Author Topic: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge  (Read 2548 times)

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Offline TheBushPilot

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CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« on: December 05, 2022, 12:07:57 PM »
Why does CoCoRaHS use the 4" gauge instead of the 8" NWS standard size? Or does size matter?

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Offline Vasco

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2022, 12:50:22 PM »
Maybe because most volunteers would prefer a neat, clear plastic 4" gauge to an 8" monstrosity in their back yards?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 12:52:02 PM by Vasco »
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Offline PaulMy

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2022, 01:52:14 PM »

Quote
Why does CoCoRaHS use the 4" gauge instead of the 8" NWS standard size? Or does size matter?
For Why, I don't know...
And for why they continue to use it after all the years, see
https://www.weather.gov/apx/cocorahs
https://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#autogauges

Enjoy,
Paul

Offline TheBushPilot

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2022, 02:20:09 PM »

Quote
Why does CoCoRaHS use the 4" gauge instead of the 8" NWS standard size? Or does size matter?
For Why, I don't know...
And for why they continue to use it after all the years, see
https://www.weather.gov/apx/cocorahs
https://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=faqgeneral#autogauges

Enjoy,
Paul

Thanks for the super informative links Paul.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2022, 10:58:25 AM »
There is testing ongoing involving CoCoRaHs, et.al., and a new design gauge... it'll still be a 4", but handle more volume,  laser calibrated consistency, and couple of intriguing features / innovations.  It looks like a significant 'replacement/upgrade'. The last eval period should begin in a couple of weeks, and if all good, perhaps available  in spring... Guys, if properly built and designed, and consistent, what the heck difference is there between a 4" and and 8" except the 8 is more expensive and holds more water???????, whatever, IMO,...  ...problem I've noted is inconsistencies in production of the last 2 or 3 of the 'Stratus' builds I've received...both quality and calibration...  Apparently I'm not the only one... heh. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 11:01:55 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 


Offline WheatonRon

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2022, 01:43:59 PM »
There is testing ongoing involving CoCoRaHs, et.al., and a new design gauge... it'll still be a 4", but handle more volume,  laser calibrated consistency, and couple of intriguing features / innovations.  It looks like a significant 'replacement/upgrade'. The last eval period should begin in a couple of weeks, and if all good, perhaps available  in spring... Guys, if properly built and designed, and consistent, what the heck difference is there between a 4" and and 8" except the 8 is more expensive and holds more water???????, whatever, IMO,...  ...problem I've noted is inconsistencies in production of the last 2 or 3 of the 'Stratus' builds I've received...both quality and calibration...  Apparently I'm not the only one... heh.

I hope you are right about a new CoCo gauge and I, like you, prefer the smaller 4” gauge. I also hope your source of information is more reliable than the rumored replacement, years ago, of the Davis VP-2 with a VP-3!
Davis VP2 with SHT31 (3 complete VP2 systems—2 with a daytime fan and 1 that has a 24 hour fan); CWOP--CW5020, FW3075 and FW4350; WU--KILWHEAT17, KILWHEAT36 and KILWHEAT39; WeatherCloud.net; CoCoRaHS--IL-DP-132; and Weatherlink 2.0

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2022, 04:13:13 PM »
There is testing ongoing involving CoCoRaHs, et.al., and a new design gauge... it'll still be a 4", but handle more volume,  laser calibrated consistency, and couple of intriguing features / innovations.  It looks like a significant 'replacement/upgrade'. The last eval period should begin in a couple of weeks, and if all good, perhaps available  in spring... Guys, if properly built and designed, and consistent, what the heck difference is there between a 4" and and 8" except the 8 is more expensive and holds more water???????, whatever, IMO,...  ...problem I've noted is inconsistencies in production of the last 2 or 3 of the 'Stratus' builds I've received...both quality and calibration...  Apparently I'm not the only one... heh.

I hope you are right about a new CoCo gauge and I, like you, prefer the smaller 4” gauge. I also hope your source of information is more reliable than the rumored replacement, years ago, of the Davis VP-2 with a VP-3!
Hey, I'm not trying to announce a new replacement gauge! Sorry if I gave that impression. There's ALWAYS testing and eval going on!  Many 'improvements' and 'new suppliers' etc have gone by the wayside since CoCoRaHS began... though my 'info' is good (heh), and this seems to look much better than other alternatives, I wouldn't bet my retirement checks on anything to supplant the Stratus, in all considerations., but this may have a 'shot'.

