Frequently Asked Questions
- Soil Moisture Sensor - ECH2O 5TE - Volumetric Water Content - TEROS 12 - GENERAL - GS3 What will measuring electrical conductivity give you a metric of versus VWC?
EC can give you the solute concentration of the soil, but is trickier to interpret than VWC since the VWC can be a confounding variable.
- Soil Moisture Sensor - ECH2O 5TE - TEROS 11 - ECH2O 5TM - Volumetric Water Content - TEROS 12 - GENERAL - ECH2O EC-5 - TEROS What is the difference between the FDR method and the capacitance method of VWC measurement? Are they the same?
They are technically not the same. For the strictest technical accuracy, FDR makes a frequency scan and capacitance measures the charge time of a capacitor. From a practical standpoint there is little difference in the performance.
- Em50G - EM50 - EM60 - EM60G What happens if my logger breaks ? I heard you are discontinuing the EM Series loggers, What happens if my logger breaks?Your Em Series logger (Em50, Em50G,EM60,EM60G) will be supported for three years (or until parts are no longer available).Please call 509-332-5600, or email email@example.com for questions or concerns.
- Em50G - EM50 EM50/Em50g: What cable do I need to connect the logger and my computer?
The EM50 and EM50G use a proprietary USB-to-stereo cable. If you have a damaged or missing cable, please contact METER for a replacement.
- GS1 - TEROS 12 - GS3 - TEROS What is the volume of influence comparison for the GS1, GS3, and TEROS 12?
See our volume of influence article for a comparison of all METER soil moisture sensors.
- Em50G - EM60G Can a third-party software program be used to pull data from METER data loggers? You cannot use a third party program to pull data directly from our loggers. The software we make is written to provide optimal communication.If you wish to assess your data remotely, we offer API access to pull data from our servers and directly into your third party software.
- EM60G In projects that require remote data acquisition with no supervision, it is useful to have a fully buried system (including the data logger). Is there an option for EM60G-like characteristics EXCEPT for the live data transmission?
We offer a direct connect version of our data loggers that allows for simple downloading of the data. This version of the logger could be used in applications where the system needs to be discrete to prevent vandalism. METER does not recommend burying your data logger because it is difficult to ensure the data logger is protected from potential flooding and water damage. However, some researchers have tried it with varying degrees of success. For information on the precautions they took, see our blog post: Data Loggers: to Bury or Not to Bury.
- Em50G - EM50 - EM60 - EM60G How should I position my logger? The logger should be vertical, with the cables coming out of the bottom of the logger.Choose a location and orientation that provides the solar panel with the maximum amount of sunlight. In the Northern Hemisphere, this will typically mean that the data logger will face south; in the Southern Hemisphere, this will typically mean the data logger will face north
- ZENTRA Cloud - EM60G - ZENTRA Is there a limit to how many can subscribe to one EM60G on ZENTRA cloud? How many can be “admins”?
There is no limit to either subscribers or administrators.
- Em50G - EM50 - EM60 - EM60G Is autoconfiguration only for serial sensors, or does it include also 10HS and EC-5?
Only digital sensors are automatically configured. You can simply use the drop-down menu to pick analog sensors (such as the 10HS and the EC-5) when these are used.
- ZENTRA Cloud - EM60G - ZENTRA How many times per day does the EM60G send data to the ZENTRA cloud?
The upload interval is user-selected based on need. The maximum data transmitting interval in ZENTRA is one time per hour. The minimum is one time per day.
- EM60 - EM60G Can you use wireless sensors with this data logger?
The EM60/EM60G only use METER and LEGACY (Decagon) sensors.
- EM60 - EM60G Is external power connection possible?
Yes. The data logger can be powered externally via the micro-USB cable. However, in nearly 99% of use cases, external power is not necessary.
- EM60 - EM60G Are the barometric pressure and data logger temperature sensors embedded on the logger? Where is this information logged (in Ports 1 to 6)?
From a data perspective, these are technically in “Port 8”. Essentially, they do not use up any of the stereo ports on the logger.
- EM60 - EM60G Is there a bluetooth feature to retrieve data from the EM60 series?
Not currently, but this is a feature that may be implemented in the future.
- EM60G What are the cell service options?
