Squirrels have fuzzy tails.
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Maybe two bare ends of a wire, and if there is snow covering them they will conduct some electricity.
I don't want to fix the problem to much cost. They are only down for a bit when it happens. And these are small stations only reaching a few thousand people anyway. The problem I am thinking I will have with ultrasonics is shooting the beam into a parabolic dish might give me weird readings. I was looking at the Maxbotics sensors but I may have to get a dumber sensor and roll my own code for it. The big issue I want to prevent is sending someone to the site to just tell me there is snow in the dish.
gear motions idea is good, you could put a few of the to see how much snow is on the plate and where it is. and gearmotion, great avatar!
And what if a leaf gets over the sensor?
Maybe, you could hook up a camera to send a snapshot of what's going on to whoever would take care of it rather than just saying it's blocked. Then whoever receives the picture can tell wheter or not it's a false alarm.
I found weather proof lasers easy enough but weatherproof light sensors are proving difficult any ideas?
What if you just coated the non air-tight spaces with Silicon Rubber or something similar? You can get it at most hardware stores I beleive... a plastic box as Chelmi suggested could work but im wondering if it would collect too much more ambient light or deflect too much light away?
Actually its like 20 or so remote locations. Possible 42 if its cheap enough and they decide to put it at every station. All I have to communicate with the site is a cellular modem with some digital/analog inputs and outputs as well as USB/Ethernet capabilities but those require a lot of work here to get something setup to monitor those inputs.