Hanna salinity checkers selling on.

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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It is precise provided that there are no extraneous variables. Any little thing can throw one off. Electrical interference, too long between calibration, air bubbles, temperature variability ect. Granted all devices need to be maintained cleaned and calibrated but conductivity meters require more attention than refractometers and hydrometers which is why they are great for the lab but not ideal for most hobbyist.

The amount of threads on conductivity meters giving bad results is huge. I have also seen this when I worked at the LFS and was selling these tools. I never found a single person who could mess up a floating hydrometer and with refractometers even if people dropped them or scratched them as long as they were calibrated they were reliable. Only conductivity meters had customers complaining that they suddenly had results that were obviously off even after calibration. In almost every case I could find out what was wrong. Using the meter in a garage to test very cold or hot water from a mixing bin, dirty or corroded sensors, electrical interference from measuring too close to pumps or other devices, or air bubbles on the sensor. I eventually learned that I did not want to sell people these tools because I knew I would get complaints but if I sold them a floating hydrometer they would never mess it up and with a digital refractometer as long as it was clean and calibrated there were no issues.

In a technical sense conductivity meters are precise however in the real world where people are neglectful they often have issues.

You are using the word “precise” incorrectly. You mean accuracy.

That said, you are also tarring a technique based on cheap implementations that you sold at your lfs.

Better implementations, such as the Orion I use with a 4 electrode probe does not suffer from the real or imagined issues that you are posting about.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Mmmmhmm and just how much does this cost? Inquiring minds want to know.

A number of folks have found them on eBay for a couple hundred or so, IIRC, but new ones are quite expensive.

The orions are no longer made, but top of the line meters might be $300-600+ and 4 electrode probes are also similarly priced. I see Cole Parmer sells several types for $500-700 each.

That said, I got pretty good results from a far cheaper pinpoint brand. It was just slower to get to the final reading.
 

LiamPM

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Mines been fine for the 6 months or so I have been using it. It measures . 001 lower than a calibrated refractometer but that's good enough for me. I do spot check it once in a while like all test equipment. I think like most things newer the people who are unhappy comment and the people who are happy just don't bother or have the time because they are enjoying their purchase. Such is the online age with all things not just our hobby equipment.

I think this is a matter of typical reviewers! Most people who are happy don’t submit reviews. I am one who is religious about researching everything I buy but am also leary about some reviews. The local news station did a story recently about false reviews, especially on amazon. That being said my buddy has one he loves. I have a TM hygrometer and petco refractometer that are within 0.01 of each other and recently received a red sea refractometer with a used tank and equipment I bought but have yet to calibrate it and compare it against the hygrometer.
I would usually completely agree with this in that people that are happy do not complain online and those that arent occasionally do - Im always skeptical and read heavily about reviews etc before a purchase.

But this isnt the same.....There are so many reviews across many boards that claim the same thing - Not all hold calibration. That, at the very best tells you they arent consistent in multiple peoples hands with a device that should be.

I still bought a few, because i believe the same. People complain over minute reasons and the good never post online........But...........Ive had 3 and 2/3rds were faulty - Bulk of the complainers were right in my own experience. Its a simple device that does a simple job, there shouldnt even be a chance for so many poor reviewers to begin with.
 
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hart24601

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Love mine, all I use now. Been one of the best items I have bought. I bought enough calibration solution that I calibrate each month, doesn’t seem to need it, but probably a good practice. Just be sure to follow instructions and rinse with ro after reading and putting cap on for storage.

I had the Milwaukee and threw it away, thing was so variable despite following all the picky instructions and it has too much built in error. I didn’t feel right even selling it. My icecap pen was worse, total rubbish but thankfully Hanna has been a rockstar for a couple years now for me.

While I am sure there are exceptions and bad units I heavily suspect many people ignore the instructions to rinse off work ro/di after use and this causes a lot of the issues.
 
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LiamPM

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Love mine, all I use now. Been one of the best items I have bought. I bought enough calibration solution that I calibrate each month, doesn’t seem to need it, but probably a good practice. Just be sure to follow instructions and rinse with ro after reading and putting cap on for storage.

I had the Milwaukee and threw it away, thing was so variable despite following all the picky instructions and it has too much built in error. I didn’t feel right even selling it. My icecap pen was worse, total rubbish but thankfully Hanna has been a rockstar for a couple years now for me.

While I am sure there are exceptions and bad units I heavily suspect many people ignore the instructions to rinse off work ro/di after use and this causes a lot of the issues.
Could be the case for many i suppose but as a programmer by trade im very meticulous with details so isnt the case for the 3 ive had. Bearing in mind one was a good very well working unit out of the 3 (except a slightly lower reading than expected - but shows usage was perfectly fine in that aspect).

Just curious, what Milwaukee did you use, may be talking about different ones but the MA887 doesnt have any picky instructions, just drop water on the sensor and press so assuming its another of theirs.
 

hart24601

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Could be the case for many i suppose but as a programmer by trade im very meticulous with details so isnt the case for the 3 ive had. Bearing in mind one was a good very well working unit out of the 3 (except a slightly lower reading than expected - but shows usage was perfectly fine in that aspect).

Just curious, what Milwaukee did you use, may be talking about different ones but the MA887 doesnt have any picky instructions, just drop water on the sensor and press so assuming its another of theirs.
Yeah that’s why I said always exceptions and I’m sure you were following instructions sorry for the bad run.

it’s been a while but pretty sure I had the ma887. They wanted you to use their special water for accuracy and even then their factory specs were SG +/- 0.002- so my readings back to back would be something like 1.024 and the next 1.028 - if the true value was 1.026 then the machine was working within spec. Not acceptable to me when using their exact calibration instructions and solutions each time.
 
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gbroadbridge

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Could be the case for many i suppose but as a programmer by trade im very meticulous with details so isnt the case for the 3 ive had. Bearing in mind one was a good very well working unit out of the 3 (except a slightly lower reading than expected - but shows usage was perfectly fine in that aspect).

Just curious, what Milwaukee did you use, may be talking about different ones but the MA887 doesnt have any picky instructions, just drop water on the sensor and press so assuming its another of theirs.
The MA887 accuracy is terrible. The best that can be said is that it is consistently terrible. I have one I tossed in a box somewhere at in the garage.

Day to day I use the Hanna Salinity Checker, and just dip in calibration solution before each use - takes about 10 seconds.
 

elysics

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I would usually completely agree with this in that people that are happy do not complain online and those that arent occasionally do - Im always skeptical and read heavily about reviews etc before a purchase.

But this isnt the same.....There are so many reviews across many boards that claim the same thing - Not all hold calibration. That, at the very best tells you they arent consistent in multiple peoples hands with a device that should be.

I still bought a few, because i believe the same. People complain over minute reasons and the good never post online........But...........Ive had 3 and 2/3rds were faulty - Bulk of the complainers were right in my own experience. Its a simple device that does a simple job, there shouldnt even be a chance for so many poor reviewers to begin with.
One important issue when reading reviews, especially when reading 1 star or in general overly negative reviews is:

You have to ask yourself, was this negative experience a manufacturing/breakage problem, an information problem, or a people problem? In other words, was the gadget defective, were the instructions/description bad or was the user incompetent/had a bad day? I'd at least like to think that the last one wouldn't be an issue for me (doesn't everyone lol), the second one is a problem that I can probably fix with forum research or my own experiments if i think it is worth the effort, the first one i can't fix (depending on what gadget we are talking about).

Having never used the hanna, i am curious which it is in this case. Are the devices really defective/badly designed or are people using them wrong, some people mentioned rinsing them with RO/DI etc.?
 

LiamPM

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One important issue when reading reviews, especially when reading 1 star or in general overly negative reviews is:

You have to ask yourself, was this negative experience a manufacturing/breakage problem, an information problem, or a people problem? In other words, was the gadget defective, were the instructions/description bad or was the user incompetent/had a bad day? I'd at least like to think that the last one wouldn't be an issue for me (doesn't everyone lol), the second one is a problem that I can probably fix with forum research or my own experiments if i think it is worth the effort, the first one i can't fix (depending on what gadget we are talking about).

Having never used the hanna, i am curious which it is in this case. Are the devices really defective/badly designed or are people using them wrong, some people mentioned rinsing them with RO/DI etc.?
Completely agree - Im always very skeptical with bad reviews because i do believe people are overly harsh with a lot of aquarium gear, or simply refuse to read instructions prior to use - I read the bad reviews and still bit the bullet because im a fan of all other Hanna equipment - But when 2 out of 3 of the same product that i personal had in hand are defective i think it shows error in the product. Could well be down to usage on my end but when 1 worked consistently with the same usage procedures im more inclined to think its the product and the reviews were right to begin with. Probably worth noting that i had them all right at release so things may have changed and imporved since. But my experience merged with many others either way.

