Selecting the Best Soil Moisture Sensor
A soil moisture sensor is an electronic device that can be used to determine the moisture content of your soil. This is done by sending out radio waves that are absorbed by the soil. The transmitted waves bounce off everything in its path including humans and become reflected back. As these waves reach areas where the human body lies, they are picked up and then interpreted by the sensor. The transmitted data is then converted into a digital signal that can be read by the computer.
There are two types of soil moisture sensors available in the market. The most common type of such a sensor uses a resistive element. The material used to build such a sensor can either be metal or plastic. It uses electric currents to change its resistance. This changes the amount of power that is required to send the signal from the computer to the receiver. Resistance level is determined by how strong the electric current is applied to the sensor material.
Another type of this soil moisture sensor uses a transducer. This type of sensor uses liquid substances as means of sensing moisture. These substances are usually in the form of water. Liquid substances that can be used for detecting moisture include dew, rainwater, and even sweat.
Both resistive and transducers can be built using a sensitive layer of integrated circuits. The circuitry on such a soil moisture sensor usually contains a base shield and a series of soil sensor. The base shield is designed to prevent electromagnetic interference. Capacitive soil moisture sensors work using a combination of the electrical and physical properties of the soil itself.
Capacitive soil moisture sensors work very well in detecting areas where moisture has accumulated. This means that you can pinpoint areas where you need to plant. Also it means that you will not miss moisture in places where plants cannot survive. Some types of these sensors can detect soil moisture levels up to 6 inches below the surface.
Resistance to electrical and mechanical interference is one of the main features of the soil moisture sensor. The soil moisture sensor’s base shield should be able to resist electric fields which are induced by electricity passing through soil. These electric fields will convert the field generated by the soil moisture sensor into direct electrical currents which may damage the sensor. Soil resistivity is measured in accordance with the frequency and voltage. In some cases resistance is also dependent on soil type.
Resistance to mechanical and electrical interference depends on the nature of the soil moisture sensors. Transducers are usually less resistant than resistive but both types of soil moisture sensors are usually available in most of the supermarkets. Capacitive soil moisture sensors use electrical energy to excite soil moisture. Resistive soil moisture sensors use physical energy to excite soil moisture.
Two main categories of soil moisture sensors are the conductive and the capacitive types. Capacitive soil moisture sensors work by creating an electrical impulse that heats up the soil. This causes the soil to release water or moisture faster than it can be absorbed. The electrical impulses are generally conducted through plastic tubing. These types of sensors may be more sensitive than conductive types but they need to be kept in areas that do not get disturbed often.
Conductive soil moisture sensors are generally used in the detection of surface moisture. These sensors work by detecting the heat energy reflected by the soil surface. This heat energy is then transformed into a liquid form. Different types of soil thermometers are available in the market today.
Surface soil temperatures can be easily determined using a conductive soil moisture sensor. This sensor can also identify shallow soils with a high clay content. When a person is sifting through the pile of dirt, this soil moisture detector can help him/her detect where the voids in the soil are.
A capacitive soil moisture level indicator uses electromagnetic energy to excite the soil. This excitation causes the soil to release its moisture. However, this type of soil moisture sensor has a limited accuracy when it comes to moisture level determination. This type of soil thermometer is ideal for measuring soil moisture in a lab or other controlled environment. Capacitive soil temperature indicators are more convenient and less expensive than the other two types of soil temperature indicators.