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Frequently Asked Questions – Brought to you by Ben Meadows Product Pros™

Augers – AMS Brand Dye Tracers Rangefinders
Augers – Eijkelkamp Brand Hard Hats Respirators
Backpack Sprayers and Storage Hearing Protection Soil pH Testing
Binoculars Glove Sizing Solo® Backpack Sprayers
Chainsaw Safety Increment Borers Timber Cruising
Climbing and Rigging Gear Infrared Thermometers Turbidity Meters
Clinometer Scales Insect Pins Two Way Radios
Compasses Log Rules Water Sampling Bottles
Conductivity Meters Munsell Soil Charts Water Sampling Pumps
Conductivity, TDS and Salinity Nalgene Stormwater Samplers Weather
Dissolved Oxygen pH Meters Weather Instruments
Drip Torches Pruners and Loppers Wildland Fire Clothing

Augers - AMS Brand


What is the difference between regular, mud, sand and Dutch augers?
Answer: A regular auger is designed for use in most soil types; it is the most versatile of the auger styles. Mud augers are designed for easy removal of heavy, wet, or clay soils. Sand augers are designed to be used in sand or dry soils and the Dutch auger is used to easily collect samples in fibrous and heavily rooted areas.
Question: What is the difference between the signature connection series, threaded connection series and the quick connection series?
Answer: The signature series is 5/8" with a heavier thread design. It allows augers, extension rods, and handles to be connected and disconnected in 1-½ turns. It offers fast connection speeds without the risk of galling. The threaded connection series is also 5/8" and similar in form to standard nuts and bolts, reliable and simple to use. The quick connection offers coupling connectors that feature fast, positive push-to-lock and easy disconnect.
Question: What do I need for a complete auger system?
Answer: To complete your auger system you will need to decide on auger and connection types, then you will need to order cross handles and extension rods depending upon the auger and connection types. It is important to remember once you pick a connection type you must remain consistent with that style when you choose your cross handle and extension.

Augers - Eijkelkamp Brand

Question: What types of Eijkelkamp Edelman augers are available?
Answer: Eijkelkamp's Edelman Auger is the most commonly used of the Eijkelkamp augers. The design of the Edelman auger allows for a minimum of friction during soil penetration and extraction of the auger from the soil. The four types of Edelman augers are: clay, sand, coarse sand, and combination.
Question: What are the differences between the different types of Edelman augers?
Answer: Clay soils are very cohesive and the blades on the clay auger are very narrow making the fact that they meet little resistance an advantage. Sandy soils are not cohesive. The sand auger has wider blades in order to keep the sample in. Coarse sand soils are very dry and have little cohesion. The blades of the coarse sand auger are extended with extra wings almost totally enclosing the auger. The combination auger gets a good hold of sandy material while clay-like material can be easily removed from the auger.
Question: What styles of augers are available?
Answer: Augers are available in a one-piece style which consists of a crossbar handle welded to the shaft which is welded to an auger. Overall length is about 50 inches. They are also available in a two-piece, screw-on crossbar handle that makes the breakdown and transport easier. Additional 39-inch extensions can be added to increase the overall length.
Question: What is the difference between the bayonet-style and conical screw connections for the two-piece augers?
Answer: On the bayonet-style connection the top and bottom are clamped into each other, then a coupling sleeve is pushed down to lock the connection. The advantage is quick coupling without the use of tools and no jamming of the connection even under adverse working conditions. The conical screw connection is based on male and female thread on the parts to be coupled. The conical thread is cone shaped which gives it a firmer, more stable connection. It would be an advantage to use the conical thread in harder soils or where hammering or jarring is required.

Backpack Sprayers and Storage


Can I store my backpack sprayer under pressure?
Answer: No, never store the sprayer with pressure in the reservoir; if the tank is stored pressurized over time components can weaken shortening the service life of your sprayer.
Question: Can I use my backpack sprayer to store the chemicals I use over the winter?
Answer: No, never store the sprayer with liquid in the tank, reservoir, hose, shut off handle or extension. If liquids are left in any part of your sprayer the constant exposure of those liquids can deteriorate components over time leading to the rupture or failure of those components when the unit is pressurized.
Question: How do I properly clean my backpack sprayer prior to storage?
Answer: To clean your Backpack sprayer you should:

1) Depressurize the sprayer
2) Empty leftover material into a proper storage container
3) Flush out tank with cool water, mild detergent or a neutralizing agent according to manufacturers instructions.
4) Empty tank and flush again. This time pressurize the tank and pump the water or cleaning solution through the sprayer to flush the pump, reservoir, shutoff handle and extensions. Nozzles should be removed when flushing the pump system. Clean nozzles before replacing.
5) Empty Sprayer and dry completely with a clean cloth or by hanging upside down with the filler cap removed.

