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Comparison of the Boltwood II and Sky Alert Cloud Sensors

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#1 theastroimager

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:40 AM

This review is a side-by-side comparison of the Boltwood II Cloud Sensor from Diffraction Limited/Cynagon , and the SkyAlert Cloud Sensor from Interactive Astronomy. Both units were purchased new by the author. The sellers were not made aware that I would be doing a review of their products, so no temptation was held to send me anything other than a typical unit.

Click here to view the article

#2 cjdavis618

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 07:53 PM

Thanks for such a thorough review. Very helpful to decide what option would work best for me. 


I looked on the site for the Skyalert system and didn't see the  spinning anemometer option listed. Is that something you asked for specifically? I see other options like power monitoring, but not that spinning version of the meter. 



#3 RichA

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:42 PM

It's nice that someone would do a thorough review of two items that the regular magazines/sites probably would pass-over in favour of a telescope or mount review.  Good work.  The price difference of these units is considerable, but professional weather instruments from companies like Vaisala or Campbell Scientific is a lot higher still.



#4 pablotwa

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:17 PM

Disclaimer, I have no direct connection with any of the above companies other than having purchased the Sky Alert and Sky Roof for my ROR a few years back.

 

There are lousy vendors, medium vendors and great vendors but there's only ONE outfit above them all and that's Jim Collins from Sky Alert. (I know it sounds like BS..but believe me, it's absolutely and provably true)

 

When I have a problem (mostly self inflicted and not related to his products) and leave him an email he responds within minutes and in most cases phones me back in less than an hour...then he will ask for my Teamviewer code and fix the program himself...as many times as needed and never EVER with anything less than a positive attitude and enthusiasm for his product.

 

His Sky Alert saved my very expensive equipment so many times I lost count. I set it forget it and it works, every time, all the time.

 

Oh yes, one of the sensors went bad after 2 years and he fixed it..free of charge (I insisted I pay for the postage and I will but so far he hasn't even billed me for that).

 

You're not only buying a great product but your also buying the kind of support that really doesn't exist anymore.

 

Pablo Lewin

The Maury Lewin Astronomical Observatory

Glendora,CA. 91741


Edited by pablotwa, 11 June 2018 - 07:21 PM.


#5 eastwd

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:09 PM

I looked on the site for the Skyalert system and didn't see the  spinning anemometer option listed. Is that something you asked for specifically? I see other options like power monitoring, but not that spinning version of the meter. 

I'm curious about this, too.



#6 Alain Maury

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 09:25 PM

Boltwood sensor is supported in Prism. Both anyway measure the temperature of the sky with an IR sensor, and therefore can't see cirrus clouds which are very high and therefore very cold. When doing photometry you want of course no clouds, including no cirrus.

Best way so far is to have an all sky camera with a software able to count the visible stars in the image, and see a drop when there are clouds. I don't know if many all sky cams do that, but the one I use does (see https://hyperion-astronomy.com/alphea ). First, I live in a place where clouds are rare (the second image from the left on the above page is from my all sky), I have a weather station, mostly for the wind indication. Don't use IR sensors anymore. And the all sky cam can tell me if there are clouds or not. Normally not.




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