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wind sensor jammed with snow

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  • Peter Schneidler
    Hi there. My WS-2317 s wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted on a pole on top of our
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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      Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
      blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted on
      a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
      blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
      temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
      again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened again
      and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
      Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
      exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
      circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way to
      protect it from snow but still catch the wind?

      While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
      would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below or
      something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
      per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
      compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!
    • wuhu_software
      Peter, The same thing happened to me today. Just a bit of freezing rain and it is game over for the wind sensor (and probably the rain sensor as well). I have
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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        Peter,

        The same thing happened to me today. Just a bit of freezing rain and
        it is game over for the wind sensor (and probably the rain sensor as
        well).

        I have been considering creating some type of simple heating element
        to unfreeze the wind sensor and/or rain bucket. A strategically
        placed 12V automotive light bulb might do the trick. You could plug a
        simple power pack in to un-freeze the unit. I might attempt to add
        this if I can get up on the roof again this season.

        Last year, I tried using a pipe heater (the kind that are shapped
        like an extension cord). It did not work out well for heating and
        created a bunch of noise on the communications lines. As I recall it
        did not defrost the sensor well either as too much of the generated
        heat was blown away in the slightest wind.

        As far as I know, none of the consumer grade weather stations have a
        heating element for the wind sensor. Some do have heating for the
        rain sensors, such as Davis.

        I am guessing you would have to create your own homebrew heater, no
        matter what type of station you decide to go with.

        You could create some type of fixed umbrella over sensors. If you
        placed it a foot or two above the sensors, I doubt it would have a
        drastic effect on accuracy.

        Speaking of Davis, they are pretty much the best consumer grade
        station you would want to invest in. The latest offering is the Davis
        Vantage Pro 2. It transmits wirelessly for I believe 1000'. Updates
        are given every 2.5 seconds.

        You can get a basic setup ($400) with the required data logger that
        is needed for an interface to the PC ($150). So at a minimum you are
        looking at about $550 + tax.

        As far as the mid-level, you could look at the WMR-968. It is
        wireless as well however the updates for the wind data are at 30
        second intervals minimum. The accuracy of the other sensors are
        probably about the same as the La Crosse units. The WMR-968 might
        have an advantage so far as the outdoor humidity goes. You can pick
        up a complete WMR-968 package at Costco for $199 (with cold weather
        sensor and an additional small remote display).

        Let us know what you decide to do.

        Thanks.


        --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Schneidler"
        <schneidler@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
        > blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted
        on
        > a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
        > blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
        > temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
        > again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened
        again
        > and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
        > Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
        > exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
        > circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way
        to
        > protect it from snow but still catch the wind?
        >
        > While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
        > would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below
        or
        > something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
        > per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
        > compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!
        >
      • Richard Ray, KI4PEQ
        It sounds like you have one of those anemometers that looks like a jet engine, with a small fan inside a plastic circle. The wind turns the fan blades and
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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          It sounds like you have one of those anemometers that looks like a jet engine, with a small fan inside a plastic circle. The wind turns the fan blades and sends an electrical signal to your weather station.

          With a lot of blowing snow and ice, this type of anemometer can jam up as you have found. See if your weather station can accept data from another type of anemometer. Ideally, you would look for one with horizontal arms with wind cups at the outside of each arm. As the capture surface is open instead of closed, that should reduce your problems.

          Look at this link for an example http://www.peetbros.com/HTML_Pages/part2.htm

          LaCrosse has this type of anemometer in the WS-3512. I have the one that you now have as part of my WS-3600. No snow and ice in great amounts in the Florida panhandle!

          Regards,

          Richard L. Ray 
          KI4PEQ




          On Dec 1, 2006, at 1:31 PM, Peter Schneidler wrote:

          Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
          blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted on
          a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
          blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
          temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
          again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened again
          and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
          Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
          exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
          circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way to
          protect it from snow but still catch the wind?

          While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
          would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below or
          something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
          per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
          compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!


