Hobo Water Level Recorders by fjhuangjun


									     Hobo Water Level Recorders
Construction, Deployment and Data Management


Parts List and Ordering Information.........................................4
Fabrication Notes...........................................................................6
Deployment Notes .........................................................................8
Calibration Notes..........................................................................11
Data Management........................................................................12


        The Hobo Water Level Recorder is based on the Motorola MPX series pressure
transducer coupled with a miniature data logger called the Hobo and manufactured by
Onset Computer Corporation. The Hobo logger as ordered from Onset is capable of
measuring water depths of up to about 1.5 meters. It is possible to order the Hobo loggers
without the stock pressure transducer and subsequently install a transducer with a larger
(5 meter) range. However, availability of transducers is intermittent at best.
        Once received, the loggers are modified to make them more durable in the salt-air
environment in which they are often deployed. Furthermore, a small amount of work is
required to fabricate other associated equipment prior to deployment. This manual
includes a complete parts list and construction information.
        Deployment of the Hobos is straight-forward. A small amount of linear drift is
typically seen in the data, this may be quantified and removed with minimal effort. The
final sections of the manual describe this work as well as a suggested log-sheet format
and in-field calibration checks to perform.

                        Parts List and Ordering Information

1. Hobo Data Loggers:
      Onset Computer Corporation
      P.O. Box 3450
      Pocasset, MA 02559-3450
      (508) 563-9000

Part # HWD-003 is the 1.5 meter logger, order with one RS-232 cable per logger

2. Potting Supplies:
        Newark electronics (catalog available)
        8002 Discovery Drive
        Richmond, VA 23229
        (800) 261-3538

        item                      quantity for one Hobo              stock number

clear potting epoxy                   1.5 tubes                      00Z1163
0.9” x 3” x 2” plastic case           1                               95F996
3.6 volt Lithium 1/2 AA battery
          with axial pins             1                              50F1557

applicator for epoxy              (one time purchase)                93F6943
nozzle for applicator                (disposable)                    93F6944

Note: The MPX series pressure transducers are also available through Newark

3. Sensing Tube:
       Thomas Products (catalog available)

       (609) 467-2000

        item               quantity for one Hobo               stock number

1/8” Norprene Tubing           5’ per logger                     9563-B42

       McMaster-Carr (catalog available)
       P.O. Box 440
       New Brunswick, N.J. 08903-0440
       (908) 329-3200

        item                quantity for one Hobo   stock number

1/8” i.d. brass hose barb      1 per logger         545K12
0.256” - 0.323” nylon
       hose clamp              2 per logger         9579K62

                                  Fabrication Notes

1. Sealing the Hobo Circuit Boards (Potting)

         In order to prevent corrosion of circuit board components and wires, it is essential
to encase the entire Hobo logger in a clear acrylic epoxy. This is done using the epoxy
listed in the previous section. A few important steps must be included.

       a.) Remove the factory supplied battery using a flat screwdriver. It will not be
used in this modification. Desolder the RS232 jack on the circuit board, it too is not

       b.) Stand the transducer up vertically on its 4 “legs”.

        c.) Cut off the jack end of the Onset supplied RS232 interface cable. Strip back
the insulation to expose two leads and a bare copper shield. Solder the leads to the circuit
board as per the diagram at the bottom of this page.

       d.) Solder the new battery in place, attach the negative terminal and solder it first.
Be sure that the battery leads are well inserted in the circuit board lugs. Refer tot he
drawing below for positioning and location of the positive and negative battery lugs.


                                                            (+)                     B
                                                 white +
                                               + red
                                                shield +                            (+)

                          RS232 Cable

       e.) Test the Hobo for proper operation prior to further work on it.

       f.) Seal the transducer pressure ports with electrical tape to prevent contamination
with potting epoxy.

        g.) Using double sided tape, position the Hobo inside of a plastic case. Take care
to maintain the pressure ports above the rim of the case so that the epoxy cannot flow into
them. Position the hose-barbed port so that the Norprene tubing will fit over it easily. Be
sure that the first inch or so of the RS232 cable will be buried in the epoxy as a strain
relief. Place the case on a level surface and fill with potting epoxy. Allow to cure

2. Making a Cap for the Sensing Tube

        a.) Use 1/2” diameter Schedule 40 PVC pipe and end cap. Drill and tap the end
cap for a 10-32 threaded hole.

        b.) Coat the thread of a brass 1/8” hose barb with epoxy cement and screw into
place, allow to cure overnight.

       c.) Hobo may be connected to the sensing tube via Norprene tubing. Use a nylon
hose clamp at each end of the tube to insure an airtight fit.

3. Miscellaneous Information
       a.) female DB9 RS232 connector pin-out:

                                                          red wire
                            white                                              shield
                                  1       2       3       4       5
                                  .       .       .       .       .

