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Old 01/05/2010, 01:35 PM   #1
grimlykindo
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How do you clean your refractometer lens?

I got a refractometer for Christmas and have been going crazy trying to trust the readings. I have the Pinpoint 35ppt salinity solution that I use to calibrate it before each test. I noticed that if I don't thoroughly rinse the lens and cover with clean (no salt) water and then dry with a paper towel it will give me odd readings. Is this what you guys do as well (clean the lens with water)? or do you just wipe it off with a dry towel or something? I'm very paranoid about getting bad readings...

The instructions just say to wipe off the lens between uses. I have this one:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...fm?pcatid=9957


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Old 01/05/2010, 01:55 PM   #2
hogben
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I rinse with some RODI water and wipe clean.


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Old 01/05/2010, 02:06 PM   #3
lordofthereef
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I usually just rinse and let air dry. I am probably too anal, but lab grade refractometers can get scratched even with kimwipes and I have gotten used to not wiping with anything like a papertowl.


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Old 01/05/2010, 02:09 PM   #4
der_wille_zur_macht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofthereef View Post
I usually just rinse and let air dry
+1. If you use good quality RO/DI and the unit isn't filthy, it should dry perfectly clean (i.e. no deposits.)

And to the OP, while it's noble to calibrate every time, it's probably not required. Once a month is probably fine. Try pointing at a bright light while you're taking the reading, and check to see if there's an adjustable focus on your instrument.


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Old 01/05/2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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I will be honest.... I just wipe mine on my undershirt.


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Old 01/05/2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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+1 on the shirt.

Dont use paper though, It will scratch it.


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Old 01/05/2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddrtrex View Post
I will be honest.... I just wipe mine on my undershirt.
lol thought I might be alone on this.

I rinse with RO then wipe off with my shirt. Also when I go to check I dont use a drop of water I use a bunch so if anything is on the lens it will wash off with the new saltwater.


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Old 01/05/2010, 04:18 PM   #8
grimlykindo
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Thanks for all the replys everybody! It sounds like rinsing with RO is the important part. I did a bunch more testing today and if I don't rinse with RO I get inconsistent test results (even with the calibration liquid).


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Old 01/05/2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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RO + Shirt here!

I calibrate with RO, tried the 35ppt and the reading was true calibrated with RO...


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Old 01/05/2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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I agree with avoiding the paper. A soft cloth and some RO/DI water for me. If anything gets deposited, a bit of vinegar on the cloth can help. The microfiber cloths for cleaning camera lenses are perfect.


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Old 01/05/2010, 06:08 PM   #11
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Shirt, old paper towel laying next to water barrel, what ever is handy. Just make sure it's clean when you put it away. I think the most important thing is to not go crazy trying to get it prefect. Calibrating everytime you use it is a bit extensive. Trust the law of averages and your equipment and it will come out fine.

skeeter


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Old 01/05/2010, 06:58 PM   #12
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I dry it with my shirt LOL.


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Old 01/05/2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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When I first started reading this thread I thought I was the only one who used my shirt.


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Old 01/05/2010, 07:11 PM   #14
ChadTheSpike
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haha, sounds like the overwhelming response is "use your shirt!!!"
I do it too


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Old 01/05/2010, 07:14 PM   #15
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I use a clean terry cloth towel. Maybe I should switch to my shirt!


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Old 01/05/2010, 09:42 PM   #16
lordofthereef
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Kinda shocked at all the shirt comments. What the point of using RO if you just go wiping it with your shirt?!


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Old 01/05/2010, 10:15 PM   #17
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Got to love simplicity at times... I do the shirt also


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Old 01/05/2010, 10:35 PM   #18
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Yup. Shirt.


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Old 01/05/2010, 11:34 PM   #19
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YEP......gotta go with the T-Shirt.

Every Refractometer that I have had says to clean the lens with a soft cloth so you dont scratch it.

99% of the time when I check the salinity.....I wearing a soft T-Shirt.


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Old 01/06/2010, 07:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddrtrex View Post
I will be honest.... I just wipe mine on my undershirt.
+1 this is all I doo also


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Old 01/06/2010, 07:28 AM   #21
spleify
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Originally Posted by arrowheadpuffer View Post
I calibrate with RO, tried the 35ppt and the reading was true calibrated with RO...

Calibrating with RO water will NOT give you true accurate readings at the level we are testing. Please do not do this and think you are getting accurate results.


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Old 01/06/2010, 07:58 AM   #22
jim.l
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Make sure you shake the bottle well before using the Pinpoint 35ppt salinity solution. When my salinity started to drift down for no apparent reason I shook the bottle to mix and rechecked. The unit was in fact calibrated correctly.


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Old 01/06/2010, 08:05 AM   #23
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Micro Fiber towel.


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Old 01/06/2010, 08:10 AM   #24
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Even more basic: I wipe mine on the inside of my forearm, figuring towels are too apt to scratch the lens.

One more use tip: be SURE to void the collection bulb each time: if salt accumulates in it due to water left behind it can screw a reading.


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Old 01/06/2010, 09:18 AM   #25
pudelt32
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Calibrating with RO or RO/DI water will not give you accurate results. I found out the hard way as I was practicing this method and over time my salinity kept creeping up b/c I was using RO/DI water to calibrate but it does not completely solve the issue. I picked up some calibration solution at my local fish store and re-calibrate every 2 weeks to ensure that i'm getting an accurate reading. I've had no problems since.


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