Gear for geeks

Nige at frogpondweatherblog asks what I’m using for measuring the dissolved oxygen, conductivity and temperature in the pond.

So here, for the technically minded, is a list of the equipment I’m using.

The oxygen meter is a Hanna Instruments HI 9142 portable waterproof dissolved oxygen meter. To get reliable measurement water needs to be moving past the probe at 0.3 m a second. No problem in rivers and stream but for ponds I remove a cupful and stir gently to get the essential water movement.

I have a Hanna ‘Combo’ pH, temperature and conductivity meter. Conductivity is one of the most important measurements as it gives a rough idea of the degree of pollution.

For some time I’ve had continuous temperature monitoring on the old pond (though only just reinstated after chopping the cable with garden shears last autumn).

This uses a Novus myPCLab datalogger, which is plugged into the PC with a USB lead, to which is connected a PT100 thermistor probe on a 30 m long wire which trails untidily from the 1st floor workroom window to the pond, which is on the ground floor.

The Novus logger is pretty basic and can only be connected to two probes.

So, just in the last few days, I’ve added a wireless temperature recording system made by Arexx Engineering which, for virtually the same price as the myPCLab two probe system, can receive signals from up to 50 temperature sensors.

I use the Arexx TL-3BS - this is the slightly higher spec BS-500

The Arexx system has a base station – I use the basic TL-3BS – which plugs into the USB port, which in turn communicates with the wireless temperature sensors. These are scattered up to 20 m away, around the garden and in the ponds. You can also get longer distance sensors which work up to 90 m away.

Wireless temperature sensor

Sensors can be placed underwater or in the air. You need to get them in the right position and they can be a little temperamental in getting a signal through to the base station. But still pretty impressive for all that.

Waterproof wireless temperature sensor

Altogether, hours of endless fun to satisfy the inner geek in everyone.

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2 Responses to “Gear for geeks”

  1. Hosepipe Says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have been an avid reader of your blog for some time and wanted to comment and say that the temperature logging system looks fantastic! My partner would go crazy if I had one though because I would be tinkering for hours!

    Keep up the great work & happy new year!

    James (hosepipe man!)

    • Jeremy Biggs Says:

      Hi James

      Thanks for the kind remarks and happy new year as well.

      I say put it on the domestic agenda and negotiate a suitable agreement!

      Jeremy

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