Conductivity Meters: pinpoint vs used lab grade units

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Sorry to dredge this thread back up, but I was hoping @Randy Holmes-Farley or someone in the thread could answer...can you sanitize these probes with bleach without damaging them? If not, what can you use? I also need to ensure there is no cross contamination of copper. I mistakenly stuck the probe directly into my QT today instead of pulling a sample. I don't know if the fish in QT have disease, but I certainly don't want it in my display, nor the copper! Any help is appreciated!
Do you know what kind of sensor you have? Graphite? Stainless steel?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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The probe is Orion model 011050. Assuming the manual I found online is correct and it wasn't changed while keeping the model number, it is epoxy/graphite.
That sounds right. I wouldn't expose it to bleach very long as that material may oxidize. I might try a different way, like soaking in vodka.
 

rushbattle

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This thread inspired me to check ebay for Orion conductivity meters occasionally. After a year or so I found an Orion 4 Star meter with a 013005MD probe, good for 1uS to 200mS for $101 shipped. It reads perfectly with DIY KCl solution, and a few commercial solutions. This is now firmly at the top of the "why didn't I do this a long time ago" list. I feel so much more comfortable with salinity determinations and therefore water changes, Mg and Ca levels, etc. So much better than a refractometer, and it is really nice to get a good temp at the same time. I also use it to check for saturation of limewater and purity of RO water going into DI. Such a helpful tool! Thanks @Randy Holmes-Farley !
 

iammrhappy

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I've had a Milwaukee meter for a couple of years and was never able to get accurate results, even with the Pinpoint standard and calibrating it correctly. It was usually off by couple points, since the accuracy is +/- 0.002 (e.g. 1.026 would read 1,024 or 1,028). I finally quit using it, since I couldn't trust it and now only use my Pinpoint Salinity Monitor and a refractometer.

Hope this helps :)
How do you like your pinpoint salinity monitor.

I plan on getting one and getting a proper probe.


Thanks
 

Tim Olson

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How do you like your pinpoint salinity monitor.

I plan on getting one and getting a proper probe.


Thanks
I actually have quit using my Pinpoint Salinity Monitor, since I just couldn't trust it to give me a consistent and accurate reading. I've had, and used, my Pinpoint Salinity Monitor for over 4 years and experienced a number of issues. Here are a few:

• Very sensitive to electric fields, so I couldn't use it in the sump or tank. I had to take a sample out and measure it on the table. This also required waiting about 4 minutes for the reading to somewhat stabilize.
• I never felt the temperature compensation really worked right. When I measured the sample on the table, it would start off as one reading, then continually change as the sample transitioned to room temperature. So, I found I didn't know when to stop and take down the reading.
• Has to be carefully calibrated with the right standard fluid ... Hint - It's not the Pinpoint standard. I found the AccuraSea standard to be the most accurate.
• The reading varied on battery strength. As the battery got low, the readings would change.

Here's a thread I started in February about "Why do my Salinity measurements vary by 0.002 sg between refractometer and conductivity testers?", which describes my quest to find the most accurate and consistent salinity device.

Overall, my conclusion was:
1. Use an accurate standard, which turned out to be AcuraSea, to calibrate to.
2. I found that 2 devices gave the most accurate and consistent results. VeeGee STX-3 refractomer was the best analog device and the Hanna Salinity Tester - HI 98319 to be the best digital one.

With regard to a "full-time" probe, I can't recommend anything. I've heard the Neptune probe is ok, if you have a Neptune. Although, I would only use it to capture salinity changes, not to give a accurate readings.

I hope this helps make you decision.
 
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iammrhappy

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I actually have quit using my Pinpoint Salinity Monitor, since I just couldn't trust it to give me a consistent and accurate reading. I've had, and used, my Pinpoint Salinity Monitor for over 4 years and experienced a number of issues. Here are a few:

• Very sensitive to electric fields, so I couldn't use it in the sump or tank. I had to take a sample out and measure it on the table. This also required waiting about 4 minutes for the reading to somewhat stabilize.
• I never felt the temperature compensation really worked right. When I measured the sample on the table, it would start off as one reading, then continually change as the sample transitioned to room temperature. So, I found I didn't know when to stop and take down the reading.
• Has to be carefully calibrated with the right standard fluid ... Hint - It's not the Pinpoint standard. I found the AccuraSea standard to be the most accurate.
• The reading varied on battery strength. As the battery got low, the readings would change.

Here's a thread I started in February about "Why do my Salinity measurements vary by 0.002 sg between refractometer and conductivity testers?", which describes my quest to find the most accurate and consistent salinity device.

Overall, my conclusion was:
1. Use an accurate standard, which turned out to be AcuraSea, to calibrate to.
2. I found that 2 devices gave the most accurate and consistent results. VeeGee STX-3 refractomer was the best analog device and the Hanna Salinity Tester - HI 98319 to be the best digital one.

With regard to a "full-time" probe, I can't recommend anything. I've heard the Neptune probe is ok, if you have a Neptune. Although, I would only use it to capture salinity changes, not to give a accurate readings.

I hope this helps make you decision.
Thanks Tim for this detailed response!

I think I will go with the Hanna HI 98319.

I was using a floating hydrometer by Sera Marine for a while. I liked it but I need something that shows the salinity quickly.

