Author Topic: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station  (Read 22210 times)

Steve

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2012, 10:39:20 PM »
You missed one piece of the puzzle:

4. Multi-Purpose Temperature Probe (6470)

The sensor ranges you see at the bottom of the third specification above are from the temp probe, which is used in conjunction with the Soil Moisture Sensor. I think the Leaf Temperature is really displaying the Soil Temperature in the Live Data Viewer.



BTW, to see a soil information page done well, take a look here:  http://www.websterweatherlive.com/wxsoil.php

Lots of server-side stuff done there, as this is a customized add-on to Ken's AJAX templates.
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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elagache

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Thanks Steve! (Re: Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station)
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2012, 11:07:34 PM »
Thanks Steve!  [tup]

You missed one piece of the puzzle:

4. Multi-Purpose Temperature Probe (6470)

Ah, much better!!   [bounce]

Now the physics makes sense!

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2012, 11:48:37 PM »
Stu,

On the Live Data Viewer, there are temperatures listed for Leaf Temp 1-4, but the Leaf Wetness Sensor does not state that it has a temperature probe as part of its specs. The Leaf Temp 1 is the same temperature as the Soil Temp 1, so is this assuming the same? Air temp at the moment is 42˚, but Leaf and Soil Temp are both show as 50˚

Thanks,
Steve

Hi Steve,
This is a function of the console software - it sends the same value for both the soil temperature and leaf temperature. If you press the HUM key on the console to display the leaf temperature, you'll see it's the same as the soil temperature.

Cheers,
Stu.


Steve

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2012, 03:03:03 AM »
Thanks Stu, I see that they are the same. I just don't think it is correct. (Davis' data, not yours.) If the air temp is 42˚ and the soil temp 10" deep is 50˚, I doubt the surface of the leaf will also be 50˚ as indicated on the console. I'll have to ask Davis Support about that one!

Steve
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Steve

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2012, 02:30:24 AM »
I found a steal on a previously owned but unused Leaf Wetness & Soil Temperature/Moisture Station with two Soil Temperature Probes. Today I used one of the Soil Temperature Probes and buried it in my strawberry patch. It is at the same 10" depth as the first Soil Temperature Probe, but the bed it is in has been empty unit today when we transplanted tomato plants in it. I expect to see that the foliage from the strawberries tempers the soil temperature changes and keeps the soil cooler during the day. I can already see that there's a 3˚ difference.

I've added a chart on my soil web page. It is still a work in progress, so it isn't linked from the main pages yet. Take a look at http://www.avon-weather.com/soil.html

Steve
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elagache

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Sensors - habit forming? (Re: Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station)
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2012, 03:21:27 AM »
Howdy Steve and WeatherCat gardeners,

I found a steal on a previously owned but unused Leaf Wetness & Soil Temperature/Moisture Station with two Soil Temperature Probes.

 ;) Sure hope the cops don't find out about this!!   [lol2]

Today I used one of the Soil Temperature Probes and buried it in my strawberry patch. It is at the same 10" depth as the first Soil Temperature Probe, but the bed it is in has been empty unit today when we transplanted tomato plants in it. I expect to see that the foliage from the strawberries tempers the soil temperature changes and keeps the soil cooler during the day. I can already see that there's a 3˚ difference.

To be honest, what you are observing I had concluded absolutely had to be true "da' old fashioned way."   Our yard is at the edge of an impromptus woods and conditions can vary widely.  Some area's are still wet when the last significant rains were almost a month ago.  Other areas are starting to look like death valley.   [sweat2]  To get a reasonable idea of what is going on in our yard would take at least half a dozen sensors and . . . . . well, the budget needs to consider other potentially pressing needs!

