How to Test a Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge


Created: ; updated: .

Testing the Connection From the Rain Gauge to the Field Unit

The Observant C3 or Solo will flash its input-port LED indicator for several seconds whenever a pulse is received from a rain gauge, if the unit is in visit mode.

For visit mode, touch the power button of the unit briefly.


To test that your rain gauge is generating pulses and that the pulses are being "seen" by the field unit:

  • Create a pulse by either pouring a small quantity of water into the gauge to simulate rainfall or removing the top of the rain gauge assembly and manually tipping the mechanism.
  • If the field unit's port sees a pulse from the rain gauge, the input-port LED will flash for 3 seconds, indicating there is a working connection from the rain gauge to the field unit.
  • If the LED doesn't flash, no pulse has been seen by the field unit (possibly the result of damaged cabling or a non-functional reed switch in the rain gauge).


Checking the Rain Gauge's Accuracy

  • During installation, always check the base plate's bubble level to verify that the baseplate is level.
  • Take 18.4 fl oz  (544 ml) of water and pour it into the rain gauge slowly, over a period of two minutes. That should result in 1.00" (25.4 mm) of rain displayed in the Observant Global Monitor application within 30 minutes.



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