Digital water test with your smartphone – tips for the perfect measuring

You have probably already heard of the JBL ProScan which was voted the pet-online top novelty of the Year 2015/16 by the German retail pet trade.

Using your smartphone testing of water has become very easy and you get an in-depth analysis, too. After measuring successfully many users are confronted with the problem: What do the indicated values actually mean? Is any action required? You don’t need to know all that. Your smartphone knows it! Thanks to this photometric method you will receive seven water parameters for a fast diagnosis with precise results. These are shown as number values completed with optimisation tips, which are characterized by a traffic light colour scheme, for your freshwater aquarium, the pond or other waters.

The heart of this new measurement technology is the special ColorCard to ensure correct measuring, regardless of camera and environment – different mobiles don’t lead to different measured values.

The measurement method is as easy as pie but some – preventable - human error can still occur. If you follow the following tips the measuring will remain error-free.

  • Time: After the timer has expired the measurement needs to be carried out within 10 seconds. The test strip continues to react steadily so that a repeated or later scan can lead to faulty measuring results. Therefore a strip can only scanned once.
  • Light: The most important factor is light. If fluctuations or implausible measurement results occur, reflections and the lighting are often responsible for this error. Ensure that there is a non-reflecting underlay. A sheet of kitchen paper has been proven ideal since it also absorbs the excess water of the test strip. The surroundings for reading the water values need to be sufficiently bright and of light which is similar to daylight. Strong artificial lighting directed onto the ColorCard casts shadows or reflections. Especially in front of the window you will achieve good results causing an even and bright illumination of the ColorCard.
  • Excessive water: After dipping the strip into the water there is a lot of excessive water in the individual test fields – sometimes even small water domes. To remove the water the test strip needs to be laterally tapped on a liquid absorbent underlay. Please do NOT shake the strip in the air because through this the measuring fields might react with each other and the water will not be sufficiently removed. This is the most frequent cause of measuring errors and reading problems. If two fields react with each other, these are not evenly changing colours.
  • Position: Always hold the smartphone vertically over the ColorCard. If you hold it at an angle of 45 ° over the ColorCard this will result in distortions.
  • Age: The test strip reacts with the contact to water. The more often the package has been opened the more humidity enters into the small tube. If after a measurement the tube has not been closed, the test strips inside may react to the humidity and not deliver correct measuring values anymore.
  • Varying values: If several measurements lead to different values this doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. ProScan has a fixed scaling range. If the differences are slight a value can lie precisely between two scale digits. The recommendations for action will not be affected. If you get, for example, a pH value of 6.4 in one and 7.2 in the other measurement, a measuring error has occurred in one of the measurements.

You will find further interesting tips and tricks for this product, as well as for other products, in the FAQ on the product page: Frequently asked questions

© 24.09.2016
Matthias Wiesensee
Matthias Wiesensee
M.Sc. Wirtschaftsinformatik
JBL GmbH & Co. KG

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