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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '16, 22:29 
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MartinC wrote:
I would never buy a 1.0 version of something like that. It is very complex and there's a good chance it would have a multitude of bugs. I would first wait for it to be proven and be on a good production line. At this stage it's still all pie in the sky.

Regards, Martin.


For $249... so what if the first one isn't perfect?

If it works for even a handful of tests that you would normally be "sending samples off to the lab at $40 a pop plus shipping and having to wait a week or two for results" it would be more than worthwhile.

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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 00:47 
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I've done a little more looking at it. FAQ says that it is accurate to 1% concentrations and maybe down to .1% for some samples.
Unfortunately, concentrations we are dealing with in Aquaponics are measured in PPM NOT parts per 100 or even parts per 1000 so I'm afraid for our purposes, the "cheap" Infared mas spec is not very useful.
Wet chemistry tests and or Ion specific meters (where available for some tests) are still going to be necessary.

So far I have to say I LIKE the potassium meter. I should be getting a Mg meter in the mail today from a company that has several others and I will compare the brands. I might be able to get different several sensors for the meter I get with the Mg sensor so that might save over getting a different meter with each sensor.
There is a sensor package out there that will supposedly measure 6 different things at once but it only works with an I phone I think and I don't have one of those. AND that one might be able to measure all 6 things at once but it has to be calibrated before each use and that takes at least 15 minutes and the sensor probably only has a limited lifespan so for over $3000 I'm not sure I want to go there (I should say I'm NOT going there.)

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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 01:15 
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Well, maybe... there are all sorts of scientific methods to "concentrate" a sample.

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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 04:32 
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David - WI wrote:
For $249... so what if the first one isn't perfect?

If it works for even a handful of tests that you would normally be "sending samples off to the lab at $40 a pop plus shipping and having to wait a week or two for results" it would be more than worthwhile.

There are many people who would disagree and not feel so dismissive about flushing $250 down the drain. I don't think everyone is sending samples off to the lab weekly because of the cost which I think is also the point.

On top of that "If it works for even a handful of tests" why support someone that is making faulty equipment? And if some of it doesn't work how can you trust the rest of the outputs?

Do you have some kind of stake in this product? Just wondering cause you seem quite protective of a piece of equipment which isn't even on the market yet, is relatively pricey and you feel should be purchased even if it is faulty. Sorry but I find that quite strange.

Regards, Martin.


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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 06:02 
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Think he was just saying since TC was spending $40 per sample now, it wouldn't take very many successful tests to recoup her investment. I just dose every few weeks and look at my plants. Not too scientific, but it works. :wave1:
PH- I have meter, normal water parameters, and O2 meter for the RAS.


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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 06:10 
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coachchris wrote:
Think he was just saying since TC was spending $40 per sample now, it wouldn't take very many successful tests to recoup her investment.

Thanks Chris and I get that, just strange to say it's worth that money even if it doesn't work properly. Not a big deal.
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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '16, 09:16 
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I emailed the scio team a couple of months back in regards to checking iron levels in water below is a extract from the reply.

---
SCiO typically detects materials in concentrations of 1% or higher. Concentration levels of 1% or less may also be feasible for some materials. The exact specifications depend on the application and material being analyzed. In addition, as SCiO is currently designed for the scanning of solid samples, a liquid sampling accessory (available in the near future) will be required in order to sample
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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '16, 07:47 
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I think it will be a while before this SCiO product is really helpful to our wet chemistry needs.

The K meter I have is this one http://www.pikeagri.com/products/plant-testing-meters/potassium-ion-testerIt can work with a really small sample and it is really simple to operate, calibrate and take care of. Only drawback is you probably have to get a whole separate meter for each specific Ion you want to test.

The Mg meter I got is actually a Star sensors 320 meter with a Mg Ion specific sensor (it is a portable pH/ORP/Ion Meter.) It looks as though I could get like 6 different ion specific sensors for the meter but I probably have to run the calibration each time I change sensors so the "money savings" would come with the drawback of having to spend time calibrating before each test and needing to have more of the calibration solutions on hand. Lifespan of the sensors is listed at like 7 months and they cost around $200.

I went with checking out the K and Mg meters because they are a couple of the ones that are really helpful to track and that don't seem to be as easy to test for directly via wet chemistry tests.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '16, 10:16 
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They look a really nice piece of equipment,i read up on these in conjunction with brix and sap testing,i really like there PH tester which i am trying to put money aside for... :think: easier said than done,the problem here is the low market price for the produce we grow,or could grow,the Thais are not interested in organic,orgasmic or what ever it just has to be cheap,so shelling out on a set of those meters we would never recoup the outlay,but it would be so nice to own.My friend owns a shop and recently bought from the market 10 kilos of Tomatoes,she paid 80 Baht or less than $3.

TC,have you tested sap for K ? Be interesting to see a reading from sap and a reading from the system water.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '16, 22:00 
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I haven't tried to test anything but the system water yet. But the LAQUAtwin testers are the right ones to use to attempt that kind of testing since they need such a small sample to work.

I understand how it is hard to recoup money in an area with low prices for produce. Here in FL, much of the population is also all about cheap and we have a large population here that only recognizes balls of iceberg lettuce as lettuce and then another huge portion of the population is on medications that doesn't let them eat any greens other than iceberg lettuce so I do understand the challenge. At least there are some niche markets here in FL starting to emerge. I've found that my celery is more popular than my lettuce at one of the markets I sell through (probably because I'm the only one selling it.) I just wish celery grew a little quicker (it is like a 3-4 month minimum crop.)

