420 Magazine Background

PH Pen Rage, Please Help

Thread starter #1
For starters, if this isn't the place to post this, please tell me where i should. Im sorry, i did look for some sort of sub folder that would have topics on materials used or about the tools we require something to that effect but since i didn't, i might as well post it in the FAQ.

I am about to start a rampage and climb up the closest tallest building and start beating my chest until i have a proper pH pen. I have bought 4 pens in 2 months and i also have bought multiple rapidtest analog and strip methods.. 2 kkmoons, which the first one worked tremendously, until it didn't 3 or 4 weeks later. and then I bought a pancellent pH and ppm (the blue ones) worked for about 3 days. I bought a yellow and blue one from amazon that looked identical but with a different brand name. And then I bought the one which came today, another and final kkmoon which, surprise surprise, is only working for temperature. great. like 150-200$ in pH tools and im boderline about to lose my crop.

see i originally used the analog stick in the dirt ones, i have 2 or 3 of those. until i came to this thread and was advised against them, since after all my pH was reading perfectly and i was experiencing some serious issues as a result of poor pH. I do have test strips but i want an accurate reading. and that doesnt help me for ppms. i dont want a color and diagrams. i want to read an actual correct readout and not wonder if its wrong.

what do people use? im looking for a pH and ppm set or all in one as i need both.
im not looking for the cheapest piece of shit but i haven't even received a response from any pf these companies let alone a refund so under 60 bucks would be primo.

thanks guys! happy growing.
 

Cultivator

Member of the Month: Jan 2013 - Plant of the Month: Nov 2016, May 2018 - Nug of the Month: Mar 2018 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Oct 2016

MrSauga

Photo of the Month - Sept 2018
Strange you're having such bad luck with the pens. I use the same as Otter, above, and many others I know on here use that one as well.
How are you storing your pen once you are finished using it? Do you calibrate the pen once a week or more? It does help on performance if you store it in a storage solution and calibrate regularly to ensure you are getting true readings. Just my two cents!
 

Old Salt

Well-Known Member
I use a low cost generic pH pen that's adjustable with a screwdriver. Accuracy is +/- 0.05, precision is +/- 0.01. I calibrate with a pH 7.0 buffer solution before each use, and set it in the buffer for a few minutes before replacing the cover. Most of the time no adjustment is required. I replace them every 12-18 months when they need to be adjusted with every use. I only use the pH pen when mixing my nutrients, as I grow in coco/perlite.

I use a TDS meter to check my RO monthly. I've never used it for my nutrient solution.

I'm using the General Hydroponics Flora Trio, CaliMagic, Rapid Start, Floralicious (Grow and Plus), KoolBloom (liquid and dry) and Flora Kleen. I mix up to 18l at a time, weighing the water for accuracy, and use 1ml, 5ml, and 10 ml oral syringes for the nutrients. The oral syringes are free for the asking at most pharmacies in Canada.
 
Thread starter #6
Strange you're having such bad luck with the pens. I use the same as Otter, above, and many others I know on here use that one as well.
How are you storing your pen once you are finished using it? Do you calibrate the pen once a week or more? It does help on performance if you store it in a storage solution and calibrate regularly to ensure you are getting true readings. Just my two cents!
yeah its really frustrating. i mean honestly im not doing anything special. one of them came in a case so after use id dry it and put it in its case and back in the grow room i have a folgers container emptied out and now contains tools pertaining to the grow. the one i recieved today in the mail as well as the pancellent never worked. actually the pancellent worked for 1 or 2 feedings. thats still only one or two uses and then not working there. no matter what i think if it was negligence it would take more than 2 months to kill 4 pens. i wish it was might make this easier.

i do have a yellow screw driver, and although i DID have two packets each of calibration packets, that doesnt cover much so those are spent.

alas i will try the HM and then buy another ppm meter when needed. thanks for the quick replies guys, i can only hope this works out.

20190109_153620[1].jpg

this is what im getting on the screen of both my ph pens from kkmoon. theres no number to call, sent an email but they never replied to the first pen going down so i dont see them responding now either.

ohhhhh im so upset! ive had so many problems with this first grow. my dedication is still strong, but my ego ... yiiiikes
 

MrSauga

Photo of the Month - Sept 2018
Hi Lisa,
a couple of quick things. Try not to let the probe dry out. That will kill any pen pretty quickly. The powder solutions stay well in a dark cool place so you can store it in a jar and use it many times for calibration. Try replacing the battery on your new probe. It may not have enough voltage to operate correctly. Take one from your collection ;)
 

sativuhhh

Active Member
Had issues with cheap ones and went back and forth with what to do. It was between the Bluelab and Apera and the Apera won out on specs/price and I've been very happy with it since.

