January 12, 2012

Germination trials: measuring temperature

The big fancy data logger from onset.com
One of the major components to this first experiment looking at germination rate is measuring the temperature in each of the treatments.  Happily there are data loggers that continually do this for you.  We are using two models from Onset: a big fancy looking one and a plain box one.  The fancy one is more expensive and is water proof so if I spray it with a hose by accident it will be ok.  The smaller one isn't water proof so I installed it way up high where only the hose shouldn't reach.
The small not-so-fancy looking data logger from onset.com
Both data loggers support four temperature sensors.  For the germination trials we need two sensors per treatment for a total of 24 sensors on 6 data loggers.  The data loggers can be programmed to take a temperature reading at any interval you would like.  We are going to set them to measure the temperature every hour on the hour.  In one week there will be over 4,000 temperature readings!  All this data is downloaded into a software program from Hoboware.

The picture above shows how the data is displayed with Hoboware software.  Each line, or dotted line, shows a temperature probe over a five day period.  Hourly temperature readings can be scrolled through or exported to excel.  

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