FAQ's


FAQ Categories

Products - Weather Stations/Data Loggers

Products - Software

Products - Soil Moisture Meters/Sensors

Products - Light Meters/Sensors

Products - Chlorophyll Meters

Products - pH Meters

Products - General

Website

Questions And Answers

Products - Weather Stations/Data Loggers

I do not have a 9-pin port on my computer. How do I connect to my WatchDog?

You will need to purchase a USB to serial adapter, Item 3361USB.  Note:  Not all brands of USB to serial adapters.  We recommend adapters made by Manhattan Products and the Gigaware USB to serial adapter from Radio Shack.

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What do I need to make my weather station wireless?

You can make a mini station or full station wireless up to two miles line of sight by purchasing Item 3393B base station for the computer and Item 3393W for the weather station end.

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What do I need to make my weather station cellular?

You can make a mini station or full station celluar by purchasing Item 3388GU Cell Modem, Item 3650  Spectrum Weather Subscription and 33889A  Annual subscription for cell data plan

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Can I download WatchDog loggers with my phone?

That capability is not available.

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I am unable to connect to my button logger.

Check your device manager to see if the driver has been installed for the docking station.  If the docking station does not show up as a OneWire Adapter in  the device manager then you will need to install the driver and download the specific java library for the button from our website. (link to pdf for installing driver)

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I am unable to connect to my A-series logger

Check your device manager to see if the driver has been installed for the A-series logger.  If the A-series cable does not show up under ports or it has a yellow exclamaition point next to it in the device manager then you will need to install the driver. Click here for the instructions on how to install the A-Series drivers

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Should I be putting rechargeable batteries in my weather station with a solar panel? Or just normal batteries?

If you are using a solar panel then he needs to use 4 AA rechargeable batteries (NiCd 1000 mAh).
Alkaline batteries cannot be recharged via the solar panel and may cause damage to the weather station

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Products - Software

Do I need to purchase the USB-to-Serial Adapter (item3661USB)?

If your computer already has a 9-pin serial port, you probably don't need the USB-serial adapter.  Most new computers, especially laptop computers, do not have such a port.  In this case, communication with the WatchDog or FieldScout product will require the adapter.

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Does SpecWare work with Windows 7?

Yes, you may also need a USB be to serial adapter that supports Windows 7.  We recommend the Manhattan USB to serial adapter and the Gigaware USB to serial adapter.

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Can Spec 9 be installed on Macs?

We don't currently offer an Apple version of our software. We've had customers using a virtual system running Windows, and they have found success with that.

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What is the difference in the Specware 9 basic software and the Pro software for the weather data logger?

SpecWare 9 Basic – only offers standard reports, no disease models or options to use GPRS units

SpecWare 9 Pro – Data transmission to web, custom reports and disease models

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What is the difference between SpecMaps and SpecMaps ProTurf

SpecMaps ProTurf has the same mapping capabilities as the basic version.  Additionally, the user can sprinkler locations and radius of throw.  It also calculates the Distribution Uniformity of the data set.

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Is it possible to open or view my data files in Excel?

 Yes.  Data files downloaded with SpecWare software or FieldScout software can be opened in Excel. Instructions to do so are located here.

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Products - Soil Moisture Meters/Sensors

I can’t get a TDR reading with my 1.5” (3.8cm) rods in high clay mode.

These rods were designed to be used in sand-based golf greens so there is no high clay option for that rod size.

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If I purchase replacement rods for my TDR, do I need to re-do the calibration procedure.

No.  The calibration is a firmware correction that modifies how the water content is calculated.  Replacing the rods will have no effect on the calibration.

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What do I need to connnect my FieldScout meter to GPS?

In order to connect a FieldScout meter you need the following items FROM AMAZON:
Garmin 72H
Garmin PC Interface Cable

FROM SPECTRUM:          
2950CV5  GPS/DGP Cable
 

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Why doesn't the TDR meter or WaterScout sensor read 100% Volumetric Water Content when immersed in water?

The calibration equations were developed in mineral soils in conditions varying from dry to saturated soil.  This results in a range of about 0 to 50% water content.  The relation does not apply when measurements are taken in water.  The nature of the calibration equation is such that the probe (or sensor) gives values less than 100% when in water.

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I am getting error message unable to find COM port

Check your device manager to see if the driver for your USB to serial adapter is installed.  If no com port shows up then proceed to install the driver.  ( link to pdf for installing the driver)

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What GPS meter should I get with my FieldScout meter?

The Garmin 72H or Garmin 76 are recommended because they have an easy-to-use serial output

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Do I need to purchase the Watermark adapter (item 6450AH) along with my Watermark sensor?

Probably not.  The Watermark adapter is intended to be used with unmodified Watermark sensors that are already installed so that they can be connected to a WatchDog data logger.  If you are purchasing a new Watermark sensor that will be used with a WatchDog product, it is recommended that you purchase a WatchDog-compatible Watermark (Item 6450WD or 6450WD20)

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What is the difference between the WaterScout sensor and the Watermark sensor?

The sensors report soil moisture in different ways.  The WaterScout sensor reports percent volumetric water content.  This will range from about 0 to 50%.  The Watermark sensor reports soil moisture tension and will range between 0 and 200 kPa.

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Can the SMEC 300 sensor (item 6470-6 or 6470-20) be used to make direct-insert readings of EC?

This is not a recommended application of this product because it is difficult to get good contact between the soil and the sensor.  Further, the circuit board is flexible enough that it can be broken if pushed into hard soil.  For portable measurements of EC, the Field Scout Direct Soil EC meter (item 2265FS or 2265FSTP) is the recommended product

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Products - Light Meters/Sensors

Will the quantum light meter work to measure LED's?

No, the Quantum Light meter is not able to measure the intensity of LED lights because they only emit light of one wavelength.

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Products - Chlorophyll Meters

Why does my SPAD only assign record numbers to the first 30 readings?

The SPAD is only able to record a number of 1-30 on the saved data.  You can take readings 1-30 and then reset it back to 1 after every 30th measurement so that the data file goes from 1-30, 1-30, etc.  or you can have all subsequent data read the “N” number of 30. The data logger is added after the unit is manufactured, so we cannot change the number of readings that it records.  It will continue to log the data up to 4000 measurements, but the “N” Number will only read to 30.

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Products - pH Meters

My IQ 150 pH meter will not calibrate. It is reading the error E07.

You can try cleaing the proble with a toothbrush and  then soaking the sensor for 30 minutes to revive it.  If you contine to receive the error message E07 then the sensor needs to be replaced.

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I cannot calibrate my FieldScout SoilStik pH meter.

Try soaking the sensor for 10 minutes.  If the sensor is over 6 months old and you continue to get the error then the sensor need to be replaced. Please see the product page for the instructional video.

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Products - General

What's the easiest way to figure out which products I need?

Try our new Selection Advice tool, it is our newest tool to help with your decision on which product(s) would best serve your needs. The "buyers guide" format asks you a series of questions on what types of products or measurements you are needing, then, thru subsequent questions and answers, you will be directed to the products that will suit you best.   Click here for our Selection Advice!

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Website

What type of payments do you accept on your website?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.  We can also accept Purchase Orders (PO), although we required the PO to be emailed to weborders@specmeters.com before your order is processed.

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Spectrum Technologies, 12360 S. Industrial Drive E., Plainfield, IL 60585, Phone - 800-248-8873