Since its debut back in 2016, the model A3 was sought after with great interest due to its multi-sensor capabilities packed in a very compact form factor, exporting the data via several connectivity options. There was no monitoring scenario were the A3 couldn’t get the job done. So it spread to homes, cities, universities and research institutes from all across the globe.

Then in 2021, following the covid-19 pandemic, several electronic components went missing. We were already at the A3’s 8th hardware iteration and the design complexity was rather high, using multiple different supply chains to get this product on the market. Now, for the first time, we were getting huge delays in our deliveries, due to missing parts that arrived only very late. The Bosch BME280 was the “the coup de grace” for this product when all major distributors kept the “Out of stock” label for several consequent weeks. Despite its excellent capabilities, almost unique amongst its competitors, a thing that made us use it in almost every uRADMonitor product, now we understood that we have to drop this asap and find a replacement or risk getting the entire project in jeopardy.

So here’s how in the middle of the semiconductor crisis we decided to come up with a new version of the A3 device, which can be manufactured in the current conditions. This however is only a minor update as can be seen in the picture below:

Changes in the last hardware iteration

The Bosch MEMS sensor was replaced by the excellent alternative from Sensirion and we took good care to stock enough. The board was redesigned for smaller components and all turned out extremely well, the new design is already tested and operational in several new locations.

HW109 Model A3 Motherboards with sensors ready for testing

But probably the most important thing, the new version works perfectly well with our new Stevenson shield type enclosures for the A3. These can be used to offer protection to the elements when you install your monitor outdoors. The new shields will soon be listed on the website:

Model A3 units with GSM/GPRS connectivity running in the new Stevenson Shield enclosures put out a nice LED show

At this time there are 800 “model A3” units deployed on the globe, contributing with valuable multi-parameter environmental data to the Global Environmental Monitoring network.