Not only will properly cleaning and storing of your sprayer insure it will be ready for next season, failure to do so could void the manufacturers warranty of your sprayer



What is the magnification or power of binoculars?
Answer: Binoculars are often referred to by two numbers separated by an "x". For example, 8x32. The first number is the power of magnification of the binocular. With an 8x32 binocular, the object being viewed appears to be eight times closer than you would see it with the unaided eye.

What is Objective Lens Size?

Answer: The second number in the formula (8x32) is the diameter of the objective front lens. The larger the objective lens, the more light that enters the binocular and the brighter the image.
Question: What is Field of View?
Answer: The side-to-side measurement of the circular viewing field or subject area. It is defined by the width in feet or meters of the area visible at 1000 yards or meters. A wide-angle binocular features a wide field-of-view and is better for following action. Generally, the higher the magnification, the narrower the field-of-view.
Question: What is the difference between the Roof Prism System and Porro Prism System?
Answer: In roof prism binoculars, the prisms overlap closely, allowing the objective lenses to line up directly with the eyepiece. The result is a slim, streamlined shape in which the lenses and prisms are in a straight line. Roof prism binoculars are less bulky and more rugged than an equivalent porror model.

In porro prism binoculars, the objective or front lens is offset from the eyepiece. Porro prism binoculars provide a greater depth perception and generally offer a wider field-of-view. Because of the simplicity of this system, some of the best values can be with a porro design.

Chainsaw Safety


Will chainsaw chaps protect against other cutting tools such as trimmers or saws? What about snakes?
Answer: No, chainsaw chaps are specifically designed to release fibers to bind a chainsaw up, stopping the cutting action of the chain. They are not tested for cut resistance from tools such as trimmers or saws and are also not tested for puncture resistance, such as for snake protection.

Climbing and Rigging Gear


What is the difference between a static and dynamic rope?
Answer: A static rope will typically be more durable and resistant to abrasion, but will not have any stretch. These types are typically used for rigging or situations where shock loads would not occur. Dynamic ropes will have stretch to them and will help absorb shock force. These are better for use in applications where a person may fall while climbing because the rope will stretch and help absorb the shock of the fall.

Clinometer Scales


What are the different scales used for on Clinometers?
Answer: 1. The 66 foot scale (Brunton) is the same a Topographic scale (Suunto). This scale is going to give a direct reading of a height of the object being measured. By walking 66 feet (which is 1chain) from the base of the tree the scale will give a direct reading in feet of the height of the object. Metric versions are basically the same, but rely on meters not chain lengths.
2. The Percent scale can be used to get the percent grade of a slope or to figure heights as well. This scale allows you to be any distance from the tree and still calculate the tree height. For example if you read to the top of the tree at 72% and at the bottom to -6% and you are 100 ft from the base of the tree, the height would be (.72- (-.06)*100= 78 feet tall.
3. The Degree scale simply gives the angle in degrees away from being level. This is very useful in geology when determining the strike and dip of land forms. It also greatly aids in maneuvering in a submarine, but I rarely speak to naval admirals about this.
4. The Secant scale has one major use - working on sloped terrain. Let's say you're at the bottom of a large hill, and you need the height of tree growing at the top of that hill. The secant scale will allow you to do this without having to take several different measurements.


Question: What are the differences between basic, directional, hand-bearing and mirror-sighting compasses?
Answer: A basic compass consists of a magnetic needle and a base plate with a compass rose. This type of compass is appropriate to use if the end user simply needs a general direction. A directional sighting compass usually will include the base plate, a moveable azimuth or bezel ring, the directional or north arrow, the orienteering arrow and some map scales. A hand-bearing compass is different than either of the two previous compasses in that it has an eyepiece. It still has a base and vial or liquid capsule, but this compass allows the user to site on an object while simultaneously taking a compass reading. This allows for much greater degree of accuracy and precision. Finally, the mirrored sighting compass is similar to the directional sighting compass, but also includes a cover with a mirror, a sight and usually a declination adjustment. A mirrored compass allows the end user to see the face of the compass while taking a bearing in the field.
Question: What is the difference between the Azimuth and Quadrant Scales?
Answer: The azimuth scale goes around the bezel ring a full 360 degrees. The quadrant scale has four equal 90 degree sections on the bezel ring. Each scale can be used anywhere, but some areas use quadrants instead of the full 360 degrees. Contact your local county extension office and they can provide the scale that is used in the area in which you are located.
Question: What is declination?


Declination is the difference between true north and magnetic north. The magnetic needle of a compass always points to magnetic north. Since magnetic north is affected by the magnetism of the Earth, the needle will point to the varying magnetic north depending on where you are in the world. This difference becomes significant when taking measurements off a map or trying to relay directions to someone in the field. Since the declination of the United States can vary as much as 30 degrees in either direction it is easy to see why knowing the declination of an area is very important.
Question: Can my compass be repaired?
Answer: Ben Meadows will do repairs on Brunton and Suunto compasses that come in the aluminum housing only. The repair consists of replacement of the capsule, complete reconditioning, cleaning and calibration. For current pricing on compass repair, contact a customer service representative at 1-800-241-6401 or visit our Repairs Page for more information.

