If you use Cumulus, please donate Image

Please read this post before posting

Latest Cumulus release v1.9.4 (build 1099) - Nov 28 2014
Latest Cumulus MX release - v3.0.0 build 3043 Jan 20 2017. See this post for download

Sunshine Recorder

For discussion of DIY weather equipment - sensors, accessories, improvements to existing kit etc
Olejul
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:55 pm
Weather Station: WS2350

Sun recorder – Summer Sale.

Postby Olejul » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:12 am

Sun Recorder - Summer Sale

(or: Winter Sale in the southern hemisphere).

Although we do have sun recorders spread on representative areas of the world, we now wants to boost the sale a little.

The sales price for the next 5 orders will be GBP 290,- including shipping – that’s 30% off the normal price.

Rules: the first five confirmed payments at Paypal account paypal@sunrecorder.net will have their Sun Recorder system shipped about a week later.

Should the number of payments exceed 5, the surplus payments will be returned via Paypal.

Get started to measure the sun shine duration.


Best regards

Alan & Ole

Gina
Posts: 1885
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:41 pm
Weather Station: Nothing working ATM - making one
Operating System: OS X, Linux Mint, Win7 & XP
Location: Devon UK

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby Gina » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:43 am

I was thinking of adding a sunshine recorder to my weather station and have been following this thread with interest :) When this project started the cost of a trial unit was a bit more than I could afford being a pensioner. I was hoping to climb on board later but unfortunately I now see that the price has soared way above my capabilities so it looks as if I shall again have to try to make my own if I want this facility.

For the time being I shall just have to put up with measuring the light level as I'm doing ATM with my 1-wire station. I guess with all the work that has gone into the Sunshine Recorder project I was naive to think I might be able to afford it. Oh well, that's life...

I do however wish Alan and Ole the best of luck with this project - it's quite remarkable :)
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

broadstairs
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:17 am
Weather Station: Davis VP1 with Solar
Location: Broadstairs, Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby broadstairs » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:58 pm

I must admit when I saw the price of this I was somewhat surprised, and if my Davis sensor (again) failed this might be an affordable alternative. The Davis sensor which if ordered from the US to add to my station comes in at well under half the price of this sensor (I know this for a fact as I had to buy a one a couple of years ago to replace a no longer available alternative), and allowing for import duties etc is still under half price. I know these things are not cheap to produce and as yet economies of scale will not apply but even so I was somewhat shocked at close to £300.

Again I wish them well with the project but I fear that at this kind of price (more than many hobby complete weather stations) it will put off all but the most affluent folks.

Stuart
Image

RayProudfoot
Posts: 2402
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 with Daytime FARS
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby RayProudfoot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:32 pm

I've also given this serious consideration. The main sticking point for me is accessibility for cleaning the glass. To record as much sunshine as possible means the recorder being high up which in my case would be attached to the pole which holds the anemometer. I haven't ventured onto my roof for many years and would be a little reluctant to do so now but an aerial contractor could as a one-off.

But if it requires regular cleaning should it become a perch for birds that would be a major drawback. I haven't touched the anemometer in over 3 years but I suspect the sunshine recorder would require more frequent maintenance.

The USB cable is less of a problem if runs of up to 150ft are not an issue. I'd love to be able to support such a wonderful venture providing some reassurance over maintenance could be given.
Cheers,
Ray, Cheshire.

Image

User avatar
PaulMy
Posts: 1537
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:54 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2 w/Envoy USB
Operating System: Windows-8
Location: Komoka, ON Canada
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby PaulMy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:47 pm

The B-L Sunrecorder has been set up about 13 months now and I have not nor see any need to clean it. On one occasion have I seen a bird (Robin) perched on it. The sun recording continues to be very accurate. We are having quite a good summer with lots of sunshine http://www.komokaweather.com/weather/sunrecorder/sunrecorder_display_v1.html (but more rain is desperately needed).
While it is more than I need, I have a 100m cable from roof unit to computer. http://www.komokaweather.com/pictures/pictures_upload-1.html for some pictures

Paul

RayProudfoot
Posts: 2402
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 with Daytime FARS
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby RayProudfoot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:05 pm

Paul,

Thanks for the info and the links. Does the recorder have to be located at the top of the pole or can you position it lower down?

