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Stand Alone Sun Duration Sensor


"Over the past decade or so, this simple, reliable, consistent and reasonably-priced sensor has become the sunshine sensor of choice for most of the amateur and hobbyist weather observing community within the UK and Ireland."

From The Weather Observer's Handbook by Stephen Burt (Cambridge University Press, 2012 Handbook Details..., reproduced by permission of the author and Cambridge University Press. See also www.measuringtheweather.com

Our Stand Alone Sun Duration sensor has proven to be one of our most popular weather monitoring devices to date. The device functions by comparing the output of eight light sensitive diodes surrounding a central shadow pillar. When the output of some of these diodes differ from others, due to a shadow being cast, the control box detects this imbalance and deems the sun to be shining and starts to generate a count (0.01 hours per count).

Sun duration Sensor

Sensor features include a removeable laboratory spec glass dome for improved product cleaning/servicing. A desicant inserted below the internal PCBs helps to ensure no misting occurs within the glass dome. Sensor housings are made from anodised aluminium for improved outdoor durability. The sensor is equipped with a stainless steel terminal block for connectivity purposes and comes with 25m of cable as standard (extra cable available in 25 lengths up to a max of 100m).

To improve on the standard sensor device, we can now offer a version fitted with IR filtered light sensitive diodes. These diodes will only accept light to pass within the WMO guidelines for sun duration measurements. These updated diodes have so far seen the sensor accuracy move to within 2% of more widely regarded products.

IR Filtered Sunshine Sensor

Sun Duration sensor system options

We currently have three main options available for system builds of our Stand alone sun duration sensor.

We have put this chart together to detail the connectivity of each system: System chart...

Further and more detailed information regarding each system can be found below:

  • Remote sensor option More Information...
  • Pro sensor option More Information...
  • Hobbyist sensor option More Information...
  • So whether your looking to add the sensor to an existing system or just to take casual measurements, then we're sure we have a system to cater for your needs.

    But each system has a visual twin counter readout for logging sun data manually. This counter also displays the first and last times of the day that sun is received by the sensor. The capability to connect to our dedicated datalogger with bespoke software via the systems 'AUX' output (coming soon).

    Sun Duration Sensor Datalogger

    To accompany our stand alone systems, we are able to supply our dedicated datalogger with dedicated software. Further details can be found below:

  • Sun datalogger Logger details...
  • Instromet sun logger

    Sun Duration Sensor Davis Interface

    As an expansion to the above systems, we are now pleased to announce our Davis interface which allows the Stand Alone Sun Duration sensor to be connected to a spare Davis rain gauge input. This interface activates the Davis input when the sun control box emits its pulse output (1/100hr). The interface uses an optical transistor in its output to ensure that both systems are kept electrically isolated from each other. This is an ideal addition to either the remote system or the Hobbyist version of the stand alone system. This isn't required for the Pro version as the 'volt free' contacts operate in the same manor as this interface.

    Davis interface

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