Conductivity Meters

Question: How should I store my conductivity cell?
Answer: Rinse it in tap water when you are finished using it. You can store the electrode either wet or dry. If it is stored dry, you will need to recondition the electrode before use.
Question: How do I condition the probe?
Answer: Place the probe in a standard solution tap water and have power running to the probe. Let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour unless otherwise specified.
Question: How and when should I calibrate the probe?
Answer: Calibrate using a standard solution in a range of the samples you are testing. Place the probe in standard solution, condition, rinse probe in second sample of standard solution, use a third sample of standard solution to calibrate, and then adjust the cell constant until specified value is displayed. Recalibrate when you change ranges, or if readings seem to be incorrect.

Conductivity, TDS and Salinity

Question: What does TDS stand for and how is this related to conductivity and salinity?
Answer: TDS stands for total dissolved solids. TDS and salinity are closely related to conductivity which is why they are typically derived by converting conductivity measurements. A conversion ratio typically between 0.3 and 1.0 (usually set between 0.5 and 0.7) is used for TDS depending on the application and what type of dissolved solids you are measuring. Salinity measurements typically use a conversion ratio of 0.5 from conductivity.

Dissolved Oxygen


What is the difference between a polarographic and galvanic dissolved oxygen probes?
Answer: Polarographic and galvanic probes have a very similar design in that they both have membranes enclosing a cathode and an anode submersed in an electrolyte solution. The difference is that polarographic probes need to polarize (typically ~10 min) each time the power is turned on before use. Galvanic probes are self polarizing and can take measurements right away. This makes galvanic probes more convenient, but they will not last as long as polarographic probes.


How are optical dissolved oxygen probes different from polarographic and galvanic probes?
Answer: Optical dissolved oxygen probes are usually more expensive than polarographic or galvanic probes, but they are much easier to use. They can be stored dry, there are no membranes and electrolyte solution to replace (only an optical cap about once a year) and they do not consume oxygen, meaning that the probe does not have to be stirred or used in a flow cell.

Drip Torches


What mixture of fuel should I use in my drip torch?
Answer: Start with an equal amount of No. 1 diesel fuel and kerosene. Adjust the mixture so that the flame will be carried with the fuel. Increase the kerosene for better ignition or increase the diesel for sustained burning.


Can I use gasoline in drip torches?
Answer: It is not recommended to use gasoline in drip torches because of its explosive nature.

Dye Tracers

Question: When would I use Dye Tracers?
Answer: Biodegradable Dye Tracers can be uses to: detect leaks in sewage systems, trace water and industrial effluents, detect toilet tank leaks, analyze septic systems, trace cross connection systems, monitor flow studies and mapping and analyze septic systems.
Question: What color should I use?
Answer: Fluorescent dyes make water patterns easy to see in lakes, reservoirs, septic systems, piping and other bodies of water. FLT Yellow/Green color is excellent for high silt or read clay backgrounds. FWT Red should be used for greenish or yellowish water with lots of algae. FLT Orange can be used as an alternate where neither yellow/green or red would provide proper contrast.
Blue dye is visual detection only and cannot be seen under ultraviolet or detected by a fluorometry. FLT Blue is frequently used for decorative effects, evaluation of house hold systems and where blue may be more acceptable to public view. Industrial Blue, formulated with Acid Blue 9, is often used in fountains, ponds and streams for decorative effect. Acid Blue 9 is not recommended for use around potable water sources.
Question: Are they safe for the environment?


Bright Dyes are EPA acceptable and they are the only full line of tracer products certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to the ANSI/NSF Standard 60 for use in potable water at recommended levels. They are biodegradable and safe for the environment.
Question: Should I use tablets, powder, liquid or wax?
Answer: For small amounts of water, Bright Dyes tablets are clean and easy to use - no measuring is required. Bright Dyes may be dropped or flushed directly into a drain, sewer, septic system, etc. where they will dissolve in about 3-5 minutes. Or, they may be dissolved in a small amount of water first.
For larger bodies of water, Bright Dyes powder or Bright Dyes liquid concentrate may be most suitable for your needs.
In the situation of long-term flow study a Bright Dyes wax product such as cakes, cones or donuts should be used.

