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.
It is a beauty !!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Sorry it is about a translator)
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.
Actuellement : 112 cm
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.
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.
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.
$149.00 I have email on the way requesting the price and availability of the LR4.
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
The LR4 will be $149, the same price as the LR3. It will be ready to ship on Jan 7.
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??
see under setup, advanced/misc…lazer snow…
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…
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.