17 August 2011

AM-310 Sensor Wand

Every spring my preparations for the gardening season start before the snow melts with getting plants started indoors. Light is crucial to establishing vigorous seedlings that will develop into productive plants. People are often tempted to make judgments on light level based on how light is perceived by the eye, but this can lead to incorrect assumptions as the eye can often barely tell the difference between two light sources when one is 200 times greater. In an effort to maximize the available light for my garden starts I grabbed a quantum meter and went to work trying different combinations of lights, covers and windows. I was able to find the most appropriate combination, and had greater success establishing vigorous seedlings than in years past. However, I did find it challenging to get the sensor in just the right place, especially as I was trying to find the best of dozens of combinations. I found myself thinking “I wish I had something I could mount the sensor to and move it around easily to get to hard-to-reach places.” I thought maybe some sort of handle would be good, and then continued to wonder if any of our customers would want the same thing.

As I thought of all of our customers who are using our quantum meter for research below and above plant canopies, in aquariums and in all sorts of imaginable conditions I realized it would be beneficial to have an extendable wand to get the sensor into hard to reach places. And thus was born the idea for the AM-310, a 36-inch extendable, stainless steel wand with a nice foam rubber grip. The AM-310 is durable and suitable for use under water. It makes it convenient to hold the sensor, even if you don’t have far to reach, and with a collapsed length of less than 8 inches it is never in the way. Using the wand also helps prevent shading by the user’s hand or body, which is a common problem. The AM-310 is also great for use with the UV meter and the pyranometer meter.

Recently, I used the AM-310 while measuring photosynthetic light levels above field corn and under the canopy of peppers. In both of those situations the AM-310 allowed me to quickly and conveniently make numerous measurements without having to figure out some way to get the sensor higher than I can reach or below knee level without shading it.

Apogee – helping you make better measurements, and now making those better measurements easier to get.

Kyle Roerig
Research Assistant

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