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Problem with rain sensor

For discussion of DIY weather equipment - sensors, accessories, improvements to existing kit etc
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cvsa
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Weather Station: WH1090 (Chinese stuff)
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Problem with rain sensor

Postby cvsa » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:16 am

Hello everybody,

I have a generic fine offset station and my rain sensor seems to be stuck to zero... I'ts raining today and I can't see any rain mm reported on my station :(

A few days ago, it counted 3mm but the sun was shinig .....

Does it happen frequently, is there anything i can do ?

Thanks for your help. ;)

water01
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby water01 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:21 am

This happened to me once and it was spiders setting up home in the rain bucket. They had blocked up the hole with a web and the web was also so strong the bucket failed to tip. I would check the connection first though to make sure it has not got water in it and is securely in the socket and then check for spiders inside the housing!!

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cvsa
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby cvsa » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:09 am

thx, i'll check that.

Windsurfer
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Windsurfer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:27 pm

Hi,
I had the same problem, a spider in the case yesterday.
I have cleaned the housing and the funnel hole.
Additionally, I have oiled the shaft of the rocker.
Now I'm waiting for the rain.

best regard
Volker

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duke
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby duke » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:05 pm

You should not oil the shaft - ever! It will cause dust and debris to stick to it, this will prevent free movement of the bucket and cause premature wear. Essentially you will have turned the shaft into a piece of sandpaper.

Windsurfer wrote:Hi,
I had the same problem, a spider in the case yesterday.
I have cleaned the housing and the funnel hole.
Additionally, I have oiled the shaft of the rocker.
Now I'm waiting for the rain.

best regard
Volker
Duke

Nightingale Weather
Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK
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Validate your pages - often!

Windsurfer
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Weather Station: WS1080 compatibel
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Windsurfer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:20 pm

I must clarify.
No oil, but a special fluid from the model construction, especially for the combination metal - plastic.

Volker

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duke
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby duke » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:31 pm

You miss my point, they are designed to 'run dry', virtually any 'liquid' will have the same undesired effect.

I would be intrigued to know 'a special fluid from the model construction'?

Windsurfer wrote:I must clarify.
No oil, but a special fluid from the model construction, especially for the combination metal - plastic.

Volker
Duke

Nightingale Weather
Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK
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Validate your pages - often!

Windsurfer
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Windsurfer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:28 pm

duke wrote:I would be intrigued to know 'a special fluid from the model construction'?


Ok, robbe No. 5530.
Here is a picture.

Volker

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duke
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby duke » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:59 pm

Not a special fluid at all, just synthetic oil as used in RC helicopters, cars etc. I would recommend removal and wipe clean with a suitable cleaning agent.

Windsurfer wrote:
duke wrote:I would be intrigued to know 'a special fluid from the model construction'?


Ok, robbe No. 5530.
Here is a picture.

Volker
Duke

Nightingale Weather
Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK
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Validate your pages - often!

Windsurfer
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Windsurfer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:31 pm

OK I will do it.

Volker

AllanG
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby AllanG » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:37 pm

I've had a Maplin version of the Fine Offset station since 2008 and have had to eject spiders who'd set up a squatter's camp on countless occasions over the years. :evil:

Earlier this year I had to do another cleanout and was wondering how on earth I could prevent the little beasties from returning. By coincidence I'd been laying some "landscaping fabric" to prevent weeds growing and had an idea....

I cut a piece of fabric to match the base of the rain gauge and using hot-melt glue, stuck it on. So far it's worked perfectly - collected rainwater has been able to drip out through the porous fabric and rain gauge has not (yet..!!) been stopped from working by uninvited guests.

Just a thought.

Allan

Windsurfer
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Windsurfer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:13 pm

Hi Allen,
a good idea.
I've V2A fabric, mesh width 1.2 mm, which I will use.

Volker

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cvsa
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby cvsa » Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:23 pm

could you tell me how to clean the rain gauge ?

Do I have to open it and how to do that ?

(Sorry i'm a newbie :oops: )

AllanG
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby AllanG » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:18 pm

I use a small paint brush to remove (usually the remains of) spiders and then clean off any deposits of dirt from the tipping "bucket".

The cover is held in place by two plastic latches, one on either side by the mounting lugs. They need to be freed from the base and the cover pulled upwards. I've found I can do one side at a time, otherwise it can be quite difficult if there isn't another pair of hands to help! The following photos don't show the actual latches but should help you figure out where they are and how they work:

http://fineoffset.com/gallery/viewImage/1.htm

Hope that helps.

Allan.

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Ned
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Re: Problem with rain sensor

Postby Ned » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:40 pm

I used some perforated zinc sheet to cover the openings (attached with hot melt glue) to keep spiders out.
However, the problem may not be in the gauge tipping, but lie with the connection to the transmitter.

I'd test the tipping action first by dribbling water into the gauge. You should hear the buckets tipping with a 'clack' if free running (first unplug it from the transmitter to avoid inflated rain readings)
While the gauge is unplugged, clean the contacts on both the plug and transmitter, then reattach.

Not tipping? Remove the rain gauge cover and clean out any rubbish.

Tipping OK? Watch that the console increments rain after dribbling more water. Failure to do so indicates an electrical problem of some sort.
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