Specifically, the EM60G uses a UMTS 3G 5-band cellular module with 2G fallback. With respect to coverage, that means we utilize the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in USA, and 200+ global partner carriers. Keep in mind that cellular and data hosting services are provided by METER, and the only thing that you need to do is check with either METER or your METER rep and confirm that your site has coverage.
- ZENTRA Cloud - EM60G - ZENTRA Can I receive my data instantaneously at all times during the connected time?
The EM60G data logger can log as frequently as every five minutes and can upload those data as frequently as every fifteen minutes.
- EM60 - EM60G What cable do I need to connect the logger to my computer?
The logger connects via a micro-usb to USB cable. These cables are readily available, but be cautious, some cables only work for charging purposes. Make sure the cable you get is for data transfer.
- Em50G - EM60G What is the difference between the EM50G and the EM60G?
EM50G EM60G 5 ports 6 ports 1 MB of storage (36,000 records) 8 MB of storage (80,000 records) Reports 6x a day Reports up to every hour Optional solar panel Standard solar panel No GPS Standard GPS Can NOT host-A-41 Can host A-41 Physical FW update required Automatic over the air FW update Ech20 Utility Zentra Utility DataTrac3 / Webviewer Zentra Cloud Quad-band UMTS 3G with 2G fallback
- EM60 - EM60G Is the logger available everywhere?
The EM60G data logger is available in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and other global locations.
Please call the METER Sales team to verify the coverage in your location.
- EM60 - EM60G What is the data logger password? The password will be letters with a hyphen on an orange card included in the data logger. Please note, this password cannot be changed.If you are the “owner” of the device, we can provide you with the password. However, users need to contact the owner who initially gave you access to the organization site.
- EM60 - EM60G Are you selling the EM60 series to Japan and Korea? Yes. We do sell the EM60 series data loggers to Japan and Korea.
- ZENTRA Cloud - EM60 - EM60G - ZENTRA What cell service providers do you currently work with in North America?
We work with both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US and Canada.
- EM60 - EM60G Why can’t I get an EM60G in China? The EM60G will not work in China due to the country’s data block. While we currently do not have a server in China, we can sell the non-cellular EM60’s to China.
- Soil Moisture Sensor - ECH2O 5TE - GS3 Can your 5TE or GS3 tell me the soil salinity or the pore water EC?
Our sensors measure bulk EC, not soil salinity or pore water EC. Pore water EC can be derived from bulk EC using various models, including the Hillhorst model. This is described more in our application note about soil EC.
- DataTrac 3 - Em50G - SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 How do I correct the date on a bad dataset in DataTrac 3?
If the batteries are removed from the EM50 logger series without being connected to a computer, the EM50 will record data with incorrect timestamps. Here’s how to correct the timestamps permanently in DataTrac 3:
- In the table view, select ALL of the incorrect dates.
- From the Setup menu, select Timeshift.
- Enter the new start date of the first date in the selected records.
- Press OK, and the data will be corrected with the new date.
- DataTrac 3 - Em50G - ENVIRONMENT Software - SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 How do I graph plant available water?
In older versions of DataTrac, Plant Available Water was a setting that could be accessed from the top toolbar. In DataTrac 3, Plant Available Water is treated as a growing tool. To graph plant available water for any of your sensors:
- Click on the logger in the device tree where you would like to graph Plant Available Water.
- Click Configure in the toolbar.
- Select Virtual Port under Sensors and Measurements
- In the Virtual Measurement Type drop-down menu, select Growing Tools
- Under Select Derived Product Type drop-down menu, select Plant Available Water
- In the Volumetric Water Content drop-down menu, select the sensor data where you would like to apply the Plant Available Water model.
- Click Create Virtual Measurement
- Select your Approximate Mineral Soil Type or select User Defined Values and manually enter your percent volumetric water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point. Plant Available Water for each soil type will be estimated using methodology from the following reference: “Soil Water Characteristic Estimates by Texture and Organic Matter for Hydrologic Solutions”, K. E. Saxton and W. J. Rawls. Published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. 70:1569-1578 (2006)
- Click OK
Learn more about determining plant available water from field capacity and permanent wilting point
- ECH2O 5TE - ECH2O 5TM - ECH2O EC-5 - ECH2O Updating METER digital sensors
One of the advantages of digital sensors is the ability to update their programming (firmware) without sending the sensors back to METER or even excavating them from the field. While it is seldom necessary to update sensors, we do recommend updates on occasion to improve probe performance or resolve problems. Please contact your METER representative before updating any of your sensors.
