Rain sensor and vibrations

sky
false-rain

#1

Read and know about vibrations causing erroneous rain readings. I live near a military base and have twice got the “it’s raining” notification when one of the big cargo jets have gone over. Wondering what effect, if any, thunder has on the sensor readings?? (Prob minimal?)


Invalid Notification - It's raining
False Mysterious intermittant rain reporting
#2

FWIW, mine has not had any false readings from passing C-5, C-17, or UPS/FedEx jumbo jets climbing out of the nearby international airport. My house is right next to the departure path, and a train of C-17’s do touch-and-go’s all day/night flying at under 1,000 feet over my house on their outward climb.

I know that WF has performed tests against loud Harley motorcycle exhausts. My next test will be the USAF Thunderbirds buzzing my mast in September for two days performing at the New York Air Show. They really rattled some windows in my neighborhood last year, even more than the US Navy Blue Angels the year before. Should be interesting…


#3

you could try adding sand to the mast (e.g a PVC pipe)


#4

No false readings from F16’s as they thunder overhead during training runs from PDX. Birds on the other hand make my Apple Watch ping constantly. Added some “bird spikes” will see whether they work.


#5

Be interesting to see what the Chinook’s do for mine then, those things shake the bloody house when they fly over!


#6

Hi Eric,

You have been so helpful to many on the forum in relation to WS issues, so I am seeking your advice.
My SKY is secured to a gal post, which is secured to a fence post. There is minimal vibration.
We have winds averaging 50 to 60kph, with gusts of 95 to 120kph.

The rain readings at the time of the strong winds is ‘extreme’ and the rain tally can be up to 1200mm for the day, when we have clear blue skies…

Do you think the batteries are vibrating in the SKY?
Any other suggestions?

Kind regards
Duncan (Windy Hill, Victoria, Australia)


Rain seem off (auto-calibration system not yet deployed)
#7

what I have found that helps is using a PVC pipe (thick wall) and filling that up with sand (someone else suggested that , and it does help)


#8

Hello Duncan

indeed you have quite some wind, for sure @dsj David will be interested to see your station details for the learning algo.

You can have a look inside the Sky, later models have some little cushions to prevent that vibration but maybe double check they are there and in good place.

And the proposal from @weather-display is indeed a good one as it has been tested by @Weather34 extensively and others. The sand inside does indeed dampen pretty well any vibration. Also have you inserted the pipe completely inside the mount ? Some have a little border inside that can prevent a nice fit if you don’t push it gently over the rim.

WIres are ok to prevent ‘swing’ not vibration and can even induce vibration and with the wind you have, I suspect it’ll create more vibrations.

Let us know how it goes.


#9

THANK YOU.

I will give it all a try and see what happens.

As you can see from below, the wind is steady and the rainfall reading for the last 24 hours is truly ‘biblical’.

Thanks again and take care.

Kind regards


#10

Wow, that’s definitely some good wind you have there! We have seen false rain from wind-induced vibration in a number of cases. We are working on solutions both in software and hardware (we’re currently testing a vibration-dampening pole mount). Quite often this sort of false rain can be eliminated by minimizing any motion as well as any hard connections between the pole your SKY is mounted on and the structure to which it’s mounted.

Please upload a photo or three of your installation and I bet we will get some recommendations from the community.


#11

Hi David,

Will take a few pics over the next few days.

Thank you for your contribution to resolution, we will sort it out. I am not dismayed by these glitches, as the WF kit I have is sensational…just teething problems.

Kind regards

Duncan


#12

Good afternoon,

Following your advice I have remounted the sky, and taken the following steps:

  • Used silicone (plumbers tape) inside the mounting to reduce any contact vibration.

  • Placed drink straws within the battery chamber to prevent ‘rattle’.

  • Lowered the gal post to decrease wind exposure and prevent vibration.

Unfortunately no joy…today as the wind increased, with not a drop of rain, the rainfall indicator slowly climbed…

Attached is a pic of the installation and a screen shot.

Looking forward and to you reply.

Kind regards

Duncan


#13

With all the wind you are getting, I’m wondering if the fence wire is transmitting quite a bit of wind energy into the post causing it to vibrate. Maybe try a post that holds only the Sky unit.


#14

Hi David,

The sky was originally on a stand alone post, recording similar ‘non existent’ rainfall during high winds.

The move to the current location has not changed the inaccurate rainfall readings.

Kind regards


#15

are you in NZ Duncan?

I do know that WF are looking at designing a “rubber based” new mount


#16

@duncan_davies, do you have any update on your “false rain” due to vibrations? As @weather-display mentioned, we’re working on a “cushioned mount” that should mitigate this issue, and we may want your help testing it.


#17

Hi David,

I purchased a thicker galvanised pipe, and situated it away from any potential vibrations.

The false readings DID reduce, but were still inaccurate. In one case SKY reported rain of 54mm, yet we received less than 2mm, with wind speed gusting around 55 to 60 kph.

I have used a thin silicone mat which I made from spreading silicone sealant on a tray and then letting it dry in flat longs strips.

This has reduced the false readings yet again, yet there are smaller inaccuracies when the wind increases. I have added a few more silicone strips and am waiting for the next wind event (predicted for next week) to see what happens.

Thanks for the follow up, I will keep you informed.

Kind regards


#18

good idea re the silicon strips
where/how did you apply those exactly?
NZ has not had much wind lately, but yes that is going to change next week


#19

Rather than making silicone pads, has anyone tried cutting a bicycle inner tube yet for making a mast padding sleeve???


#20

Thanks for the follow-up. There are actually two issues with high winds and rain that we’re working on: 1) “false rain” (rain reported when there is none) and “inaccurate rain” (rain is present but the value is high). Solving both of those is our major focus at the moment. Thanks for your patience!

I know of one user who cut strips of neoprene from an old wetsuit and used these as cushioning at the point where the mast is mounted to the structure. This completely eliminated the false rain he was experiencing.