Weather-Watch.com

Weather Equipment/Software => Home Built/Kit Weather Stations/Sensors => Topic started by: mikeym on February 18, 2012, 01:03:02 AM

Title: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: CNYWeather 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)
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Mark Burgus 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
Title: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Jean-Robert 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: aardvark 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.
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: aardvark 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.
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: eongibier 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
http://www.localsat.net
Actuellement : 112 cm


https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/localsat
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Mark Burgus 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: niko 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 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Laser-Distance-Meter-USB-Area-Volume-Range-Finder-1-5mm-100m-328ft-Measurer-/330844051182?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d07d796ee). 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.
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: niko on December 20, 2012, 12:05:23 AM
How much was the LR3?
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym 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
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on December 20, 2012, 04:06:38 AM
Here's the latest from Richard @ Porcupine Electronics. So it looks like it will cost about $13 more for the LR4 and Fluke 414D versus the previous LR3 / Fluke 411D setup. The difference being the cost of the Fluke 414D

"
Mikey,
The LR4 will be $149, the same price as the LR3.  It will be ready to ship on Jan 7.
Thanks,
Richard"

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Bjørn on December 20, 2012, 11:19:09 AM
Hi.

where in WD can i find the setup for this?? cant find it.
Also reg the New type fluke 414D and LR4 is compatible With WD??
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Weather Display on December 20, 2012, 08:08:42 PM
see under setup, advanced/misc...lazer snow...
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: aardvark on December 20, 2012, 09:32:55 PM
thought of something...  you need a cone or a shield around the unit to prevent wet snow or ice accumulating around the laser or sensor.. same issue with WD wind cups, they tend to freeze with wet snow .  The drip shields are crap that come with it  but maybe this summer when I am retired I'll explore options for a drip shield that is much bigger...
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on December 20, 2012, 10:57:48 PM
There is no problem with snow accumulating about the sensor as it's mounted several feet off the ground and pointed downward and the Fluke 411D/414D or 419D are mounted in a waterproof enclosure with only about a 1 inch opening for the laser and led pointer to pass thru. I'll see if I can get a picture shrunk down enough to post. If not I'll PM you one.

Ops Laser sensor is the one on the right.

Cheers

 :santa:      :reindeer:

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: aardvark on December 20, 2012, 11:04:50 PM
that is extra cool.   We got about 12 inches and I had to wade outside in the drift to brush off the snow from the snow stick..  your item would have been great to have.
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Bjørn on December 21, 2012, 08:11:37 AM
Thanks Brian.

Cant find Lazer snow info/setup Brian, have WD vers 45 installed.
can you point me to the correct tab on my photo??
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on December 21, 2012, 02:20:00 PM
Bjorn

The laser settings are in the 1-wire reader "other settings" tab.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

 :santa:   :reindeer:

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Bjørn on December 21, 2012, 02:44:22 PM
thanks alot MikeyM. :D

Found the dallas Reader in wd folder and open it from there. :-)

didnt find in setup.....
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: dendrite on December 22, 2012, 12:51:33 PM
This is intriguing Mikey. Looks like you have the chance for a lot of snow over the coming weeks.

I was leaning toward a MaxBotix high resolution outdoor sensor with temp compensation http://www.maxbotix.com/Ultrasonic_Sensors/MB7389.htm but I'm curious about the laser now. Do you have any charts between the 2 sensors to see how they perform comparatively for the same event?
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: eongibier on December 23, 2012, 08:26:17 AM
Bonjour dendrite,
De loin,  après plusieurs tests la meilleur sonde et la LR3 associée à Fluke. La précision est  largement  supérieure.
Cordialement.

http://www.localsat.net
http://www.localsat.net/enneigement
http://www.localsat.net/forum/index.php?
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 13, 2013, 10:04:28 PM
I have the LR4 on the way, should be here monday.  Already have the 414D and active usb.  Is there a how-to here somewhere?  I've looked but haven't found anything yet.

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 14, 2013, 12:42:18 AM
HI Rick

Good point on the how to do. In the Dallas 1-wire reader under the "other settings" tab you need to check "Enabled" under the title "Lazer Range Finder Snow Depth" after your initial reading shows up you need to set that value in the "Offset" setting. As you can see in the screenshot my offset is 153 cm. Also "check" the "Enabled to calculate current snow depth". All this has to be done with only the Dallas 1-wire reading running. Make sure the WD is closed when you do this. After you have done that go to the "Main setup" tab of the 1-wire reader and "click" the "Save/Reset" button.  Close the Dallas 1-wire reader and restart WD which will automatically start the Dallas 1-wire reader. Disregard the settings that are "grayed out" as they are for the ultrasonic sensor as I actually have both hooked up, but the laser is the only one that will provide input to WD  if you have the laser "enabled".

Hope this helps. Good luck it's a great project. Feel free to PM me is you need any additional info. We have seen some problems at very low temperatures as the 414D is only rated to a min temp of 32 deg F (o C), so I'm in the process of adding a automotive bulb (1157) with a small thermostat to keep it from getting to warm.

BTW the support from Porcupine Electronics has been OUTSTANDING.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Breezy on January 14, 2013, 02:05:41 AM
Hi Mike,

The Laser Fluke 411D/LR3 is doing a great job here. Very accurate ...

Cheers,   :D

Jeff

http://indiantrailweather.com
Hessville, NY - USA
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: eongibier on January 14, 2013, 01:10:57 PM
mikeym

"Hope this helps. Good luck it's a great project. Feel free to PM me is you need any additional info. We have seen some problems at very low temperatures as the 414D is only rated to a min temp of 32 deg F (o C), so I'm in the process of adding a automotive bulb (1157) with a small thermostat to keep it from getting to warm"


Hello,
For the history of temperature, I solved the problem in a camera housing with heater thermostat.
I noticed that from -8 ° C, a significant error solved thanks to the subwoofer.
greeting
serge
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Pumuky on January 15, 2013, 09:36:47 AM
This looks interesting, do you know if it is possible to measure water depth with it too?
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 15, 2013, 11:59:49 PM
Got the lr4 414d and cables now to install.  I'm thinking about using plumbing heat tape to keep it all above freezing.

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: niko on January 16, 2013, 12:47:38 AM
This looks interesting, do you know if it is possible to measure water depth with it too?

Fluke thinks that's a good idea see http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/community/fluke-news-plus/ArticleCategories/Electrical/101AppForDistanceMeters.htm
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Pumuky on January 16, 2013, 08:21:20 AM
Fluke thinks that's a good idea see http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/community/fluke-news-plus/ArticleCategories/Electrical/101AppForDistanceMeters.htm

Wow that's really useful, thanks!
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 16, 2013, 06:49:36 PM
Rick

Installed the LR4/Fluke 414D last night just before the snow and it performed perfectly. We received 4.2 inches overnight. The LR4 / Fluke 414D mod is far superior to the LR3 / Fluke 411D. No cable bending and shoving and tucking like the LR3/Fluke 411D.

Good luck with the project.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 16, 2013, 10:44:10 PM
I hope to get at it tomorrow.  I bought 3 feet of heater tape today for inside the box.  The only trouble is they say it is a torx T8 to unscrew the meter but the one I bought today is too large so it must be a T7 or T6.  It is snowing here now and due to snow several more times this week so I'll soon find out how well it works.

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 17, 2013, 02:18:16 AM
Rick

It's a #6 torx. All Porcupines instructions are incorrect. I keep meaning to send Richard a note and I keep forgetting. If you live near a Sears store they have nice torx for I think $3.99.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 19, 2013, 06:15:09 PM
Thanks MikeyM.  I went outside on Wed. to blow some snow and get ready for the install and slipped on the ice.  I've never been  this sore in my life!!!!!! X-rays show no broken ribs but I'd swear everyone was broken.  It was all I could do to type this.

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 19, 2013, 06:58:03 PM
Yikes Rick sorry to hear that!

 8O

Cheers

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 28, 2013, 03:03:40 PM
Darn near killed myself yesterday but I think I have the sensor installed and working correctly.  Are the php graphs for snow available?  If it is where can I grab a copy?

thanks
rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: EastMasonvilleWX on February 05, 2013, 05:14:46 AM
Hey Guys,

Been very intrigued by this project.  I read the specs and it seems that the cold weather may affect the readings some.

Has anyone been having issues with the cold affecting the readings?

-Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on February 05, 2013, 05:53:28 PM
I glued a 3 foot piece of heater tape on the inside of the box and haven't had any problems.  It's been quite cold here zero deg F and colder lately.  I'm using the lr4 and 414d

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on February 05, 2013, 07:32:12 PM
Hi

I'm using an 1157 automotive bulb in my enclosure with a button type thermostat and haven't had any problems. I added the heater as the Fluke 411D and 414D are only rated down to 32 def F (0 deg C). My enclosure temperatures can be seen at:

http://mikeymsweather.com/extrarealtimegraph.gif

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: EastMasonvilleWX on February 06, 2013, 02:03:58 AM
Thanks Guys I will probably go with a similar design to what I am using in my rain gauge (just with a little less power).

Still debating if I am going to install it this year or next year...

-Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: EastMasonvilleWX on January 05, 2014, 10:10:17 PM
Guys,

I have finally taken the plunge to Laser Snow Depth measuring, and boy does it work well.

Just a few questions.

Are you guys running one of the Porcupine demo programs 24/7 to collect the data with WD (1 wire)? What is your upload rate back to the computer from the Range Finder? Have you had any problems with either Porcupine demo programs or the 1 wire program stopping causing it not to receive data? Are you guys turning the laser off when not in use?

I haven't installed a heater yet, and the sensor seems to be measuring without issue (even this weekend at -14F).

Thanks guys,
-Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on January 05, 2014, 10:50:39 PM
I have mine measuring using these settings:
Centimeters, or inches if you live in the states.

Interval

1 hour.

I'm running the demo program 24/7 with the 1 wire running as well.  Wd checks every hour on the hour.  Leave the laser on.  I haven't plugged in my heater this year either and it's working flawlessly so far with temps down to -32C/-26F.  Do you have snow graphs running in WD?  If not check our my site laity.ca  I have the php stuff here as do several others if you need them.

rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: EastMasonvilleWX on January 06, 2014, 01:33:52 AM
Hey Rick,

Thanks for the reply. For some reason I cannot run the demo on my computer so I am running the basic program (I have changed the interval to 30 mins using another computer).

Sometimes one or the other hangs so I need to restart the combo, still troubleshooting that problem.

I have my graphs on this page http://eastmasonvilleweather.com/wxsnowdetails.php (http://eastmasonvilleweather.com/wxsnowdetails.php). Maybe after sometime I will make a few more but for now those graphs are working great.

-Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 06, 2014, 02:52:13 PM
Hi Dennis

Glad to see that you have it working. I'm using the LRSimple program to activate the laser sensor as it seems the Dallas 1-wire reader won't reliably enable the sensor. No problems here with the LRSimple. I do use the LRDemo if I want to change the settings of the laser ie sampling rate. I'm using 1 hour sampling. After playing with various sampling rates it appears that with more frequent sampling rates there was a higher rate of errors causing minor fluctuations in the readings. I start the LRSimple program a few minutes before the hour followed by WD as WD will report the new snowfall on the hour. As for the heater I'm using 3 - 3 ohms power resistors in series powered with 12 volts and a button type thermostat located in the enclosure which is working very well. I think the LR4/Fluke 414D combo is less susceptible to the low temp problem than the LR3/411D was. Everyone that was using the LR3/411D had problems last Winter when the temp dropped well below 0 F.

Heater operation can be seem here: http://mikeymsweather.com/extrarealtimegraph.gif  but it's too warm right now. Cycles between about 25 deg F and 47 deg.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: MichaelPT on July 22, 2015, 07:22:52 PM
Hi everybody

I finally mounted the laser snow Depth sensor
It's mounted in a waterproof plastic box with a hole cut out for the laser
After I had taken the photos, I realised I needed to add a shield around the laser hole

Tested running the demo software, alongside weather display

This will be online sometime in November 2015

mick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on July 25, 2015, 02:55:19 PM
Looks good Mick

Yes, I would definitely put some kind of a shield around the laser. I usually just use a 1 - 1 1/2" plastic conduit coupling. Something like this:  http://www.lowes.com/pd_18188-223-E943HRL___?productId=3131279&pl=1&Ntt=conduit+adapter

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: MichaelPT on August 04, 2015, 01:41:51 PM
Looks good Mick

Yes, I would definitely put some kind of a shield around the laser. I usually just use a 1 - 1 1/2" plastic conduit coupling. Something like this:  http://www.lowes.com/pd_18188-223-E943HRL___?productId=3131279&pl=1&Ntt=conduit+adapter

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM

Hi

Found a spray can cap lid ,hope Will do the job :)
please see updated images

mick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: eongibier on August 24, 2015, 03:29:10 PM
Bonjour,
Merci pour cette info....

Serge
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on November 30, 2015, 02:58:27 PM
Richard from Porcupine Electronics has released a new piece of software for the LR4. It's called LRTimelog and is available at:
http://www.porcupinelabs.com/s/Demo-Apps-Rev4.zip

The program must be run from the "command prompt" with the following syntax "lrtimelog 3600"  3600 being the interval between samplings in seconds, ie 3600 = 60 minutes. This software turns the laser off between samplings thus greatly extending the lifetime of the 414D as the laser has a lifetime of approximately 10,000 hours or about 2 1/2 years of 6 month operations. Also the CPU cycle usage with "LRTimelog" is much lower than with "LRSimple".

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM 
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on December 03, 2015, 02:24:33 PM
WD isn't reading the values of my sensor this year.  I updated to 1037r build 32 with no difference.  The LRTimelog 3600 works fine and reads correctly.  Dallas 1 wire works and reads correctly as well.  Nothing happens in the snow input fields however.  One other thing I noticed is that the sensor is always on even though it should only come on when taking a reading using the lrtimelog 3600.  Any clues?

Rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on December 03, 2015, 06:21:37 PM
Rick

Make sure the you use LRDemo to put the laser sensor in the "continuous" mode before you run lrtimelog per Richard.

"Mikey,
The "aiming" laser and the "measurement" laser are the same thing, so they should be off most of the time.

Try this... You can use the LRDemo app to make sure that the LR4 is set to continous mode and save the settings to the LR4. This will allow LrTimeLog to turn the laser on and off.
Richard"

Hope this helps Rick.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM

Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: willper on December 21, 2015, 07:07:32 PM
Hey Mikey,

Just wondering how much of a difference you see in the measurements with the fluke/lr4? Mine is varying .3cm at times and this triggers a snowfall amount.

Bill
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on December 22, 2015, 02:46:07 PM
Hi Bill

I'm normally seeing .2 cm or less which won't trigger the addition of snowfall. Right now the sensor is inside as I had a moisture problem with a new enclosure I was trying. Hope to get time to rectify that in the next couple of days and get it back outside.

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: willper on December 22, 2015, 03:26:43 PM
Mikey,

Is there a way to adjust the program so that it will not add snow when a .3cm reading is logged? I am also interested in what the "1 wire snow reference depth" check box in the "Daily Weather Report User Input" module is for.

Bill



Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Weather Display on December 24, 2015, 07:15:42 PM
the next update of WD will fix that reference snow setting not being used/set
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: willper on December 24, 2015, 08:07:10 PM
Thanks Brian,

When I restarted WD after updating to build 306, my screen size became misbehaved. I am also waiting for it to snow tomorrow and see how the totals add up.

Bill
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: willper on December 24, 2015, 09:22:08 PM
Brian,

Regarding my screen size. I was able to get everything into perspective except the numbers for "Data Received/Data Quality" and the Alarm button text.

Any thoughts?

Bill
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Weather Display on December 25, 2015, 05:47:29 PM
there is no font selection for the number size for data received
(its a small font size by default as the number can get up to the millions)

latest WD update re that snow reference fix
http://www.weather-display.com/downloadfiles/weatherdisplaytest.zip
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on January 21, 2016, 06:25:34 PM
Richard from Porcupine Labs has updated the LRTimelog.exe program to produce only a single reading during it's sampling. This eliminates the problem of the Dallas 1-wire reader program seeing multiple readings during the laser "ON" time.

http://www.porcupinelabs.com/lr4-sample-software

Again Richard has be very helpful updating the software to work better with WD.  Great customer support!  =D>

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Breezy on January 24, 2016, 03:00:45 PM
I "second" MikeyM's comment. Great customer support from Richard at Porcupine Labs. His modification to his "lrtimelog" program in conjunction with the Dallas 1-wire reader is most helpful and his efforts are most appreciated.  \:D/

Cheers

Jeff
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: EastMasonvilleWX on February 09, 2016, 02:46:42 AM
I'll third that :lol:. Richard helped me out with getting the right length cables after fluke changed their board size (my old one burned out). I am also running the new "lrtimelog" and that is slick, works great.

Brian,
I have a request if you get to it. I have my unit setup so that no snow reads slightly negative, because of the heave from the frost, otherwise I will get a false snow depth with certain conditions. So right now I have negative values showing on the daily reports. Could you set it up so that Weather Display will assume 0 for snow depth if we have a negative value?

Does anyone else have this same issue with their setup?

Regards,
-Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Dale Reid on March 12, 2017, 05:47:37 PM
I'm getting some help from other members who have taken the step to do the laser rangefinder as a snow depth sensor.

Is there a sweet spot for how far from the snowboard the sensor should be mounted? I know there is a minimal and maximal range.  Logic says that you should be at least as far above the board as expected snow fall (sorry for being obvious) plus a bit so that the minimal range is not encountered.