I ask because the best place to position it would be on my anemometer pole and it could only be positioned lower than the ane. That might prevent pigeons perching on it. They are a bit of a nuisance around here.

Do you go up onto your roof should maintenance be required?
Cheers,
Ray, Cheshire.

Image

User avatar
PaulMy
Posts: 1537
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:54 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro 2 w/Envoy USB
Operating System: Windows-8
Location: Komoka, ON Canada
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby PaulMy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:27 pm

The mounting bracket can rotate so it can be in a position to mount lower down on the pole but then must be cautious so that the pole above the sensor does not create a shadow for the sensor.

Yes, I can get on the roof with a ladder by the chimney and the chimney is a good object to grab a hold off to step on the roof and rest against when installing so for me very easy. And I have only been up there once after initial installation to permanently run a 1" conduit up the wall and chimney for the cable to go through so it is well protected for all weather conditions - i.e. ice/snow build up in the winter. But I know not all roof mounts are as easy, and gets even more difficult as we get past our younger days.

My installation site is not perfect (but how many are in our weather hobby?) due to trees and houses being obstacles in early morning and late evenings during the summer so I loose recording some sunshine in the mornings and also a lessor amount in the evenings. No such issue in the winter as the sunrise and sunset are not so obstructed then.

Ray,
and those pigeons are they the racing kind? My dad was an avid pigeon fancier and we still cherish some of the trophies of his many race wins :clap:

Paul
Last edited by PaulMy on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RayProudfoot
Posts: 2402
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 with Daytime FARS
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby RayProudfoot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:35 pm

Thank you Paul, very helpful info. I'm guessing if the recorder is positioned to the south of the pole the pole wouldn't then cast a shadow on the recorder. A short pole would probably suffice as at roof level I do have reasonably clear horizons. I'd lose maybe 30 mins at dawn and sunset.

No, they're feral pigeons so can legally be shot. They are a nuisance at times.
Cheers,
Ray, Cheshire.

Image

User avatar
smorris
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 w/24FARS Solar L&S
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7.3
Location: Avon, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby smorris » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:12 am

On the previous page of this thread I had expressed an interest in the B-L sunshine recorder. Today, in a thread on another forum, Paul reminded me of this unit and pointed out the summer sale. Alas, at $449.50 here in the US, it is still too steep for my wallet.

However, I did end up with an alternative, which was the thread Paul was responding to. I found a Campbell-Stokes recorder base for $50, and took a chance on a 4" "crystal ball" on Amazon. Low and behold, I have a working C-S recorder for a whopping $76.95! I still have to make something for the clamps for the sphere, but it works!

Image


I'll keep an eye out here for a super sale on the B-L Sunshine Recorder, though, and check in once on a while to see what the latest news is.

Thanks Paul!
Steve
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA
VP2 w/FARS, Solar, Leaf & Soil - WeatherCat
http://www.avon-weather.com
CWOP • WU • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn • MWWN • UK Met • PWS • WeatherBug • Twitter

apenwith
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:30 pm
Weather Station: w8681 BlakeLarsen Sun Recorder
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1
Location: West Cornwall UK
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby apenwith » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:16 am

Hi
In answer to Ray and cleaning - my original recorder has been running since October 2010 and has never been cleaned but west Cornwall does have quite clean air. Positioning under the moving anemometer would probably deter birds from perching although I have never seen a bird on my two on separate poles. Maybe the shiny surface also deters them.
As for price - we have been advised that a fully commercial model should be considerably more.
Regards
Alan

User avatar
smorris
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 w/24FARS Solar L&S
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7.3
Location: Avon, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby smorris » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:45 pm

apenwith wrote:As for price - we have been advised that a fully commercial model should be considerably more.
Regards
Alan


Thanks Alan,

I'm new here on the forum, and didn't mean to sound whiny. I'd imagine several of the folks discussing the price have a similar take as mine. I've read through the entire thread, which started out as a DIY project with plans to distribute how to make one. Then it evolved into a project to make a more robust unit for the hobbyists that didn't know how to do a DIY project. Then into a 75 GBP prototype phase. From there, to almost $700 for the final version shipped here to the US was where I think most people might have abandoned ship. What was originally a hobby project suddenly became a "fully commercial model" and priced higher than most complete weather stations. Even the sale price is higher than a great majority of stations. So only the very serious and/or well-heeled weather enthusiast could now afford the end result.

If you're selling them and making a go of it, that's great, and I applaud the project. But if they were under $200 I'd bet you'd sell a "lot" more. As mentioned earlier, I was in engineering, and am aware of engineering cost, mold making, and the higher piece price of small lots. Maybe 290 GBP ($450 USD) is that break even point for price vs. volume.

Regards,
Steve
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA
VP2 w/FARS, Solar, Leaf & Soil - WeatherCat
http://www.avon-weather.com
CWOP • WU • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn • MWWN • UK Met • PWS • WeatherBug • Twitter

Gina
Posts: 1885
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:41 pm
Weather Station: Nothing working ATM - making one
Operating System: OS X, Linux Mint, Win7 & XP
Location: Devon UK

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby Gina » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:46 pm

I think (in the above post) Steve M expresses it very well and certainly reflects my point of view. I have to say, I'm disappointed that I can't have one.
Gina

Sorry, no banner - weather station out of action. Hoping to be up and running with a new home-made one soon.

bruce45
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:36 pm
Weather Station: wh1081
Operating System: windows 10
Location: Oban Scotland

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby bruce45 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:39 pm

i think at the end of the day it depends what your wahting to record. this is a brill product but out of my price range as well. here in oban the amount of sunshine would be nice to record. recording rain is easier as we normally do have a lot of that.

Alan could you not try the airports to take up using your invention tiree is my nearest weather staion but does have a very hight rate of sunshine. just a thought.

apenwith
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:30 pm
Weather Station: w8681 BlakeLarsen Sun Recorder
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1
Location: West Cornwall UK
Contact:

Re: Sunshine Recorder

Postby apenwith » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:15 am

Hi
For those that wanted to go down the DIY route I believe there is enough information in the early part of the thread to do that.
Having said that it would be up to the user to find a way of improving the accuracy and it is so long ago that I can hardly remember myself what I did so would not really be able to assist. All I can remember is using a Maplins light sensitive switch and substituted a variable resistance somewhere to change sensitivity and that sensitivity adjustment had to be done at frequent intervals. A fresh approach might overcome that. Obviously, there is a way of using the RS232 port as Steve's implementation for rainfall and his RS232 test programme shows. Again, I would not be able to help with that (I would quite like to know myself how to do it).
Since Ole and I have collaborated we have come a long way and spent a considerable amount of money on many things from PCB prototyping kits to the Met Office site testing; with test equipment, and manufacturing processes in between.
The early part of the thread is open to anyone though later we have concentrated on results rather than 'how' - so give it a go.
Regards
Alan

Olejul
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:55 pm
Weather Station: WS2350

Re: Sunshine Recorder Price discussion

Postby Olejul » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:36 pm

We deeply regret that some of you find the sales price of our sun recorder too high but we must correct a few points:

Since we started our collaboration we don't recall we ever headed towards a DIY project although in Alan’s very early days of light bulbs and simple circuits that was a possibility.

Ole’s contribution has made the project much more professional. Our very first price of 75 GBP was only for the volunteer field testers who could gather data from different latitudes for our ongoing studies and inspiration on how to improve the software etc.

That price did not even cover the material costs and was later increased a little bit for the next volunteer testers.

We guess we have been working about 50% of available day times in the past 2 years on the project (fortunately we are retired and therefore not ‘disturbed’ by tedious work elsewhere) but none of that work time has been included in the price calculations.

After almost a year of a successful field testing with great help from the testers we finally decided to put the instrument on the market via our web site.
Was that a success then? – frankly not as the real sales can be counted on one hand only.

So you are probably right – the sun recorder might be a little too expensive for all but the most serious amateur market but we don’t think it is fair to compare the price with the lower end weather stations on the market.

Sun shine duration recording is a unique discipline – that’s why the Cambell Stoke’s has been able to dominate the market for more than 100 years as no functional alternatives were available.

Today several other sun recorders are available on the market but at much higher prices (the K & Z at around £2000) and no other sun recorder is able to detect sun shine from sun rise to sun set within a few minutes – in very favorable conditions with clear sky and clear sun – even within a few seconds.


Best regards

Alan & Ole


Return to “Homebuilt”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest