Sensor v3 is Ready for Action

Since our first sensor back at Sushack in November 2013 we’ve learnt quite a lot about what works and what doesn’t work with a river sensor. Many of these lessons came from our test installation in Central Oxford.

It manifested in different ways but it’s fair to say moisture is our biggest enemy. The ultrasonic sensor was only rated for indoor use and when suspended above a stream would start reporting 22cm no matter what the actual water height was. Tests with a more expensive IP67 rated sensor have proved we can’t skimp on the transducer, but has put the cost up by £40 or so. 

Shortly after we discovered this issue the entire device went offline. Not all IP55 rated cases are made the same and water got into the device after some very heavy rainfall. We now have a sturdy case with a seal and sensible holes.

The other issue was RF reception. The sensor was attached to a large steel girder under a bridge and this blocked much of the precious transmitted signal. During heavy rain ironically we believe it suffered from “rain fade” where the signal is disrupted by rainfall. To this end Andrew has added an external antenna. Which makes it look sexier too if I’m honest.

Finally, Andrew has created some instructions on how to assemble the latest version from the custom PCB design and some off-the-shelf boxes.

If you want to order an assembled device (approx £140) or a kit then email [email protected] and we’ll let you know when we can deliver them.

Making a flood detection network in Oxford, using low cost sensors and volunteers

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