....cheap, my install was about $2.50...... the word hot (curling) iron and plastic gauge just dont mix.....

http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=2686.45

Never trouble melting, down to -25c.   Only "official" measure I got was -16C out, and inside gauge/surface was +16.6C (62F)

Andrew



I hate to bring this up since it is now because spring is almost here-happy early spring.

My heater with the cable worked a little- I would not say it was a success especially in cold temps.

As always, a problem solvers brain is always turning.

My wife is throwing away a hair curler.  As I stared at it in the garbage this morning I had a few thoughts.

1. Why does she need a new curler if it still works?
2. How could I use this again?

#1 will never be answered
#2- Put it in the rain bucket as a heater.
It gives off radiant heat (thanks NiceBill) :cry:
The heating element could fit with a mount.
Maybe the voltage is too high

Thoughts? Remember- Teacher- not electrician

Andrew - Davis VP2+ 6163, serial weatherlink, wireless anemometer, running Weather Display.  Boltek PCI Stormtracker, Astrogenic Nexstorm, Strikestar - UNI, CWOP CW8618, GrLevel3, (Station 2 OS WMR968, VWS 13.01p09), Windows 7-64

Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2009, 03:27:26 PM »
My setup with the heating cable worked well enough to give it another season.  Need to pull it out and store it indoors for warm weather.  And get my extension cord off the roof.  Will need it for leaf blower soon enough.

Now to work on a FARS....

Saw in another thread that a 5v computer fan wouldn't work.  Drat.  Shot that idea down.

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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #85 on: March 20, 2009, 01:04:47 PM »
I took apart the curler.  the heater is a paper type and connected by an RCA type cord to the power cord.

I don't think this is the app I am looking for.

Mack- I may move to your set up.  The glow around the cone intrigues me. At least I have all summer to think about it.
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Offline mackbig

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2009, 01:32:00 PM »
The glow is good, no guessing "is this thing on?"
Andrew

Mack- I may move to your set up.  The glow around the cone intrigues me. At least I have all summer to think about it.

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Offline WeatherGoose

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #87 on: September 16, 2009, 01:39:05 PM »
Considering that we are once again approaching the SNOW season, I thought I would revive this thread with a few photos of my heater installation.

I went a little further with this method and ran the element around the "cone" of the collector too.  I get a GREAT melt rate by doing this, and no issues with temp changes on the VP2.  We have another VP2 .7 miles from my site that has the Davis VP2 heater installed.  My rain totals were right in line with that station during last year's snow storms, BUT my rain rate was much higher indicating that the Davis heater has a much slower melt rate than this much more affordable alternative!

The only problem I had with my original installation was that after leaving it up through summer, the duct tape I had used to secure the cord to the "cone" melted due to the heat of the sun.  This resulted in that entire coil coming loose and falling down on top of my tipping buckets! To eliminate this from happening again, I removed  the tape and as much of the tape glue as I could, and then reattached the element using 5 minute epoxy.  I also bought a second rain bucket from Davis, so that I don't have to leave the heated version up during the summer when it is not needed, and when the inside of the bucket can get VERY hot due to the summer sun.

I am using the Thermo-Cube to handle the on and off duties.  This way, I can flip the wall switch for the power cord ON when the threat of snow looms, and not have to worry about the heater coming on until the temp falls below 35F.





Lastly, I wanted thank mrgpk for originally posting this GREAT IDEA!  =D>  Not only is this far cheaper than the Davis element, I think it actually works BETTER!

« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 01:58:10 PM by WeatherGoose »


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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2009, 11:40:26 AM »
After all the time and thought, I cannot put my heater into the station at the new school.  They will not allow me to drill a hole into the outside of the building to bring a cord inside and there are no outlets on the roof. :evil:
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Offline kray1000

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #89 on: September 18, 2009, 11:51:50 AM »
After all the time and thought, I cannot put my heater into the station at the new school.  They will not allow me to drill a hole into the outside of the building to bring a cord inside and there are no outlets on the roof. :evil:

Are there any air conditioning ducts you can tap into?

Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #90 on: September 18, 2009, 11:55:07 AM »
no a/c

humid days are no fun
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2009, 11:29:43 PM »
Update.


1. The computer people at school may not get the computer work done before the snow flies so my station is still at home. It may stay here fo the winter.  I do not want to be on top of the school with snow on the roof and the wind blowing (again)

2. I put in my heater today by wrapping it around the cone and securing it with the new duct tape- like aluminum with adhesive.  Great stuff.
I was worried about melting the cone so I tried it in a milk carton.   It ran for 2 hours inside my house and nothing ever melted - So I figured I was safe.
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Offline WeatherGoose

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #92 on: October 14, 2009, 11:44:20 PM »
That reptile heater cord doesn't get hot enough to cause any damage to the bucket. The summer sun gets that bucket way hotter than that cord ever could. :)

As I mentioned before, the problem I had last year was leaving the heated bucket out there after winter, into summer.  The HEAT from the summer sun backed the bucket hard and MELTED the duct tape I had used to hold the cord to the cone! The glue came loose from the tape!  :-|

Removed all the tape and used 5 minute epoxy, so it should never come off again!