Apera Instruments AI311 PH60 if you search amazon.
  • Accuracy: 0.01 pH; range: -2.00 to 16.00 pH, 32 to 122˚F (0 to 50˚C)
  • Easy 1-3 points auto. calibration, recognizes 5 types of solutions (1.68, 4.00, 7.00, 10.01, 12.46); Auto Temp. Compensation (ATC) ensures accuracy in various temperatures (32-122˚F)
  • High quality replaceable glass pH probe, suitable for regular water solutions e.g. pools&spas, hydroponics, environmental monitoring, cooling towers, beverage, etc.
  • Large LCD with 3 backlit colors (indicating different modes), dual display of temp./pH, and reminders of completed calibrations and stable readings
  • The smiley icon indicates stable readings so you won't have to guess when is the right time to record the measurements
  • COMPLETE KIT with READY-TO-USE calibration solutions, calibration bottles, storage solutions, AAA batteries, and a lanyard all in a rugged portable case

It came in a nice case with the testing stuff. I'd order extra 7.0 calibration fluid as well and some extra holding fluid.

My cheapo one went way out and was hard to adjust and see. This one has a nice big display, the backlight is awesome cause I can have it in the dwc res while wearing the uv glasses and still easily read it. It also has a confirmation smiley face that pops when it knows it has a solid reading so there is no guesswork. Auto calibration is great too. Also tells the temp of the res water which is nice to have pop up and it will auto-handle temp changes to correct the reading.

With any, it seems keeping it in proper holding solution is important and not letting it dry out or keeping it in distilled water (what I was doing with the cheapo).
 

Dogwash

Well-Known Member
For starters, if this isn't the place to post this, please tell me where i should. Im sorry, i did look for some sort of sub folder that would have topics on materials used or about the tools we require something to that effect but since i didn't, i might as well post it in the FAQ.

I am about to start a rampage and climb up the closest tallest building and start beating my chest until i have a proper pH pen. I have bought 4 pens in 2 months and i also have bought multiple rapidtest analog and strip methods.. 2 kkmoons, which the first one worked tremendously, until it didn't 3 or 4 weeks later. and then I bought a pancellent pH and ppm (the blue ones) worked for about 3 days. I bought a yellow and blue one from amazon that looked identical but with a different brand name. And then I bought the one which came today, another and final kkmoon which, surprise surprise, is only working for temperature. great. like 150-200$ in pH tools and im boderline about to lose my crop.

see i originally used the analog stick in the dirt ones, i have 2 or 3 of those. until i came to this thread and was advised against them, since after all my pH was reading perfectly and i was experiencing some serious issues as a result of poor pH. I do have test strips but i want an accurate reading. and that doesnt help me for ppms. i dont want a color and diagrams. i want to read an actual correct readout and not wonder if its wrong.

what do people use? im looking for a pH and ppm set or all in one as i need both.
im not looking for the cheapest piece of shit but i haven't even received a response from any pf these companies let alone a refund so under 60 bucks would be primo.

thanks guys! happy growing.
Bluelab pH & EC probes
 

Old Salt

Well-Known Member
hard to wrong with hm, bluelab, or apera. i personally stay away from the cheaper ones in even those brands.
My first pH pen was the HM Digital PH-200, bought through Amazon for $130 CAD about five years ago. It was a great meter - while it worked. It only lasted about six months. The 1 year warranty was not honored by the vendor, A replacement sensor cost about $70 CAD. Prices have dropped to $100 CAD for the meter, and $36 CAD for the sensor.

The low cost, manually adjustable meters I use can be had for 1/3 the cost of the PH-200's sensor alone. The accuracy of the low cost meters I use is ±0.05 pH vs ±0.02 for the HM-200. For me, the lower accuracy is acceptable. I get good results in my grows.

