KWRRI Research Reports


Researchers working in the general area of water resources frequently have need for precipitation data. Unfortunately, the cost of commercially available recording rain gages is often greater than $1,000 per unit. This report describes a microprocessor-controlled remote recording rain gage which is capable of unattended operation for periods of greater than a month that costs less than $400 in single quantities. The laboratory prototype uses a tipping bucket to collect precipitation in 0.01-inch increments. The time of the bucket tip is stored, using an offset binary format, in solid-state memory. A complete description of the gage hardware is presented along with an outline of the software used.

Many improvements to the, basic gage design will be possible in the near future as low-power CMOS microprocessors with advanced architectures and high-density magnetic bμbble memory become readily available. A reliable and cost-effective gage is suggested to include a tipping bucket, a CMOS time base, a CMOS version of an 8748-like or 6802-like microprocessor, and a 256 kilobit magnetic-bubble memory.

Publication Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

The work upon which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the Office of Water Research and Technology, United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978. Public Law 95-467.