RSS Hands-on with the Biotek Marine USB PAR Sensor

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 17 Mar 2015.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    8 May 2007
    Posts:
    10,129
    Likes Received:
    101
    BioTek Marine really got a lot of attention when they announced their unique BTM3000 PAR meter. The BTM 3000 is actually a bare PAR sensor with a USB connection to be ‘powered’ by any regular old computer, PC or Mac, and we couldn’t be any more impressed with the execution on the hardware.

    Users of Apogee Instruments PAR meter will be immediately familiar with the look and feel of the BTM 3000 which is made by Apogee exclusively for BioTek Marine. There are some custom electronics in the sensor side of the BTM 3000 to allow it to be USB powered, and the 15 foot long USB cord really helps to move the sensor around while it is tethered to a stationary machine, and it will be able to reach much deeper in tanks than the standard Apogee PAR meter.

    [​IMG]It took just a little while for the software side of the BTM 3000 to reach the 1.0 version, especially for the Mac platform but now that it has, the BTM 3000 is truly a tool worthy of recommendation and widespread deployment. We are still impressed with how effortless it is to use the BTM 3000 on a computer, as the application near instantaneously recognizes the PAR sensor and there is literally no trouble in getting the hardware and software to work together.

    For now the first application is really basic, offering a nice large readout of the PAR value in umols/m2/s and the only thing we wish we could change right now is the sampling rate, as the PAR measurement seems to be sampling at a rate of about 10 times per second so the value jumps around a bit when you are trying to read it. Other than that, a basic logging feature allows PAR value to be recorded over time intervals, which can be set so as to automatically take readings every 5 or ten seconds for logging around the tank, or whatever you happen to be measuring.

    [​IMG]A nice neat little feature of the BTM 3000 is the display of PAR value in the system menu of Mac OSX, not sure how useful it is but it’s a cool treat to have true par values measured in umols showing up at the top pf our computer. But now that the hardware is done and completed, we can’t wait to see how the software application for it can be improved to help guide users to log light intensity all over their aquarium, perhaps even with the potential to create custom PAR graphs of light field, spread and intensity in any kind of aquarium.

    [​IMG]If you’re curious about lighting intensity in our reef tanks, and want to know the actual PAR value of the light in your own aquariums, buying the $195 BTM 3000 USB PAR sensor over the standalone apogee unit it a no brainer, especially for reef clubs wishing to invest in a useful tool to loan to their members. We’ve been pretty addicted to measuring actual PAR in our reef aquariums with the Apogee meter but the BTM 3000 is poised to replace it, especially as the software matures over time. [Aquarium Specialty]

    FCC regulations require us to inform you that we were given this product for review but our opinion and review of a product is never affected by how we acquire it


    [​IMG]    [​IMG]
    Readers also viewed:




    Click here to read the article...
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. nudibranch

    nudibranch

    Joined:
    9 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    601
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Fourways, Jhb
    I like the idea of getting one like they mention for the club. Any chance jhb reefers would like to club together and purchase one together. I suppose we could rent it out to people who did not originally contribute. Any thoughts?

    Paul
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    23,163
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Centurion
    Eish, R2400 bucks about on our current exchange rate.
     
  5. sandersc

    sandersc

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    961
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Paarl Western Cape ZA
    I tend to agree with Paul. Unless somebody within a specific area does have a PAR meter and are willing to rent it out for use to others I think buying one may be a very good idea.

    I think most of us reefers wonder about the PAR in our reefs and specifically, where we need more light or less.

    W were almost 30 people at the last Cape Town meet, if we for instances all decide we want in on it, it will be less than R100 each. I am very tempted to get one for Cape Town. Anybody else in?

    Sanders
     
  6. nudibranch

    nudibranch

    Joined:
    9 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    601
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Fourways, Jhb
    @sandersc, exactly my point. I don't want to slash out thousands for this but willing to contribute towards it so I can use it from time to time. Would also be interested if somebody already had something like this they would be prepared to rent to me.

    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. sandersc

    sandersc

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    961
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Paarl Western Cape ZA
    Hj Are there guys out there with par meters? All very quite.
     
  8. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    3,055
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Jukskei Park, JHB
    Its not common for a hobbyist to have a decent par meter. I only know of businesses who have them. I might get one if these when they are available in the country.
     
Recent Posts