Updating sensors using ProCheck
If the need does arise to update the program on your sensors, you will need:
- A computer that can run Windows or a Windows emulator.
- A ProCheck handheld reader.
- The relevant updater provided by your METER representative.
Please follow these steps to update the sensor:
- Install the updater file onto your computer. It can typically be acquired through a web link provided by your METER representative.
- Connect your METER digital sensor to your ProCheck through the stereo connector or pigtail to stereo adapter if you have sensors with bare leads.
- Connect the ProCheck to your computer using the serial to USB adapter included in the ProCheck kit. If you do not have any METER software installed on your computer, you will need to install the USB driver. Please close any open METER software.
- Run the updater from your computer.
The update should take 3 – 5 minutes. You can see the current version of firmware that your sensor is running in the lower left corner of your ProCheck screen when it is reading the sensor. Please contact us if you require a firmware update but do not own a ProCheck. We may be able to arrange a loaner. Do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-332-5600 if you have any questions.
- DataTrac 3 - Em50G - ENVIRONMENT Software - SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 How do I subscribe to an Em50G?
- Click Setup > Create New > Em50G Subscription
- Enter the Device ID and Password of the Em50G that you would like to subscribe to into the window that appears.
- Use the default server.
- If you would like to see all of the data from this Em50G, select All Data Points from the Retrieve dropdown menu.
- Click Subscribe.
- DataTrac 3 - Em50G - ENVIRONMENT Software - SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 Adding sensor data from different loggers to my graph
DataTrac 3 has the ability to integrate external measurements or measurements from a different logger into the graph that you’re viewing. To use this tool:
- Click on the device in the device tree to whose graph you would like to add data.
- Select Configure from the toolbar at the top of the DataTrac 3 main screen.
- Under the Sensors and Measurements heading, select Virtual Port.
- From the dropdown menu labeled Select a Virtual Measurement Type, select External Measurement
- A drop-down menu will now be displayed, containing a list of all other data loggers and their respective measurements.
- Select the desired logger and measurement.
- Click the Create Virtual Measurement button, and then click OK at the bottom of the page.
- DataTrac 3 - Em50G - ENVIRONMENT Software - SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 How do I apply a custom water content calibration to my sensor data?
Factory calibration curves are provided for mineral soils, potting soils, perlite, and rockwool. Many of these factory calibrations have been verified by independent researchers and published in peer-reviewed journal articles. If a factory calibration is not available, or you would like better accuracy, you can provide a custom calibration to the soil moisture sensor data collected.
You can provide a custom calibration for each sensor independently. To use a custom calibration in DataTrac 3:
- Click the Configure button in the toolbar of DataTrac.
- Under Sensors and Measurements list, expand the port containing the sensor for which you would like to input a custom calibration.
- Click on Volumetric Water Content under that port.
- Select User Defined from the Approximate Soil Media drop-down menu.
- Enter the coefficients for your custom calibration in the spaces provided.
- ECH2O 5TE - ECH2O 5TM - Volumetric Water Content - GENERAL - ECH2O EC-5 - ECH2O Why don’t your soil moisture sensors measure with 1% accuracy like some others spec’d?
There are two elements to the accuracy of time-domain reflectometry (TDR), frequency domain reflectometry (FDR), and capacitance sensors:
- How well the sensors measure the dielectric permittivity of the soil; and
- How well the calibration converts that measurement to water content.
Due to inherent variability in soil physical properties, it is impossible for a dielectric sensor to measure within 1% water content accuracy across a broad range of soil types, even with a perfect measurement of dielectric permittivity. Beware sensors that claim an unbelievable accuracy in all substrates.
- SUPPORTING SENSORS - EM50 Will pressing the reset button erase my data?
No! The reset button just resets your COMM port. It is the first thing that you should try if you cannot connect to your EM50 data logger and you have the correct port selected. It has a good chance of restoring communications with your logger, and all of your data will be just fine.