                                      .       .       .       .
                                      6       7       8       9

       b.) Hobo RS232 jack:

          red wire                                                    shield

                     white wire

                                  Deployment Notes

1. Standpipe and field mounting
        Typical standpipes, into which the sensing tubes are inserted, should be of at least
1-1/2” diameter. Schedule 40 PVC pipe is ideal for this application. It is recommended
that the sensing tube be of 1/2” PVC pipe. This pipe can be attached to the stand pipe via
a pair of hose clamps inserted through 1/2” diameter holes drilled in the upper (dry)
portion of the standpipe. See diagram below:

                                                            1/2” diameter
 Attach Norprene                                            holes for hose
 tubing to hose                                             clamps to secure
 barb, use nylon                                            sensing tube to
 hose clamp for                                             stand pipe.
 air tight seal.

             1/2” PVC
             sensing tube,
             open to water at
             bottom.                                     1-1/2” Schedule
                                                         40 PVC

2. Attaching Hobo to the well
        Typically, Hobo loggers will be started with a computer prior to travel to the field
site. However, it is possible to do this in the field as well. As the pressure transducer
senses positive pressure relative to atmospheric pressure, it is important that the sensing
tube contain a pressurized column of air above the water in it. To achieve this, one need
only attach the Hobo to the sensing tube prior to placing the sensing tube into the well. If
the bottom of the tube is above water level, this pressurization is not possible at
deployment, but will occur naturally should water levels rise within the standpipe. To
insure that the sensing tube has not shifted between site visits, a small amount of spray
paint can be applied to the sensing tube - standpipe juncture to mark their relative
positions. Hobo loggers should be enclosed in a waterproof container - either several
ziplock bags (short-term deployment) or a PVC case (long-term deployment).

    3. The following log sheet is recommended for keeping track of deployment, etc.:

                     Hobo Water Level Recorder Logsheet

                                      Launch Information:

                                Hobo Serial Number :_____
                     Date: __/__/__            Time :________(EST)
             Duration :___________ Sampling Interval :_________________

                                     Recovery Information:
                       Date :__/__/__             Time :________(EST)
                                    # Readings :_________

                                   Calibration Information:
    Well name/ location :_____________ Closest GPS Monument :______________
               Standpipe rim vs. GPS Monument :_____________meters

                                       Calibration Checks:

             Date                   Time                Water to Standpipe Rim (meters)
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |
|                            |                    |                                                   |


                          (refer to drawing on next page)

        Calibration information is essential to understanding the data logged.
Consequently, space for this information is allocated on the logsheet for each well/ data
set. Calibration involves equating the output of the Hobo with actual water depths within
the well, as well as equating these depths with a know GPS monument to tie the data into
the larger body of data archived by the VCR/LTER.
        Although there are several versions of Hobos currently in use, calibration is
essentially the same for each one. Some loggers will store a “depth” in either inches or
centimeters, others will be storing a depth in “bit counts” (the output of an eight bit
analog to digital converter internal to the Hobo). There are three steps to “calibrating” a
Hobo - and this calibration is specific to the logger-well combination on which it is
performed. These steps are:

       1. Shoot in the level of the well’s standpipe rim relative to the nearest GPS
monument and record this information, along with the well ID and the monument ID on
the logsheet. Mark the relative position of the sensing tube and standpipe by spray-
painting the juncture of the two at the lip of the well.

        2. Record (on the logsheet) a time-series of measurements of the distance from
the rim of the standpipe to the surface of the water within the standpipe. That is, over a
period of several hours, record the distance from the lip of the standpipe to the water
inside the well and the time at which it was measured. This table of readings can then be
correlated with the Hobo’s recorded water depths for the same time period.

       3. Finally, one must adjust the recorded Hobo data to reflect actual water depth vs.
the GPS monument. This can be done as followed using any spreadsheet-type program
such as LOTUS 123:

               a.) Use the spreadsheet to examine the Hobo data, make note of the Hobo
readings for each manual reading taken in step #2 above. Create a simple table showing
manual and Hobo readings side-by-side.

               b.) Recall that the manual readings are distances down to the water
whereas the Hobo readings are actual depths of water. The two may be equated by
considering changes in level over time. That is, by simple subtraction, determine the
manually recorded change in water level between two time markers. Then, equate this
known difference in depth with the Hobo’s recorded difference in depth for the same
time period. This will allow you to correct the Hobo’s data to reflect actual changes in
depth, converting from either bits counts or “depths” recorded by the Hobo.

               c.) Finally, this new spreadsheet of depths must be adjusted for the GPS
monument - that is, tied into a known elevation. This is straight forward as one simply
calculates the height of the top of the standpipe above mean sea level using the GPS
monument as a known height above sea level. Then, Hobo data can easily be adjusted to

                                    monument to standpipe

                 lip of well to water level

                                         ground level

water level in

                                                GPS monument

                                                standpipe with
                                                sensing tube

reflect this known elevation. Of course, several of the above calculations could be
combined in one step to save time.

Data Management (under construction)


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