Recent Posts

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General Discussion / Tripod adaptors
« Last post by admin on July 30, 2013, 08:18:04 pm »
Tripod adaptors are now available for our meters:


This will help in consistently positioning the meter at various angles for detailed repetitive studies.

The kit includes one tripod adaptor, 3D-printed in ABS or PLA, and two longer screws (to replace two short screws already in the meter).

More details and ordering links can be found here.
Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / Import .dat file into Excel
« Last post by admin on April 30, 2013, 12:31:25 am »
The .dat file generated by UDM and defined here can be imported into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for calculations and graphing purposes as follows:
  • Start excel
  • File Open
  • Select "All files"
  • Select your .dat file (previously recorded and saved).
  • Select "delimited" (as opposed to the default "fixed width")
  • Import starting at line 33
  • Next
  • Unselect "Tab"
  • Select "Semicolon", you should see bars separating the data fields now.
  • Next
  • Define each field. European users will have to select "Advanced", then change the "Decimal point" to "." and "Thousands separator" to ","
  • field 1,2 = date YMD
General Discussion / Project MAROC: Robotic and Automatic Measurement of the dark sky
« Last post by admin on April 16, 2013, 12:17:39 am »
Here is an interesting project using the SQM-LU to scan and collect light readings with a motorized platform.

Submitted by: Fernando Fernandez
Organization: The amateur astronomy association of Spain; "Luz Cero"
Project name: MAROC (Robotic and Automatic Measurement of the dark sky)

We've developed an automated system to perform many lectures scanning near full sky and generating excel file and a graph. Software is Java based and GPL available for download. Hardware is a SQM-LU and a little board to control two step motors.

   More info (and video) at:


SQM-LU / MOVED: Software Support for SQM-LU/LE
« Last post by admin on February 06, 2013, 12:28:44 am »
SQM-LU-DL (Datalogging light meter) / MOVED: UDM updates
« Last post by admin on February 06, 2013, 12:27:50 am »
General Discussion / The GLOBE at Night Campaign
« Last post by admin on January 02, 2013, 11:55:08 pm »
Join the Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2013 Campaign

What would it be like without stars at night? What is it we lose? Starry night skies have given us poetry, art, music and the wonder to explore. A bright night sky (aka light pollution) affects energy consumption, health and wildlife too. Spend a few minutes to help scientists by measuring the brightness of your night sky. Join the GLOBE at Night citizen-science campaign ( The first campaign starts January 3 and runs through January 12.

More information:

GLOBE at Night is a worldwide, hands-on science and education program to encourage citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of their night sky. During five select sets of dates in 2013, children and adults match the appearance of a constellation (Orion or Leo in the northern hemisphere, and Orion and Crux in the southern hemisphere) with seven star charts of progressively fainter stars ( Participants then submit their choice of star chart at with their date, time and location. This can be done by computer (after the measurement) or by smart phone or pad (during the measurement). From these data an interactive map of all worldwide observations is created ( Over the past 7 years of 10-day campaigns, people in 115 countries have contributed over 83,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night the most successful, light pollution citizen-science campaign to date ( The GLOBE at Night website is easy to use, comprehensive, and holds an abundance of background information ( and Guides, activities, one-page flyers and postcards advertising the campaign are available at Through GLOBE at Night, students, teachers, parents and community members are amassing a data set from which they can explore the nature of light pollution locally and across the globe. There are 5 GLOBE at Night campaigns in 2013: January 3 - 12, January 31 - February 9, March 3 - 12, March 31 - April 9, and April 29 - May 8. Make a difference and Join the GLOBE at Night campaign.

Listen to a fun skit on GLOBE at Night in a 7-minute audio podcast at

Visit us on the Web:
Find us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:
Subscribe to our mailing list for updates:
Contact us:
Connected meters (SQM-LE/LU/LR/DL) / Knightware: Software Support for SQM-LU/LE
« Last post by knightware on December 26, 2012, 01:34:11 pm »
Knightware recently released Deep-Sky Planner 6 software which provides complete planning and logging features for users of Windows XP, Vista, 7 & 8. Knightware also offers SQM Reader (free) and SQM Reader Pro software for Unihedron's connected Sky Quality Meters - models LU, LE and LR.

