Author Topic: Solar and UV Sensors  (Read 772 times)

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Offline benay ra'am

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Solar and UV Sensors
« on: August 28, 2017, 06:16:56 PM »
The Manual states for cleaning the sensors, use Ethyl Alcohol. That stuff is really expensive and hard to get. Would Everclear be a good substitute?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 06:25:04 PM by benay ra'am »




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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 06:20:09 PM »
The Manual states to use Ethyl Alcohol. That stuff is really expensive and hard to get. Would Everclear be a good substitute?

You can buy it at Walgreens for less than $5.
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 06:24:12 PM »
Really?!?! Thanks I'll look into that. Question, Is not Ethyl Alcohol Food Grade? If so that makes it Booze?




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Offline pfletch101

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 07:55:09 PM »
The Manual states to use Ethyl Alcohol. That stuff is really expensive and hard to get. Would Everclear be a good substitute?

You can buy it at Walgreens for less than $5.

You can't get pure ethyl alcohol from Walgreens, or from any other regular retailer. By law, it has to be 'adulterated' to make it undrinkable and/or poisonous if ingested, otherwise tax has to be paid on it as a drinkable spirit (like vodka). I believe that you can get the pure chemical if you run some sort of lab which uses it in a process for which pure ethanol is actually required, but this is deliberately made difficult. Vodka is probably the nearest thing to pure alcohol (diluted with water) that you can get easily, but I can think of better uses for it :-). What I don't know is whether the 'adulterants' which are in the retail alcohol products would harm the sensors.
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 07:57:39 PM »
Here are the Ingredients to the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol:

Active Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol
Inactive Ingredients: Acetone, Denatonium Benzoate, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Water

Will this be safe for cleaning the Solar and UV senors? Or is this a question for Davis.




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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 08:02:21 PM »
The Manual states to use Ethyl Alcohol. That stuff is really expensive and hard to get. Would Everclear be a good substitute?

You can buy it at Walgreens for less than $5.

You can't get pure ethyl alcohol from Walgreens, or from any other regular retailer. By law, it has to be 'adulterated' to make it undrinkable and/or poisonous if ingested, otherwise tax has to be paid on it as a drinkable spirit (like vodka). I believe that you can get the pure chemical if you run some sort of lab which uses it in a process for which pure ethanol is actually required, but this is deliberately made difficult. Vodka is probably the nearest thing to pure alcohol (diluted with water) that you can get easily, but I can think of better uses for it :-). What I don't know is whether the 'adulterants' which are in the retail alcohol products would harm the sensors.

That's why I was looking at Everclear, a little more refine then Vodka. I think Everclear is 170 or 180 proof.




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Offline pfletch101

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 08:09:08 PM »
Here are the Ingredients to the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol:

Active Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol
Inactive Ingredients: Acetone, Denatonium Benzoate, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Water

Will this be safe for cleaning the Solar and UV senors? Or is this a question for Davis.

Probably a question for Davis - I would be a bit concerned about the acetone, since that dissolves some plastics which are unaffected by alcohol. I have now looked up Everclear - I didn't realize that it was, in fact, a drinkable spirit, and sold as such. I would imagine that it would be quite a good choice for cleaning the sensors, and I suppose that the small amount you would use would not end up being that expensive, if the spirit was something you had around, anyway.
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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 08:31:10 PM »
Here are the Ingredients to the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol:

Active Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol
Inactive Ingredients: Acetone, Denatonium Benzoate, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Water

Will this be safe for cleaning the Solar and UV senors? Or is this a question for Davis.

