Author Topic: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?  (Read 1156 times)

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Offline txbayou

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Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« on: October 10, 2018, 09:14:41 PM »
The UV reading on my Atlas is rarely above 1 during daylight hours. Iím trying to figure out if this is a defect, or a correct reading based on my Atlas getting at most 2-3 hours of direct sunlight in its current location, in mid October. The light intensity function seems to work, and shows a short period of peak light, which then drops over the afternoon. In the summertime, there would be direct sunlight on the sensor for a far longer time.

Other PWS readings in the area from Ambient PWSís show high UV readings of 5-7 over several hours, which corresponds to the NWS forecasts of the UV highs for the area.

Do UV sensors need longer periods of sustained sunlight to give accurate readings, or is the one in my Atlas defective? How long does the UV sensor have to be in direct sunlight before it will go above 1 or 2?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 08:45:35 AM by txbayou »

Offline Mirwin275

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 10:04:57 PM »
The UV reading on my Atlas is rarely above 1 during daylight hours. Iím trying to figure out if this is a defect, or a correct reading based on my Atlas getting at most 2-3 hours of direct sunlight in its current location, in mid October. The light intensity function seems to work, and shows a short period of peak light, which then drops over the afternoon. In the summertime, there would be direct sunlight on the sensor for a far longer time.

Other PWS readings in the area from Ambient PWSís show high UV readings of 5-7 over several hours, which corresponds to the NWS forecasts of the UV highs for the area.

Do UV sensors need longer periods of sustained sunlight to give accurate readings, or is the one in my Atlas defective? How long does the UV sensor have to be in direct sunlight before it will go above 1 or 2?

I live in Pennsylvania and my uv has not gone above a reading of 3 since I installed the Atlas a couple weeks ago. I asked Acurite about this, since the closest station gets up to a 5 or 6 at times. Acurite told me my uv readings are in line with surrounding stations. I checked around myself on WU today and found several nearby Ambient stations that had uv readings with a high ranging from 3 to 9. Are they off or is my Atlas off? Today, the Ambient station up the street from me got up to 4 and I got up to 3. The first screenshot is the Ambient station up the street and the other two screenshots are my uv and light intensity for today. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline wase4711

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 12:47:59 PM »
I had the same problem with my now returned Atlas; I never got uv readings over 3 in the Arizona sunny desert; my ws2000 that I replaced it with, has had readings up to 8 in the same location..

There are all sorts of issues with this first release of Atlas; just check these forums and the internet and you will see..

I'd return it, if its still returnable, and either try a replacement, or a different brand..

Offline Mirwin275

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 04:16:59 PM »
So, today is the first day my Atlas uv went passed a reading of 3. I hit a 4 today. MyAcurite only recorded a high of 3, but my display recorded a high of 4. So I suppose I hit 4 within the 5 minute update for MyAcurite and is why it is not showing a 4 as well on MyAcurite. This is why I wish the updates for MyAcurite were more frequent because it can be misleading and cause you to think something is inaccurate when it may not be.

Offline daman

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 07:00:39 PM »
So, today is the first day my Atlas uv went passed a reading of 3. I hit a 4 today. MyAcurite only recorded a high of 3, but my display recorded a high of 4. So I suppose I hit 4 within the 5 minute update for MyAcurite and is why it is not showing a 4 as well on MyAcurite. This is why I wish the updates for MyAcurite were more frequent because it can be misleading and cause you to think something is inaccurate when it may not be.
I agree 5 minutes is way to long weather can change many times in that time frame I don't like it, Heck the old system update was 15 minutes! that was ridicules  #-o
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Offline galfert

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 09:10:34 PM »
ambientweather.net gives you 1 minute updates (also sends to PWSweather.com in 1 minute uploads). Just saying in case you were looking to return and wanted something else. That doesn't necessarily make it better but it might have a factor as you build your personal pros and cons list.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:18:23 PM by galfert »
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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 09:20:07 PM »
So, today is the first day my Atlas uv went passed a reading of 3. I hit a 4 today. MyAcurite only recorded a high of 3, but my display recorded a high of 4. So I suppose I hit 4 within the 5 minute update for MyAcurite and is why it is not showing a 4 as well on MyAcurite. This is why I wish the updates for MyAcurite were more frequent because it can be misleading and cause you to think something is inaccurate when it may not be.
I agree 5 minutes is way to long weather can change many times in that time frame I don't like it, Heck the old system update was 15 minutes! that was ridicules  #-o

Faster myAcurite updates aren't out-of-the-question, but some folks get freaked out when the subject of tiered subscriptions comes up.