Thanks for saving me the time and money with the Pinpoint Conductivity. Much appreciated!
 

iammrhappy

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I've instead just bought an Orion 122 with the Orion 012210 conductivity probe. I found out that it is temperature compensated and reads 10uS/cm to 2000mS/cm with a cell constant at 0.609 (cm-1)

I found that it is the DuraProbe 4 cell electrode. Not sure what that means.

Can anyone tell me more about what differences there are with a 4 cell vs 2 cell other than the quantity of cells.

Thanks
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I've instead just bought an Orion 122 with the Orion 012210 conductivity probe. I found out that it is temperature compensated and reads 10uS/cm to 2000mS/cm with a cell constant at 0.609 (cm-1)

I found that it is the DuraProbe 4 cell electrode. Not sure what that means.

Can anyone tell me more about what differences there are with a 4 cell vs 2 cell other than the quantity of cells.

Thanks
Sure. 4 electrodes are better than 2. The orion is an excellent choice.

Using Conductivity to Measure Salinity

from it:

In practice, commercial conductivity probes have either two or four electrodes, with the four-electrode version being more resistant to fouling and other effects that can cause degradation of the measurement. The electrodes are made of nonreactive materials such as epoxy/graphite, glass/platinum or stainless steel. The choice depends primarily on the nature of the solution to be tested. For occasional use in seawater, all of these are acceptable.

and


A four-electrode conductivity cell has many advantages, such as reduced error arising from polarization, contamination of the electrode surfaces, or cable resistance. However, a two-electrode cell is better for pure-water applications where very low conductivities are measured
 

iammrhappy

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Sure. 4 electrodes are better than 2. The orion is an excellent choice.

Using Conductivity to Measure Salinity

from it:

In practice, commercial conductivity probes have either two or four electrodes, with the four-electrode version being more resistant to fouling and other effects that can cause degradation of the measurement. The electrodes are made of nonreactive materials such as epoxy/graphite, glass/platinum or stainless steel. The choice depends primarily on the nature of the solution to be tested. For occasional use in seawater, all of these are acceptable.

and


A four-electrode conductivity cell has many advantages, such as reduced error arising from polarization, contamination of the electrode surfaces, or cable resistance. However, a two-electrode cell is better for pure-water applications where very low conductivities are measured
Randy, thanks for your detailed response as usual. Also appreciate that your response has reaffirmed my confidence in my purchase.

Tim thanks again. I've bought the accurasea standard. I hope to properly calibrate my refractometer and ensure that the Orion probe is working properly with the standard.

Ive read previously that the Orion meters do not have a calibrate option. Is this true?

Thanks
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Randy, thanks for your detailed response as usual. Also appreciate that your response has reaffirmed my confidence in my purchase.

Tim thanks again. I've bought the accurasea standard. I hope to properly calibrate my refractometer and ensure that the Orion probe is working properly with the standard.

Ive read previously that the Orion meters do not have a calibrate option. Is this true?

Thanks
There are many Orion models so I cannot answer for all of them, but mine could not. I used it for many years and it always read a tad below a standard (never changed).

The way conductivity works, you can just use a correction factor that will be valid at all conductivity values, if you want to do so. For example, if it reads a 53 mS/cm standard as 52 mS/cm, you could just multiply any reading by 53/52 = 1.02 to get a corrected value. I never did that. I just knew the real conductivity was a bit higher than the reading.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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From what I've read, the Orion's are excellent meters. I look forward to hearing how you like it, and what are it's key advantages. :)
For me, the key advantages were :

1. Speed to stable reading. Much faster than Pinpoint. Likely because the temperature sensor came up to temp faster.
2. Wider range than most meters, allowing its use for RO/DI (0-200 uS/cm) and limewater (10 mS/cm) as well as salinity (53 mS/cm).
3. Continuous reading of temp and salinity. Very useful in acclimation.
 

iammrhappy

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I've just received the Orion Conductivity Meter Model 122 with probe 012210

I've scoured the internet on a user manual for this exact model.

I can find a description of the probe but not the meter.

It looks like this.

I put set the meter on 199.9 ms/cm and it read at 26.6 in my tank.

I'll need to mess around with it more. It also says low battery. So I'll have to change that as well.


s-l1600.jpg
 

iammrhappy

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Ok reporting back.

I took apart the meter and cleaned everything from the inside and outside.

I removed all the chemical residue that was on the electrical board using 100% ethanol. I also had to readjust the knobs because they were over turned and did not stop at the right setting. Good as new.. lol

I tossed the probe in some RODI. Reads 0.0 mS/cm. Then it died due to low battery. I'll get a new 9 volt tomorrow and report back with some photos.

I suspect the Celsius setting is for temperature compensated probes? Also I just found out that this probe costs like $300 bucks new. I got the meter and probe for $79 including shipping.

How long does it take to get a reading typically?
 

iammrhappy

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Another update

So I pulled the transformer from pinpoint ph meter and plugged it into the Orion meter.

I know there may be some variation due to the current, but I'm sure the transformer is grounded so it held a constant reading.

Here are my results.

Right cup is my reef water

Left is RO from my faucet.

Looks like I need to boost my salinity up.


Phewwww

20200605_003616.jpg 20200605_003627.jpg 20200605_003640.jpg
 
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