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Author Topic: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing  (Read 29544 times)

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Offline mikeym

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Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« on: February 18, 2012, 01:03:02 AM »
This information was first brought to my attention by Jean-Robert regarding the measurement of snow with this use of a readily available  laser measuring device such as the Fluke 411D. Here are the links provided by Jean-Robert for an overview of the project. Then with GREAT cooperation and effort from Brian the sensor has been incorporated into Weather Display. The advantage of the laser system is that a 1-wire network it not required as it's connected via a USB port. Additionally the laser appears to be much more accurate with dry fluffy snow than the ultrasonic which seems to initially under estimate snowfall. Also the laser doesn't need to be compensated to changes in temperature and is not affected by wind. The cost is around $100 for the Fluke 411D, $149 for the Porcupine Electronics interface and the cost of an active USB cable to run to the sensor location. In my case I needed a 65 foot cable and it cost about $35. Again  Jean-Robert and I can't thank Brian enough for incorporating this project into WD.  Here are the links to the project courtesy of Jean-Robert :

Look to the 4 links here and give me your idea.

I do think that is the solution to snowdepth sensor.

http://shop.porcupineelectronics.com/Laser-Rangefinder-USB-Interface_c4.htm

http://www.myflukestore.com/p6473/fluke_411d_laser_distance_meter.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAmuXQfbrNg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAmuXQfbrNg&feature=related

It is a beauty !!
 
Jean-Robert VE2BYW

www.jeanrobertmarion.com

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
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Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline CNYWeather

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 02:11:00 PM »
That looks very interesting Mikey.

Question for you about the 65' of cable you'd need.

I engrave stuff with a laser all day. It has 3 mirrors inside of it to direct the beam.
Could you say mount the laser outside a window, and with a couple of small mirrors
direct the beam where it needs to be without having to run cable all the way out there?

Tony  8)
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Offline mikeym

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 03:00:35 PM »
Hi Tony

Interesting idea, but where I'm located I really need the cable to get to a clear space so the snowfall isn't disturbed and the computer room is on one end of the house and the snowboard is located at the other end of the house. It's tough to find a clear spot when you live in the woods. As someone suggested wireless would really be nice if it was reliable.

Thanks

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
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Another VERY Happy WD user
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Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline Mark Burgus

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 01:49:31 PM »
Quote
The LR3 is out of stock.  We are working on the LR4, a new interface board that will work with Fluke's new 414D and 419D rangefinders.  The LR4 should be available by Dec 2012.

Mark

Offline Jean-Robert

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Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 04:53:31 PM »
I can confirm that the laser beam don't work across a window !

Here what i did is to install the Fluke on the external wall of my house at the end of a 15 ft USB cable.

Then, outside, 1,000 cm away, a 45 deg mirror and it work ok.

Jean-Robert

Online aardvark

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 06:03:46 PM »
my 2 cents (or scents as I haven't showered yet  8O)

How about if you developed something along the way of what one of those laser rulers?  you know the kind you point and click and it measures the distance.  If one could tap into the display and power circuit, a person might be able to build one that way.   At least somewhere there has to be information on how it is done.

Around here, I look out the window at a snow measuring board I got from Forestry Suppliers.  Simple enough, accurate to 1/2 inch unless the dog hits it.
Davis VP2 Plus; 24h  FARS; Extra Temp Humid sensor (2); Extra Temp Station (2); Soil Moisture/Temp Station;Weatherlink IP;USB; MAC Sierra; Webcam; https://www.desmoinesweather.org

Offline mikeym

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 04:09:46 AM »
That's exactly what is being done. There is a USB interface board that connects to a Fluke 411D Laser "tape" measure to provide the measurement. All that info was in the original post.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
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Another VERY Happy WD user
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Online aardvark

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 11:53:04 AM »
I didn't read up that far.    I am interested on how this goes .  I am going to have some free time this summer and might get a variable temperature soldering iron and dabble, when I am not freezing my parts off.   

Not that it snows any depth here lately.. we are in serious drought.
Davis VP2 Plus; 24h  FARS; Extra Temp Humid sensor (2); Extra Temp Station (2); Soil Moisture/Temp Station;Weatherlink IP;USB; MAC Sierra; Webcam; https://www.desmoinesweather.org

Offline mikeym

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 02:47:33 PM »
Actually no soldering to be done. You take the Fluke apart and replace the keyboard with the Porcupine Electronics LR3 / LR4 interface board, plug a USB cabled into it and you are pretty much good do go.
Here's a link to Jean-Roberts sensor up in Quebec, as he's getting snow today.

http://www.jeanrobertmarion.com/sonde2exp.php

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
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Another VERY Happy WD user
Shuttle XS36v4 8 GB RAM
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless w/ Davis solar sensor
Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline eongibier

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 02:27:43 PM »
(Sorry it is about a translator)
Hello,
I installed my Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Fluke 411D and I am really satisfied true a wonder for the precision and to date no problem.
Thank you in Brian with Jean-Robert and mikeym to have helped me.
Serge
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« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 02:34:25 PM by eongibier »

Offline Mark Burgus

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 06:27:12 PM »
The new LR4 will not work with the 411D.  So look for an almost triple price increase on both the newer fluke and the LR4.

Mark

Offline niko

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 07:00:49 PM »
The 414D isn't a lot more expensive than the 411D, hopefully the interface is priced similar to the old one.

If I had enough snow to measure I would be tempted to tinker with one of these Chinese USB interfaced ones. It does appear to be a true laser instrument, I have seen the ultrasonic ones that have a built in laser pointer sold as "laser" but I think this is a real one.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 12:06:39 AM by niko »

Offline mikeym

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 11:49:04 PM »
From what I've seen from Porcupine Electroinics the LR4 will be the same price as the LR3 and the price for the Fluke 414D as low as 112.49 only $13 more than the 411D. With that said I just checked Porcupine's website and they are not quoting a new price for the LR4 yet. Yes, the Flukes are true laser instruments and are working much better with light fluffy snow than the ultrasonic sensor that I've been working with for the past 6 years or so. I'll see if I can get a quote on the LR4 price from Richard @ Porcupine.

Cheers

 :x-mas:             :reindeer:

MikeyM
http://mikeymsweather.com/

Another VERY Happy WD user
Shuttle XS36v4 8 GB RAM
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Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline niko

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 12:05:23 AM »
How much was the LR3?

Offline mikeym

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Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 12:22:05 AM »
$149.00 I have email on the way requesting the price and availability of the LR4.

Cheers

 :x-mas:    :reindeer:

MikeyM
http://mikeymsweather.com/

Another VERY Happy WD user
Shuttle XS36v4 8 GB RAM
Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless w/ Davis solar sensor
Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian