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Introduction

Logging rain gauges nearly always use tipping bucket sensors that record rain volume in fixed increments. These devices are also slow to respond during light rain as the bucket has to fill before any rainfall is recorded, so may not accurately record the onset and duration of rain events. (see the evidence here).

The Pluvimate uses precise drop counting technology (based on the Stalagmate drip logger) to record up to five hundred million drop events as 32k equal time intervals, each counting 16k drops. The Pluvimate will record one drop collected in the 127 mm (5") diameter aluminium funnel, giving a resolution equivalent to 6 µm of rainfall. The total rainfall logging capacity is equivalent to over 250m of rainfall!!

The logger will record rain for periods of up to 4 years at hourly resolution, or for specialised rainfall rate measurements, down to 4 days at 10 second sampling intervals. The Pluvimate will accurately log the exact duration and intensity of rain at rates from lightest drizzle (eg 6 µm rainfall per hour) to storm events to 100 mm per hour (representing the maximum counting rate of 5 drops/ second). Output data is a linear time series, and not volume dependent events as would be recorded by a tipping bucket.

The Pluvimate is powered by a 3.6V Li thionyl chloride battery using ultra low current CMOS circuitry and will run for 2 years before needing to change the battery. The battery can be replaced without loss of data. The Pluvimate rain gauge is rugged and lightweight, ideal for use in remote field locations with infrequent access, and is deployable for long periods without servicing or maintenance. The logger can be set up for delayed starting for field deployment. Data is downloaded via a cable to a laptop or handheld device using the same Gemini software used by the Stalagmate drip counter.

Data Communication

Communication with a PC is via a USB cable with a miniature 3-pin connection to the Stalagmate box. Data may be recovered using a laptop or netbook running Gemini Explorer (requires Windows XP, 2000 or ME) and exported as .csv file format.

Data may also be downloaded onto a PDA running Windows Mobile 5 using a free software patch available on beta release from www.geminidataloggers.com.

 

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