A short history of thermometers

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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A short history of pH meters

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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How to use human and pet thermometers safely

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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How to use an anemometer

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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How to use a refractometer

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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How to use a pH meter depending on your needs

A thermometer is a tool which measures both the temperature and the temperature gradient. It consists of a temperature sensor usually made of mercury that changes when the temperature changes too. It also has a numeric scale, so you can see how big the change of the temperature is. The value scale can be both printed and digital. Thermometers are indispensable in areas such as medicine, industry, meteorology or for personal use.

Its history is a long one, and the idea of thermometer dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The modern-day thermometer slowly evolved from the thermoscope, and it has transformed into the compact and incredibly useful standardized device we all utilize today.

The early days

In the early stages of development, a thermometer was called a thermoscope. Several inventors actually came up with the idea at the same time. It is a well-known fact that the Italian genius Galileo Galilei invented the thermoscope among other things, but at the same, time he laid the foundations of the first water thermometer in 1593, which was very inaccurate.

The first record that speaks of a thermometer dates back to the 16th century, and it says it was created by Santorio Santorio, an Italian from Venice. But that doesn’t mean he invented it alone. He just took something that already existed in the scientific community and gave it a shape and a name, and, ultimately, helped the tool evolve as many other great people did with their work.

What he did was that he applied a scale to a preexisting air thermoscope in 1612, by thus creating the image we all associate with this device today. It was an air thermometer, and it wasn’t very accurate because there were laws of physics that were acting on the air and on the machine, which were poorly understood at that time so they couldn’t be stopped from changing the thermometer’s results.

 

Things never stay the same

Then it was time for a change, and the more familiar sealed liquid-in-glass thermometer was created. In 1654, it was produced by Ferdinand II, The Duke of Tuscany and it had an alcohol filling. But even his thermometer was inaccurate, and it didn’t have any standardized scale.

It took almost one hundred years for the first mercury thermometer to make its debut. Gabriel Fahrenheit was the one who designed it, and it was a breakthrough because mercury has a more predictable expansion rate and thus it made the device much more accurate.

And with the first mercury filling came the first standardized scale. Fahrenheit decided to divide water into 180 degrees between its freezing and boiling points. This often criticized scale is still used today in most parts of America and some laboratories, unlike Europe which prefers the Celsius scale because it seems more straightforward.

Another scale that appeared soon after the Fahrenheit one was the Réamur Scale, which was implemented by the French René Antoine Ferchault de Réamur, who decided that the freezing point of water should be 0 degrees. On the other hand, he thought the point of boiling should be at 80 degrees, which is why the scale is not in use as of today.

Celsius comes to change the status quo

The most famous scale came to shake things up. In 1742, a young Swedish whose name was Anders Celsius designed a thermometer scale where he practically and efficiently divided the boiling and the freezing points of water in 100 degrees. 100 was the point of freezing and 0 the point of boiling.

Soon later, Jean Pierre Cristin inverted the already famous scale and transformed it into the Centigrade scale we still use today. The name was kept as the Celsius scale because the Frenchman didn’t do anything else to it, except making the freezing point 0 and the boiling point 100.

Now, a thermometer is a tool that should not miss from our kitchen drawers or our medical cabinets. They can help us when we have a cold, when we are cooking something delicious or when an unexpected situation needs to be taken care of. It is important to compare digital thermometers for adults before buying one, to make sure you find the one that is going to give you the best value for its money.

 

 

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A pH meter is a medical and scientific instrument which is used to measures the hydrogen-ion activity in solutions that are water-based, indicating if they are acidic or alkaline by showing their pH. It is sometimes called “potentiometric pH meter,” and it can be used in all areas such as medicine, pharmacology, to homemade experiments and quality control.

The idea of pH was founded by S. P. L. Sørensen in 1909, and a few years later electrodes were used for the first time to measure the pH of a solution. This new and exciting thing made people invest in a device that could potentially bring so many benefits to humanity, and even fix some real issues that we have struggled with throughout history.

Beckman and the first patent

In late 1934 Arnold Orville Beckman filed a patent for an instrument which could measure the pH, a device that he initially called “an acidometer,” but was later renamed the pH meter to accurately show its function, as it can also tell if a solution is alkaline.

Beckman had developed the first prototype while he was a professor at the renowned California Institute of Technology. While he was working at the Institute, he was asked to design a tool which can quickly measure the acidity of lemon juice by Sunkist.

Soon after its success with the pH meter, on April 8, 1935, Beckman shifted his focus on scientific instruments manufacturing and hired Arthur H. Thomas Company as the leading distributor for its hugely successful pH meter, attracting both praises and mean comments from his colleagues who were a bit envious.

 

It’s all about numbers

In the first year that the device was out for sale, it outsold everyone’s expectations. In 1936 the company sold 444 items which generated a total income of 60,000$ which was an insane amount of money at that time. And in the following years, the sale figures only went up as it went on to sell millions of units.