In a manner of speaking, it would seem fairly simple to 're-invent' the wheel, but, you know there is a WIDE variation in age, physical abilities, economics, etc across the 'citizen science' group, especially CoCoRaHS observers, so outside of accuracy and reliability of any device, any such  instrument's simplicity, cost, life expectancy, ease of maintenance, installation and observation are incredibly important factors... and that's one reason, I suppose, the CCR Stratus has remained the 'official' tool, since inception, though many others have been evaluated and tested  over the years.  And the folks at CSU (CCR team), and NOAA et.al. have heard about all the 'wishes' and 'wants' we participants could dream up...

It's hard to beat the user 'cost' of the Stratus, mostly because of it's manufacturing source here in the U.S., and its historical consistency, (at least up to the last couple of years), so any 'newcomer' must prove out exceptional, in order to even be considered an alternative, much less the 'replacement' or 'alternative'... I've a 4" metal tomato juice can I use for snow cores at our typical depths, which is every bit as accurate as the 4" gauge cylinder, and MUCH easier to use, and it'll melt the snow in a jiffy when plopped into warm water...actually easier than weighing etc. for me. ...and it's water, not math...and the price is right.
 


Offline CW2274

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2022, 07:45:18 PM »
problem I've noted is inconsistencies in production of the last 2 or 3 of the 'Stratus' builds I've received...both quality and calibration...  Apparently I'm not the only one... heh.
I started this thread almost three months ago. Just wondering if the OEM Productive Alternatives has done anything about it, or even if they will. I finally got some rain to compare old vs new...old 0.826", new 0.807". Yes, eyeball estimate on the thousandth, but surely close. Certainly not 1% accuracy as stated, nor should it be given the different volumes of measurement for the two tubes.

https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=44382.0

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2022, 07:54:05 PM »
Here's update on prospective alternative I mentioned above...
https://climalytic.com/tropo 
[tup]
https://us11.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=97b77e669a2d7ba1bb0e46f88&id=a2be8fd747
(Development Updates)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 07:58:32 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 


Offline WheatonRon

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2022, 08:00:59 PM »
A refinement would be nice. In the winter I put the inner CoCo gauge aside til Spring. I weigh the 4 inch gauge (the outer cylinder) with snow, ice and water then subtract the empty cylinder weight (all in grams) and then divide by 201 to get a measurement of water content, in inches, to report to the CoCo folks. To make it easier for me, I have two CoCo gauges—one for the day’s collection and the other for tomorrow’s. I bring the gauge into the house for this procedure and replace the outside unit with yesterday’s clean gauge. Interesting, the weight of the two empty outer cylinders is slightly different so it has to be weighed each time (once the snow and water are removed) for a proper calculation. Obviously the current outer cylinders weren’t consistently manufactured (calibrated) so the previously discussed enhancement, in this thread, will hopefully fix this.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 11:19:49 PM by WheatonRon »
Davis VP2 with SHT31 (3 complete VP2 systems—2 with a daytime fan and 1 that has a 24 hour fan); CWOP--CW5020, FW3075 and FW4350; WU--KILWHEAT17, KILWHEAT36 and KILWHEAT39; WeatherCloud.net; CoCoRaHS--IL-DP-132; and Weatherlink 2.0

Offline CW2274

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2022, 08:14:14 PM »
Here's update on prospective alternative I mentioned above...
https://climalytic.com/tropo 

Thanks. Only thing, they say accuracy is at 0.01". That's not accuracy, but resolution. Rain gauge accuracy is deemed by a percentage, not a specific amount. That means if I get 10" of rain, it'll report 9.99", 10.00", or 10.01". Obviously not a realistic claim. I can only assume they meant 1%, as they even say the Stratus is accurate at 0.01". No bueno.