Just to make sure, I bought another rain bucket from Davis for 25.00 bucks, so now after winter is over, I swap the heated version for a stock bucket!  No worries now!  :D

Just swapped the heated one back on the VP2 since winter temps are just around the corner.  \:D/
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 11:46:36 PM by WeatherGoose »


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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2009, 09:40:29 AM »
we are getting a little snow now.

I will see how it works.



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Offline JOE

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2009, 10:39:47 AM »
That aluminum tape is good stuff.  I think it sticks well and the best part is that you can "form" it over a lot of different shapes so it holds even better.  The thickness, or lack of thickness, helps.

That's what I used to tape my reptile cord inside my insulation (also foil) that goes inside my collector.  I cut little strips of it to hold cord.  I put a cheap wireless remote thermometer (Walmart $12) inside the collector with the other part inside the house.  I keep heater unlpugged unless I need it.

Most time here when it's below freezng, there is no precip anyway.  Just because it's cold enough to freeze doesn't mean that there is anything to freeze.  That's why I don't like the thermostat method. Or should say don't need the thermostat.
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #95 on: October 15, 2009, 03:47:43 PM »
I have a thermocube type switch,  but it usually gets too cold to snow.

So I only plug it in when I think it will snow also.
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Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #96 on: November 03, 2009, 02:09:15 AM »
Has anyone tested the reptile cord method in temps around 0 or colder I live in upper michigan and we get frequent lake effect storms with single digit to -10 snow.. I'd like to use this method but not sure anyone has used it in extremes like im needing it for.
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Offline WeatherGoose

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #97 on: November 04, 2009, 05:52:42 PM »
Has anyone tested the reptile cord method in temps around 0 or colder I live in upper michigan and we get frequent lake effect storms with single digit to -10 snow.. I'd like to use this method but not sure anyone has used it in extremes like im needing it for.

We don't get that cold here, but I am pretty sure there are a few out there using this method in temps like that.  They do sell more powerful versions of the reptile cord than the 25 watt version used in this example.  I stuck with the 25 watt version for my installation, but as I detailed in a previous post, I ran the cord around the inner wall of the CONE in addition to the outer wall of the bucket shown in the instructions.

If you did that and possibly used 50 watt version of the cord, I am sure it would stand up to those kind of temps.  Have a look on Amazon.com starting here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=repti+heat+cable&x=0&y=0
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 05:54:49 PM by WeatherGoose »


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Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2009, 02:03:55 AM »
Does anyone know how much of the 50w cable would be usable it say 23 ft, I'm looking into this  but im worried there wont be enough room for that much cable. I did read online that the cable cant be touching any other part of the cable. I'm guessing for overheating issues but in the winter with cold temps im not sure it would be a problem. I guess i could try to wrap the cone and the bucket portion??

Has anyone tested the reptile cord method in temps around 0 or colder I live in upper michigan and we get frequent lake effect storms with single digit to -10 snow.. I'd like to use this method but not sure anyone has used it in extremes like im needing it for.

We don't get that cold here, but I am pretty sure there are a few out there using this method in temps like that.  They do sell more powerful versions of the reptile cord than the 25 watt version used in this example.  I stuck with the 25 watt version for my installation, but as I detailed in a previous post, I ran the cord around the inner wall of the CONE in addition to the outer wall of the bucket shown in the instructions.

If you did that and possibly used 50 watt version of the cord, I am sure it would stand up to those kind of temps.  Have a look on Amazon.com starting here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=repti+heat+cable&x=0&y=0
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Offline WeatherGoose

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2009, 04:06:09 AM »
Does anyone know how much of the 50w cable would be usable it say 23 ft, I'm looking into this  but im worried there wont be enough room for that much cable. I did read online that the cable cant be touching any other part of the cable. I'm guessing for overheating issues but in the winter with cold temps im not sure it would be a problem. I guess i could try to wrap the cone and the bucket portion??

Has anyone tested the reptile cord method in temps around 0 or colder I live in upper michigan and we get frequent lake effect storms with single digit to -10 snow.. I'd like to use this method but not sure anyone has used it in extremes like im needing it for.

We don't get that cold here, but I am pretty sure there are a few out there using this method in temps like that.  They do sell more powerful versions of the reptile cord than the 25 watt version used in this example.  I stuck with the 25 watt version for my installation, but as I detailed in a previous post, I ran the cord around the inner wall of the CONE in addition to the outer wall of the bucket shown in the instructions.

If you did that and possibly used 50 watt version of the cord, I am sure it would stand up to those kind of temps.  Have a look on Amazon.com starting here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=repti+heat+cable&x=0&y=0

I would try using the 20 watt version and wrap the cone like I did.  I am pretty sure that this will be enough heat to melt anything that was in the bucket.  I didn't realize that the 50 watt version had that much cord!  :shock:  I think it would be a problem getting that much of the cord to fit into the bucket, BUT...  You could always leave the leftover portion outside of the bucket and maybe wrap it around the mast pole, just to take up the extra slack  :-k

Still... I think trying the 20 watt version first makes the most sense.

Here are those interior shots of my rain bucket again showing how I coiled the cord around the cone.  Notice that the end of the cord is at the top of the cone, right next to the hole where the water comes in.  The very end is not heated and slightly larger in diameter.  I let that "tip" hang in the air.  No need to glue that portion down.



« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 04:08:02 AM by WeatherGoose »


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