Both the low cost, and high end meters require careful calibration and storage. Ignore either, and you'll get inaccurate readings, or the meter will stop working. If you look at the reviews for pH meters for any manufacturer you'll find both positive and negative results. At least the low cost ones are not much of a loss when they stop working.
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018
I guess I've been fortunate. I have bought 2 from Amazon, both cheap units, both over 3 years old. One auto calibrates when placed in test solutions and the calibrate button is pressed. I dislike it because I accidentally press the calibrate button while testing my feed and mess up the calibration, so I bought the other. My other "ol' trusty" is adjusted by screwdriver. I never store either in a solution. After using I rinse it under tap water, give it a few good shakes, then blow out and excess water, like blowing out a birthday candle. I check calibration after every grow (so like every 3 months), and just did that a couple days ago. It was still spot on. I've only adjusted it once in 3 years, and that was the initial adjustment after I got it, and even then it was only off by .2.
 

vtwin906

Well-Known Member
I guess I've been fortunate. I have bought 2 from Amazon, both cheap units, both over 3 years old. One auto calibrates when placed in test solutions and the calibrate button is pressed. I dislike it because I accidentally press the calibrate button while testing my feed and mess up the calibration, so I bought the other. My other "ol' trusty" is adjusted by screwdriver. I never store either in a solution. After using I rinse it under tap water, give it a few good shakes, then blow out and excess water, like blowing out a birthday candle. I check calibration after every grow (so like every 3 months), and just did that a couple days ago. It was still spot on. I've only adjusted it once in 3 years, and that was the initial adjustment after I got it, and even then it was only off by .2.
This is the one I got from amazon for $14. It would be nice if the calibrate button were further from the power button but we will see if it holds up. I can keep calibration water sealed in a jar to check for a consistent readings or re calibration once in a while if necessary.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F8S8N3H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

phpen.jpg
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018
This is the one I got from amazon for $14. It would be nice if the calibrate button were further from the power button but we will see if it holds up. I can keep calibration water sealed in a jar to check for a consistent readings or re calibration once in a while if necessary.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F8S8N3H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

View attachment 1696173
That's the model I have that I mess up the calibration on by pressing the wrong button.
 

Old Salt

Well-Known Member
This is the one I use:



My procedure is:
- weigh out the water needed (1Kg = 1l)
- pour one oz of GrowTEK's pH Buffer #7 into a shot glass
- put the meter into the buffer
- add nutrients to the water (takes about 5 min - lets pH meter stabilize)
- adjust the pH of the nutrient mixture
- put the meter back into the buffer
- move the nutrient mixture to the grow area, move pump to new container
- cap and store the meter (do not rinse or clean with water)
- discard the buffer in the shot glass
- clean up
 
Last edited:

bluter

Well-Known Member
i had three of those yellow ones. one digitally calibrated and the others with a screw driver. the screw driver ones were fubar out of the box and never worked, the digital one was determined to kill my plants. none of them ever really calibrated correct or stayed in calibration after. i used strips to test against them until i got a decent one. ph'ing became an adventure.

i got an HM digital 300 all in one combo after i got the new space set up. fantastic meter, worked amazing, but the bulb broke near immediately and it was not worth the near $300 cdn it cost, even when working perfect. i might replace the sensor end if they come down in price, for now the tds / ppm side still works perfect, and i still use it. i have an apera ph60 now and it's excellent, highly recommend it.
 

Old Salt

Well-Known Member
i had three of those yellow ones. one digitally calibrated and the others with a screw driver. the screw driver ones were fubar out of the box and never worked...

...i got an HM digital 300 all in one combo after i got the new space set up. fantastic meter, worked amazing, but the bulb broke near immediately and it was not worth the near $300 cdn it cost, even when working perfect...

...i have an apera ph60 now and it's excellent, highly recommend it.
We've all suffered when our equipment failed. I'm glad you found one that works for you. I keep a spare, and pH test papers handy - just in case.

That's basically the same as my Old Trusty.
Yep, mine just requires manual calibration, which I prefer. At $10 CAD from Amazon I keep a spare on hand.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
yeah its really frustrating. i mean honestly im not doing anything special. one of them came in a case so after use id dry it and put it in its case and back in the grow room i have a folgers container emptied out and now contains tools pertaining to the grow. the one i recieved today in the mail as well as the pancellent never worked. actually the pancellent worked for 1 or 2 feedings. thats still only one or two uses and then not working there. no matter what i think if it was negligence it would take more than 2 months to kill 4 pens. i wish it was might make this easier.

i do have a yellow screw driver, and although i DID have two packets each of calibration packets, that doesnt cover much so those are spent.

alas i will try the HM and then buy another ppm meter when needed. thanks for the quick replies guys, i can only hope this works out.

View attachment 1693206

this is what im getting on the screen of both my ph pens from kkmoon. theres no number to call, sent an email but they never replied to the first pen going down so i dont see them responding now either.

ohhhhh im so upset! ive had so many problems with this first grow. my dedication is still strong, but my ego ... yiiiikes
Not to point out the obvious, but that's showing the temp
Click the pH button to see pH
I have two cheap Amazon pens, I'll check each of them, if they show different things, I calibrate them both, that happens maybe once a month

Good luck, just get a blue labs and yer set