Due to its importance in the scientific community and to the fact that it helped the world progress so much in such a short time, in 2004, the device that Beckman developed received an award called the ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark, which recognized its place as the first successful electronic pH meter.

In the year 1935, The Radiometer Corporation was founded in Denmark, which had the clever idea of marketing the device towards the medical market, which had long been neglected. Before that, it had been used in breweries, paper works, and water treatment systems. But the Danish organization saw that the device could help with many digestive diseases such as gastritis and gastric reflux disease. Not only that, but it could improve the efficiency with which drugs act when delivered in the proper pH conditions.

Tiny is better

Jenco Electronics of Taiwan, almost forty years later after the first pH was sold to most areas of human activity, mass-produced the first portable pH meter. This too proved to be a commercial success, and it began to be part of every household soon after.

Advances in technology and the instrumentation have made the device more potent, and this immediately led to the expansion of the applications for which a tool like this could be used for. And the fact that it had become compact and easy to carry around, all contributed to the flourishing of the meter as an everyday object.

 

The future cannot wait

Not only that, but the meter has expanded far beyond its limitations. Now, not only does it tell you the pH of a solution that is water-based, but it can tell you the pH of living cells, for semi-solid substances and even the acidity and the alkaline nature of your digestive tract.

The market is abundant with all types of meters, which serve many purposes and that can be of real help no matter if we’re talking about cooking the perfect dish of about brewing a beverage that will impress all your guests. Just make sure that before buying one you go through some pH meters comparison so you will make a decision that you won’t regret later.

 

 

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Thermometers have become essential tools for both the health system and for home users. As their name suggests, they are utilized for measuring the temperature of a person or an animal. In any case, most of the models you are likely to come across are designed for this purpose and can be used on living beings.

Some infrared thermometers can be employed for determining the temperature of environments and walls. Also known as industrial thermometers, these models prove their worth under a variety of circumstances, such as HVAC repairs. There are, however, quality infrared thermometers that can be used on living and breathing beings.

Of all of the alternatives available for sale these days, those that are the most dangerous ones are mercury ones. We’ll do our best at explaining both how these devices work and how they can be employed safely for measuring the temperature of humans and pets.

 

How to safely use a mercury thermometer

Despite being outdated compared to other types of designs, mercury thermometers are still common in many households. They are efficient, without a doubt, and they can tell you in as little time as possible the temperature of a person or an animal.

The problem with these products, however, is that they contain mercury, and mercury is a highly dangerous substance. It expands when it is heated, and that’s why it is capable of measuring body temperature effectively. Most such models have a marking with the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The thin line that can be found in the middle of the scale is responsible for telling you just what temperature the unit has determined.

Because they are reusable, mercury thermometers should be cleaned both after and prior to using them. They also have to be disinfected. You can use a simple cotton ball that you’ve soaked in alcohol for this purpose. Make sure to pay attention to cleaning the metal part that can be found at one end of the thermometer, because that’s the component that needs to come in contact with the body area.

When using a mercury thermometer, there are three regions where you can take the temperature; under the tongue, in the rectal area, and in the armpit. Because of their mercury component, it is not a good idea to use such thermometers under the tongue, especially when measuring the temperature of babies. By far the safest body area for this type of product is in the armpit.

A significant drawback of such a thermometer is that it does require a bit of time for it to do its job. You need to use it for at least several minutes, and that can be uncomfortable, to say the least. A dog thermometer, for instance, needs to be introduced in the rectal area, and it is virtually impossible to keep a pet immobile for several minutes while something has been stuck in his or her rear.

If you’ve used the mercury thermometer in the rectum, it’s safe to say that you should never again use it in your mouth. No matter how much you might disinfect it, there might still be bacteria left on the metal tip. To ensure that you do not accidentally endanger your health of that of the person you’ve taken the temperature of, use the thermometer rectally from now on.

If your mercury thermometer ever breaks, you should first evacuate anyone that might be left in the area, including pets. Put a pair of latex gloves, clean the glass pieces, and then use a sizeable piece of cardboard to gather the mercury beads. Put them into a bag and take it to a waste facility near you.

Mercury is highly dangerous. When vacuumed or cleaned with a broom, it can be broken down into smaller drops that you might fail to see. That is why we strongly suggest updating your ancient thermometer with a digital one.

How to use a digital thermometer

You can use a digital thermometer orally, rectally, and axillary. Although it’s common sense, we do have to make the same mention, meaning that you should avoid using the same thermometer for the oral and rectal area.

Unlike their mercury counterparts, digital alternatives are safe and convenient, and most come with a metal tip that’s sensitive and efficient, and that can tell you the temperature in as little as thirty to forty seconds. Therefore, they do their job far more quickly compared to mercury thermometers.

