Author Topic: $30 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!  (Read 118372 times)

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Offline W3DRM

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #175 on: December 26, 2009, 12:17:32 AM »
With the last couple of light snowfalls, my newly heated VP2 rain gauge is tracking within 0.01" of my manual CoCoRAHS gauge.

I also added two neon lights to the box I mounted on the ISS post. One is Green and the other is Red (nice Christmas touch, I thought). The Green tells me I have power going to the ThermoCube and the Red tells me the ThermoCube is activated and providing power to the reptile heater cord. I got the neon lamps from my local Radio Shack.

Now, I'm thinking about adding a reptile heater to my DirecTV dish that loads up with snow which then cuts off my satellite signal. Has anyone else done this?

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Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #176 on: December 26, 2009, 07:54:46 AM »
A heated satelight dish. You might be on to something. Wouldn't see why it wouldn't work.



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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #177 on: December 26, 2009, 09:42:39 AM »
Needed one yesterday.   I had to climb on a ladder to clean it off.  Easy to get to from the ground but the ladder was in the snow.

Directv used to make a cover for the round dish.  It would allow signals to pass-but to me sticky snow will still cover it. I don't know if they still do.



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Offline racenet

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #178 on: December 26, 2009, 11:06:40 AM »
Needed one yesterday.   I had to climb on a ladder to clean it off.  Easy to get to from the ground but the ladder was in the snow.

Directv used to make a cover for the round dish.  It would allow signals to pass-but to me sticky snow will still cover it. I don't know if they still do.

Spray it with Pam cooking spray. Have been using that for years on sat dishes, with great success.  ;)



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Offline W3DRM

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #179 on: December 27, 2009, 12:15:30 AM »
Needed one yesterday.   I had to climb on a ladder to clean it off.  Easy to get to from the ground but the ladder was in the snow.

Directv used to make a cover for the round dish.  It would allow signals to pass-but to me sticky snow will still cover it. I don't know if they still do.

Spray it with Pam cooking spray. Have been using that for years on sat dishes, with great success.  ;)

Bob

I tried Pam, RainX and waxing but nothing seems to help when we get a heavy wet snow. I may just try to put something together and see what happens with our next snow storm. I'll probably use the same technique I used with my rain bucket and cement plastics strips around the backside of the dish and then string the reptile heater in slots cut into the plastic strips. Of course one problem will be to get the reptile cable in close contact with dish so it transfer the heat. Otherwise, it may not work too good since there won't be any insulation over the heater cable. I may have to go to the 50 or 75watt heater cable due to the larger size of the dish. Only the lower portion of the dish though really needs to be heated as the snow rarely sticks above the center portion.

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Offline Bunty

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #180 on: December 27, 2009, 02:44:25 AM »
I don't use a heater.  I don't think using heaters during a blizzard would do much good.  After the blizzard here that left roughly 5 to 10" of snow, it only melted down to .01.  So if the snow is blowing horizontally much of the time, not much is gonna end up in the cone.  One gauge in Oklahoma City only registered .08 after probably around 10" of snow.

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Offline dalecoy

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #181 on: December 27, 2009, 04:55:45 PM »
It will be interesting to see whether a relatively high power AC device, in close proximity to your LNB, downconverter, and amplifier, affects your signal quality.

Please let us know.

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #182 on: December 28, 2009, 12:51:25 AM »
Re the satellite dish heater.. You probably already know it but there is commercially available heaters for the dishes.  Might be able to copy somehow the designs on them.  On my old 18" round snow on the LNB nose causes more trouble then on the dish.  I've read were simply tying a black garbage back over the whole dish helps most of the time though I have never tried it.

Hotshot

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« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 12:53:43 AM by Mark / Ohio »
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Offline chief-david

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #183 on: December 28, 2009, 09:30:33 AM »
I am going to run roof heater cables there next year.  Maybe I will put some on the back of the dish to warm it up. 

Most of the time, there is not a problem.   The wet, heavy snow only happens a few times. Early fall and Spring.  The sun angle is usually good enough to melt it off.



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Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #184 on: December 28, 2009, 07:49:18 PM »
Well my heater is not keeping up. After 19 degrees and high winds its just not doing it ,I wish now i would have left the excess cord on the cone . It would probably help but windchills are around and below zero now ..Recived a good amount of lake effect today but it quite melting it at .14...oh well ...I'll just adjust my logs with the CoCoRahS readings.
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Offline Anthony

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #185 on: December 29, 2009, 08:36:58 AM »
Is it not melting it at all or just not fast enough to suit you? Personally, if I had a heater. As long as it melted it would be all that mattered, not how fast.



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Offline dalecoy

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #186 on: December 29, 2009, 10:38:27 AM »
If it's too hot, it will evaporate more moisture - or melt the cone.
If it's not hot enough, it won't melt snow fast enough.....

So, you clearly need something better than a $20 Rain Collector Heater (and a few dozen hours of changing how it's attached).

A few temperature sensors to measure the surface temperature of the cone, and a control circuit, should do it.  Just keep the cone surface temperature a few degrees above freezing.

Anything else is a compromise.

Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #187 on: December 29, 2009, 11:48:53 AM »
I have  the 50 w version, I believe it was just the excessive wind , I'm going to snow blow a path and take a look today maybe it's not working at all ?
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Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #188 on: December 29, 2009, 01:40:17 PM »
it was not melting at all, I went back to the excess cord wrapped on the cone and using the cycle timer. I previously mentioned. I think the below zero wind chills blowing up through the drains was cooling it overall.


Is it not melting it at all or just not fast enough to suit you? Personally, if I had a heater. As long as it melted it would be all that mattered, not how fast.


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Offline racenet

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #189 on: December 29, 2009, 01:50:18 PM »
You do realize that wind chill is only felt by living things, right? Wind chill does not exsist as far as your weather station is concerned.


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Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #190 on: December 29, 2009, 02:21:32 PM »
I guess I should have reworded it  :???: I do believe that cold temps coupled with strong winds will accelerate heat removal of "anything" that produces heat.

 
You do realize that wind chill is only felt by living things, right? Wind chill does not exsist as far as your weather station is concerned.


Bob

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Offline dalecoy

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #191 on: December 29, 2009, 03:22:38 PM »
"coupled with strong winds...."

Of course, with any wind at all, you will not be able to get a true measurement of the water content of snowfall, using any rain gauge. 

Because (1) some of the snow will blow past the gauge.  (2) some of the snow may blow out of the gauge. (3) Those things depend on the characteristics of the snowfall - how dry or wet, how big the flakes, etc.  (4) And you can't accurately estimate what percentage you lost.

There are accurate ways to measure the water content of snowfall.  They cost a lot more than the Davis equipment plus $20.

Offline upweather

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #192 on: December 29, 2009, 07:58:29 PM »
I was not refering to the bucket not collecting only not heating  period...
My cocorahs gauge once melted down today was within a few hundreds of the snow/liquid  content in accordance with the temp at which the snow had fallen.
My snow depth measurements are taken on a elevated table in a clearing in the woods.
I record 5.3 inches of fresh snow and .28 liquid equivelant at ambient temps between 13-19 degrees.
The heater was fine in these temps on previous days with less wind....





"coupled with strong winds...."

Of course, with any wind at all, you will not be able to get a true measurement of the water content of snowfall, using any rain gauge.  

Because (1) some of the snow will blow past the gauge.  (2) some of the snow may blow out of the gauge. (3) Those things depend on the characteristics of the snowfall - how dry or wet, how big the flakes, etc.  (4) And you can't accurately estimate what percentage you lost.

There are accurate ways to measure the water content of snowfall.  They cost a lot more than the Davis equipment plus $20.

VP2 6153 W/24HR FARS, HEATER,WEATHERLINK IP
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Offline SpartanWX

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #193 on: October 16, 2010, 12:34:00 PM »
It's getting to be that time of year again!

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #194 on: October 17, 2010, 01:03:32 AM »
It's getting to be that time of year again!

       
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Offline Mr.Wizard

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #195 on: November 17, 2010, 03:42:04 PM »
Has anybody used one of those wireless remote outdoor outlets?  You plug it in and plug your cord into it and can turn it on and off from inside, maybe use it in line with a thermostat?  Thought that might be an option for people that dont want the thing on when its cold enough but no snow expected.  Only thing Im not sure of is how to tell if the power is on.  Just an idea :-k

Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #196 on: November 17, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »
Has anybody used one of those wireless remote outdoor outlets?  You plug it in and plug your cord into it and can turn it on and off from inside, maybe use it in line with a thermostat?  Thought that might be an option for people that dont want the thing on when its cold enough but no snow expected.  Only thing Im not sure of is how to tell if the power is on.  Just an idea :-k

Yes, I do.  I use Radio Shack's Version of the X-10 Appliance module to control mine from the house.
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Offline mackbig

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #197 on: November 18, 2010, 07:31:26 AM »
I can see the glow from my os cause its white and thin plastic.  For the vp2 I have to look through rain hole from bottom.  Of course I can tell the whole system is on because of the OS one, but need to visually check for burnt bulb on vp2.  But I am using the halogen bulb cheap solution, not the warming blanket.

You could rig up a small wattage xmas light or something at the plug source near the gauge, so you could tell your wireless command was rec'd by heater. (I would have said a 2-3 watt night light, but that would not fair too well outside in the winter)

Andrew


Only thing Im not sure of is how to tell if the power is on.  Just an idea :-k

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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #198 on: November 18, 2010, 08:36:53 AM »
I can see mine thru the thin plastic of the OS as well.  But I also added a second bulb down at the power supply because it was getting too hot in my rain gauge.  Rather than finding a "special" wire wound resistor, I just added a second bulb in series and it cut the "primary" bulb back just enough for me.  Thus I can tell if it is on inside my storage shed during the day, or the glow of the Rain Gauge at night. :-)







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Offline d_l

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Re: $20 Rain Collector Heater - simple!!
« Reply #199 on: November 18, 2010, 08:53:34 AM »
I plug my Davis heater into a spare Kill-A-Watt meter during winter months.  I power it on and off depending on snowfall rates and when powered up it shows a draw of 24-27 watts vs. 4 watts for the power brick when off.
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