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mtnmedic
Late for dinner
*****

Reged: 11/09/04

Loc: Antelope, Oregon
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6165092 - 10/29/13 06:25 PM

I just installed this app on my iPhone 4S. Been looking for something like this for some time.

I live in a dark sky location,which us a village of 40 people, five or six street lamps, none of them anywhere near my house, as I live in the "dark/quiet" end of town. The next nearest town is 32 miles away, population 6,000, but the terrain here is very hilly and rugged so we're in a bit of a bowl. As such, there really is no city glow perceivable to the naked eye here other than for what few lights are in my town. There are spots not far from here that I believe are darker.

It's daytime right now, so I did tests in the house:

1). Bathroom with no windows, a dim red night light and white light coming through between door and door frame/floor. SQM 16.04 "inner city sky"

2) Walk in closet with no inside lighting, some white light seeping in through space between door and door frame/floor, though less than bathroom. SQM 20.58 "suburban sky"

3). Same location as #2, but this time I did a "dark" (pressing the camera up against my chest, wearing a dark blue sweater) and then again for the "sky" measurement. SQM 20.89 "rural/suburban transition"

4). Exactly the same as above, only this time I also covered up the FRONT facing camera as well. SQM 21.18 "rural/suburban transition"

5). Same location as above. Only this time I wrapped the phone up snugly, fully covering screen and front facing camera, in double-folded black t-shirt for both "dark" and "sky". SQM 21.36 "rural sky"

I was disappointed, thinking this probably should've given a darker rating, especially for the last two readings. One possibility would be that the light given off from the app during reading is reflected and also recorded. Even as low as it is, and in red, the light from the app is still pretty bright in such a dark environment. I used to have a film bag, which I would've loved to duplicate this test with, but I might've gotten a similar reading because of the app lighting being reflected and measured.

Maybe the app itself requires the iPhone to be actually oriented somewhat level with the rear-facing camera pointing outward (upward, in this case), as opposed to against my chest or other orientation?

Might there perhaps be a way for the app to momentarily go completely dark or interpose a "black" full-screen image just during the readings?

Looks like tonight will be clear, free of clouds, waning crescent moon rising at 7:30pm as well as darkness setting at about that time (that is, astronomical dusk ends). Will give it a go then. New Moon is this Sunday.

Will report back with measurements and post them via the app as well.


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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #6165793 - 10/30/13 07:04 AM

You will really have to test this at night, with the phone pointed upwards. Testing indoors is tricky because of the wide FOV of the app and the 'unnatural' light distribution. Any slit of light can ruin the measurement. And it sounds strange, but the night light is different from the home light. We did a lot of measurements indoor. Also note that the front facing camera is not used. Just cover the back camera.

Edited by Nop (10/30/13 07:22 AM)


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sirchz
super member


Reged: 09/21/09

Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #6166455 - 10/30/13 01:46 PM

mtnmedic: Just curious, did you have the screen brightness turned down as low as possible during your measurements?

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mtnmedic
Late for dinner
*****

Reged: 11/09/04

Loc: Antelope, Oregon
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: sirchz]
      #6166466 - 10/30/13 01:53 PM

Quote:

mtnmedic: Just curious, did you have the screen brightness turned down as low as possible during your measurements?




Aha! No...I noticed that it was about 3/4 dimmed.

So...I just now went back into the closet (stop laughing!), turned the screen brightness all the way down, did a "dark" then held the phone way up above my head, uncovered, and did a "sky".

Came out to SQM 21.37 "rural sky"


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mtnmedic
Late for dinner
*****

Reged: 11/09/04

Loc: Antelope, Oregon
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6166514 - 10/30/13 02:20 PM

Quote:

You will really have to test this at night, with the phone pointed upwards. Testing indoors is tricky because of the wide FOV of the app and the 'unnatural' light distribution. Any slit of light can ruin the measurement. And it sounds strange, but the night light is different from the home light. We did a lot of measurements indoor. Also note that the front facing camera is not used. Just cover the back camera.