Hard Hats

Question: What is the service life of a hard hat?
Answer: According to the 1986 and 1997 ANSI standards, all hard hat components should be inspected daily for signs of dents, cracks, penetration and any damage due to impact, rough treatment or wear. Any hard hat that fails the visual inspection should be removed from service until the problem is corrected.
In addition to everyday wear and tear, ultraviolet (UV) radiation can pose a problem for hats constructed of plastic materials. Damage caused by UV radiation is easy to spot: the hat will lose its glossy finish and eventually take on a chalky appearance. Further degradation could cause the shell to actually start flaking away. Once the effects of UV radiation are detected, the hard hat shell should be immediately replaced.
As long as the hard hat passes inspection, it can remain in service. When inspecting a hard hat, make sure to check both the inside and outside for possible damage. Pay closer attention to those that have stickers on them, for they tend to hide cracks.
Question: How often do I have to replace my hard hat?
Answer: As a general guideline, employers replace caps every five years, regardless of outward appearance. Most hard hats have manufacture date codes molded on the underside brim of the cap so you can easily determine the age of the cap. If the user environment is known to include higher exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight or chemicals, hard hats should be replaced routinely after two years of use.
Regardless of length of use, if a hard hat has any visible damage or defects, the hard hat should be replaced immediately. Also, if a hard hat has been struck by a forcible blow of any magnitude, the shell and suspension should be replaced immediately, even if no damage is visible. Any impact can substantially reduce the protection offered.
Question: Can I put stickers or decals on my hard hat?


Considering the type of adhesive used in typical pressure-sensitive stickers, there is very little potential for chemical interaction between the adhesive and the helmet shell. The use of these types of stickers would not be expected to negatively affect the performance of the helmet under normal conditions.
Two general rules of thumb should be followed if stickers and decals are used. First, adhesive stickers should be placed at least 3/4 inch away from the edge of the helmet. This prevents the possibility of the sticker acting as a conductor between the outside and inside of the shell if it were to wrap around the brim. Second, the areas of the helmet covered by stickers/decals should be kept to a practical minimum to permit regular inspection of the helmet shell for damage.
Question: Can I wear my hard hat backward?
Answer: OSHA published a standard interpretation and compliance letter dated July 22, 1992 that states: Because ANSI only tests and certifies hard hats to be worn with the bill foreword, hard hats worn with the bill to the rear would not be considered reliable protection and would not meet the requirement of 29 CFR 1926.100 (a) and (b) unless the hard hat manufacturer certifies that this practice meets the ANSI requirements. To comply with this requirement, written verification and instructions from the hard hat manufacturer on whether your hard hat model has been tested and found to be compliant when worn backward should be obtained.
Question: Can I carry or wear anything inside of my hard hat?
Answer: Per the ANSI Z89.1 standard, a clearance must be maintained between the hard hat shell and the wearers head for the protection system to work properly. Any object in this space may limit this clearance and the overall performance of the hard hat. Objects placed in this space that contain metal can also diminish the dielectric protection provided by the hat. There are some products designed specifically to work in conjunction with hard hats. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations for the use of these.

Hearing Protection


What is a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)?
Answer: A noise reduction rating defines the maximum number of decibels the sound will be reduced when the hearing protection is worn correctly.


So I can just subtract the NRR from the decibel level to find out if I comply with OSHA's regulations?
Answer: No, OSHA specifies that a 7 decibel safety factor needs to be subtracted from the hearing protection's NRR. For example, earplugs with a NNR of 32dB will only give 25dB reduction (32dB – 7dB = 25dB) when complying with OSHA regulations.


If I wear ear plugs and ear muffs together can I just add the two noise reduction ratings to get a total reduction rating?
Answer: No, if both are worn, OSHA specifies that you must take the highest rating (after the 7dB safety factor is taken off) and add 5dB to get the total NRR. Example, if you have earplugs that have a NRR of 32dB and earmuffs with a NRR of 22dB, you would take the highest rating, the 32dB, subtract the 7dB safety factor and then add 5dB for using the earmuffs and earplugs together to get a total reduction of 30dB (32dB – 7dB + 5dB = 30dB).

Glove Sizing

Question: How do I measure my hands to determine the proper glove size?
Answer: To obtain glove size, use a tape measure to find the circumference of your hand around the palm. This measurement, in inches, is your glove size. If the measurement is 10 inches, specify size 10 or L (Large).















Increment Borers


What is the difference between a 2-thread and 3-thread increment borer?
Answer: A 2-thread borer has two starting threads which will bore slower but allow for more power with each turn, making it best for use with hard woods. A 3-thread borer has 3 starting threads which will engage the wood faster and bore farther with each turn, making it best for use with soft woods.


If I break a borer, can I get replacement parts?
Answer: Yes, Ben Meadows sells replacement bits, extractors and handles so you don’t have to replace the whole borer.


Can I use an increment borer with a drill?
Answer: Ben Meadows does carry an Increment Borer Drill Chuck, but if used with any borer bits, it will void the warranty. If you do use the drill chuck, only use Bits Made for Treated Poles.


