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Scale update

Hi there,

Some bad news and some good news.  The bad news is that you may have noticed that temperature sometimes affects the scale readings. In some cases this can be fairly significant -- up to about 5 kg.  You'll know it when you see it because it appears as a daily cycle of weight as shown in the graph to the right. This doesn't happen to every scale, so if you haven't noticed, then don't worry.

The good news is that we're doing something about it.

We've spent months now running temperature tests of various kinds in a commercial environmental chamber. It has been difficult to isolate the root cause of the issue, but we've worked out that it's not the electronics nor the loadcells.  Part of the problem is that we can't always reproduce the problem: it doesn't happen on every scale and it doesn't happen all the time.

We've finally concluded that the main problem appears to be the mounting of the loadcells.  The wooden mount expands at a different rate than the metal loadcell, and if the loadcell is mounted too tight against the wood, any movement registers as weight.

What we're doing about it

The first thing we're going to do is to send each of you four Nylon washers. You'll need to insert these washers where the loadcells mount onto the wooden frame.  Don't worry, we'll include instructions.  This will allow the loadcells to move with temperature against the wood rather than getting stuck.

This will get rid of a large portion of the variance.

The second thing we're doing is to take readings only when the temperature reaches approximately the same point each day.

This will mean less frequent data points for you, and we know this will disappoint some of you.  If you really hate this, let us know, but to help compensate for this reduced data frequency, we will be introducing a new feature to help track hive weight since your visit as follows.

New 'Baseline' Feature

We're calling the new feature the 'baseline' feature.  Every time you push the 'User' button on your hub, it will record the hive weight at that point and put a tiny dot on the scale graph at that weight. You'll get a dim horizontal 'baseline' across the graph from that point onward, showing you the weight of the hive when you pushed the button.  If you have four scales, you will get four baselines showing the weight of each hive.  If you look carefully, you can see these features in the example to the right.

This feature is to help you remember the weight on your hives at your last visit.  Just push the 'User' button when you're there and Bob's your uncle.

How's that for cool?

Continual Improvement

As always, we want to stand behind our product and keep improving it.  We will continue to work on refining the solution to get to the exact root cause and back to more frequent sampling. We appreciate your patience along the way.

Keep your eye out for our new "Wireless Scale" project.  A newsletter about this will be coming out very shortly.