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Old 07-25-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
ph0ngwh0ng
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Default want a decent ph meter that doesn't cost too much

Hey!

I'm now at the point where I need to check my pH. I would like to do so without paying big bucks, though. Any one has links to sites selling DECENT, FUNCTIONAL pH meters?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-25-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
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This is the one I have (and where I got it). Seems accurate enough for my needs, but it IS the only pH meter I've ever owned.

http://www.eseasongear.com/hahipophtehi.html

You will need to buy additional calibration & storage solution.


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Old 07-25-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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For $32 that Hanna meter is a pretty good deal!

I wanted a hand-held model with separate replaceable temp and ph probes so I went with the Milwaukee MW102 which can be had for $100. It is slightly more accurate than the Hanna meter linked to above but the big selling point is that the probes are replaceable when they die. With the integrated meters you just have to replace them when they die / dry out for too long.

Having said all that... If I could do it again, I'd probably just get the Hanna meter for $32 BECAUSE newer generation meters always seem to get faster and faster at taking readings and even though Milwaukee advertises the new MW102 as faster than the previous model, it's still not remotely fast enough for me. -I'd probably prefer to have my meter die ever 2 years or so so I could replace it with a newer model every couple of years.

I feel like I'm stuck with the MW102 forever now as I opted to pay extra for the replaceable probes. (If I ever found a great deal on a SUPER accurate and much cooler bench-top meter, I'd replace it, though.)
http://www.milwaukeetesters.com/MW102.html

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Old 07-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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Also hot tip: Don't buy the stupid sachets of ph calibration fluid-they ALWAYS slowly evaporate; spend a bit more and get a larger quantity in a seal-able bottle or you'll go through fluid constantly and will never have it when you need it.


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Old 07-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
This is the one I have (and where I got it). Seems accurate enough for my needs, but it IS the only pH meter I've ever owned.

http://www.eseasongear.com/hahipophtehi.html

You will need to buy additional calibration & storage solution.
You made a very wise purchase. Hanna is the big name; they only make quality stuff. 0.02 ph accuracy in a Hanna for $32?!? Unbelievable a few years ago.


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Old 07-26-2013, 01:08 AM   #6
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Thank you for the tips and input! Only thing is I live in Canada, so shipping is 35$!....

Still looking!

Question though: At Ī0.2 ph accuracy, why does everyone hate ph test strips anyway?
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:46 AM   #7
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The big thing (for me) is the hundredth decimal point. You're shooting for 5.4 to 5.6. 5.5 = 5.45 to 5.54 depending on the rounding method they use. I have/had the super cheap Milwaukee. 1) It just died after a few months, but it was $15 so I am not overly concerned. 2) It always drove me nuts to get a 5.4, 5.5, 5.6. Granted, those were acceptable answers. Give me a 5.4 or a 5.6 and I'm all bent of shape. I know I was 5.35 to 5.64, but how close was it. If I came it at 5.5, how close was I to the 5.46 the spreadsheet I use predicted? It drove me crazy. I would also get a meter that has a 2 point calibration minimum. Single point meters calibrate at 7. Dual point will use 4 as the low point, which gives you better accuracy down where you are measuring. Myself I just got a lab grade meter of ebay that is likely overkill, but that is me and there is nothing I can do about it. From my research, however, either go with the above advice of a decent disposable, or at least look for separate temp and ph probes, it reduces the cost of the replacement ph sensor down the road.

And to anser your question, +/- 0.2 isn't so good when you are targeting a 0.2 range.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI_Troll View Post
And to anser your question, +/- 0.2 isn't so good when you are targeting a 0.2 range.
Actually, that's the ph meter's accuracy (Hanna), I didn't phrase that very well..
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:17 PM   #9
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Thatís crazy. I suppose itís a case of marketing run amok. Why would you have a .01 resolution if the basic accuracy is forty times that?

Bear in mind that you will need to spend $30 on buffers and storage solution. I bought the Milwaukee MW101 and it was about a hundred dollars for everything. I like it a lot.

The MW 101 is very similar to the MW102 that biertourist is complaining about. I think he may have unreasonable expectations, all pH meters are slow. It can easily take five minutes for a reading to stabilize.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Resolution of 0.01 and accuracy of 0.2? What in heaven's name does this mean? The only thing I can think of is that the meter is very unstable i.e. that put into a buffer the readings will jump around over a set of readings such that their standard deviation is 0.2 pH. This would render such a meter pretty useless in brewing (just as the strips with comparable reading errors are pretty useless).

Response time is a function of the design (read 'cost') and age of an electrode. Manufacturers of 'fancy' electrodes often brag about their offerings response times and usually do so by showing a plot of a series of pH readings over time. It's hard to assign a number which is why the plot is usually offered.

As an electrode ages the response time slows and this is often a sign (reduced slope is another) that it is time to replace the electrode. A new electrode should be within 0.02 pH units of its steady state reading within 30 seconds. This is my personal opinion so don't get the idea that it is IUPAC guidance (if they have any I don't know what it is). It may take as long as 4 or 5 minutes before the last 0.01 of pH change disappears. Beyond that one starts to think about electrode drift as well as response time. A recheck of one or more buffers is a good idea if this is the case.


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