Is there anything I need to do to maintain my increment borer?
Answer: Always keep your increment borer clean and sharp. A light oil can be used to wipe it down after use and a .22 rifle cleaning rod works well for cleaning the inside. Sharpening Kits are available to keep the tip sharp, as a dull increment borer won't cut as well making it harder to turn and more prone to breaking. Using Beeswax on the threads before boring will also help protect the tip and allow for a better glide.

Infrared Thermometers

Question: What is an infrared (IR) thermometer and how does it work?
Answer: IR thermometers collect energy transmitted, reflected, or emitted from an object. The hotter the object, the more infrared energy it emits. This energy is then focused on a detector that converts the energy to an electrical signal, which is amplified and displayed. IR thermometers are well suited for moving or hard-to-reach objects or for hazardous materials. These thermometers, however, have difficulty accurately measuring temperatures through glass, reflective surfaces or plastic films, depending on the material type and thickness.
Question: What is the response time for an IR thermometer?
Answer: The response time of IR thermometers is faster than most other types of thermometers--approximately 0.5 seconds.
Question: From what distance can I take a temperature measurements using an IR thermometer?
Answer: This depends on the optical capability of the IR thermometer. This is where the distance-to-spot ration specification comes into play. Use the distance-to-spot ratio and the diameter of your target to determine the maximum distance you can be from the target. Most IR thermometers have a maximum measuring distance of approximately 100 feet (30 meters), depending on atmospheric conditions.
Question: What is the spectral range of an IR thermometer?
Answer: The infrared spectral range is 0.7 to 1000 µm, the range for wavelength in which infrared radiation is transmitted. For cost reasons, IR thermometers generally operate under 20 µm. Most IR thermometers have a spectral responseof 8-20 µm. This range is used because it is minimally affected by carbon dioxide and water in the atmosphere. With longer, lower-energy wavelengths greater than 20 µm, the accuracy decreases with increased distances due to the effects of the atmosphere (humidity).
Question: What is emissivity and how does it affect temperature readings from an IR thermometer?
Answer: Emissivity is the ability of an object to emit or absorb energy. Perfect emitters have an emissivity of 1, emitting 100% of incident energy. An object with an emissivity of 0.8 absorbs 80% and reflects 20% of the incident energy. Emissivity may vary with temperature and spectral respnse (wavelength). IR thermometers have difficulty taking accurate temperature measurements of shiny metal surfaces unless they can be adjusted for emissivity.
Question: How can the emissivity of an object be determined?
Answer: First, measure the surface temperature of the object to be measured with a surface-type thermocouple probe. Measure the same surface with an IR thermometer, adjusting emissivity on the thermometer until the temperature readings on both the thermocouple and IR meters agree. For temperatures up to approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius), place a piece of regular masking tape on the object to be measured. Allow the tape to reach thermal equilibrium with the object. Using an IR thermometer with the emissivity set at 0.95, measure and note the temperature of the masking tape. Then, measure the surface temperature of the object. Adjust the emissivity until the temperature of the object is the same as that of the tape.
Question: What size area does an IR thermometer measure?
Answer: It measures the average temperature of the surface within the measuring diameter.
Question: So how do I calculate the "range" of the IR thermometer?
Answer: The range is the distance from the object being measured in inches/optical resolution. This number (in inches) is the diameter of the area the thermometer will measure. The thermometer gives the average temperature of the surface within that circle. Example: Let's say the thermometer has an optical resolution of 8:1 and you want to measure the temperature of a liquid in a tank at a 20-foot distance. 20 feet x 12 inches per foot = 240 inches. 240 inches/8 = 30 inches; the thermometer will measure the average temperature of a circle 30 inches in diameter, centered on the beam of the thermometer.

Insect Pins


What are the difference between the 127146 and 127147 Insect pins?


The 127146 insect pin is fabricated from spring steel with a black enamel finish for anti-rust protection, and a nylon head.  The 127147 are made of Stainless Steel; the heads are also made of Nylon.  Stainless steel pins are recommended for humid climates.


What are the Sizes of the insect pins?


All pins are approximately 39mm or 1-1/2” long.  The diameters are as follows:
Size 0 = 0.014” Diameter
Size 1 = 0.016” Diameter
Size 2 = 0.018” Diameter
Size 3 = 0.020” Diameter
Size 4 = 0.022” Diameter

Log Rules


What is the difference between Doyle, Scribner, Scribner Decimal C and International log rules?
Answer: The Doyle Rule figures for a 5/16" saw kerf and has a slab allowance of 4" but doesn't allow for taper. This rule typically underestimates small logs and overestimates large logs, but is still widely used throughout the southern US mainly because it has been used for so long and people are very familiar with it.

The Scribner Rule figures for a 1/4" saw kerf and also does not allow for taper but it has no uniform slab allowance for log diameters. This makes the Scribner rule fairly accurate, but it will underestimate long logs. This rule is used mainly in the Eastern and Northern US.

