Technical Note — Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge


Created: ; updated: .


The Observant field unit measures rainfall from the Davis tipping bucket rain gauge by counting pulses from the rain gauge. The field unit uses one of its port inputs to count these pulses and Observant Global converts this to a measurement of rainfall over time.

As part of an Observant system, a tipping bucket rain gauge will show rainfall totals for:

  • Today.
  • Last 7 days.
  • This month.
  • Last month.
  • Last 3 months.

For soil moisture applications, rain gauge data can also be integrated into Crop Manager in Global.

Supported hardware

Manufacturer: Davis
Model: Rain Collector II
Observant product code: RGB
Observant Item number: 00018
Davis Instruments 7857 Rain Gauge + applicable cable—32 ft (10m) cable with bare ends.

Typical Applications

Rainfall Monitoring


  • Remove the existing connector from the cable.
  • Strip the red and green conductors to leave 5mm exposed conductor. Trim back the remaining wires; they are unused.
  • Connect the red and green conductors to an available input of a C3, ignore any other wire colours.
    • Red—Input Ports 1 (default), 2, 3, or 4
    • Green—Ground
    • YellowIgnore

The maximum wire run should be no more than 200m, taking into account wiring gauge and environmental protection.

Adding and configuring the device

The Tipping bucket rain gauge can be found under the 'Weather Station' category when adding a new device in Manage Equipment. Select the 'Rain Gauge' with the correct mm/tip, the Input it's connected to and click add.




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