SKY solar battery charge conversion?

If you need a beta tester in a country with no sun, I am in the UK (this year being an exception!) :wink:

Great to hear, and looking forward to further news !!!

If you can run your wires down the inside of your (metal?) mast and an earth wire to your mast it should help longevity of the wire from lightning (and UV). Good luck :slight_smile:

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Exactly my plan for next time the mast is down! I have a whole assortment of rubber grommets on hand to stop possible abrasion on the wire as it passes through the drilled holes into and out of the mast…


Waiting with baited breath for this upgrade.

@jhodgesatmb When are you going to install your production SKY (with significantly longer battery life than your field test SKY) ? Here’s a sample battery curve in your general area:

I’m very interested in a solar power upgrade too. (station 4823)

I’m working on remounting my Sky to an ancient 50’ telescoping mast and not looking forward to replacing batteries :slight_smile:

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@mb2452 :+1: In the meantime, set your SKY to report winds every 15sec to prolong battery. App > Settings > Stations > select station > Manage Devices > select your SKY > Advanced > enable Power Save mode. Default mode is to report winds every 3 sec, which is frankly overkill for most home users.

Here’s an example battery power graph for a SKY in California:

PS - be sure to eliminate vibrations in your mast.

I am also waiting for the solar power source. I only have Sky on a 10’ poll and I want to move it higher. Changing batteries in Air I don’t mind (for now). It looks like if I can believe then battery card that Air is much easier on batteries than Sky.

Thanks, I enabled power save mode.

I just installed the production SKY and set to power saving mode. I lost my battery meter ‘card’ and forgot how to add it back - searching emails now.

Jack Hodges, Ph.D.
Arbor Studios

@jhodgesatmb . To enable your battery cards: App > Settings > Stations > [ select station ] > Advanced > toggle the hide/show Battery Card selection.

Thanks. I found the old mail. Interestingly, when I added the ‘new’ SKY the battery card went away when I removed the ‘old’ SKY. I had to go into settings and disable and re-enable the battery card and then it showed up.

Anyone have advice on protection from energy of nearby lighting strikes. My sky is over house using eave mount about 6’ above apex of roof for total of 30’ above ground. Currently using a heavy PVC pipe as mast so could I run wire through PVC to battery pack just below and be afforded any level of protection?

Logic would tell is since it will not be grounded there should be no issue. Unless the pole receives a direct strike I think you will be safe from damage.

I’m not electronic engineer but I believe the possible issue raised by others is not a direct strike but energy that might enter battery wiring which is acting as an antenna from nearby lighting.

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There are many opinions, and I may be wrong, but then lightning is also variable. I get severe lightning during summer with strikes to the ground within 100m from my house on the top of a hill and have had weather stations on high metal poles above my roof. I found when the wiring was on the outside of the pole I suspect the tiny electrical feelers that radiate out before the strike chooses the easiest path were spiking through my cable sheath and breaking down the insulation. I changed to running the wires up the inside of my metal pole so that the metal pole was a solid large shield. I think it is better. I used to earth the pole to ground. But now with Sky I am not using any of the wires (A reason why I chose Weatherflow). After many years of lowering my pole to repair items I changed my pole mount to a hinged system, which makes battery changing easier. In the future I might add a solar panel in which case I would mount it on the pole immediately below the Sky. I suspect the lightening finds it easier to avoid going through my house and chooses direct ground strikes in preference. There is another topic somewhere on this forum that discusses lightning…
cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Let us not forget that the cable shielding is grounded. There is no ground on the battery wires to the Sky.

When I used shielded cable with a foil shield exposed to the sun and lightning on the outside of the pole after it failed and I pulled it down and examined it I had the impression it had been poked with a needle and I guessed it might be lightning feelers penetrating the cable. But I could be wrong. It might have been large voltage differentials during the main strike that did it?
Just my guess why it failed. cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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You need to check the Physics on this topic; the safest solution is to have a very sharp, grounded, conductive spike on top of the pole. Usually, the sharp top edge of a grounded pole will suffice. The electrostactic field strength adjacent to the spike is inversely proportional to the radius of curvature of the spike and will effect a discharge before the adjacent charge cloud density gets too large. That is generally called a lightning conductor, but is really the exact opposite, it leaks the charge away before it can can ionise the air and do any harm! Lightning conductors are actually impending (potential!!!) lightning conductors:-)