I can't believe Davis would recommend a cleaning solution that would be pricey. Also, why wouldn't regular glass cleaning wipes do the same thing?  The glass wipes I use have water and detergent together with "isopropyl alcohol" in them-- not ethyl alcohol, but my glasses are several times more expensive than the Davis sensors. Call Davis support (510) 732-7814 to confirm and let us know what they say! That said, per the Davis website:

"Note: Do not touch the small white diffusers on top of the sensors with your fingers. Oil from skin reduces their sensitivity. If you are concerned that you have touched the diffusers at any time, clean the diffuser using ethyl alcohol with a soft cloth. DO NOT use rubbing or denatured alcohols because they can affect accuracy of the sensor readings. Ethyl alcohol can be found at industrial or laboratory supply stores."
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:00:12 PM by WheatonRon »
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 09:12:36 PM »
Here are the Ingredients to the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol:

Active Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol
Inactive Ingredients: Acetone, Denatonium Benzoate, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Water

Will this be safe for cleaning the Solar and UV senors? Or is this a question for Davis.

I can't believe Davis would recommend a cleaning solution that would be pricey. Also, why wouldn't regular glass cleaning wipes do the same thing?  The glass wipes I use have water and detergent together with "isopropyl alcohol" in them-- not ethyl alcohol, but my glasses are several times more expensive than the Davis sensors. Call Davis support (510) 732-7814 to confirm and let us know what they say! That said, per the Davis website:

"Note: Do not touch the small white diffusers on top of the sensors with your fingers. Oil from skin reduces their sensitivity. If you are concerned that you have touched the diffusers at any time, clean the diffuser using ethyl alcohol with a soft cloth. DO NOT use rubbing or denatured alcohols because they can affect accuracy of the sensor readings. Ethyl alcohol can be found at industrial or laboratory supply stores."

I Duckduckgo Ethyl Alcohol and it brought me to a Perfume Forum ( Imagine that!), person was looking for pure Ethyl Alcohol and the cheapest quote was for $150 a gallon or there abouts and was Food grade ( to me that's booze), so I'll just call Davis and get the skinny from them, I want to do this right.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:14:25 PM by benay ra'am »




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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 10:42:16 PM »
Please let us know what Davis says.

Offline Bashy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2017, 11:53:20 PM »
Youve just acquired the sensors, is there a reason you need to clean it already :o
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2017, 06:31:20 AM »
Youve just acquired the sensors, is there a reason you need to clean it already :o

I finger farted them before I read the instructions, says you touch them you clean them.




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Offline Bashy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2017, 06:37:26 AM »
Oops...
Kind regards
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2017, 06:42:15 AM »




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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2017, 03:27:42 PM »
Have you contacted Davis yet so you can educate us on the "correct" answer?
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Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2017, 06:28:03 PM »
Have you contacted Davis yet so you can educate us on the "correct" answer?

Yes I have and I don't have good news, no on the Everclear ( Because of impurities and will leave a film  ) and no on the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol because of the Acetone and "Drew" was not forthcoming with anymore info, it was like he did not want to talk to me. The only thing I can think of is to use Everclear followed with Distilled water.




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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2017, 08:10:35 PM »
I suppose you could have asked where to buy it. 

But consider, for example:

https://www.amazon.com/8-FLUID-XFB-USP-151-PROOF/dp/B073Y7TGRB/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1504138022&sr=1-3&keywords=xfb+usp+food+grade+grain+alcohol+8-fluid+oz

8-FLUID OZ XFB USP 151 PROOF - XFB PRODUCES THE PUREST ORGANIC USP-RATED FOOD GRADE GRAIN ALCOHOL ON THE PLANET. ON SALE NOW FOR $15.26 and free shipping.

Offline pfletch101

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2017, 08:36:21 PM »
Prima Facie, I am not sure that this would be expected to be any better (for cleaning sensors) than Everclear, which Davis apparently feel should not be used. "Pure" when applied to a foodstuff does not necessarily mean the same as it does when applied to a laboratory chemical. A foodstuff can reasonably be described as "pure" if the bulk of what it contains is "what it says on the tin" and anything else in it is harmless when ingested, doesn't change the taste, and is present only in low concentration. That may not be enough (and Davis obviously thinks it isn't for Everclear) if you want to use it as a solvent.
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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2017, 09:13:40 PM »
Have you contacted Davis yet so you can educate us on the "correct" answer?