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2022, 10:01:11 PM »
Here's update on prospective alternative I mentioned above...
https://climalytic.com/tropo 

Thanks. Only thing, they say accuracy is at 0.01". That's not accuracy, but resolution. Rain gauge accuracy is deemed by a percentage, not a specific amount. That means if I get 10" of rain, it'll report 9.99", 10.00", or 10.01". Obviously not a realistic claim. I can only assume they meant 1%, as they even say the Stratus is accurate at 0.01". No bueno.
Yep, they sure paraphrase what Stratus says in their home page product description:
Guaranteed accurate to within 1/100th of an inch,...”
https://productivemn.org/product/best-rain-gauge/
 :D
 


Offline CW2274

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2022, 10:52:57 PM »
Well, they sure do, don't they.. They'd be wrong as well.

Offline miraculon

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2022, 08:37:51 AM »
A refinement would be nice. In the winter I put the inner CoCo gauge aside til Spring. I weigh the 4 inch gauge (the outer cylinder) with snow, ice and water then subtract the empty cylinder weight (all in grams) and then divide by 201 to get a measurement of water content, in inches, to report to the CoCo folks. To make it easier for me, I have two CoCo gauges—one for the day’s collection and the other for tomorrow’s. I bring the gauge into the house for this procedure and replace the outside unit with yesterday’s clean gauge. Interesting, the weight of the two empty outer cylinders is slightly different so it has to be weighed each time (once the snow and water are removed) for a proper calculation. Obviously the current outer cylinders weren’t consistently manufactured (calibrated) so the previously discussed enhancement, in this thread, will hopefully fix this.

I do the same thing.

I have a Brother P-Touch label maker that makes nice, durable labels. I have labeled three cylinders with the gram mass, so I have it when I take the measurement. I periodically verify the mass of the cylinder. Just a suggestion to make things easier.

Greg H.


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CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2023, 12:34:49 PM »
Well, the field test is complete. CoCoRaHS has approved the new Tropo Gauge.
I had the privilege of being a field tester, and EVERYTHING Climalytic states about the gauge is accurate!
This instrument cures many of our 'complaints' about current instruments.

Much impressed.... Now, the accuracy, construction and features DO mean this is more expensive than our older 'jeeps',
but it's probably time for many of us to move up . (I have suggested a 'basic' instrument package, along side the 'Rolls Royce' complete system, and that may be in the works down the road.)

It's available for pre-order at a 10% discount, with first production delivery expected in May.
You can also see my final 'review', +'s and -'s after the field test. (or attached also)
https://store.climalytic.com/tropo-gauge/?mc_cid=0bff2199ac&mc_eid=84f74066f6

Yep, I'll be changing instruments for reporting. 

Attached image is the eval instrument sent me, this has white gauging, release will be black.
Also, the 'Tops' of all three instruments are at same ground height. Perspective causes the difference.
OH...the bird spike tips aren't included... I stuck those on mine ...
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 12:37:50 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 


Offline ocala

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2023, 02:51:56 PM »
Interesting, but pricey.
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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2023, 03:40:55 PM »
Pricey, very pricey. Fortunately, I can afford to upgrade if I choose to. However, if the CoCo folks want to increase participation in their program, requiring buying this new gauge will deter folks. Hopefully, the old gauge will still be considered acceptable.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 07:00:09 PM by WheatonRon »
Davis VP2 with SHT31 (3 complete VP2 systems—2 with a daytime fan and 1 that has a 24 hour fan); CWOP--CW5020, FW3075 and FW4350; WU--KILWHEAT17, KILWHEAT36 and KILWHEAT39; WeatherCloud.net; CoCoRaHS--IL-DP-132; and Weatherlink 2.0

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2023, 05:59:48 PM »
Pricey, very pricey. Fortunately, I can afford to upgrade. However, if the CoCo folks want to increase participation in their program, requiring buying this new gauge will deter folks. Hopefully, the old gauge will still be considered acceptable.
Yes, and I (and I suspect others involved) suggested cost would affect implementation,  ... when I opened the box, I KNEW there was no way this would be in the Stratus price range...and using it proved that  ... however this is a CoCoRaHS approved 'alternate', not a mandatory!!!!  (Dang shame 'cause it beat the Stratus hands down in all areas). And I did not implement the handle, except to test it, didn't use the pole mount assy included, have my own brush and level... so it's way more than I need in this package. Once they get ROI and enough orders, maybe they'll go to an optional 'basic gauge' package, but the cylinders, cap and mount bracket still couldn't cost the same as a Stratus.. they're different critters.
I'll say this... (I've been around awhile)... after implementing this, and growing accustomed to it, having done indicated measurement comparisons using a Lab Gauge weight/density/volume ref, no way can I trust 'the old standby'. What I saw completely destroyed any confidence in the Stratus sitting 30" away at same height, regardless of which inner cylinder I had in the Stratus (ONE out of the 6 Stratus inner cylinders I have accumulated over the years compared within 2%, but STILL had an overflow cut above 1 inch!