 

How to take a baby’s temperature

To measure the temperature of a baby, you can either use a digital thermometer rectally, or you can purchase an in-ear thermometer and rely on its services. It appears that the eardrum is particularly accurate when it comes to pointing out the body temperature. In fact, most studies suggest that the temperature indicated by an in-ear thermometer is close to that you’d get when measuring it under the tongue.

Such infrared models are perfectly safe to use on children, but there are several notes that must be made so that everything runs smoothly and safely. Something you ought to know about most infrared ear thermometers is that they are quite fragile, which is why you want to make sure that they do not come in contact with the eardrum.

What are disposable thermometers and how can they be utilized?

Disposable thermometers are commonly utilized in hospitals. The main advantage they offer is that they cannot be used on more than one person. What this means is that the risk of contagion or infection by spreading disease is virtually non-existent.

If you have purchased a set of disposable thermometers, you need to tear one off from the strip, peel open the pack, remove the unit by its handle, and avoid touching the dotted section.

Place the latter under your tongue and leave in position for approximately one minute. Remove the thermometer and wait for ten extra seconds before getting your reading. Use the dots to figure out the temperature measured by the product.

 

 

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Anemometers are instruments commonly utilized to measure the speed of the wind. To an untrained eye, they might look like a weather vane, but the latter is used to determine wind direction, not speed. Wind meters are available for a variety of prices and come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and that’s why it is a good idea to start your prospecting journey by comparing anemometers.

They can be found at a plethora of retail department stores, but many online retailers also sell them. It is a good idea to try to understand as much about them as possible before choosing a specific one and then telling how you can make the most of it when using it.

What type do you have?

There are several kinds of anemometers available out there. Some are digital while others are mechanical, but there are also laser interferometer anemometers and ultrasonic models that one needs to consider. Doppler laser anemometers are the most accurate of all, and that is why they are commonly utilized in laboratories.

From all of these designs and varieties, the mechanical and digital ones are those that you might find online these days. Don’t undermine the importance of a weather station, either, as it can offer you important data regarding the weather. And the best thing about them is that you can even make your own.

Weather station anemometers are outfitted with sensors that enable them to measure anything ranging from the temperature, be it indoor or outdoor, to the heat index, time, moon phase, humidity, wind chill, wind direction, and wind gust speed.

In order to provide accurate results, the sensor array of a weather station has to be installed outdoors so as to avoid any obstruction.

 

Using a digital handheld anemometer

Digital anemometers are convenient, versatile, and above all, very easy to use. Most of those that we have stumbled upon have a portable design, which means that they are compact enough to be carried in a handbag or backpack, and some are so small that they can even fit into a pocket of your jacket.

Unless you are a professional who is trying to make the most of the weather and predict it as accurately as possible, you are likely to use a digital anemometer for any outdoor activity that ranges from fishing and sailing to kite flying and surfing. For those that have never utilized such a gadget before, a first-time experience can be somewhat baffling. Read on to learn how to use it.

A handheld anemometer needs to be placed facing the wind direction. Much like the sensor array of the weather station that we were mentioning earlier on, it is a good idea to use the handheld device in an area where there’s virtually no chance of the wind encountering an obstacle.

So if you want to use the anemometer in the middle of the woods, it might be pointless as it couldn’t tell you what the wind speed outside of that forest is. You can also use a mechanical anemometer in these outdoor settings, but with a digital option, the information received by the device will be processed and then displayed conveniently on its screen.

Hot-wire sensor anemometers

There is an even more advanced method of measuring the wind speed, and it consists of using a hot-wire sensor. Unfortunately, from what we have noticed by scouring the market, these kinds of meters can cost a pretty penny. Their technology is far more advanced compared to that employed by digital alternatives.

Hot-wire anemometers rely on wires that have to create heat by sending out electrical current. The wires are linked to tungsten or another kind of metal, which is normally quite sensitive to temperature variations. Therefore, this type of meter relies on that metal to measure the wind speed. How can this happen?

The temperature of the metal will either increase or decrease in accordance with the amount of air flow it receives. As such, the device will be capable of calculating the wind velocity based on how hot the metal connected to the wires is. The hot-wire sensor anemometer is by far one of the most accurate alternatives out there, and that’s why they are highly recommended for professionals.

Unfortunately, their hefty price tag makes them out of reach for amateurs and regular consumers. Nonetheless, they do ensure a series of advantages, with many of them being capable of storing readings for further analysis. That is why it’s said that they mostly address the needs of meteorologists and other professionals who study wind patterns.

Other common uses of anemometers

We’ve already noted some of the applications for which such a device might be worth its weight in gold. However, we have decided that a bit of extra info might be helpful, which is why we have made a list of some of the common activities that an anemometer is employed for and who might benefit from using it.