        • Peter Schneidler
          Hey, thanks for the super thorough response! I think the best design to avoid the problem would be the spinning cups instead of the circular fan design, or
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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            Hey, thanks for the super thorough response! I think the best design
            to avoid the problem would be the spinning cups instead of the
            circular "fan" design, or a fan that is like 6 inches around instead
            of the puny size of mine. Freezing rain though could probably stop
            everything that wasn't heated though. I checked costco and they have
            a BUNCH of them. Someday when I can afford it... Thanks again!
            peter

            --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "wuhu_software"
            <wuhu_software@...> wrote:
            >
            > Peter,
            >
            > The same thing happened to me today. Just a bit of freezing rain and
            > it is game over for the wind sensor (and probably the rain sensor as
            > well).
            >
            > I have been considering creating some type of simple heating element
            > to unfreeze the wind sensor and/or rain bucket. A strategically
            > placed 12V automotive light bulb might do the trick. You could plug a
            > simple power pack in to un-freeze the unit. I might attempt to add
            > this if I can get up on the roof again this season.
            >
            > Last year, I tried using a pipe heater (the kind that are shapped
            > like an extension cord). It did not work out well for heating and
            > created a bunch of noise on the communications lines. As I recall it
            > did not defrost the sensor well either as too much of the generated
            > heat was blown away in the slightest wind.
            >
            > As far as I know, none of the consumer grade weather stations have a
            > heating element for the wind sensor. Some do have heating for the
            > rain sensors, such as Davis.
            >
            > I am guessing you would have to create your own homebrew heater, no
            > matter what type of station you decide to go with.
            >
            > You could create some type of fixed umbrella over sensors. If you
            > placed it a foot or two above the sensors, I doubt it would have a
            > drastic effect on accuracy.
            >
            > Speaking of Davis, they are pretty much the best consumer grade
            > station you would want to invest in. The latest offering is the Davis
            > Vantage Pro 2. It transmits wirelessly for I believe 1000'. Updates
            > are given every 2.5 seconds.
            >
            > You can get a basic setup ($400) with the required data logger that
            > is needed for an interface to the PC ($150). So at a minimum you are
            > looking at about $550 + tax.
            >
            > As far as the mid-level, you could look at the WMR-968. It is
            > wireless as well however the updates for the wind data are at 30
            > second intervals minimum. The accuracy of the other sensors are
            > probably about the same as the La Crosse units. The WMR-968 might
            > have an advantage so far as the outdoor humidity goes. You can pick
            > up a complete WMR-968 package at Costco for $199 (with cold weather
            > sensor and an additional small remote display).
            >
            > Let us know what you decide to do.
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            >
            > --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Schneidler"
            > <schneidler@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
            > > blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted
            > on
            > > a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
            > > blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
            > > temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
            > > again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened
            > again
            > > and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
            > > Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
            > > exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
            > > circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way
            > to
            > > protect it from snow but still catch the wind?
            > >
            > > While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
            > > would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below
            > or
            > > something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
            > > per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
            > > compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!
            > >
            >
          • wuhu_software
            Peter, One last thought on the wind sensor. Apparently La Crosse does make a cup version of the wind sensor however it is available only through various
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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              Peter,

              One last thought on the wind sensor. Apparently La Crosse does make a cup version of the wind sensor however it is available only through various European suppliers. As far as I know, you can not order it over the web directly.

              The part # is TX118-20 (TX118-20 for 2300/2305/2308). I believe there is a version for the WS-36xx stations as well (Tx218-20). The price is approximately 35 Euros.

              If you are interested in buying that sensor, there are apparently a couple of people in France that will buy them on your behalf and ship one to you. I might be interested in purchasing one as well.  Maybe we could pool together an order.

              See the open2300 posting:

              http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Lacrosse_weather_stations/message/1621

              You can see the sensors posted on this website:

              http://www.nouveauxobjets.com/tx118-20.php

              http://www.nouveauxobjets.com/tx218-20.php

               

