Family Software Newsletter #21 - January 22, 2002


An Effective Weather Solar Radiation Shield for FREE!

--- An Effective Weather Sensor Radiation Shield for FREE! --
Remember the saying, 'Garbage In, Garbage out?' It applies to ET Prediction in a major way! Collecting weather data, in order to reliably predict changes in your vehicle's performance, must be done accurately, with NO room for error. You have heard me talk many times about attempting to take your weather readings in the staging lanes, and how it simply CAN NOT work! There are many methods being used out there to predict ET. The ONLY method that is scientific AND precise, is our Horsepower Correction method. And, in order to keep the computations (OUTPUT) precise, the air readings (INPUT) must be gathered accurately. This means that temperature and humidity gauges, or sensors, MUST be shielded from the sun's radiation. Any exposure to direct or reflected sunlight will cause inaccurate readings.

Some very expensive methods are being used such as powered, fan aspirated shields to place your sensors inside of. In experimenting with our Professional Wireless Weather Station, we found that a reliable Solar Radiation Shield can be made for FREE, that is as effective, if not MORE effective, than the expensive powered shields. And, without a powered shield, there are NO wires to run. Cool, huh?

To keep your sensors away from ground humidity, heat from people, generators, engines, etc., mount them on a length of PVC pipe available at your home center. Most sensors come with the correct u-bolts for mounting to plastic pipe. If you are using a wind sensor, such as our Solar Powered unit, mount it at least 6 feet above your motor home or trailer's roof. This way the wind sensor can directly sense the correct wind speed. Trying to measure wind speed at ground level, around motor homes, trailers, and trees, is impossible. We have seen all types of home made sensor shields in the pits, varying from Styrofoam ice chests to salad bowls. The important thing is that air must be able to get IN and OUT of the shield freely with no restriction, while blocking the sun entirely. If your sensors are solar powered, then you want daylight (not direct sun) to be able to reach the solar panel.

I found that the perfect shield was an empty 1 gallon bleach bottle! Simply cut off the top of the bottle and turn it upside down. The bottom of the bottle becomes the roof for your sensor. Cutting out about 1/3 of the side of the bottle gives the air easy entry and egress and permits the solar panel to see daylight. Adding a half inch of Styrofoam to the inside of the roof of the shield makes it even more efficient, as I have done to mine. Now, most bleach bottles are white, BUT they are translucent, and that is no good. We must block the sun's radiation completely and this is easily done by lighting sanding the exterior of the bottle, priming it, and then painting it white. It MUST be white to reflect the sun's radiation and reflected heat. Mount the shield between the sensor and it's pole using the same bolts. That's all there is to it. In the morning face the open part of the shield away from the sun. In the afternoon, you'll have to turn the pole about a quarter to half a turn to keep the sun behind the shield. Our tests, with the half inch of Styrofoam added to the roof, show that this home made radiation shield rivals every other device we have seen, regardless of cost!

Simple, Effective, Solar Radiation Shield


-- New High Temp 'Gun-Style' Digital Infrared Thermometer --
We now offer another Digital Infrared Thermometer with Laser Sighting, Part # IRT4. The new Gun Style unit has a temperature range of 0 to 788 degrees F, has a backlight, an 8:1 Optical Resolution, and an Auto-Off feature. The introductory price is just $99.95! That is about what you would pay for a unit WITHOUT laser sighting and with a lower temperature range. Comparable prices for a unit with these specifications is at least fifty or sixty dollars more. For specifications, click here.

-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere on the planet. Why? Because, we design and/or use all of the products that we sell. All of my 30+ years of racing experience and knowledge is available to you and our other customers. Try to find that kind of information at any one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. We also want you to get the most value for your hard earned dollars.

-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy and it is posted on the web site. Our company is registered with the Public Eye for safe, secure ordering.

If you have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this newsletter, please Email them to me.

Bob Kodadek
SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)

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