Author Topic: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder  (Read 7303 times)

Steve

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1289
    • DW8454
    • KOHAVON11
    • Avon Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Wireless VP2 Plus w/24 hr FARS, Leaf & Soil Station, 2017 27" iMac 3.8 GHz i5, 40GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14, WeatherCat 3
Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« on: July 09, 2012, 11:25:33 PM »
As some of you know, I'm every bit as fascinated with the "old way" of doing things as much if not more that with modern technology. I've got digital cameras and 100 year old bellows camera, modern typography software, and very old typewriters and printing presses, power tools and 100+ year old woodworking tools, digital "books" and 200+ year old masterpieces. This applies to most of my hobbies.

I've put together another piece of equipment for measuring and observing meteorological data. In the 19th century, a new device called a Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder was developed for observing the length of sunshine during a day. A glass sphere was suspended over a special chart designed to char when the sunlight focused on it. The total length of the charred sections was the length of sunshine for that particular day. If it was partly cloudy, the charred sections would be intermittent and need to be added together for the day's total.

Sunshine recorders have mostly fallen out of use in modern times, but they are still used a few places and still manufactured. They are just extraordinarily expensive! A new Casella Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder list for $3500, and the very few used ones I've seen are $1500-$2000. Beautiful, but way out of reach for casual observations. Here's a nice description of them along with photos: http://www.kuriositas.com/2011/02/campbellstokes-sunshine-recorder.html

A lady that had one for sale on the WXforum for $1400, but I decided I'd end up in the doghouse for the rest of my life if I spent that much on a shiny ball. She later contacted me letting me know that she had just the base for one that she'd sell for $75. Lotta good that would do me! But I had her send photos anyway, and decided that I could probably come up with something to at least use it for experimenting and decoration. Meanwhile, she contacted me again, lowered the price to $50 including shipping. I decided to go for it. I asked if she'd include a couple of chart strips for testing, and when it arrived, I had probably six month's worth of charts!

I asked the UK guys over on the MacWeather forum if they know of anywhere that replacement spheres could be purchased. Herb, in jest, suggested I get a Crystal Ball. You know what? That was a great idea! I contacted the company and bought a slightly oversized crystal ball. The sunshine recorder has the "bowl" for more norther locations than mine, and I don't have the fancy cups to support the sphere. But for experimenting and appearance, I don't think I did too bad!










Obviously a temporary solution to suspending the sphere. Yes, that is a "crystal ball" . Thanks Herb!
Total cost: $76.95

Steve
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


CWOP: DW8454 • WU: KOHAVON11 • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn •  UK Met Office
MWWN •PWSweather • WeatherBug • WeatherCloud • Twitter • Facebook

Randall75

  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1205
  • CWOP-CW6734 WeatherUnderground-KOHNEWAR6
    • CW6734
    • KOHNEWAR6
    • Randy's Weather On The Hill
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus.iMac i5 Sierra 10.12.6 8GB Ram, WeatherCat 3,Logitech 9000 Pro Web Cam
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 12:09:45 AM »
Hi Steve
 That's great and it looks real nice
but what does the crystal ball tell you [biggrin]
do you know how read a crystal ball just joking [lol2]
glad that you were able to put it all together
 [cheers1]

Steve

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1289
    • DW8454
    • KOHAVON11
    • Avon Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Wireless VP2 Plus w/24 hr FARS, Leaf & Soil Station, 2017 27" iMac 3.8 GHz i5, 40GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14, WeatherCat 3
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 12:15:49 AM »
but what does the crystal ball tell you

That's easy! It tells me that it is sunny outside! :D
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


CWOP: DW8454 • WU: KOHAVON11 • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn •  UK Met Office
MWWN •PWSweather • WeatherBug • WeatherCloud • Twitter • Facebook

embayweather

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • DW3656
    • lENGLAND128
    • Lancastrian Imaging
  • Station Details: Oregon WM928, Intel Mac 2.5Ghz, I5 Quad core, Met Office spec manual instruments, Cat, WD, 1-wire, Labjack, Lightning Radar
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 11:13:18 AM »
Well done you. Sooooooo envious, would dearly like one of those. So glad you managed to fettle it and get it working. Now the search for charts?