Offline daman

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 08:18:02 PM »
So, today is the first day my Atlas uv went passed a reading of 3. I hit a 4 today. MyAcurite only recorded a high of 3, but my display recorded a high of 4. So I suppose I hit 4 within the 5 minute update for MyAcurite and is why it is not showing a 4 as well on MyAcurite. This is why I wish the updates for MyAcurite were more frequent because it can be misleading and cause you to think something is inaccurate when it may not be.
I agree 5 minutes is way to long weather can change many times in that time frame I don't like it, Heck the old system update was 15 minutes! that was ridicules  #-o

Faster myAcurite updates aren't out-of-the-question, but some folks get freaked out when the subject of tiered subscriptions comes up.
Would be nice!  :grin:
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Offline radioman61

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2018, 08:59:47 PM »
For what itís worth, Iím in Pennsylvania and have 9.5kw of solar panels on the roof.  Power production this summer has been very poor.  Here are screenshots of the UV and Light intensity logs from the Atlas, as well as the output of my solar panels for the same period.

Offline radioman61

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2018, 09:04:24 PM »
For comparison, here is what a good cloudless day looks like. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline txbayou

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 08:04:14 AM »
For what itís worth, Iím in Pennsylvania and have 9.5kw of solar panels on the roof.  Power production this summer has been very poor.  Here are screenshots of the UV and Light intensity logs from the Atlas, as well as the output of my solar panels for the same period.

Thanks for posting the screenshots. My UV was flatline with only a few small blips no matter how much direct sun there was. I'm convinced it was broken.

Offline worachj

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Frost crystals on the solar lenses?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2018, 10:05:31 AM »
Frost crystals on the solar lenses?

Cold morning today, a low of 4F degrees. This morning at 7:30 AM-ish I notice that my UV reading was 4, should be zero. Iím speculating that frost crystals on the solar lenses are affecting my UV readings. As the sun continued to rise the UV readings began dropping as Iím speculating that the frost crystals were melting and disappearing. At 8:30 AM the UV readings are fine and back to what they should be. I havenít noticed any problems on other mornings.

Could the frost crystals be the cause of my bogus early morning UV readings?
 


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Offline MacGarage

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2018, 10:26:18 AM »
This is interesting.

My THIRD Atlas in one month, I feel, has the failed UV reporting. The third unit fixed the lightning issue.

My first Atlas reported fine.

My second Atlas reported only up to two.

My third Atlas seems to be only reporting up to three.

Here are comparisons from another station I have close by on the same day:



Atlas:





So now whatÖI guess I will need my FOURTH Atlas?

Offline wase4711

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2018, 11:24:10 AM »
could the 4th time be the charm????

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2018, 08:38:05 PM »
This is interesting.

My THIRD Atlas in one month, I feel, has the failed UV reporting. The third unit fixed the lightning issue.

My first Atlas reported fine.

My second Atlas reported only up to two.

My third Atlas seems to be only reporting up to three.

Here are comparisons from another station I have close by on the same day:


So now whatÖI guess I will need my FOURTH Atlas?

What are you comparing your readings to? 

I've recently been comparing my Atlas readings to this UV forecast page.  The results seem reasonable.

https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1#day1

I'm getting something wildly different on my WeatherFlow SKY, though.  While my Atlas was reading "3" (reasonable as per forecast for Central Texas), my WeatherFlow was nearly "8".  My WeatherFlow AIR is being replaced due to bad lightning detection.  I hope my SKY isn't bad, too.

Offline MacGarage

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2018, 08:58:16 PM »
This is interesting.

My THIRD Atlas in one month, I feel, has the failed UV reporting. The third unit fixed the lightning issue.

My first Atlas reported fine.

My second Atlas reported only up to two.

My third Atlas seems to be only reporting up to three.

Here are comparisons from another station I have close by on the same day:


So now whatÖI guess I will need my FOURTH Atlas?

What are you comparing your readings to? 

I've recently been comparing my Atlas readings to this UV forecast page.  The results seem reasonable.

https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1#day1

I'm getting something wildly different on my WeatherFlow SKY, though.  While my Atlas was reading "3" (reasonable as per forecast for Central Texas), my WeatherFlow was nearly "8".  My WeatherFlow AIR is being replaced due to bad lightning detection.  I hope my SKY isn't bad, too.

I am comparing it to a Fine Offset clone (image) that is probably 30 feet away from the Atlas. The other weather station I mentioned in other posts is an airport station that reports similar higher UV in my area as well.