Okay, I did just that and got SQM 20.84 NELM 6.47 with the Moon at 21%

Only thing, the Moon wasn't up yet by far. Unless it's pretty sensitive enough to pick up traces of moon glow.

Of course now thinking, I should probably have turned off my TV before I went outside last night to test (there is a road and a field, nothing else, at my house, nothing else around). The rest of the house lights were off. I stood well out in the road in front if the house. So, I imagine perhaps the light from the TV also was picked up.


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #6167833 - 10/31/13 07:00 AM

I believe the Moon percent is based on the current phase of the Moon, not how much light is being picked up from the Moon.

JohnD


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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: johnpd]
      #6176820 - 11/05/13 06:08 AM

Yes, the moon is current phase, regardless if its up or not, i still work on a precise moon altitude algorithm which will be in one of the next releases.
There are formulas on the net which can take the amount of moon illumination and calculate an SQM value as if it was dark, but those are pretty tricky and unreliable. That's why we've installed a filter on our website map.


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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6192043 - 11/13/13 04:03 AM

Yesterday, we reached over 3000 validated measurements. Thanks a lot for submitting the data! The data will be used for next years Globe at Night program (and our map of course).

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nwcs
super member


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6199995 - 11/17/13 01:55 PM

Cool app! Just picked it up. Will have to wait to try it, though, since it is raining.

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6238115 - 12/06/13 09:05 PM

I picked this up today. Took a quick test outside. I will test again later in the night when neighbors turn their lights off and it clears a bit more. Oh also when the moon sets.

Looks like a cool app. Using my wifes old 4s.


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6239982 - 12/07/13 10:38 PM

Just downloaded the lite version, may get the pro version a little later.

Thanks for this app Norbert.


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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: djeber2]
      #6254461 - 12/15/13 01:03 PM

You're welcome!
The Dark Sky Meter has been rewarded by the IDA this year. I've gotten the Dark Sky Defender award for it! I'm a happy man
This week i've got hold on a 5S. So i will start testing and start supporting this device after a lot of measurements during the holidays.


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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6276374 - 12/27/13 11:48 PM

I just used this on my new 5S and it worked pretty good and got a reading of what I was expecting. I was using a 4S previously. Awesome app!

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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: petemumbower]
      #6291585 - 01/04/14 11:21 AM

Oddball idea... how about a calibrated light source that could be placed over the lend on an android phone in a dark room to calibrate the software? Led based should be doable for under $10

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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #6465234 - 04/14/14 08:34 AM

A new update has been posted to apple. It contains a 'tagging' function for data retrieval (mark/identify your own measurements in the database).
The app now displays 'this sky is X times as bright as..' in the pro version too. A CN user request.
Expect the update within 2 weeks.


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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6480735 - 04/22/14 08:31 AM

During dark Sky week the app is only $0.99. Thats a steal for a light pollution meter

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6481628 - 04/22/14 04:49 PM

When is the Android version coming?

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Nop
Vendor (iPushto)


Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Netherlands, Valkenburg
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: GeneT]
      #6482558 - 04/23/14 03:25 AM

There will be no Android version.
There are a lot of different Android devices, more than 4000 in total (2013). Most with different camera’s. With so many camera types on the market, it is impossible to make a decent Android port of our software.

But there is a nice and free alternative: the free app is called Loss of the Night https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cosalux.welovestars

This cool app is (very) different from our app (you have to use your eyes in stead of a camera), but it has the same goal: raising awareness for dark skies.


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: Nop]
      #6487259 - 04/25/14 08:05 AM

Quote:

During dark Sky week the app is only $0.99. Thats a steal for a light pollution meter




Yes it is - and I downloaded it to my 5S. Thanks!

The meter seems to work very well and I submitted my first reading last night.

Take care,

Ron


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Psion
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/27/05

Loc: Czech Republic, Prague
Re: Dark Sky Meter for iPhone available now! new [Re: RAKing]
      #6487612 - 04/25/14 11:32 AM

I tested it 5 months ago (iPhone 4), it works very bad compared with SQM Meter from Unihedron.

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