              --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Schneidler" <schneidler@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hey, thanks for the super thorough response! I think the best design
              > to avoid the problem would be the spinning cups instead of the
              > circular "fan" design, or a fan that is like 6 inches around instead
              > of the puny size of mine. Freezing rain though could probably stop
              > everything that wasn't heated though. I checked costco and they have
              > a BUNCH of them. Someday when I can afford it... Thanks again!
              > peter
              >
              > --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "wuhu_software"
              > wuhu_software@ wrote:
              > >
              > > Peter,
              > >
              > > The same thing happened to me today. Just a bit of freezing rain and
              > > it is game over for the wind sensor (and probably the rain sensor as
              > > well).
              > >
              > > I have been considering creating some type of simple heating element
              > > to unfreeze the wind sensor and/or rain bucket. A strategically
              > > placed 12V automotive light bulb might do the trick. You could plug a
              > > simple power pack in to un-freeze the unit. I might attempt to add
              > > this if I can get up on the roof again this season.
              > >
              > > Last year, I tried using a pipe heater (the kind that are shapped
              > > like an extension cord). It did not work out well for heating and
              > > created a bunch of noise on the communications lines. As I recall it
              > > did not defrost the sensor well either as too much of the generated
              > > heat was blown away in the slightest wind.
              > >
              > > As far as I know, none of the consumer grade weather stations have a
              > > heating element for the wind sensor. Some do have heating for the
              > > rain sensors, such as Davis.
              > >
              > > I am guessing you would have to create your own homebrew heater, no
              > > matter what type of station you decide to go with.
              > >
              > > You could create some type of fixed umbrella over sensors. If you
              > > placed it a foot or two above the sensors, I doubt it would have a
              > > drastic effect on accuracy.
              > >
              > > Speaking of Davis, they are pretty much the best consumer grade
              > > station you would want to invest in. The latest offering is the Davis
              > > Vantage Pro 2. It transmits wirelessly for I believe 1000'. Updates
              > > are given every 2.5 seconds.
              > >
              > > You can get a basic setup ($400) with the required data logger that
              > > is needed for an interface to the PC ($150). So at a minimum you are
              > > looking at about $550 + tax.
              > >
              > > As far as the mid-level, you could look at the WMR-968. It is
              > > wireless as well however the updates for the wind data are at 30
              > > second intervals minimum. The accuracy of the other sensors are
              > > probably about the same as the La Crosse units. The WMR-968 might
              > > have an advantage so far as the outdoor humidity goes. You can pick
              > > up a complete WMR-968 package at Costco for $199 (with cold weather
              > > sensor and an additional small remote display).
              > >
              > > Let us know what you decide to do.
              > >
              > > Thanks.
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Schneidler"
              > > <schneidler@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
              > > > blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted
              > > on
              > > > a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
              > > > blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
              > > > temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
              > > > again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened
              > > again
              > > > and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
              > > > Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
              > > > exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
              > > > circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way
              > > to
              > > > protect it from snow but still catch the wind?
              > > >
              > > > While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
              > > > would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below
              > > or
              > > > something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
              > > > per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
              > > > compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!
              > > >
              > >
              >

            • Tek Roo
              I have been wondering if a heat lamp mounted near (but not too near) the wind measurement unit that can be switched on to clear the ice woudn t help out in
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 1, 2006
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                I have been wondering if a heat lamp mounted near (but not too near) the wind measurement unit that can be switched on to clear the ice woudn't help out in such cases.  There is always the possibility of the thermal shock turning it on will break the bulb, but icing conditions usually occur around freezing temperatures, and not much farther below them, so the temperature differential shouldn't be _too_ bad.  Fortunately (?) it usually doesn't snow here until the temperatures are well below freezing so the snow doesn't actually stick to the equipment so problems are rare, but when they _do_ occur, they freeze the wind direction vane as well.  Though a cup-type anemometer would be less prone to freezing, I suspect it wouldn't help by much.

                I  _am_ planning on wrapping some pipe heating tape around the rain gauge so I have some form of precipitation measurement -- it's too windy here for traditional snowfall measurement.

                Richard H. Brant
                Carpenter, WY


                On 12/1/06, Peter Schneidler <schneidler@...> wrote:

                Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
                blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted on
                a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
                blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
                temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
                again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened again
                and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
                Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
                exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
                circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way to
                protect it from snow but still catch the wind?

                While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
                would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below or
                something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
                per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
                compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!


              • steve_03222
                Richard, Not sure if I mentioned before, but I spent 13 years in Casper, WY so I know what you mean about the wind and the snow. Never saw much freezing rain
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 2, 2006
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                  Richard,
                  Not sure if I mentioned before, but I spent 13 years in Casper, WY so
                  I know what you mean about the wind and the snow. Never saw much
                  freezing rain or wet snow there. Always had to shovel the driveway
                  many times even for a few inches of snow. Seemed to always drift into
                  my driveway. A few inches could equal a 12" drift.