I've added a chart on my soil web page. It is still a work in progress, so it isn't linked from the main pages yet. Take a look at http://www.avon-weather.com/soil.html

However, I'm really glad to have the chance to learn from your experiences!!   [bounce]  Please do keep posting!!  [tup]  Since I'm not likely to get a chance to try one of your strawberries . . . . it is the next best thing!!  ;D

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Steve

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2012, 03:39:38 AM »
Yea, I know the soil is cooler in the shade without needing a fancy system to tell me.  ::) ;)

The real purpose of purchasing the second Leaf and Soil Station is to save money in the long run. I got the whole setup for little more than what the two Soil Temperature Probes would cost. Once it comes time to either send the complete system back to Davis or buy it, I can send back their station and keep this one and save over $125. But until then I'm playing with it testing various setups. Ultimately I'll have the three Soil Temperature Probes at three different depths, probably along with two more Soil Moisture Sensors.
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elagache

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Howdy Steve and WeatherCat fans,

Yea, I know the soil is cooler in the shade without needing a fancy system to tell me.  ::) ;)

The real difference though is that you have a much more elaborate garden.  If you have enough cultivation going on, you have a real chance to gain something even if it isn't entirely economic.  Home grown food has a value that cannot be measured in dollars.  If you have a suitable place to produce a substantial harvest, it is well worth the effort do make that work.

So, I agree - you have a real incentive to pursue this.  We don't have the sort or property where this makes much sense (unless the goal is to feed the gophers, deer, etc.  . . . .   [banghead])  So in this case I can't do much more than be a cheerleader!!  [cheer]

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2012, 02:05:51 PM »
[edit] Copying discussion concerning this topic in another thread to keep everything together.


Hi Steve-

I enjoyed your very thorough write-up, you must be an engineer with that kind of detail.  I also enjoyed all of your other weather pics on your website, but I did have one question...what's with the rain bucket 'condom'?  How does that work??

Anyway, I liked you idea with the dual zone soil moisture/temperature placement; makes lots of sense for deep root and shallow root placement.  For my garden, I have some perennial flowers and carrots that are about the deepest roots, so I kept all my sensors in the 6-8" deep zone.  Speaking of placement, I never went with the Davis idea of glueing the sensors to a PVC pipe and placing that in the ground.  I have an idea I know what they're after, 1) visibility of the sensor so the cable doesn't get cut, and 2) to ensure the sensor has soil packed all around it to keep out and air pockets to lessen false readings. 

For my setup, I buried the cable 6" deep all the way from the beds to the 4x4 post that the station is mounted on, then attached neon flags where they enter the garden and put the flags on the surface so I can retrieve the cables and sensors when I have to dig/till.  I'm going to see how that setup goes this year to see if the lawn guys cut the flags so I may revisit this next year.  As far as the sensors themselves, I also conditioned them before placement to ensure more accurate readings.  Instead of the PVC pipe, I drove a stick (each about the same diameter as the sensors) into the ground at and angle at a spot that was tamped down and put the sensors there and back-filled them. So far that seems to work as I can watch the moisture levels on all 4 sensors fluctuate during wet/dry conditions. It appears from your photos that you have the moisture sensor pretty close to the 2x8 side.  Did you give any thought of putting it a little further out into your bed where most of your roots are?

As far as the placement of the leaf-wetness sensor, I emailed Davis but got nothing definitive except basically "read the manual".  So I looked at what was around the garden and settled on a height about 3.5' and placed it on the SW side of the 4x4.  The thinking was that I was trying to replicate dew and I didn't want it 'burning off too quickly' by putting it on the NE side, after all, I've got lots of tomatoes that still have dew 'til late in the AM.  Right now my leaf wetness sensor 'burn-off' time is around the same time as most everything else in the garden so this orientation works for me.  An added plus with the leaf wetness sensor as you may have seen is it will pick up the slightest amount of rain, well before the rain bucket does it's first 'tip'. 

Again, nice write-ups and good luck with your gardening this year.

Jeb


Thank you, Jeb. And, yes indeed, I did work in engineering for over 35 years before retiring.

The rain condom is a bollard cap for pilings in marinas. I use it as a cover for the Davis VP2 while I am watering my garden. I record the amount I water using the CoCoRaHS gauge and record it separately , but don't want the VP2 data to include artificial precipitation.

