Here's a detailed look at the process of installing a GroPoint Profile soil sensor. It's not difficult (especially because there's no excavation required) but we show you several tips and tricks for making your installation as smooth as possible so you can ensure you get high accuracy.
Many thanks to our friends at Church & State Wines for use of their lovely vineyards for filming!
Installing a GroPoint Profile probe is quick and easy with no excavation required. Attach the slide hammer to the sturdy steel pilot rod.
Slide the top segment of the slide hammer up as much as it goes, then down forcefully. It will strike the bottom segment and drive the attached pilot rod into the soil.
The hole will be the exact size of the probe, so not only is there minimal disruption to the surrounding soil, there will be no air gaps between the probe and the undisturbed soil. This clever design further increases measurement accuracy.
The slide hammer is used to extract the pilot rod again, with a couple of quick upward movements.
This single GroPoint Profile probe is equivalent to 4 separate probes. It measures soil moisture at 4 different depths simultaneously.
Each segment averages
the volumetric moisture
content measured over 15 cm (5.9").
Analyze water movement
through the soil
Our proprietary TDT5 technology delivers an exceptional price:performance ratio, with performance as good (in most cases better) as sensors costing much more.
GroPoint™ sensors are based on the field-proven Time Domain Transmission (TDT) method of reliably measuring soil moisture, which is a refined version of Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR). TDT-based sensors do not need to be calibrated to each type of soil they will be buried in to deliver excellent accuracy and stability, however we do calibrate for 3 specific soil types for even greater accuracy.
TDT5 enhances TDT in 5 key ways:
Our patented design weaves the antenna through the circuit board 20 times per centimetre, and much like a coiled spring the effective length of the antenna is 5 times the physical length it consumes. It's like having a 75cm long antenna in a single 15cm sensor. A larger antenna increases the resolution of each sample, allowing more noise to be filtered out, improving the accuracy to ±1% (between 8% to 42% VMC).
Unlike other moisture probes, Gropoint sensors do not have separate components for electronics and bulky metal antennas. By integrating the antenna and all electronics into the same circuit board (possible thanks to the patented antenna design), manufacturing costs are dramatically reduced.
Each time a measurement is taken, GroPoint sends 400,000 pulses through the sensing element to generate data for the measurement, then employs advanced filtering to eliminate outlying readings (noise) before averaging the data and sending the measurement as SDI-12 output. This ensures that the same extreme accuracy (±1%) is obtained each and every time moisture is measured.
Even with 400,000 pulses for each measurement, the total time to take the measurement is less than 100 ms. This means that power consumption is minimal, and that permits GroPoint sensors to be operated for many months with small 9V battery-powered data loggers.
Unlike typical sensors, the antenna is not exposed to the soil, so there's nothing to bend or break. The entire sensor circuit board is sealed in epoxy then encased in a sealed polycarbonate housing.