                  Steve
                  Now in Bristol, NH
                • Tek Roo
                  Fortunately, and quite coincidentally since I don t recall ever doing it on purpose, every vehicle I own (including the tractor) is 4WD, so no need to shovel
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 2, 2006
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                    Fortunately, and quite coincidentally since I don't recall ever doing it on purpose, every vehicle I own (including the tractor) is 4WD, so no need to shovel the driveway, which is good considering my cross country ski track crosses it (if I ever actually get enough snow to cover the dirt).

                    Colorado is hogging the snow!

                    ::points accusingly southward::

                    Richard H. Brant

                    On 12/2/06, steve_03222 < steve_03222@...> wrote:

                    Richard,
                    Not sure if I mentioned before, but I spent 13 years in Casper, WY so
                    I know what you mean about the wind and the snow. Never saw much
                    freezing rain or wet snow there. Always had to shovel the driveway
                    many times even for a few inches of snow. Seemed to always drift into
                    my driveway. A few inches could equal a 12" drift.

                    Steve
                    Now in Bristol, NH


                  • utahweatherbear
                    This has always been a problem with home wx stations, and will continue to be unless you want to shell out big bucks. My old cup anemometer used to freeze up
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 2, 2006
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                      This has always been a problem with home wx stations, and will
                      continue to be unless you want to shell out big bucks. My old cup
                      anemometer used to freeze up in the heavy snow, and my new propeller
                      type does the same. A little direct sun for a couple hours usually
                      clears it up. The NWS now uses ultrasonic sensors that have no moving
                      parts, but they are ultra-expensive.

                      As far as the rain gauge goes, my solution was to take a small
                      heating pad and wrap it around the gauge. I covered the whole thing
                      with black duct tape, making sure it was nice and air tight and that
                      no extra pcpn would fall in due to the increased width. Most heating
                      pads shut off after an hour or so, so I bought a 24 hour timer. Best
                      I could find would leave it on for an hour, then off for 30 minutes.
                      It keeps the gauge warm enough to melt the snow pretty much as it
                      falls, though it hasn't been tested in really heavy snow. Best I
                      could come up with though.

                      dan




                      --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Schneidler"
                      <schneidler@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi there. My WS-2317's wind anemometer keeps getting jammed with
                      > blowing snow and then reporting wind of 0.0 mph. I have it mounted
                      on
                      > a pole on top of our apartment building, but we've had a lot of wet,
                      > blowing snow lately. It clogged up several days ago, but then the
                      > temp went above freezing, and a few hours later it started working
                      > again. I assume the snow blocking it melted. But its happened
                      again
                      > and it might not go above freezing again here for months (I'm in
                      > Western AK). Any suggestions? Could I return it for a refund or
                      > exchange do you think? The little thing that catches the wind is a
                      > circle probably less than 2 inches in diameter. Is there some way
                      to
                      > protect it from snow but still catch the wind?
                      >
                      > While I'm at it, do you have a more hardy weather station that you
                      > would recommend? This one is only rated to something like 20 below
                      or
                      > something, and it usually does get colder than that here a few times
                      > per year. What is the "gold standard"? And what is an affordable
                      > compromise? Thank you so much for any help you all can give me!!!
                      >
                    • John Liss
                      hehe Yup we are!! Got a foot today and it is still snowing!
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 2, 2006
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                        hehe Yup we are!!
                        Got a foot today and it is still snowing!

                        Tek Roo sat down at the console on 12/2/2006 8:20 AM and madly banged out:
                        > Fortunately, and quite coincidentally since I don't recall ever doing
                        > it on purpose, every vehicle I own (including the tractor) is 4WD, so
                        > no need to shovel the driveway, which is good considering my cross
                        > country ski track crosses it (if I ever actually get enough snow to
                        > cover the dirt).
                        >
                        > Colorado is hogging the snow!
                        >
                        > ::points accusingly southward::
                        >
                        > Richard H. Brant
                        >
                        > On 12/2/06, *steve_03222* < steve_03222@...
                        > <mailto:steve_03222@...>> wrote:
                        >
                        > Richard,
                        > Not sure if I mentioned before, but I spent 13 years in Casper, WY so
                        > I know what you mean about the wind and the snow. Never saw much
                        > freezing rain or wet snow there. Always had to shovel the driveway
                        > many times even for a few inches of snow. Seemed to always drift into
                        > my driveway. A few inches could equal a 12" drift.
                        >
                        > Steve
                        > Now in Bristol, NH
                        >
                        >
                        >
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