Yes I have and I don't have good news, no on the Everclear ( Because of impurities and will leave a film  ) and no on the Walgreen Ethyl Alcohol because of the Acetone and "Drew" was not forthcoming with anymore info, it was like he did not want to talk to me. The oiinly thing I can think of is to use Everclear followed with Distilled water.

That sounds like Davis support. In the 12 years I have owned my VP2, I have called Davis support maybe 6-7 times and each time it was a different person answering questions. When I ask if xxx still works there (yes, I keep a log when talking to a support person whether from Davis, Microsoft or whomever), the answer has always been "no." Obviously, Davis support has a lot of turnover, except for the manager, Brett Lane, but at least Davis is providing support, so far, for the life of the VP2!

Conversely, I updated the firmware in my Linksys WiFi router last week and afterwards, something wasn't working correctly. I called Linksys and they wanted $40 to address my issue caused by their firmware update, only because my router was 6 months out of the way too short warranty! In summary, some support (the Davis approach) is better than none!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 11:22:55 PM by WheatonRon »
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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2017, 09:21:49 PM »
Yes, foodgrade wouldn't guarantee anything.

You could always go with
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sial/459836?lang=en&region=US

100ML for $57.40

concentration      200 proof
impurities      <0.005% water
evapn. residue      <0.0005%

There are lots of alternatives, but this sensor is going to be mounted where the birds can poop on it, etc. etc.  And precipitation is, of course, water AND contains impurities.   

Offline benay ra'am

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 09:38:14 PM »
Yes, foodgrade wouldn't guarantee anything.

You could always go with
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sial/459836?lang=en&region=US

100ML for $57.40

concentration      200 proof
impurities      <0.005% water
evapn. residue      <0.0005%

There are lots of alternatives, but this sensor is going to be mounted where the birds can poop on it, etc. etc.  And precipitation is, of course, water AND contains impurities.

LoL! ATF Paperwork required, like buying a Firearm #-o :lol:. I'll just take my chances with Everclear and distilled water. I'm pretty sure I got a canned response from Davis.




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Offline WheatonRon

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2017, 09:43:12 PM »
Yes, foodgrade wouldn't guarantee anything.

You could always go with
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sial/459836?lang=en&region=US

100ML for $57.40

concentration      200 proof
impurities      <0.005% water
evapn. residue      <0.0005%

There are lots of alternatives, but this sensor is going to be mounted where the birds can poop on it, etc. etc.  And precipitation is, of course, water AND contains impurities.

LoL! ATF Paperwork required, like buying a Firearm #-o :lol:. I'll just take my chances with Everclear and distilled water. I'm pretty sure I got a canned response from Davis.

I like your solution! Practical, probably 95% likely to work, and if you are off by 3-5%, I believe life in the United States, the UK, Australia and other fine places, will continue!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 09:51:30 PM by WheatonRon »
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Offline azchrisf

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 03:58:49 PM »
Yeah I honestly don't see why they say you need labratory-grade Ethyl alcohol. The atmosphere, as stated by others, is full of "contaminates" and it sits in it day in and out. I would have no problem using Everclear. It makes no sense the things Davis does/says. Sometimes seems like the left hand doesn't know the right over there...

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 04:19:52 PM »
Yeah I honestly don't see why they say you need labratory-grade Ethyl alcohol. The atmosphere, as stated by others, is full of "contaminates" and it sits in it day in and out. I would have no problem using Everclear. It makes no sense the things Davis does/says. Sometimes seems like the left hand doesn't know the right over there...

Understood, but you aren't personally guaranteeing my use of Everclear.

Consider Davis' position.  If they say Everclear is OK, and then somebody uses Everclear, has problems, and sues Davis, ............

Offline azchrisf

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Re: Solar and UV Sensors
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 04:58:56 PM »
I understand their position, but what I am trying to get at is they shouldn't be making something so hard to get a hold of and unusual "required" by them.

If that's what they want people using and only that, maybe they should be selling it themselves. Better yet, recommend something like other companies manuals have like common products a consumer can easily obtain.

If the plastic they are using is that senstive to "contaminates" in an alcohol solution I would expect it would fall apart out in the elements.

Just sayin'...