 Heck, it's almost worth the cost for the superior mount bracket! It 'froze' a couple of times, and a slight tap freed it. 2 additional times the Stratus also 'froze' (Tropo didn't), with the usual frustration of releasing the Stratus.  Bracket alone? Tropo:4 - Stratus:0
Man, I need to not post again on this... you folks will think I own the company or something.. .

 


Offline CW2274

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2023, 06:08:39 PM »
Whether this would ever come to fruition, no idea, but some WFO's use to give away Stratus gauges for free. However, being double the price...

Offline WheatonRon

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2023, 06:17:27 PM »
My situation is a bit different probably than most. I put my stratus gauge on my patio and secure it with big bricks. Enhanced mounting brackets wouldn’t help me. It really is the only area in my yard that isn’t affected by trees. In the wintertime, I have two stratus gauges—one to collect precipitation and the other to replace the one that just filled with snow and rain. I weigh my precipitation in the winter—much easier and accurate than melting snow with warm water.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 06:22:57 PM by WheatonRon »
Davis VP2 with SHT31 (3 complete VP2 systems—2 with a daytime fan and 1 that has a 24 hour fan); CWOP--CW5020, FW3075 and FW4350; WU--KILWHEAT17, KILWHEAT36 and KILWHEAT39; WeatherCloud.net; CoCoRaHS--IL-DP-132; and Weatherlink 2.0

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2023, 09:45:41 AM »


Why does CoCoRaHS use the 4" gauge instead of the 8" NWS standard size? Or does size matter?

Cheers

Proof-of-Performance, Cost,  Availability.


There are ONLY 3 approved CCR gauges currently:
https://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=approved_rain_gauges

For costs, a bit of research:

(Budget)
Stratus:
Weather Your Way (Official Supplier for CoCoRaHS)
Normal Price $48 + Shipping $9.25 + tax: : ± $59
Lucy currently has on sale for $35 + $ 9.25 shipping + tax . ± $46
Stratus:
 Product Alternatives (Mfg)
$41 + $10 Shipping + tax: ± $53

(Premium)
Tropo:
Climalytic  (Mfg)
$100 + tax (Ship Free): ± $106
Pre-order: $90 + tax: ± $96 
(Percentage donated to CoCoRaHs)

(Scientific)
NWS 8" Standard Rain Gauge:
"Request a Quote"
Similar: $265 + etc... USFS Specification No. 5100-451A
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 09:49:37 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 


Offline PaulMy

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2023, 12:04:51 PM »
Thanks for sharing Cutty.
That new option hasn't made it here yet, but we do get a good price on the existing CoCoRaHS approved http://www.shopcocorahs.ca/
How would it do for snow core sampling?  We had snow/ice combination a few days that resulted in ice/snow of over 5 cm and it was very difficult to get the current outer tube to get through the crust.  Looks like the new type has some vulnerable parts on the side.

Enjoy,
Paul


 


Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: CoCoRaHS Versus NWS Gauge
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2023, 04:53:25 PM »
Thanks for sharing Cutty.
That new option hasn't made it here yet, but we do get a good price on the existing CoCoRaHS approved http://www.shopcocorahs.ca/
How would it do for snow core sampling?  We had snow/ice combination a few days that resulted in ice/snow of over 5 cm and it was very difficult to get the current outer tube to get through the crust.  Looks like the new type has some vulnerable parts on the side.

Enjoy,
Paul


 


I did not have the opportunity to try a snow core. Indications from others are 'no problem'.
Not  sure what would be 'vulnerable' parts on the side.... as I said when I summed up my testing:

"A comment on the material: Based on specifications, I believe the material used will have longer clarity life using its UV enhanced material. This state-of-the-art construction almost felt 'flimsy' at first, because of appearance and material, compared to the 'other name', but it is at least as strong-- maybe stronger. Impressive."
...And it's breeze to get out of bracket if freezes... gentle tap got 'er loose 4 times.
 


 

anything