Best wishes

Mike

Steve

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1289
    • DW8454
    • KOHAVON11
    • Avon Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Wireless VP2 Plus w/24 hr FARS, Leaf & Soil Station, 2017 27" iMac 3.8 GHz i5, 40GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14, WeatherCat 3
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 01:41:50 PM »
I knew you would like this, Mike. Much prettier than the electronic one we were both looking at on the Cumulus forum, if less useful. Who know? Maybe she'll lower the price on her other one by about 75%. If so, I'll send you this one. ;)
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


CWOP: DW8454 • WU: KOHAVON11 • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn •  UK Met Office
MWWN •PWSweather • WeatherBug • WeatherCloud • Twitter • Facebook

embayweather

  • Strong Breeze
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • DW3656
    • lENGLAND128
    • Lancastrian Imaging
  • Station Details: Oregon WM928, Intel Mac 2.5Ghz, I5 Quad core, Met Office spec manual instruments, Cat, WD, 1-wire, Labjack, Lightning Radar
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:52:22 PM »
Thank you so much for the thought but I have already stopped believing in faeries. Still it has given me some ideas about making one, a possible third design is beginning to formulate. Just enjoy it as much as you can.

Best wishes

Mike

WCDev

  • WeatherCat Developer
  • Administrator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 2795
    • CW9739
    • ISCOTLAN25
    • Trixology
  • Station Details: Main Station: Vantage Pro-2, 24hr fars, solar, soil/leaf station, extra temp stations, no U.V. WeatherLink IP.
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 08:08:32 PM »
Very nice Steve.

I'd be interested in how the sun hours you get compares to the sun hours WeatherCat computes as it's based on a simulation of that very instrument. I don't have one, but have used one a mile or two away to adjusts WeatherCat's simulation.


wurzelmac

  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
    • ITIROLPR2
    • Wetterstation Prägraten am Großvenediger
  • Station Details: Davis Vantage PRO2 Plus (24h fan aspirated, wireless) with UV/Solar | Weather Envoy Data Logger | Mac mini Mid 2011 2,7 GHz Intel Core i7 with 12 GB of RAM | 2x Canon EOS 1100D | macOS 10.13.6 HighSierra
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 09:08:22 PM »
The pictures are looking great!
Reinhard


Steve

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1289
    • DW8454
    • KOHAVON11
    • Avon Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Wireless VP2 Plus w/24 hr FARS, Leaf & Soil Station, 2017 27" iMac 3.8 GHz i5, 40GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14, WeatherCat 3
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 10:38:21 PM »
Very nice Steve.

I'd be interested in how the sun hours you get compares to the sun hours WeatherCat computes as it's based on a simulation of that very instrument.

Thanks Stu, I'm not so sure I believe WeatherCat's simulation, though. It still says my sunniest day was back in May, with even more sunlight than the absolutely cloudless days we've had for weeks around the Solstice. ;) Unless the trees that block the early morning and late afternoon sun have grown substantially since May.

Sunniest day on record: 14-May-2012 with 10.3 hours of sunshine.
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


CWOP: DW8454 • WU: KOHAVON11 • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn •  UK Met Office
MWWN •PWSweather • WeatherBug • WeatherCloud • Twitter • Facebook

Steve

  • Global Moderator
  • Storm
  • *****
  • Posts: 1289
    • DW8454
    • KOHAVON11
    • Avon Weather
  • Station Details: Davis Wireless VP2 Plus w/24 hr FARS, Leaf & Soil Station, 2017 27" iMac 3.8 GHz i5, 40GB RAM, Mac OS 10.14, WeatherCat 3
Re: Campbell-Stokes Sunshine Recorder
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 10:53:40 PM »
Here's a test strip. Note that nothing has been calibrated, leveled, optimal location or anything. Just seeing if it worked.

Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


CWOP: DW8454 • WU: KOHAVON11 • AWEKAS • CoCoRaHS • Skywarn •  UK Met Office
MWWN •PWSweather • WeatherBug • WeatherCloud • Twitter • Facebook