It goes without saying that the first people we should think of are scientists whose jobs involve measuring environmental conditions. However, hunters, windsurfers, sailboat owners, as well as hobbyists and weather enthusiasts should also consider using an anemometer. Paragliders, safari guides, and virtually anyone who lives in a rural area should, too.

Any individual who flies RC planes or drones should be aware of the weather conditions so as to make sure that their devices do not get damaged. Finally, one type of professional that needs to use an anemometer on a regular basis is someone who installs HVAC units. Home inspects, and facility managers fall into the same category as such personnel needs to ensure that the performance of any appliance in charge with heating, ventilating, or air conditioning is up to par.

 

 

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Refractometers are commonly utilized to measure the concentration of liquids. They can be used under an array of circumstances and in multiple settings, and that’s why we have decided to write this article and let you know how you can make the most of them depending on your application.

In a nutshell, a refractometer is an optical device that can somewhat be compared to a hydrometer. You can use it to measure the specific gravity of urine if you work in a laboratory, or of wort or beer, if you brew your own beverages. Unlike a hydrometer, such a gadget is more compact and, to some extent, easier to utilize. You only need several drops of the aqueous solution to determine its concentration.

There are several varieties of refractometers available out there, which is why we suggest you perform a refractometer comparison before choosing a particular model. Some come with their own light source while others depend on an external one in order to do their job. Most of those that rely on an external light source are more or less inexpensive, so you should consider them if you’re on a tight budget.

When it comes to letting you know the density of the aqueous solution you want to measure, most refractometers will let you know the reading either in Brix or RI, with the second standing for Refractive Index. Because word doesn’t have the same reflective properties as water to which you have added sugar, you need to utilize a formula in order to convert either the RI or the Brix index.

 

How to calibrate a refractometer

Calibrating such a device isn’t all that difficult, but you do need to use distilled water. Place several drops onto the sample plate and close it so as to allow the water to spread across the surface. There should be no bubbles as they can impact the result.

Most of the models that we have come across are temperature-sensitive, and what that means for you is that you should always make sure that the sample has reached room temperature before attempting to measure its concentration. Of course, there are several alternatives that can compensate for temperature if they’re automatic, but they do cost a pretty penny compared to those that don’t come with this feature.

Take the reading by holding your refractometer up to natural light. If you’ve used distilled water, as we have noted above, you should use the screw or the knob that the unit is outfitted with so as to adjust it to read zero.

If you intend to utilize the device for getting the density of wort, we recommend performing two measurements. One of them should be with distilled water and the other with wort whose specific gravity you know for sure. To do this, you can first get the wort reading using a hydrometer and then match it to that offered by the refractometer.

How to use a refractometer for beer brewing

Using the device per se is more or less simple as it resembles the calibration process that we have depicted above. Start by making sure that the sample plate of the refractometer is both dry and clean, and then add several drops of the wort that you want to use. One note that we have to make in this respect is that the temperature of the wort should not be higher than 68F so as to avoid getting inaccurate readings.

All you have to do then is close the plate, make sure that you check for bubbles, and then hold the device up to a light source. It is preferable to utilize a natural light source as it can help you get accurate results. The reading that you will take from the sight scale can be expressed either in a percentage or degrees depending on the scale you will use — Brix or RI.

Understanding that the gravity of the alcoholic beverage you are making differs depending on its fermentation level is the right way of going about things if you do not intend to be disappointed in your refractometer.

You’ll have to calculate the results either by using a spreadsheet or a specific tool. Keep in mind that the equation changes as the fermentation progresses and more alcohol is produced.

 

Understanding the Brix scale

The Brix scale can tell you the concentration percentage of your sample. Every time you attempt to get a reading of a sugar solution, you need to make sure that the Brix percentage matches the actual concentration. For that, you will have to utilize a scale. Fortunately, it can be found online.

For instance, the % Brix for cutting oils range from 0 to 8 while that of carbonated beverages can range from 5 to 15. Jams and jellies have a % Brix concentration of 60 to 70 while that of grapes and wines ranges from 14 to 19.

Understanding Refractive Indexes

Unlike their Brix scale counterpart, Refractive index readings depend on the temperature of the environment. At 25 degrees Celsius, the refractive index of acetic acid, commonly known as vinegar, should be 1.370. At 20 degrees Celsius, the RI of olive oil should be 1.471.

As is the case with the Brix scale we were mentioning earlier on, you have a wide array of scales and references available online, and even several formulas that can help you get the concentration of your craft beer.

 

Make the most of online resources

If you still can’t figure out how to use your device, we suggest you go online and do extensive research on the topic. Luckily, there is a myriad of websites and video channels that you can make the most of. In fact, we’ve come across several YouTube videos that you can use to calibrate your refractometer.

Finally, if your application involves the production of homemade alcoholic beverages, don’t be afraid to use specialized forums and get in touch with other beer or winemakers like yourself.

 

 

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