Rain Detector

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Posted in HomeGardening

Introduction: Rain Detector

Make a rain detector with a few household items. A great project for the kids!

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need a cup, a 9 volt battery, two paperclips, electrical tape, some wire, a light, and some salt. The only tools needed are a pair of wire cutters and some wire strippers.

Step 2: Put It All Together

Bend the paperclips straight. Then put them along the sides of the cup so that they are touching the bottom, bend the excess over the edge of the cup. You may have to tape the paperclips to the cup so that they stay. Next, take a length of wire and strip off the ends. Attach one end to a paperclip and the other end to a battery terminal. Then take another length of wire and strip the ends off. Attach one end to the second paperclip and the other end to the light. I chose to use an LED, but it can be any small light. If you use an LED, make sure you get the polarity correct so it will work. Lastly, take another piece of wire, strip the ends, and run it from the light to the battery. Use tape to fasten all of the connections.

Step 3: Test It!

Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of the cup. This will improve the conductivity of the water. Then put a small amount of water in the cup, just enough to cover the bottom. That should complete the circuit and the light should turn on. If not, then go back and check the connections. Once it works, you can extend the wires and run the cup outside and have yourself a handy little rain detector.

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    28 Comments

    nice idea! Thanks for this idea I won at my innovation competition.

    #goldmedal

    good if you want to detect rain 3 minutes after the first drops but what if you want to detect the first drops?

    1 reply

    check my one it works on the first drop

    there is another way of doing this
    1. get a base with 3 stands
    2. attach a tissue to a clip
    3. add a metal to the clip
    4. put it all on the base and tape the unattached end of the tissue to the first stand
    5. make a wire to a light bulb
    6. cut the + terminal of the wire into half
    7. put it on the stand so if the metal falls it will complete the circuit
    8. put the battery and it works!

    the tissue paper breaks by water causing the circuit to be complete

    SAUL U R THE BEST DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Really I am passing this comment at night at 11 o clock tommorow is my science exhibition ,you came like god 2 me INSTRUCTIBLES ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hmm... maybe if i replace the light with a relay to trigger something...

    eh... it might still work... depends on the rain...

    This is brilliant. Instead of light, it can be a buzzer or even a motor to close your windows etc.

    1 reply

    Better civil servant with a transistor

    what is the use of salt? does it really detect wqhen the rain comes?

    2 replies

    cool post. Actually, the salt can be omitted in most cases. LEDs don't need a lot of current. I remember making a salt switch back in grade school (when LED's where still rare). It was pretty much the same as this except it used a big ol' incandescent flashlight bulb and D cell batteries. When you were using those big clunky bulbs (they needed huge current!)you had to put in the salt or it wouldn't work at all. And, the batteries were drained quite quickly. Thanks for the post!

    It says it helps the conductivity of the water

    hi im new here.....just want to ask.....ammm what is the use of the salt and the paper clip? please.....

    Nice idea generator, a buzzer wuld be more fun. Kids will ask what is the point of a light if you can just stick your hand out to feel the rain. Some suggested improvements would be good such as an array made from a proto/bread board (the type with the ling of copper on the board ready for solder) or adding in salt to make conductivity better very cool hook in to circuitry