Too far away and one might find that the function is degraded by blowing snow (notice these are all thought experiments as I investigate taking the step of ordering everything.

Also I wonder if one is too close that the ability of the laser to give accurate measurements may be infringed, that is as one gets near the minimal distance, does the % of error increase over the average error in the specifications?  Sort of like humidity sensors that aren't real good as one gets close to 100%, and better in the approx 50-80% range.

If one were to mount a very substantial fixed support at say 4 feet above the snowboard, is this a good range where the laser is giving as accurate results as can be expected, or would a slightly higher distance be better?

Lastly, as I read this info I have understood this to be the chain of events.  Laser/LR4 combo is powered up.  The new version of the Porcupine software is set to take readings every hour or so.  Those values are read by the Porcupine's LRTimeLog, with the snow sensor being plugged into a USB port (NOT INTO A 1-wire port) of it's own.   Then WD is running but uses (somehow) the 1-wire routine to read those data from the laser even though it is NOT a 1-wire device.  Is my chain of reasoning to try to figure this out correct?    Thanks for helping my understand what I'll need to do or if it is doable in my sestting.  The confusing part for me is that so much of WD seems to be set up for 1-wire but snow depth is not connected to 1-wire.

I'm sure I'll get it with a little nudge, but my intuition is fading as I get older!  Please see the attached .jpg as an example of how, to me, some essential info isn't being understood by me. 

Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on March 14, 2017, 06:26:34 PM
Dale

Yes, that's correct the the "1-wire reader" uses the data from the LR4/414D connected to a USB port. It's really a nice, but slightly pricey project. Several of us have worked with Brian over the years to get this working. I originally start with ultrasonic sensors and some started with IR sensor and the LR3/411D came along followed by the LR4/414D project. You can check mine out at www.mikeymsweather.com/wxsnowgraph.php

It's working Very well today.

If you need any more info let me know.

MikeyM

 :)
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Dale Reid on March 14, 2017, 09:35:30 PM
I hate to see all the trouble this large storm is producing but it answers a question I had.  You are measuring snow depths every  hour and I was thinking that with a big storm that might not be often enough, but your graph shows that hourly makes a nice picture.

By the way, what do you use to graph the snow depth?  Is this from values stored in and/or exported by WD to some external graphing software?
Just curious. 

Now I just need to have the fun-budget get to the point where I can get the LR4 and 414 to start playing.

Dale
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on November 25, 2017, 02:04:09 PM
Running lrdemo.exe this year brings up an error message  The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect.......
This happens on both win10 and win8.1  Google shows it's a common problem but nothing I've tried has fixed the problem.  Anyone else experienced this? Ideas?

Rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: mikeym on November 25, 2017, 08:23:37 PM
Rick

Just a shot in the dark, but make sure you have AtUsbHid.dll in your "LR" subdirectory. I remember seeing this problem before, but my senior memory is foggy hee hee. I have LRDemo, LRTimelog and LRlog all running fine on multiple computer with Win 7 Pro 64. Just checked my laptop and that .dll file is only located in the "LR" subdirectory.

Hope that helps.

Also if you still have the problem fire off email to Richard at Porcupine Electronics. He's normally very responsive.  richard@porcupineelectronics.com
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on November 25, 2017, 10:39:20 PM
The dll file is in the lrdemo directory.  I'll try Richard.  Thanks

Rick
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Dennis48755 on November 26, 2017, 10:00:51 PM
I would like to get started with this LR4/414D project but don't have any idea how to get the data from the LR4 to my website.

Could someone please explain the software process of reading the data from the LR4 to getting the charts on my website. I do have/use Weather-Display on a Windows system.

Dennis
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: charmed on December 05, 2017, 12:00:27 AM
Solved my problem with lrdemo not running.  I was going through the code and spotted a reference to Visual Studio 2005.  Installed the 2005 Redistributable and all is well.

rick 
Title: Re: Laser Sensor for Snow Depth Sensing
Post by: Dennis48755 on February 13, 2018, 12:30:50 AM
Hello,

I think I have enough basic understanding on how to get the LR4 to talk to WD, so I have ordered the LR4 and Fluke 414D.

I could use help displaying the snow data on my website. Where do the graphs, that I see on other LR4 users websites, come from? Are those optional files I need to ask someone to send to me?

Also, do you have problems where the sensor enclosure blocks the falling snow from falling down to the laser beam area? How do you prevent this from happening?

Thanks for your help.
Dennis