The logging function in Deep-Sky Planner allows users to read a connected SQM and store the result automatically in a visual or imaging observation. This is the only planning and logging software that offers this feature.

You can learn more about Deep-Sky Planner, SQM Reader and SQM Reader Pro at

Special Offer for US Customers
Knightware offers SQM-LU or SQM-LE + SQM Reader Pro software at an unbeatable price to customers located in the US. This package is available only from Knightware. See
SQM-LU-DL (Datalogging light meter) / Firmware updates
« Last post by admin on December 23, 2012, 02:10:50 am »
A bug has been found in the Datalogger firmware versions 49-56 where subsequent readings from battery power were 0.66mpsas brighter than they
should be. This has been corrected in the latest firmware version 57 which can be installed from the latest UDM version available here:

The firmware is included in the latest UDM software here.

Also, a tool is available to correct existing .dat files for that offset. This tool is accessible as:
  Tools->Firmware 49-56 DL Correction

There have been many updates to UDM recently including some features in the plot utility (accessible as View->Plotter). The plotter can now show Sunrise/set times, and Sun & Moon elevation.

And, you may find some other tools useful as well
 - .dat reconstruct local time
    (for files where the local timezone was not set).
 - .dat time correction
     (when the meter clock is different from the GMT time).
 - .dat to kml
     (to make Google Earth maps using a GPS and connected SQM).

Also, we have recently completed a bracket to mount the connected meters to a car window for use in mapping studies while also using a GPS:

SQM & SQM-L Handheld light meters / Florida coastal lighting survey
« Last post by John on December 19, 2012, 12:52:28 am »
Coastal Lighting Survey in SE Florida was launched October 30th with the following objective:  Convince the Mayors of each of the nine cities in Broward County to reduce beachfront lighting impact on sea turtles.

The Lighting Survey just concluded by (STOP) quantifies direct and indirect lighting produced by each municipality. Because the indirect sky glow lighting is somewhat untouchable, each leader will have to be sold on the idea as to how they can effect change.

Each city will be expected to improve beachfront lighting conditions in order to escape scrutiny by tourists who have a right to experience sea turtle nesting and watch hatchlings rise out of the sand and head to the ocean—instead of the nearest light.

While each municipality will stand on its own, they will also be competing with one another to rise on the turtle nesting popularity ladder. A decrease or no change could be interpreted as a city that does not care about an endangered species and tourists may change their destination venue as a result.

Since correct turtle friendly lighting need only be installed once, will reduce electric consumption, will outlast conventional fixtures and will then meet local and state lighting requirements, there is little reason to object.

While the actual light reading is just a number, each mayor must be convinced it was scientifically developed and can be repeated with accuracy four times each sea turtle season without warning. Our surveyor used the SQM-L straight up and aimed at the offending light source.

Each mayor need do nothing more than “appoint” Code Enforcement or an appropriate commissioner or a staff person to look into the matter and perform simple tasks such as suggesting to the Maintenance Department to point certain lights down or change the bulb. Areas closest to the meter reading are easiest and most simple. But once hooked, each leader must feel obligated to continue.

A presentation with slides, sound, interactivity and links for more information has yet to be designed. Mayors would be able to mouse over their city to learn the meter reader location and results. Photographs of the site will pop up on demand. The offending lights will be easily hyperlinked.

Short clips of giant nesting sea turtles, baby hatchlings crushed in the roadway trying to reach a light source, tourists gasping in amazement should be a riveting experience to remember. Mayors already know their beachfront is the number one attraction—their job must be to preserve it and fill hotel rooms to survive.

Each mayor can see their rating and how it compares to their favorite mayor counterpart perhaps in the city next door—or at the other end of the county with a mouse click over an aerial map. Another slide will show how easy the fix is to accomplish. Links to light vendors and free help will occupy the SOURCE page.

John 8)
SQM-LU / Re: Extending the USB cable
« Last post by admin on November 01, 2012, 10:18:21 pm »
We have only tested that one (IOGEAR) brand. It has the advantage of you using your own cable at your desired length (up to 198164'). And, since it uses Ethernet cable, it can be terminated after the wire is strung through walls etc..

I think the USB extension cables should be just as reliable as the IOGEAR module. The extension cables I saw a while ago did not go up to 198164', that may be different now.

Please let us know if you find one that works for you, or which one you are considering to try.
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