My two soil temperature probes are at the same depth, but in different gardens. The strawberry patch keeps the soil cool, only changing a few degrees during the day, while the more open patch under the tomatoes fluctuates up to 10 degrees during the day. We'll see how this works out with our crop yield. We've put black plastic down under the tomatoes in the past to keep the soil hot. I may experiment with this next season and see if there is a substantial difference.

I did consider the proximity of the probes to the side of the raised bed box. I may get a slight artificially higher moisture content as this concentrates the rain or sprinkler water that runs down the inside of the box. I am on very sandy soil, so I've assumed that it dissipates a little. I will be getting two more soil moisture probes, so next year I will plant them further out in the garden.

It looks like you've optimized your leaf wetness sensor for the most accurate results. I pointed mine north, as the very early morning sun is blocked by a tree to the east of the garden. So I figured north would be the last to "burn off". On the WXforum, I've read of folks placing two leaf sensors; one north and the other south. I definitely have noticed how great the leaf sensor works as a precipitation detector, peaking out when the very first drizzle starts. In a very light rain, this may be many minutes before the first bucket tip, if it tips at all.

Thanks for the nice comments. I'm going to quote your reply with my Soil Station thread here and on MacWeather.net to keep these comments together.

Thanks,
Steve
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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2012, 08:38:25 PM »
I've had a soil temperature and a soil moisture probe buried in my pasture for over 5 years. They have performed flawlessly and saved me hundreds of dollars in watering cost.

The major short-coming is the limitation of only one remote sensor station per system. I want to bury more probes in my multi-acre pasture, but would have to connect them to my station by long cables. I'd rather put a second or third remote sensor station and bury the probes near each station.

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2012, 10:37:40 PM »
The major short-coming is the limitation of only one remote sensor station per system. I want to bury more probes in my multi-acre pasture, but would have to connect them to my station by long cables. I'd rather put a second or third remote sensor station and bury the probes near each station.

I agree. I picked up a second, used but unused, soil station to switch to when I have to send my test unit back to Davis. Meanwhile, I was hoping to set it up with one of the temp sensors elsewhere in the yard, but it doesn't work that way...
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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2012, 08:36:57 PM »
Folks,

I have a Vantage Vue in NY and a full Vantage Pro 2 in Maine.  Can I use the soil/leaf wetness kit with the Vantage Vue or just the Pro 2?  Do I need any more hardware or does the white box transmit to my existing Weather Envoy?

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Unfortunately: No (Re: Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station)
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2012, 09:36:07 PM »
Hi JG and WeatherCat fans,

I have a Vantage Vue in NY and a full Vantage Pro 2 in Maine.  Can I use the soil/leaf wetness kit with the Vantage Vue or just the Pro 2?  Do I need any more hardware or does the white box transmit to my existing Weather Envoy?

Davis has a nice set of comparison tables between the Vantage Vue and the Vantage Pro-2 line here:

http://www.davisnet.com/weather/how-to-choose-a-weather-station/index.asp

According to to the simple comparison table: Unfortunately not.  You need a Vantage Pro-2 to connect a soil leaf sensor.

Sorry

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

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Re: Unfortunately: No (Re: Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station)
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2012, 11:39:49 PM »
Hi JG and WeatherCat fans,

I have a Vantage Vue in NY and a full Vantage Pro 2 in Maine.  Can I use the soil/leaf wetness kit with the Vantage Vue or just the Pro 2?  Do I need any more hardware or does the white box transmit to my existing Weather Envoy?

Davis has a nice set of comparison tables between the Vantage Vue and the Vantage Pro-2 line here:

http://www.davisnet.com/weather/how-to-choose-a-weather-station/index.asp

According to to the simple comparison table: Unfortunately not.  You need a Vantage Pro-2 to connect a soil leaf sensor.

Sorry

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]

Thanks.

jg

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Re: Review & Testing of Davis Leaf & Soil Moisture/Temp Station
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2012, 05:05:39 PM »
Can I put the new "base" on a different pole so I can locate it closer to the areas/soil I want to monitor or does it have to be on the same pole as the Vantage Pro 2?