My experimental solution to false rain detection

Whenever the wind gusts over 20mph I would tend to get tons of false rain reports on perfectly sunny days. I had strapped my PVC pole to a steel fence rod thinking that was sufficient. Apparently, the micro-vibrations caused by the high winds were setting off the haptic sensor.

So, today I’ve modified my setup by filling the 1" PVC pole with sand, and then placing that pole inside a 2’ long section of 4" pipe which is also filled with sand. There are a few inches of sand at the bottom, so the 1" pole never makes contact with anything other than sand.

The whole thing weighs quite a bit - probably 20+ lbs. The additional mass of the 1" pole causes it to sway a lot more, but low-frequency swaying of an inch or so doesn’t seem to be any problem. Hopefully, this will solve the high frequency vibrations and stop setting off the rain sensor every time the wind blows hard. I’ll report back in a week or so with the result of the test.

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nice setup, if it sways to much you can use rope (like climbers rope) to stop that. The rope will not cause micro vibrations like the fence wire. I use that on my 9 meter pole and it stops all movement and doesn’t create false rain for me.

Ah, Excellent suggestion! I’ll give that a try if it ends up swinging too much and strong winds.

What about rain in the pole? Can it go out at the bottom? Will wet sand not get more compact and weaken the damping effect? Well, it looks like you’re not getting a ton of rain at that location :wink:

I thought about that, and I’m just going to see what happens. Water might actually help, or it might hurt. Not sure, but if so I can just drill a small drain hole at the bottom. The main pole is sealed so no water will get in there.

Well, it was super windy last night with sustained winds of 15-20 and gusts up to 40mph. It set off the rain sensor all night long. The good news is that instead of reporting rates of 1.5” it’s now reporting 0.04”, so that’s an improvement.

Still, I find it rather disappointing how poorly the Tempest deals with this. I simply cannot trust the rain readings whenever there is any strong wind. I do not know what else to do to try to rectify the situation. I think it is just a flaw in the design of the device. Maybe it should simply be smart enough to know that when the wind is blowing strong any micro vibrations are just noise errors.

it definitely is a big improvement. My suggestion would be to use foam instead of sand. Sand is pretty good at transferring vibrations. It might have been a good idea (as you did) to fill the pole with sand to prevent it from flexing to much, but in your lower construction foam might work better.
(perhaps even just the foam, without the sand filled pipe, because the sand makes it heavy, and it probably will compress the foam more due to more swaying in the wind)
It is just a suggestion, I didn’t try this myself.

i filled my 10 foot pole with sand and neoprene the mounts. less vibrations. but still get them. they need to use a better formula

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I really wonder if Weatherflow is working on improving the situation or not. No news, no info… The problem exists since before the Tempest so I guess nothing will change soon, they would have already done it if they could. Forget about the Tempest has an usable sensor for rain, that’s the best solution.

they actually improved it with the tempest, by introducing a piece of vibration reducing material between the top and the rest of the unit. Surely it is possible to setup the system so you get no false rain reports from the wind, but your best solution is much easier to implement.