It has been a pretty blustery, cloudy the last couple of days here but this is my Fine Offset for the last week:



And my Atlas:
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 03:53:39 AM by MacGarage »

Offline Mirwin275

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2018, 10:13:46 PM »
The Atlas' UV range is from 0-10 as far as I know and some other stations out there have a wider range than that and may read higher because of the wider range, like 0-15 for example. I live in southeastern PA and the highest UV reading my Atlas recorded since I received it at the beginning of September was a reading of 4. This reading of 4 was on the display, while MyAcurite read a high of 3, since MyAcurite updates are less frequent than the display. This time of year where I live will have lower uv readings compared to the summer because of the angle of the sun. I found out my uv readings are spot on for where I live during this time of year. The stations that read higher, like a reading of 8, could be wrong or their uv range is different. Not sure if I am correct, but it makes sense to me.

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 10:33:41 PM »
The Atlas' UV range is from 0-10 as far as I know and some other stations out there have a wider range than that and may read higher because of the wider range, like 0-15 for example. I live in southeastern PA and the highest UV reading my Atlas recorded since I received it at the beginning of September was a reading of 4. This reading of 4 was on the display, while MyAcurite read a high of 3, since MyAcurite updates are less frequent than the display. This time of year where I live will have lower uv readings compared to the summer because of the angle of the sun. I found out my uv readings are spot on for where I live during this time of year. The stations that read higher, like a reading of 8, could be wrong or their uv range is different. Not sure if I am correct, but it makes sense to me.

According to the Atlas specifications, it can go up to 15.  However, The UV index itself can go much higher.  I've heard some complaints that 15 isn't going to be enough for some areas of the world, like Australia.

Here's a general guide to UV exposure.  If "8" is a reasonable reading now, I'd hate to be in that same location in the summer.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]


Offline Mirwin275

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 10:45:38 PM »
The Atlas' UV range is from 0-10 as far as I know and some other stations out there have a wider range than that and may read higher because of the wider range, like 0-15 for example. I live in southeastern PA and the highest UV reading my Atlas recorded since I received it at the beginning of September was a reading of 4. This reading of 4 was on the display, while MyAcurite read a high of 3, since MyAcurite updates are less frequent than the display. This time of year where I live will have lower uv readings compared to the summer because of the angle of the sun. I found out my uv readings are spot on for where I live during this time of year. The stations that read higher, like a reading of 8, could be wrong or their uv range is different. Not sure if I am correct, but it makes sense to me.

According to the Atlas specifications, it can go up to 15.  However, The UV index itself can go much higher.  I've heard some complaints that 15 isn't going to be enough for some areas of the world, like Australia.

Here's a general guide to UV exposure.  If "8" is a reasonable reading now, I'd hate to be in that same location in the summer.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I see it now. It does say 15. I think I thought that because I thought someone from Acurite said the uv only went up to 10, but maybe they were saying the reverse and talking about what other brands go up to is only 10. I am pretty sure mine is working fine, since the uv readings are inline with the website you provided as well as weather.com. I consistently have a uv high between 2 and 3 at this time of year so far. I thought something was wrong too, but it's normal for this time of year where I live.

Offline MacGarage

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2018, 03:57:52 AM »
I should add that my first Atlas did seem to match my other stationís UV reporting...second one was limited to 2 and third Atlas is limited to 3...has never gone above despite intensity.

Offline MacGarage

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2018, 04:08:10 PM »
Okay...now I replaced the rain bucket for the incorrect UV. Now, my lightning sensor is not showing up.

I have removed the batteries and lightning sensor a number of times (and it clicks in). I have rebooted the Access twice.

This is a different rain bucket.

The lightning sensor does not show up in the managed devices.

The Atlas sensor shows up, just without the lightening sensor...everything else works. Wonder if the lightning fix did something to the rain bucket.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2018, 05:19:01 PM by MacGarage »

Offline Skywatch

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2018, 01:34:08 PM »
I'm wondering if Acu-rite uses the same UV sensor component that Oregon Scientific used several years ago? I remember I used to have the WMR200 with UV sensor and initially I had the same problem where the sensor never got above 1 on a sunny summer day. That slowly resolved itself over time. I'm sure they all use the same or similar components.

I'd say give the UV sensor some time to get broken in.
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Offline Victoria

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Re: Is my Atlas UV sensor defective?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2018, 03:27:34 PM »
I've been tracking these complaints carefully, and will continue to do so, but from what I've seen, I think most people are overestimating what UV should actually be in December (depending on where you live, but still...). I'm actually shocked by the variance I've seen from some other units I've tested, and how high they run. If I took their word for it, I would need to be wearing a whole lot more sunscreen right now... in Wisconsin. In December.

Full disclosure, throughout all our testing and revisions and then final units in the field, I have seen a very, very small number of exceptions where the UV sensor seems suspect. But for the vast majority, I think we're just suffering from a crummy case of Early Onset Winter-itis.