Hopefully you have been following our series over the past few weeks, "Get Your Water Quality Sonde Field Ready", if not, no problem, you can find expert tips 1-5 below, and you are just in time for expert tip #6.
Tip #6: Finalize Your Sonde Settings Prior to Leaving for the Field.
After completing YSI expert Tip #5, your equipment should now be properly calibrated. Now, you are ready to finalize your settings before heading out into the field. There are quite a few different configuration options to choose from, but these will all relate to how you want your equipment to record data. So, how you plan to use your sonde is relevant here and flexible enough to allow you to determine what you need.
For spot sampling or profiling – it may be important that you have GPS logged alongside your measurements. With newer technology like EXO, GPS is a built-in feature that simply needs to be activated in the handheld’s options menu. Once activated, each recorded data point is tied to the associated GPS coordinates in the exported data files.
If you’re interested in recording this data alongside a 6-Series sonde – the process is a bit more complicated, but still possible. However, you will need a third party GPS device
Another relevant option for sampling and profiling applications is site support. EXO includes the ability to tag recorded data files with site names, and this is particularly helpful if your monitoring group manages several different sampling locations. Tagging each data file to a particular area is a great way to make the mountain of data files easier to sort at the end of the day.
Now, for long term monitoring, setting up your deployment settings is critical, especially if connecting the sonde to a DCP. In your deployment settings, you’ll need to set an appropriate logging interval, as well as make any adjustments to SDI-12 or RS-232 output so that the data you’re collecting aligns with that of the data logger.
One of the most helpful deployment options for sondes is Adaptive Logging. This allows your sonde to increase its sampling rate to capture events as they happen if certain thresholds are met, like if pH were to drop below 5 or depth were to exceed a certain value. If you elect to set up adaptive logging for your sonde, be aware that any battery life estimates do not take this option into account, so you may not get data over the full range you’re expecting.
Finally, one last thing to check before leaving the office is your sonde and handheld’s clock. It’s fairly common for people to forget to check the time on their equipment, later to realize that all their data is tagged with incorrect times. Also, if you set an exact time for your sonde to begin logging data in a deployment, it may not even start when you wanted it to.
Look, for our final tip in the series, "When going into the field, always bring a Survival Kit", in the next few days, or feel free to watch the full webinar "Gearing Up For Sampling Season."
Additional Blog Posts of Interest:
YSI Expert Tip #1: Always Inspect the Condition of Your Sensors.
YSI Expert Tip #2: Properly Maintain Your Instrument Sensor Connections.
YSI Expert Tip #3: Always Check Your Batteries and Power Supply.
YSI Expert Tip #4: Always Keep Firmware & Software Updated.
YSI Expert Tip #5: Properly Calibrate All Your Sensors Prior to Collecting Data.
YSI Expert Tip #7: When Going Into the Field, Always Bring a Field Survival Kit.