The MA887 accuracy is terrible. The best that can be said is that it is consistently terrible. I have one I tossed in a box somewhere at in the garage.

Day to day I use the Hanna Salinity Checker, and just dip in calibration solution before each use - takes about 10 seconds.
I guess that somes up the beauty of this hobby in how many different ways and opinions there are to achieve the same thing. Just a shame our experiences dont match up with such a simple piece of kit, because they really should.

Ive never had an issue with the MA887 - I calibrate it every time which is a pointless task because it never loses calibration - Its checked against two seperate reference solutions and matches everytime so i have no reason to doubt it. Ive never used their special water to calibrate it either, just a simple lab grade RODI mixture. Yes it seems unrealistic to do this but i work in the industry so its simple to do.

Your experience leads you to believe its consistently terrible but mine makes me believe its consistently spot on - Ive got 3 Hanna checkers tossed in a box somewhere too - Biggest difference either way is there are a lot of bad reviews on the Hanna, which means its not just a radnom disgruntled user, i guess hence the thread regarding them being sold was created to begin with - Got to love this hobby aye.
 
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Gtinnel

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I have disliked my Hanna HI98319 since I got it. I usually don’t get a consistent reading. I put it down into the tank or cup of water and the reading keeps changing, and on the occasion when it does finally stop on a single reading the value disagrees with my other salinity testing equipment. I bought mine used and I see why it was sold for cheap.

I also have the Milwaukee MA887 and I realize it’s accuracy rating is not good, but when I test a sample multiple times I get the same value, and when I compare it to a reference solution it’s reading the value correctly, so I do trust mine.

I usually just use my apex probe though, I’ve been lucky that mine is usually right, and when it does give me a false reading it is some ridiculously wrong value that I instantly know is wrong.
 

trevorhiller

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I have both the Hanna HI 98319 and the Milwaukee MA887. Both seem to work pretty well for me and I haven't had the issues others described. Initially I was confused because it was reading slightly different than my cheapo Amazon refractometer and I was worried about it. Then I came to the conclusion that there are ranges for seawater and I wasn't really concerned. Both devices are consistent, even if not accurate or precise. So I just use them to keep my water between 34-35 and call it a day.

I do like the MA887; it's not as quick to use, but has the benefit of being calibrated everytime you turn it on--this is also the same reason it is not as quick to use. However, the MA887 only has a +/- 2 ppt accuracy with a precision of 1 ppt. ie. 35 ppt could be anywhere from 33-37 ppt.

The Hanna is nice because you get the a precision of 0.1 ppt and an accuracy of +/1 ppt up to 40 ppt, after that, the precision goes to +/- 2 ppt.

I went through a brief phase of worrying about the accuracy/precison of my testing equipment (hence owning two digital salinity checkers), but honestly as long as they are close it doesn't seem to matter. It's more about the trends & ranges.
 

EricR

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My speculation is that the design/components are capable but it is a mass-produced product that feels like it goes through less than stellar QC -- seems like many good ones go out but also many bad ones.

*my Hanna digital happens to hold calibration and is consistent test to test
 
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Alexoss

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Got the Hanna for one year, at first it was great and accurate...after around 8 months i started to question things as it seemed that something was "off" in my tanks, went to buy a refractometer....0.003 difference while Hanna says 1.026, refractometer said 1.029, wow, panic mode activated.
Not knowing who to trust, bought the Tropic Marin Hydrometer...1.028-ish...
So it was showing that something might be wrong with the Hanna, i always washed it in RODI after each use, was calibrating it every other days...even with new calibration fluid, still off...0.002 the first hours, up to 0.003 then.
tried to recalibrate it dozens of time, with fresh calibration fluid, wasn't possible to get a consistent result, was always fluctuating from one calibration to the other, but always showing wrongly -0.002 compared to my two other tools.
Talked to Hanna, and everything is "normal" to them, well.
Bought the Milwaukee...and it's day and night (for now) double checked it with their calibration fluid, , Tropic Marin's calibration fluid, rodi, home made mix, and so far, it's accurate and trustable compared to MY Hanna.
Many people are complaining about their Hanna Salinity tester and what appears to be a reading drifting issue, some are luckier than others, they used to replace the faulty units but Hanna just don't care anymore, their answer the same thing each time, not their product's fault, user's fault or other variables involved.
Love the Hanna checkers i have, but won't trust their salinity tester anymore.
 
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