Initial Setup

Q1.  What software is needed to setup the RainAlert III monitor?
A1.  The ADS Qstart software is needed, and is available for download on the ADS Software Downloads page.  For further instructions regarding installing the Qstart software, download the Qstart Installation Guide, also on the software downloads page.

Configuration and Activation

Q2.  How should the RainAlert III be configured and activated?
A2.  All steps necessary for a successful configuration and activation of the RainAlert III are outlined in Chapter 3 of the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual or view the “How To Initialize an ADS RainAlert III Rainfall Monitor” video.

Q3.  How can the monitor be configured to send out alarms?
A3.  The monitor can be configured to send out alarms through the Rain and Data Delivery devices in Qstart.  Further information on how to configure these devices is available in Qstart’s online help or in Chapter 3 of the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual.

Q4.  Can the RainAlert III be configured to deliver data to ADS FlowView?
A4.  Yes.  The RainAlert III can be configured to deliver data to FlowView through the use of the Data Delivery device in Qstart.  The server IP address is 64.14.232.177.

Q5.  Can the RainAlert III deliver data simultaneously to an FTP server and FlowView?
A5.  Yes, provided the Data Delivery device in Qstart has been configured to deliver data to both locations.

Q6.  Why is the RainAlert III unable to deliver files to the FTP server after configuration?
A6.  The folder name configured on the Data Delivery device cannot have spaces in the name.  For example, RAIII Folder will not work, but RAIII_Folder will work.  Verify that there are no spaces in the folder name and activate the RainAlert III again to see if it successfully delivers files to the FTP server.  Other possibilities for this error could be that the FTP server is not configured to accept file delivery from the RainAlert III’s IP address, or that the RainAlert III is set to Active for the delivery mode and needs to be set to Passive in the Data Delivery device.  ADS recommends using the Passive delivery mode.

Q7.  What is the difference between Active and Passive mode on the Data Delivery device in the FTP setup section?
A7.  The Active mode allows the monitor to set the data channel (port) for the FTP server to use; in the Passive mode, the FTP server tells the monitor which port to send the data over.  Most servers are configured to accept data in the Passive mode only.  Therefore, ADS recommends using this mode unless the FTP server does not support it.

Q8.  Can the RainAlert III deliver data via email?
A8.  Yes.  On the Notification page of the Advanced device, the Recipient 5 can be configured to receive data via email.

Q9.  Can the RainAlert III be configured to respond to on-demand remote communication requests?
A9.  Yes.  On-demand, remote communication is available for monitors equipped with SIM cards having static IP addresses as long as the modem power is configured to be “on.”  Further information on configuring on-demand data collection is available in Chapter 3 of the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual.

Q10.  Can the RainAlert III’s initial activation be done wirelessly?
A10.  No.  The monitor must be activated initially on-site via direct, serial connection to the monitor, using the Serial option for the Connect parameter in Qstart.   Subsequent activations can occur wirelessly.

Monitor Installation

Q11.  Do the monitor and tipping bucket have to be installed together?
A11.  The monitor and tipping bucket for the RainAlert III can be installed together or separately, depending on the location and project requirements.

Q12.  Is the ADS sun shield needed for all installations?
A12.  ADS recommends all outdoor installations use the sun shield to maximize the life of the monitor enclosure.

Q13.  What parts, supplies, and equipment are needed to install the RainAlert III?
A13.  The following parts and supplies are required:  RainAlert III monitor, tipping bucket, sun shield, direct connection cable, pole-mount kit (if securing the sun shield to a pole), calibration kit (for the tipping bucket).  The following tools and equipment are required:  24” (610 mm) carpenter’s level, open-end wrench set (including ½ - ¾-inch sizes), small adjustable crescent wrench, flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers (assorted sizes, included 1/8-inch tip flathead), diagonal wire cutters and strippers, ladder (if needed). 

Antenna Installation

Q14.  Does the RainAlert III support an external antenna?
A14.  Yes.  ADS offers an external antenna kit (ADS p/n 9000-0044), and further information on the installation and use of an external antenna can be found in Appendix C of the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual.

Communication

Q15.  Can a user communicate remotely with a deactivated RainAlert III?
A15.  No.  Once the monitor has been deactivated, users can no longer communicated remotely.  In order to reinitialize communications, it must be activated again on-site with a direct serial connection.

Q16.  Does the RainAlert III support Verizon wireless communications?
A16.  No.  There is no Verizon option for the RainAlert III.

Battery Life

Q17.  How long will a RainAlert III battery last?
A17.  The monitor’s battery can last between four months to five years, depending on the configuration of Modem Power Settings, the frequency of the Data Delivery configuration, etc.  Maximum battery life is obtained when the Modem Power is configured to be Always Off.

Q18.  What is the low battery threshold for a RainAlert III?
A18.  The low battery threshold is 6.0 volts.  It is recommended that the battery be changed within two weeks of receiving the low battery warning.

Miscellaneous

Q19.  How can ADS Customer Support be contacted?
A19.  ADS Customer Support can be contacted through email at adssupportcenter@idexcorp.com, or by telephone at 1-877-237-9585 (for U.S. customers) or 256-430-6234 (for customers outside the U.S.).

Q20.  Does the RainAlert III support external power?
A20.  Yes.  Appendix D in the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual provides information on the installation and use of an external power source.

Q21. Will the internal real-time clock of the RainAlert III drift?
A21: No. The internal clock of the RainAlert III is checked every 12 hours and compared to the cellular network time. If the internal RainAlert III clock differs by more than 5 seconds it is resynchronized to the cellular network time.

Troubleshooting

Q22.  Are there resources for Maintenance and/or Troubleshooting issues with the RainAlert III?
A22.  Yes.  Chapter 6 in the RainAlert III Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual provides information on many topics regarding Maintenance and Troubleshooting.