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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default The Perfect Rain Sensor

    I chanced upon the following rain sensor http://www.rainsensors.com/ which has the usual relay output which you can configure to trigger on the first drop, etc. But the great thing about it is that they have in their support link the drawing to interface the device via RS232 and get far more data. It's a sealed unit that uses internal reflected IR against its transparent dome, much as done with car windshield moisture detectors. I'm going to get me one and try it out. For 59$, hard to imagine its possible to sell such a nifty device for so little. It has a heater for ridding itself of condensation and presumably the rain, but not ice and snow. Here's what it looks like (hoping no copyright issues - Bob?);

    rg_wht_bgnd_sm.jpg
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,281

    Default

    No copyright issues, not here!!! And do let us know what you learn!!!
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Goian, Northern Spain
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: The Perfect Rain Sensor

    Looks interesting, i think i'll have to try one of those.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Preliminary tests:

    I received the RG-11, wired it up to an RS232 USB with 50 feet of wire, put it up on the roof's TV antenna, coded some C and got plenty of data. It's a very chatty little device and detects the merest of drops. Of course there is no substitute for cloud sensing with a thermopile, but this very rugged and fully sealed detector is outstandingly cost effective, will last longer than metal grids that detect moisture and a last chance safety for our automated observatories.

    I've attached a csv data file of about a day's worth of data (when any value of 20+ registers changed, my code recorded to disk, first column is days from Jan 1, 0 hour of the year). Hydreon doesn't provide much information as to what the registers are, and I am slowly figuring them out. The zip also includes a Windows exe which you have to set your device to comm port 30 so you can test it quick. I also zipped some of that code, but you'll have to make your own com port handler as I cannot post up the rest due to copyright. I had originally used pointers but finally opted for the more obvious register by register switch as it was more readable. Below is two of the registers showing data when it rained - horizontal axis is days from Jan 1.

    I've got a more advanced version of that code, logging 24/7 and linked up with my home grown observatory code, which of course parties with ACP.

    Enjoy.

    Peakrs.jpgRainAD8.jpg

    oups! forgot to add the struct typedef - a critical part! pasted below (edited this message after ward);



    typedef struct RG11Registers_type // Hydreon rain gauge RS232 registers
    {
    // Fast registers
    unsigned short PeakRS; // ?
    unsigned short SPeakRS; // ?
    unsigned short RainAD8; // Rain analog detected level ? - Expected range 64 to 192
    unsigned short LRA; //
    unsigned short TransRat; // ? - Expected range 60 to 170
    unsigned short AmbLNoise; //


    //int RGBits bit fields over 16 bits following
    unsigned int PkOverThr:1; //
    unsigned int Raining: 1; // Is raining
    unsigned int Out1On: 1; // Relay output state
    unsigned int HtrOn: 1; // heater on
    unsigned int IsDark: 1; // is dark
    unsigned int Cndnstn: 1; //
    unsigned int Freeze: 1; // Is freezzing temperature
    unsigned int Storm: 1; // Storm underway
    unsigned int pad: 8; // Pad to 16 bit


    // Slow registers
    unsigned short RevLevel; // Firmware revision level
    unsigned short EmLevel; // ? - Expected range 30 to 80
    unsigned short RecEmStr; // ? - Expected range 60 to 66
    unsigned short ABLevel; // ? - Expected range 10 to 10
    unsigned short TmprtrF; // Sensor internal temperature (def F)
    unsigned short PUGain; // ? - Expected range 34 to 39
    unsigned short ClearTR; // ? - Expected range 60 to 170
    unsigned short AmbLight; // Ambient light level
    unsigned short Bucket; // Simulated bucket tip count (resets to zero within ?)
    unsigned short Barrel; //
    unsigned short RGConfig; //
    unsigned short DwellT; //
    unsigned short SinceRn; // Minutes since last rain (up to 20 mins)
    unsigned short MonoStb; //
    unsigned short LightAD; // Threshold above which light or no rain (ref RainAD8) ? - Expected range 120 to 136
    unsigned short RainThr; // Threshold rain detection ?
    } t_RG11Registers;




    Attached Files Attached Files
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    27,281

    Default

    Very nice Andre!
    -- Bob

 

 

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