Author Topic: Rain Collector Heater  (Read 168 times)

Blicj11

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Rain Collector Heater
« on: December 03, 2019, 10:25:21 PM »
During the recent Thanksgiving snowstorm, which dropped 2 feet (.6 meters) of the white stuff at my home, I noticed that no precipitation was being recorded by the Cat. I have a heating element installed underneath the collection cone and it has measured the water content of the snow as it melts. I checked the transformer and noted that it was warm, as it should be when turned on. I assumed that the heating element was burned out so I got online and ordered a replacement part from Ryan at Scaled Instruments. He has the element whereas Davis will only sell you the entire kit.

Today I noticed that all the snow in the collector had melted and there was still no precipitation recorded. I concluded that the tipping spoons mechanism had gone kaput. I braved the cold air and snow on the ground to get out my ladder and check out the ISS. When I removed the collection cup I found a surprise, resulting from 50 mph (80 kph) winds that shredded the cover on my UTV the day before the snowstorm. Now I have a functioning rain collector cup and heater as well as a spare heating element for some day in the future.

The photo is staring right down the barrel of the collection cup.
Blick


elagache

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Glad your problem was simply solved. (Re: Rain Collector Heater)
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 10:47:13 PM »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat station caregivers,

During the recent Thanksgiving snowstorm, which dropped 2 feet (.6 meters) of the white stuff at my home, I noticed that no precipitation was being recorded by the Cat.

. . . . .

When I removed the collection cup I found a surprise, resulting from 50 mph (80 kph) winds that shredded the cover on my UTV the day before the snowstorm. Now I have a functioning rain collector cup and heater as well as a spare heating element for some day in the future.

Thanks for sharing your story and I'm glad that you were able to solve your problem without too much fuss.  Sorry about having to brave the cold though.  Even if getting debris in your collector cone is unlikely, it still does happen and can prevent the rain gauge from working.  When I put my rain gauge at the edge of our deck, I didn't consider the advantages of quickly walking out and checking the gauge.  It has turned out to be a real convenience.

I hope you won't have to visit your weather instruments any more in the cold of winter!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Blicj11

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Re: Glad your problem was simply solved. (Re: Rain Collector Heater)
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 10:53:16 PM »
When I put my rain gauge at the edge of our deck, I didn't consider the advantages of quickly walking out and checking the gauge.  It has turned out to be a real convenience.

You nailed it. Had I known what I was getting into, I would not have mounted the ISS where it is, atop a swingset. At the time, I was thinking that getting it off the ground would prevent dead leaves, give me a more accurate wind reading, and keep it from being buried in the snow. I ended up separating the anemometer to a different location anyway. One of these days I need to move the rest of the ISS a little closer to the ground.
Blick


xairbusdriver

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 12:21:31 AM »
I don't have a heater as we do not allow snow (usually), so I have no experience with the heater thing. So, as I understand it, the leaves simply kept the water (from the melting snow) from getting to the drop counter (seesaw) while the heater evaporated any/all liquid? [banghead] [rolleyes2]

Randall75

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 09:47:18 PM »
Hi Blicj
 I had the same problem so I went to a hardware store and bought a 3 inch round metal drain plate with small holes in it which is flat that you can use in your kitchen sink and put it in collector so that it can still drain past it if a leaf or 2 gets in it may not be the right thing but it works


cheers

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 10:13:12 PM »
I've been amazed at how much tiny stuff is in the air around here. I'm not sure any amount of screening would replace visual checking! [banghead] I'd keep a small step ladder beside the support pole but I fear the squirrels or raccoons would see that as an invitation and a challenge! [lol]

elagache

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How about Davis upgraded debris screen? (Re: Rain Collector Heater)
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 11:30:25 PM »
Dear Blick, Randall, X-Air and WeatherCat station caregivers,

I had the same problem so I went to a hardware store and bought a 3 inch round metal drain plate with small holes in it which is flat that you can use in your kitchen sink and put it in collector so that it can still drain past it if a leaf or 2 gets in it may not be the right thing but it works

That will work, but you'll use a bit of rainfall because droplets will collect on the screen and remain there instead of falling into the cone.  For lots of places that may not matter, but in drought-parched western states that might be an issue. 

John, do you have any sort of debris screen on your collector cone?  I upgraded to the newer Davis design when I had to replace my anemometer last year.  Here is the thread about it:

http://athena.trixology.com/index.php?topic=2820.msg27395#msg27395

Would that have allowed the precipitation to flow even with the shreds of cover in the cone?

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 12:53:36 AM »
What I’m finding is stuff small enough to fall through the Davis ‘cone’ can then form a rather dense plug in the collector’s little hole. If the seepage is small enough, lots of water can evaporate without getting counted. :( [banghead]

Blicj11

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 05:20:01 PM »
I had the same problem so I went to a hardware store and bought a 3 inch round metal drain plate with small holes in it which is flat that you can use in your kitchen sink and put it in collector so that it can still drain past it if a leaf or 2 gets in it may not be the right thing but it works
John, do you have any sort of debris screen on your collector cone?  I upgraded to the newer Davis design when I had to replace my anemometer last year.  Here is the thread about it:

http://athena.trixology.com/index.php?topic=2820.msg27395#msg27395

Would that have allowed the precipitation to flow even with the shreds of cover in the cone?

Thanks guys. I totally spaced the discussion we had last year about that Davis Debris Screen. Davis says that the one they sell now only works with collector cups that have the slots for bird spikes. My cup is older than that, so i am just going to try the smaller old school screen and see if that helps. Ryan Wilhour had one of the old school screens at Scaled Instruments and it is on its way.
Blick


xairbusdriver

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 05:59:46 PM »
Quote
one of the old school screens at Scaled Instruments [...] is on its way.
Hope the delivery is not delayed by your over abundance of that white stuff in your area! [snow]
Something like the sink strainer below should work, although I would suggest turning it upside down... ThU32:-) [rockon]

Weatheraardvark

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Re: Rain Collector Heater
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 09:19:25 PM »
Quote
one of the old school screens at Scaled Instruments [...] is on its way.
Hope the delivery is not delayed by your over abundance of that white stuff in your area! [snow]
Something like the sink strainer below should work, although I would suggest turning it upside down... ThU32:-) [rockon]

I've used one of those for years now and only very tiny stuff might get through. I have on of those with bird spikes, so I just set this on top of the strainer and we are good to go.  You still need to check it now and then and take off the cone now and then as well
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