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Maximum Weather Instruments FAQ
Can I install the instruments myself?
Yes. Barometers, clocks and indoor temperature/relative humidity instruments have no wires. Instruments with outdoor sensors can be easily installed if you are comfortable about installing items like TV antennas and security systems.
Is everything I need for installing the instrument included?
Yes. For barometers, clocks and indoor temperature/relative humidity instruments. With outdoor thermometers, rain gauges and wind instruments you may need cable clips or ties to secure the wires to the building and, caulk to seal up wire entry points and exposed connections. For wind instruments you will also need a mast (a TV antenna mast works fine) to position the sensors high enough above your roof. See the Installation FAQ for more information.
Where should I mount the sensors?
It depends on the type of sensor:
Wind sensors - Ideally wind sensors should be mounted 30' higher than any object within 100 yards of the site. However, it is almost never practical to mount them like this. So as a minimum you should mount them 8 to 10 feet above the highest point of your roof. It is usually easiest to use a TV antenna mast system for the installation.
Temperature sensor - The absolute best place to mount a temperature sensor is in an instrument shelter constructed and sited following NWS guidelines. Again this is not practical for most people. The most practical location that will yield good readings is on the north wall of the house 5 to 8 feet above the ground. If you need to mount the sensor higher than this you must use a properly designed radiation shield to have readings that are close to correct. You can mount our water temperature sensor in the R. M. Young Co. radiation shield. However, the cost of the radiation shield is as high as a good instrument shelter.
Rainfall sensor - The rain collector must be mounted on a stable level surface with as much unobstructed exposure to the sky as possible. Depending on your locale you may have to periodically remove leaves and other debris that falls into the collector, keeping the collector near the ground makes this task much easier. The final factor is exposure to the wind, the less wind the better. However, this factor does not appear to have a large impact on accuracy.
How should I attach the wires to the building?
The best and safest way is to use cable clips or, cable ties with attachment blocks. The improper use of staples is the cause of many instrument installation problems. Additionally it is very difficult to diagnose and repair breaks and shorts caused by the improper use of staples on the wires. If you use staples (and we strongly recommend that you don't) they must be insulated staples and, you should check the loop resistance of the cable with a low range ohmmeter (100ohm F.S.) before and after the installation to verify that you did not damage the cable.
Can I shorten the sensor/power wires?
Yes. You can shorten the wires if you wish, the accuracy of the instrument will not be affected. However, it is usually easier to just leave the excess wire attached and hide it somewhere along its run.
Can I extend the sensor/power wires?
Yes. But, there are limits depending on the particular instrument. The limitations are given in the operating manual for the instrument.
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