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Low Cost Ambient Water Quality Sensors

Home Forums Environmental Sensors Low Cost Ambient Water Quality Sensors

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    • #1519

        Hello all, I would like to deploy minimum of 4 water quality sensors such as temperature, pH, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen. are there any low cost sensors that can be used with the Mayfly board that anyone is aware of?
        Thank you very much for your help.

      • #1532
        John Smutny

          The mayfly acts in a similar way to other boards, such as Arduino, that can take analog and digital inputs and connect to the mayfly. Through my experimentation, what ever works on Arduino will also work on the mayfly

        • #1536
          Shannon Hicks

            John is right, just about any sensor you find should be able to work with the Mayfly, though you might have to add some interface circuitry or adapters depending on the power requirements and communication protocol of the sensor. I’ve got Mayfly board working with digital output sensors (either TTL, RS232, or SDI-12 outputs) and analog output sensors, and I’ll be posting code examples soon. It’s also possible to use 4-20ma output sensors if you have an interface, but we don’t currently use them in any of our active projects so maybe someone else can chime in with their experience with using 4-20ma sensors.

            As for the types of sensors, we normally use research-grade high-quality sensors for turbidity, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, etc. While the cost is relatively high compared to the low cost nature of the Mayfly, we prefer them because of their precision and dependability. We are also experimenting with different low cost sensors for measuring those parameters and hope to have some results to share later this summer.

          • #2263

              Hello Shannon,
              I am responding to your post from a year ago. I have been working on an interface that can take 12 V from a solar panel, run the 4-20mA sensors, convert the 12 V to 3.7 V to run Mayfly and sensor interface circuits. I have located one vendor (Global Water) that sells 4-20mA sensors at a low price but I would like to go through more options.
              What do you recommend?
              Also, What do you recommend for the “research-grade high-quality sensors”? Do you prefer a specific vendor?
              Thank you very much.

            • #2268
              Shannon Hicks

                We use sensors from a variety of companies, and most times every sensor on our stations will come from a different company. This is because we like to mix and match the sensors for the exact needs of the location and research questions being answered. What parameters are you interested in measuring?

              • #2276

                  Shannon, Thanks for your reply.
                  I am interested in measuring pH, Temp., DO, and Conductivity. What do you recommend?
                  Also, I just noticed on your blog that the latest version of Mayfly accepts 12 V power.
                  This is perfect since a lot of medium/higher grade sensor sondes work off of 12 V. The question
                  I have is whether Mayfly will enable sleep mode to save battery like it did with 6 V max input?
                  In other words, can I power the board with 12 V solar panel and regulate the battery as before?
                  Also, should the 12 V input be from a LiPo Battery? I hope my questions make sense.

                • #12236

                    Hi Shannon,

                    I too want to know which sensors for pH, Temp, DO, and Conductivity you recommend.

                    I look forward to hearing back fro you.

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