External rain sensors

  • Two external rain sensors are installed on the post on the railing behind the AOS van
  • Blue Vaisala rain sensor
    • Works in cold weather, heather can melt ice off the surface
    • externalRainDetectorSensor (in FTSW Status list) displays a voltage proportional to precipitation level:
      • 3V = very dry
      • 2V = very wet
    • Hatch is triggered based on internal logic output:
      • outsideRainSensor=1 for no precip detected
      • outsideRainSensor=0 for precip detected
    • Sensor may be sensitive to salt deposition
      • Symptoms are:  Hatch is closed when it’s not precipitating AND outsideRainSensor=0 & externalRainDectector <~2.8V
      • The solution is to clean the blue surface of the sensor with distilled water (or wipe down with kimwipe if needed, or use alcohol if needed)
    • Ideally MonitoringConfig_blue_rain_sensor.xml is used.  Shut off Ingest, then in cygwin:
      • cd /cygdrive/c/E-AERI
      • cp MonitoringConfig_blue_rain_sensor.xml MonitoringConfig.xml
  • Optical rain sensor
    • Should be immune to salt deposition
    • Does not output a voltage: externalRainDetectorSensor=0V (in FTSW Status list)
    • Hatch is triggered based on internal logic output:
      • outsideRainSensor=1 for no precip detected
      • outsideRainSensor=0 for precip detected
    • Not rated for freezing temperatures.  Heater is not strong enough to melt ice on the surface
    • Ideally MonitoringConfig_optical_rain_sensor.xml is used.  Shut off Ingest, then in cygwin:
      • cd /cygdrive/c/E-AERI
      • cp MonitoringConfig_optical_rain_sensor.xml MonitoringConfig.xml

Switching external rain sensors

  • Either external rain sensor can be selected by connecting it to the cable
  • Move the wind shield over to the active rain sensor (single hex screw)
  • Protect the inactive rain sensor from the elements (tape up unused connector)
  • Copy over the new MonitoringConfig.xml file if desired, so that the FTSW Monitoring display is matched to the rain sensor (see commands above)

Internal rain sensor

  • The internal rain sensor (blue Vaisala) has been effectively disabled because it is overly sensitive
  • It has been sealed in a ziplock bag with desiccant inside the M-AERI front-end