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '16, 22:34 
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Well I'm not writing the SCIO off yet.

First, they do note that testing liquids is a whole different deal, so I'm not sure the 1% (or .01%) will apply to those tests. Second, some of the developers are talking about "subtracting" a base file (plain water) from the sample file; which would (might) remove the 99.9% we don't care about from the data? And also they are upfront about the fact that they continuing to develop not just the sensor but also the "firmware/software" to increase the sensitivity/resolution.

And, like I said there is talk about possibly using alcohol, vacuum evaporation, or freeze-drying to "concentrate" the water-based samples to increase the resolution of the measurement.

Anyway, it may not be ready to replace the system water tests yet; but as I said originally I think it will (at some point in the near future) make all those thousands of dollars worth of meters and probes obsolete.

The $250 SEEK thermal imaging camera (V1.0) for my Android phone already saved me many times that in heating, cooling, and maintenance costs... checking insulation, motors, and bearings without shutting equipment down or climbing up to / into some place you can view from the ground with the camera. :headbang:


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PostPosted: Jan 29th, '16, 02:13 
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David - WI wrote:
Well I'm not writing the SCIO off yet.

First, they do note that testing liquids is a whole different deal, so I'm not sure the 1% (or .01%) will apply to those tests. Second, some of the developers are talking about "subtracting" a base file (plain water) from the sample file; which would (might) remove the 99.9% we don't care about from the data? And also they are upfront about the fact that they continuing to develop not just the sensor but also the "firmware/software" to increase the sensitivity/resolution.

And, like I said there is talk about possibly using alcohol, vacuum evaporation, or freeze-drying to "concentrate" the water-based samples to increase the resolution of the measurement.

Anyway, it may not be ready to replace the system water tests yet; but as I said originally I think it will (at some point in the near future) make all those thousands of dollars worth of meters and probes obsolete.


While you may not be willing to write it off yet because they may manage to get the tech to where we need it in the next few years. Well that is still a bit different than it being worth spending the $ on this first production run model that can't even measure liquids yet and definitely not down to the resolution we need at this time. Once/if it can do that (without requiring thousands of dollars worth of other equipment to make the liquid measurement possible) it will be a different story.

But at this point, many of us want to take measurements now. Tech that is available now is wet chemistry tests and ion specific meters. Both have their drawbacks, like ongoing need for reagents, calibration solutions, batteries, new probes and the testing taking time.

So we must pick and choose what tests are most important for us to be able to do all the time and which ones we can wait and send off to the lab for less frequently.

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PostPosted: Jan 29th, '16, 15:08 
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TCLynx wrote:
I haven't tried to test anything but the system water yet. But the LAQUAtwin testers are the right ones to use to attempt that kind of testing since they need such a small sample to work.

I understand how it is hard to recoup money in an area with low prices for produce. Here in FL, much of the population is also all about cheap and we have a large population here that only recognises balls of iceberg lettuce as lettuce and then another huge portion of the population is on medications that doesn't let them eat any greens other than iceberg lettuce so I do understand the challenge. At least there are some niche markets here in FL starting to emerge. I've found that my celery is more popular than my lettuce at one of the markets I sell through (probably because I'm the only one selling it.) I just wish celery grew a little quicker (it is like a 3-4 month minimum crop.)


We grow Chinese Celery, basically just a dwarf version,but i struggle with germination i have tried so many different ways and still cant crack it,at the moment i put five or six seeds in each cube,then into the propagator its then taking up to a month to germinate,the last forty cubes didn't germinate at all,so time lost,once it gets goings its great.It could be a good seller for me if i can crack how to get it to germinate better.

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PostPosted: Jan 30th, '16, 10:04 
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I've been planting organic pelleted celery seed from Johnny's seeds. Variety Tango.
I plant 2-4 seed per peat pellet, put a dome over them and leave on the shelf near the window AC unit for two weeks. Usually at about two weeks the first few start to crack and I move them up under the light for another two weeks. At about 4 weeks they move outside to the seedling flood and drain table in the sun. They spend another month or so in the flood and drain table before they get moved to a seedling raft for a couple weeks then they get spaced out into my bigger rafts. Currently they are growing out for about 3 months total but I would have larger harvests if I could leave them in for 4 months but I'm running short on space to do that. I found it I leave them in the seedling rafts for more than about 3 weeks they are leaning on each other too much when I space them out and they wind up all twisted from flopping over upon being spaced out. SO I need to expand raft space or just deal with only being able to produce a certain amount of celery per week. I'm currently selling out every week with what I have.

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PostPosted: Jan 30th, '16, 11:30 
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The last tray i brought them indoors.mainly due to the cold snap,just over two weeks and the first signs of germination,quite pleasing,these are new seeds so it could just be due to that.Because this is a small variety, from the bench they go into the float on 4 inch spacings and i have ran a string from side to side to stop the edge plants from falling over,for this small variety it works well,this year i have added a fan as the majority of days there is such low air movement i don't think the plants get enough ventilation,it really seems to have perked everything up,i think i will run two fans switched from a timer or thermostat,just monitor things as i go along.
We need everything to warm up,water temp was down to 14c.

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