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Thread: Cheap(er) PAR Meter

  1. #1

    Cheap(er) PAR Meter

    A PAR meter can be a valuable tool for many of us but even the most economical meter is $379. This cost can be hard to justify. As it turns out you can buy the sensor separately from Apogee and wire it to a standard multimeter.

    Apogee SQ-120: Electric Calibration Quantum Sensor $139

    Commercial Electric Digital Multimeter $19.99

    To connect the sensor you simply cut the leads to the multimeter and connect red to red and black to black. I soldered them but wire nuts would work just as well. The clear wire coming from the sensor is a signal wire and is not needed. The sensor is self-powered and sends its signal in millivolts. Each millivolt is equal to 5 PAR. You simply multiply the multimeter's reading by 5 to get the PAR value. I zip-tied the sensor to an extendable scraper from Petco to make measuring easier.

    The meter claims an accuracy of .5% of the reading +/- 3 digits so for our purposes it is more than accurate enough. You do lose some of the data logging features of the Apogee meter but I'd personally rather save $220. Just thought I'd share.
    Last edited by jerpa; 11-04-2012 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Thanks for sharing. Is the sensor saltwater poof? They just say weather proof.

  3. #3
    Yes it's completely submersible and saltwater safe.

  4. #4
    Excellent! I guess, I have to support the economy.

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