52202-L Electrically Heated Rain and Snow Gage

Overview

The 52202, manufactured by R. M. Young, is an electrically heated tipping bucket rain gage that measures rain, snow, and other frozen precipitation. Its catchment area of 200 cm2 and measurement resolution of 0.1 mm meet the recommendations of the WMO. This heated rain gage is compatible with all Campbell Scientific dataloggers, and it is used in environmental monitoring applications.

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Benefits and Features

  • High precision—tips at 0.1-mm increments
  • Heating element melts snow and ice for year-round measurement
  • Compatible with all Campbell Scientific dataloggers

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Detailed Description

The 52202 funnels precipitation into a bucket mechanism that tips when filled to the calibrated level. Each tip is marked by a magnetic reed switch closure that is recorded by a Campbell Scientific datalogger pulse count channel.

The 52202 has an internal heater that melts snow or other frozen precipitation. This heater is thermostat controlled and requires a reliable source of 24 Vac power. A wall transformer is shipped with the 52202 that plugs into a wall socket to provide the required 24 Vac power.

Specifications

Sensor Type Tipping bucket with magnetic reed switch (normally open)
Accuracy
  • 2% up to 25 mm h-1 (1 in. h-1)
  • 3% up to 50 mm h-1 (2 in. h-1)
Resolution 0.1 mm (0.004 in.)
Operating Temperature Range -20° to +50°C (heated)
Humidity Range 0 to 100%
Power 18 W @ 24 Vac (for heater only)
Heater Thermostat Set Point 10°C ±3°C
Contact Rating 24 Vac/dc (400 mA maximum)
Mounting Standard 1 in. pipe size, 34 mm (1.34 in.) diameter
Catchment Area 200 cm2 (31 in.2)
Orifice Diameter 16 cm (6.3 in.)
Diameter 18.5 cm (7.3 in.)
Height 30 cm (11.8 in.)
Power Plug Weight 0.43 kg (0.95 lb)
Weight 1.16 kg (2.55 lb)

Compatibility

Mounting

The 52202 is supplied with a 12-in.-long x 1-in. IPS unthreaded aluminum pipe, which mounts to a crossarm via a CM220 Right Angle Mounting Bracket. Alternatively, the 52202 can be attached to the top of our stainless-steel tripods via the CM216 Sensor Mounting Kit. The CM216 extends 4 in. above the mast of a CM106B or stainless-steel tripod.

Wind Screen

Campbell Scientific offers the 260-953 Wind Screen to help minimize the affect of wind on the rain measurements. This wind screen consists of 32 leaves that hang freely and swing as the wind moves past them.

Datalogger Considerations

Compatible Contemporary Dataloggers

CR200(X) Series CR800/CR850 CR1000 CR3000 CR6 CR9000X

Compatible Retired Dataloggers

CR500 CR510 CR10 CR10X 21X CR23X CR9000 CR5000 CR7X

Frequently Asked Questions

Number of FAQs related to 52202-L: 10

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  1. Follow the steps listed in the “Troubleshooting” section of the 52202-L Instruction Manual.

  2. These rain gages can be connected to either.

    • When a control port is used, one lead goes to the 5 V port to provide current, and the other lead goes to a control port to detect the current.
    • When a pulse channel is used, one lead goes to the pulse port, and the other lead terminates on a ground terminal.

  3. The 52202-L uses a reed switch to generate a pulse for each tip of the collector.
  4. Not registering any tips, missing tips, or double tips.

  5. No. The relay that controls power to the heater uses ac power only.
  6. If data is not being logged correctly, there are two likely causes:

    • The reed switch has failed.
    • There is a faulty connection from the rain gage to the datalogger, typically caused by a broken conductor or corroded wiring. 
  7. The 260-953 Alter-type rain gage wind screen consists of 32 heavy metal leaves that hang freely and swing as the wind moves past them. The swinging leaves act as a wind damper and help minimize the effect of wind on the rain measurements without adding additional turbulence.

  8. When a rain gage is out of calibration, it is usually because of the buildup of dirt and grime on the internal surfaces of the tipping bucket mechanism. Cleaning the internal surfaces usually brings the rain gage back into calibration. It is also possible that a rain gage is out of calibration because it is no longer level.

    To minimize the possible occurrence of calibration errors, perform routine cleaning and maintenance of the rain gage at least once every three months. The environmental conditions at a particular site may require a facility to perform cleaning, leveling, and maintenance on a much more frequent schedule.

  9. The most common errors are either that the rain gage appears to have drifted out of calibration or that the tips are not being correctly recorded by the datalogger. 

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