SASHA gives results that seem too high

A user wrote:

Hello. I am wondering if the app takes into consideration buildings? My house faces west. I know the sun doesn’t shine on a good part of the beds in front until after lunch, even in the summer. So I stood on my front step, less than two feet from my house, faced east and used the app. It calculated 11.2 hours of sunlight. This cannot be right. The house blocks the morning sun. So then I went to the Northside of my house, that gets almost no sun; the house blocks the sun. The app said 9 house of sun. That is wrong. Does this work if a building is blocking the sun?
Am I doing something wrong?

Yes, the app should take into consideration buildings, trees, etc.

The first question that comes to mind is:  Was your device’s compass “calibrated”?  In other words, did the app have a correct idea of where the cardinal compass points are?  There are two ways you can check this:

  1. when you start the app, check to see if the ends of the red outline correspond to the sun’s rising and setting locations (at least approximately).
  2. A more accurate test is to go into the options menu (three vertical dots), select “advanced options” and then select “show angles”.  You will then see a green cross-hairs on the screen, and the Azimuth and Elevation angles corresponding to the cross-hairs will be shown in the “information panel” on the right of the screen.  Make sure these values are reasonable (within a few degrees). 

If either of these tests don’t seem right, google “Android compass calibration” and follow the instructions (you will have to wave the phone in a figure 8).

If none of this helps, next time you run the app,  please first go to “Advanced Options” again, and select “Send diagnostics when done”.   Then after the app is finished, it will create an email with diagnostic info, and ask you to send it to me.

Another possible reason for results that are too high is that the foliage on your trees is not fully leafed out. That means SASHA sees more sun getting through to your location and therefore gives a higher reading. This situation is easily remedies by turning on the “simulate foliage” feature found in “Option Menu -> enable foliage simulation”.

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