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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    I'm not using a data logger with my Li-Cor. I have used HOBO for environment monitoring, but I don't think I can connect Li-Cor to it. I'm actually planning to make a temp/humidity logger with Rapsberry Pie (I have all components, but I haven't had a time yet!).
    Excellent! I've been thinking of trying something similar myself as a personal project. Realistically though I have very little background to go on. Do you have any good sources for documentation that you like?

    A small world. Yes, Healy is very close to Fairbanks. Have you collected soils there? It is a beautiful area!
    I've never been up to Alaska myself, but we do have some collaborators that work up there. I just had the soil (okay, ball of moss) sent to me. I'd love to go to visit some day, but something tells me that a field season out there would be pretty miserable -- ~24 hours of sun sounds like a good excuse to never be allowed to stop working.

    Do you have any experience with CO2 sensor? Is there a cheap and decent sensor?
    You know, I'm not sure. I'm at least vaguely familiar with eddy flux towers for landscape-scale measurement, Li-Cor for realtime and static flux chambers (with subsequent gas chromatography analysis), but I've never used a CO2 sensor. Taking a look, I see that some certainly exist. Huh. That's actually super interesting... Wish I had some out with the rest of my probes in Springfield. I imagine that CO2 data in conjunction with O2 and redox data could show some interesting relations.

    But I suspect that it's a case of "if you give a mouse a cookie." Typically, any time I look at CO2 I'm also analyzing for CH4 and N2O (potent greenhouse gases) since I can do them simultaneously, so if I'd probably want to figure something out for methane at least, too. Oh, in an optimal world with decent funding...

    I actually just wrapped up another round of a related experiment using flooded/slurried soils in an anaerobic headspace looking at iron reduction in microbial respiration and resulting CO2. It would be interested to have some field data to complement that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Excellent! I've been thinking of trying something similar myself as a personal project. Realistically though I have very little background to go on. Do you have any good sources for documentation that you like?
    There are several tutorials, and I haven't decided which method to go with the software side. I kind of like the simplicity of google doc based method here:
    https://learn.adafruit.com/dht-humid...-gdocs-logging
    https://learn.adafruit.com/dht-humid...s-docs-updated

    Also, this vivarium controller seems interesting:
    Raspberry Pi Vivarium Controller DHT22 Temperature & Humidity Sensors
    I've been controlling exhaust fan (to prevent overheat) and humidifier with ZooMed Hygrotherm. But the sensors seem to shift over a long term, and this RapsberryPi based method might be nicer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    I've never been up to Alaska myself, but we do have some collaborators that work up there. I just had the soil (okay, ball of moss) sent to me. I'd love to go to visit some day, but something tells me that a field season out there would be pretty miserable -- ~24 hours of sun sounds like a good excuse to never be allowed to stop working.
    Well, we could get lots of fieldwork done in the summer time. It's not too hot, no poisonous animals/plants to worry about, so it is great for field work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Do you do related work?
    I have been eperimenting a bit but haven't found a sensor that could realiably tell whether the soil is wet enough or not. The problem is with CPs that the soil is often mostly LFS and perlite and so very loose. So it's hard to measure conductivity in that type of soil.
    Looking for N. Campanulata hybrids. Also would like to grow some nepenthes from seed. Growlist/pic thread: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Pete-s-plants

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmatil View Post
    I have been eperimenting a bit but haven't found a sensor that could realiably tell whether the soil is wet enough or not. The problem is with CPs that the soil is often mostly LFS and perlite and so very loose. So it's hard to measure conductivity in that type of soil.
    Perhaps a humidity probe designed to measure atmospheric humidity in a sleeve of a breathable membrane which would exclude liquid while allowing water vapor to contact the probe ala' Goretex could do the job?
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    Yes, that could be and there are some sensors that use a humidity sensor. I'm just very suspicious because in the terrarium the humidity is already 80 % and then under the soil probably at least that if not close to 100 % so measuring the difference in soil moisture could be difficult.
    Looking for N. Campanulata hybrids. Also would like to grow some nepenthes from seed. Growlist/pic thread: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Pete-s-plants

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmatil View Post
    Yes, that could be and there are some sensors that use a humidity sensor. I'm just very suspicious because in the terrarium the humidity is already 80 % and then under the soil probably at least that if not close to 100 % so measuring the difference in soil moisture could be difficult.
    The sensor values which equate to acceptable soil moisture might well be something you'd have to figure out by experimentation, but I don't see how the humidity of the air above the media would affect anything other than of course the rate at which the media dries out.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Hmm, yeah, in general soil moisture probes are calibrated for (and function best in) mineral soil. If your bulk density is really that low (loosely packed sphagnum and perlite) something like a a relative humidity measurement as described above may be a good bet (though it'll cease to function properly as soon as that membrane gets wet, so you'd likely need to make additional modification for consistency).

    But realistically you're not trying to quantify soil moisture, rather keep things acceptably moist, right? So long as you can get something which gives internally consistent results, you can do a pretty simple calibration for your needs. If you know that you typically need to water every ~3 days, for example, take a measurement when you water and then again when you'd typically water again -- you now have your desired range. You don't have absolute values, but you have a decent index, which is what you're looking for, right?

    How variable are the measurements you're getting with the probe you've been using? I'm assuming that you're looking at using a probe that you stick into media for a measurement in multiple pots, not something you plan on leaving in the media, correct? I can think of a few options depending on those answers.
    Last edited by Est; 09-12-2015 at 10:22 PM.
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    I was planning to use a sensor that is always in the soil so I can immediately tell which plants need watering. As I haven't got good results with the in-soil probes I have been planning to just sense the water level in the saucer below the pot. Water when there is no water in the saucer. Simple.
    Looking for N. Campanulata hybrids. Also would like to grow some nepenthes from seed. Growlist/pic thread: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Pete-s-plants

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