Recent Posts

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Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / DL Retrieve-all speed-up
« Last post by admin on January 29, 2017, 01:05:13 am »
We have been able to radically reduce the data download time for the SQM-LU-DL meter. A typical 30 minute download can now be done in 65 seconds. Using the new "Retrieve All (bin)" button.

There are changes in the firmware and UDM software. The firmware change (feature 45) is included with the latest UDM version (version 85) and is fairly easy to install on your system without worry of losing existing data or calibration settings.

You can get the latest UDM software for Windows from here:
General Discussion / Re: Turtle studies
« Last post by admin on January 27, 2017, 02:34:06 pm »
Here is an entertaining and educational podcast about Sea Turtles and light pollution By Molly Bloom Ė December 30, 2016:

  "We donít know much about the long life of a sea turtle, since itís
  mostly spent in the ocean. When they do come ashore to lay their eggs,
  we know the babies use the moon and stars to guide them back to sea.
  But what happens when hotels and houses and streetlights compete for
  their attention?

  A citizen science group at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola,
  Florida helps map the night sky in order to keep these mysterious
  creatures on the right path."
Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / INDI driver
« Last post by admin on November 16, 2016, 09:07:34 pm »
Many thanks to Jasem Mutlaq for writing the INDI driver which can be obtained here:

The SQM-LE is now officially supported in INDI and users who capture images using any of INDI clients (such as Ekos or PixInsight) will get the MPSAS value in the FITS header.

The INDI web site also has their own forum for discussing this driver:
Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / GPS integration
« Last post by admin on August 31, 2016, 03:33:25 pm »
Version of the Unihedron Device Manager (UDM) now includes integration with an external GPS receiver connected to the computer. The following image shows the GPS interface page on the Log Continuous page:

This should be useful for large land surveys where an SQM (-LE/LU/DL/R/V) and separate GPS are connected to a laptop computer while driving around collecting data for a dark sky map.

Enabling the GPS from the Log Continuous page forces "MOVING" platform logged recordings that append five fields (latitude, longitude, elevation, speed, number of satellites in view) to each record.

This feature has been tested with the GlobalSat BU-353 USB connected GPS which can be purchased from Amazon. Note: Many other GPS receivers that send standard NMEA messages at 4800 baud should also work.

This new version of UDM is available here:

The PDF manuals include a small description:

UDM Version has a .dat to .kml tool (Tools->dat to kml). The kml file can be opened in GoogleEarth. GoogleEarth cannot read hidden directories, so you may have to move the newly created .kml file to an easier-to-find location like the Desktop.
Weatherproofing / Opening the tight cap
« Last post by admin on August 17, 2016, 05:30:57 pm »
The weatherproof has a press-fit cap.

Sometimes a rubber mat or glove can be used to ease the loosening of the cap.

Also, putting the entire housing into the freezer and waiting for it to cool off may help to shrink the tube small enough to allow the cap to slip off easily.

Using rubber gloves, grab the bottom of the housing and twist the top cap off as shown below:

General Discussion / Re: The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness
« Last post by admin on July 17, 2016, 12:43:01 pm »
And now, the atlas is in book format ...

A new book about light pollution around the world is now available. Fabio Falchi has done a tremendous amount on it, and many SQM users participated and provided their readings to help produce this book.

Here is a description of the book:
  The Light Pollution World Atlas is the most powerful tool to raise awareness the impact of this form of pollution around the world. The new version marks a major breakthrough in enabling people, governments, local authorities, researchers and industry to address this global challenge. After fifteen years, the second Light Pollution World Atlas shows a significant increase of artificial sky brightness across time and continents. We are facing the deterioration of a legacy with strong cultural, scientific, environmental, healthy and aesthetic repercussions. The time to act is now.

The book is available here:

General Discussion / Flying SQM proposal
« Last post by admin on June 30, 2016, 04:47:26 pm »
This article discusses a project to mount an SQM onto a drone for large area coverage:

Using drones to keep tabs on light pollution
Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / 3D printed SQM-LE holder
« Last post by admin on June 21, 2016, 11:54:51 pm »
Dr So Chu-wing of the Globe at Night - Sky Brightness Monitoring Network (GaN-MN) has provided this SQM-LE and PoE holder 3D-print designed to fit into our weatherproof housing.

All the files, including assembly images, can be downloaded from here.

The design is Open license.

General Discussion / The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness
« Last post by admin on June 13, 2016, 11:05:13 pm »
"This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies."

Read the full paper with maps The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness.

by Fabio Falchi, Pierantonio Cinzano, Dan Duriscoe, Christopher C. M. Kyba, Christopher D. Elvidge, Kimberly Baugh, Boris A. Portnov, Nataliya A. Rybnikova, Riccardo Furgoni
I am certainly no against doing such a thing, I just have to find the time and resources for it. It's on the plate.
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