The Scribner Decimal C Rule is the same as the standard Scribner rule, but rounds board volume to the nearest 10 board feet. This rule is used mainly on the West Coast and in some areas in the Southern US.

The International Rule figures for a 1/4" saw kerf and a fixed taper allows for 1/2" per 4 ft. Slab thickness varies with log diameter, deductions are given for shrinkage of boards and volumes are rounded to the nearest 5 board feet. This is the most accurate of the log scales and is used mainly in the Eastern US.

Munsell Soil Charts


What is the Munsell Soil Color Chart?
Answer: It was originally developed with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service as a guideline for classifying colors of various soils. In its current form the Munsell Soil Color Chart comes in loose leaf binder with washable waterproof text pages. It contains 322 colors on 9 charts of hues 10R, 2.5YR, 5YR, 7.5YR, 10YR, 2.5Y, 5Y, and two Gley charts for submerged soils. Each 7 " x 4 " chart has apertures for viewing the sample directly against colors on the chart. . Today Munsell Soil Color Chart is used by agronomist, biologist, archeologist, geologist, zoologist and other scientist to document colors. They are used to classify soils, rocks, archaeological specimens, and animal pelage. It is still the standard for field and laboratory classification of soil color.

Nalgene Stormwater Samplers


What is the difference between the 145372 Organic and 111379 Inorganic samplers?
Answer: The organic sampler was specially designed for organic analysis. It collects a full one liter first flush grab sample into a 1000ml amber glass sample bottle within the first minutes of storm water outfall flow. The Fluorinated upper structure prevents oil and grease from sticking. The inorganic sampler collects a full one liter first flush grab sample into a 1000ml HDPE sample bottle within the first minutes of storm water outfall flow. Both units have a floating ball valve automatically closes off sample port after bottle is full to prevent comingling with later run-off and volatile analyte loss.

pH Meters


How should I store my pH probe?


pH probes with glass electrodes need to be stored wet. An Electrode Storage Solution will work best for this, but a pH 4 or 7 buffer or even tap water will in most cases work for short term storage. Never use distilled or deionized water for storage, only use it for rinsing off the electrode. If the pH probe is an ISFET or silicone chip electrode, then it can be stored dry.


What happens if I let my glass pH electrode dry out?

Answer: In some cases, you can rehydrate the probe by soaking it in a storage or pH 4 buffer for a few hours. If it still does not work, then the probe most likely needs to be replaced or refilled with electrolyte solution (if it is a refillable probe).

Pruners and Loppers


What is the difference between a pruner and a lopper; when would you choose one over the other?
Answer: Branch size is one of the major determining factors when picking the proper pruning tool. As a rule of thumb for branches with a diameter of 1 inch or less hand pruners can be used. For slightly larger branches that cannot be cut with a hand pruner you may want to look at loppers. Lopping shears or loppers as they are more commonly called have a larger cutting surface and longer handles which give the user greater leverage for cutting the thicker branches. Loppers are used for branches up to 2 inches.


What is the difference between by-pass pruners and loppers and the anvil style of pruner and lopper?
Answer: Anvil style pruners and loppers have a straight blade that cuts the branch against a small anvil or block as the handles are squeezed. Anvil Style is usually used when pruning dead branches. By-pass pruners and loppers use a curved cutting blade that slides past a broader lower blade, much like a scissors. When pruning live branches they by-pass style is preferred to prevent unnecessary tearing or crushing of tissues, it is best to use a by-pass style pruner.


How often should I sharpen my pruning tools?
Answer: Sharp tools insure satisfactory cuts are made and also reduce fatigue for the person pruning. Hand pruners and lopping shears should be periodically sharpened with a sharpening stone. If the blade is damaged beyond the point of re-sharpening; replacement blades are available from many manufacturers.


Question: What is a laser rangefinder?
Answer: A laser rangefinder is a distance-measuring instrument that uses laser technology to calculate the distance to targeted objects.
Question: How do they work?
Answer: Rangefinders use an invisible, eye-safe Class 1 Laser beam (as classified by the FDA) which is "bounced" off distant objects with the press of a button. Then the rangefinder's high-speed digital clock measures the time it took for a laser beam to reach a target and return to the unit. Next, using advanced digital electronics, the rangefinder instantly calculates the distance within ±1 yard and shows the range in either yards or meters on a through-the-lens LCD display. The entire process is so fast that less than a second elapses between the time you press the button to generate a laser beam to the time the exact range to your target is displayed.
Question: What is target reflectivity?
Answer: Because rangefinders "bounce" a laser beam off the target in order to take a measurement, their range is partially determined by the reflectivity of the target. In other words, hard or "reflective" targets - like a rock cliff or semi-truck - can be measured at greater distances than soft surface targets - like a deer. Ranges for moderately reflective targets, like trees, fall somewhere in the middle. The harder the target the more reflective it will be, allowing for greater measurements of distance.
Question: What is a Laser Hypsometer Rangefinder?
Answer: A Hypsometer Rangefinder will give you two measurements; it gives you the distance through the laser rangefinder and combines that with a vertical angle senson that allows the user to remotely determine the height of objects. Applications for the Hypsometer measurements system include tree heights measurements, construction, utilities and survey applications where survey quality measurements are not required and higher instrument cost is not justifiable.
Question: What is the Scan Mode?
Answer: The scan mode allows you to pan across the landscape while viewing a continuously updated LCD display of the distances between you and the targets you scan with the viewfinder.
Question: Will laser rangefinders work in the rain?
Answer: Most rangefinders have a way to compensate for precipitation which is built into the software on the instrument. This allows for accurate distance measurement through rain or snow.
Question: What is Brush Mode?
Answer: Brush allows the user to obtain distance through brush or clutter. It ignores the foreground, such as brush, boulders and tree branches, and provides distances on the LCD display to background objects only.
Question: What is Bullseye Mode?
Answer: Bullseye Mode allows the user to obtain the distance of the closest item in the target area. This works well for ranging smaller items such as a tree while you have items in the background of the target area at the same time.



What does the N95 in a particulate respirator mean? What about P95 or P100?
Answer: If there is a N before number, the respirator protects against particles and non-oil-based mists. If there is a P before the number, the respirator protects against dusts, non-oil and oil-based mists. The number that follows is the efficiency percentage. Example, N95 means the respirator is 95% efficient against dusts and non-oil-based mists, whereas a P100 is 99.9% effective against dusts, non-oil and oil-based mists.


How do I know what type of respirator or respirator cartridge I need?
Answer: Check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of the chemical or contact the manufacture of the chemical you are working with.

Soil pH Testing

Question: How can I test the pH of my soil?
Answer: First, calibrate your pH meter or tester following the manufacturers instructions. Loosen soil from the ground or from the soil sampling equipment using a clean plastic scoop. Avoid touching the soil with your hands to prevent contamination of your sample. Remove any stones and crush soil clumps in your sample; this will prevent damaging of the glass electrode. Fill a clean jar about 3/4s full with the soil. Fill the rest of the jar with distilled water. Use your scoop to gently mix the soil slurry, then let stand for 10 minutes to dissolve salts in the soil. Dip the electrode or tester into the slurry, after it stabilizes take your reading. Always rinse the electrode with water between each use.

Solo® Backpack Sprayers

Question: How far can I expect the sprayer to spray?
Answer: The sprayer will spray up to 25 feet.
Question: What kind of oil or grease should I use on the O-rings and seals of my Solo Sprayer?
Answer: DO NOT USE OIL. Use heavy grease or petroleum jelly on all O-rings and seals.
Question: Can I spray water sealant through my sprayer?
Answer: Yes, most types of water sealant can be used with your Solo sprayer. You should consult the label for proper application methods.
Question: Will the replacement straps sold by Ben Meadows fit the Solo sprayer I bought 10 years ago?
Answer: Yes, the straps Ben Meadows currently sells fit older models.
Question: I try to pump up my sprayer, but I can't get any pressure. What now?
Answer: Check the valve plate and the O-ring at the valve seat. Replace if either is damaged.
Question: I still can't get any pressure. Any other suggestions?
Answer: If you have a piston pump, check to see if the collar or piston is worn and replace it, if necessary. Also, if you have a deluxe sprayer, check the O-ring on the pressure regulator for damage and replace it, if necessary.
Question: How can I tell if I have a diaphragm or a piston pump on my sprayer?
Answer: Examine the pump housing at the base of the sprayer. If the housing consists of two circular pieces held together by twelve brass screws, it is a diaphragm pump. If the housing is a cylinder, it is a piston pump.

Timber Cruising

Question: What is timber cruising?
Answer: Timber cruising is estimating the amount of timber in a given area. The amount of timber is often just the usable portion.
Question: What is BAF?
Answer: BAF stands for Basal Area Factor. Basal Area is the combined cross-sectional area of all trees on an acre at 4.5 feet above the ground. Instead of walking through the forest measuring every tree, a density factor was developed to easily estimate the average basal area per acre.
Question: How does a Cruise Angle or Basal Area Gauge work?
Answer: These devices feature a hole or opening that represents a specific BAF. The wider the opening, the higher the factor will be. A person holds the gauge a certain distance from their body and looks through the opening, counting the trees while turning around in a complete circle. Only trees that are wider than the opening are counted.
Question: What is the difference between BAF 10 and BAF 20?
Answer: These are multipliers for estimating basal area. Because the opening on a gauge for BAF 20 is wider than the opening for BAF 10, only larger trees are counted.
Question: So now what?
Answer: It can be mathematically shown that the count of trees multiplied by the BAF will be the average basal area per acre Trees per acre.

Turbidity Meters


What is the difference between an ISO and an EPA compliant turbidity meter?
Answer: Most turbidity meters perform a nephelometric measurement, which means that the meter measures the amount of light scattered at a 90 angle. The light source of this nephelometric measurement is different between the ISO and the EPA compliant turbidity meter. To be ISO compliant (ISO standard 7027) the meter must be equipped with a light emitting diode (LED) with a wavelength of 860 nm and a spectral bandwidth of less than or equal to 60 nm. ISO standard 7027 is an international standard that is used frequently in Europe. The EPA method, on the other hand, requires a tungsten lamp, with a color temperature of 2,200 3,000 K, for the turbidity meter to be EPA compliant (EPA method 180.1). EPA method 180.1 is the regulated standard used for most drinking water applications in the USA and Canada.


What is the difference between FNU and NTU?
Answer: The ISO standard uses formazin nephelometric units (FNU) as the unit of measure. Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) is the unit of measure for the EPA compliant method. Basically an FNU is equivalent to and NTU, but they are arrived at via different methods. There is no direct conversion between the two units.


Can I convert a Secchi Disk or Transparency Tube reading into turbidity units?
Answer: No, a Secchi Disk or Transparency Tube measure water clarity. Even though it may be closely related to true turbidity, there is no direct conversion.

Two Way Radios


Do I need a FCC license to operate my two way radio?
Answer: This depends on what frequencies your radio uses. Most business VHF and UHF radios will require a FCC license, while some with frequency bands such as the ISM band will not. Most recreational and outdoor radios use GMRS/FRS frequencies. These typically have 22 channels with channels 1-7 and 15-22 being GMRS and channels 8-15 being FRS. If using any GMRS frequency, a FCC license is required. If using any FRS frequency, a FCC license is not required. Always check the radio instruction manual for information on whether a license is needed or not.


How do I get a FCC license?
Answer: Information on how to get a radio can be found at //

Water Sampling Bottles

Question: What is the difference between a Kemmerer Bottle and a Van Dorn bottle?
Answer: Water bottles can either be vertical, like Kemmerer bottles, or horizontal, like the Van Dorn bottles. Both are designed for grabbing a sample of water at a known depth in a body of water. Vertical bottles are best for sampling wells or other areas where you need a "narrow" sample. If you were sampling where a river empties into a lake, you would probably want to use a Kemmerer to take samples where the river first enters the lake, where the river water mixes, and again where there is only lake water. Horizontal bottles are best for very shallow water or if lakes are well stratified. If there is a distinct thermocline or chemocline, a horizontal Van Dorn bottle can get a fairly accurate sample above, below and right at the line where the water mixes.

Water Sampling Pumps

Question: What is the difference between a standard submersible pump and a peristaltic pump and why would I use one versus the other?
Answer: A submersible pump is lowered into the water, pushing the water sample up a tube into the sample container. A peristaltic pump stays above the water’s surface and uses a vacuum to suck the water sample up the tubing to the pump and then push it out into the sample container. Submersible pumps can typically pump to greater depths but are harder to clean, meaning sample contamination may occur. Pumping depth is limited with peristaltic pumps, but the only part that touches the sample is the tubing. So if contamination is an issue, the tubing can simply be switched out.
Question: What is O.D. and I.D. in reference to tubing?
Answer: O.D. stands for outside diameter and I.D. stands for inside diameter.


Question: What is dew point?
Answer: The temperature at which water condenses given a constant temperature and pressure.
Question: What is the difference between relative humidity, absolute humidity, and specific humidity?
Answer: Relative humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in air divided by the amount of water vapor the air can hold. Absolute humidity is the mass of water vapor in a particular volume of air. Specific humidity is the mass of water vapor in a parcel of air divided by the total mass of the air in that parcel.
Question: If air feels humid and heavy, is it more or less dense than dry air?
Answer: In a break from common sense, humid air is less dense than dry air. In a particular volume of air, higher humidity means more water vapor means less of the components that make up dry air. Since water vapor is less dense than dry air, the density of parcel of air decreases as humidity increases.

Weather Instruments

Question: How do you use a sling psychrometer?
Answer: Though sling psychrometers are rather odd in appearance, they are quite easy to use, and provide the most accurate measurement of relative humidity. Attached to the frame of a psychrometer are two thermometers, one of which has a fabric wick. This wick should be moistened prior to use; this will be the wet bulb. After the wick is moistened, you will want to stand in a shady location and begin to whirl the pyschrometer for several minutes, until the temperature stabilizes on both thermometers. In most cases, the readings between the two will be different. Once the temperatures have stabilized you will then use the accompanying chart to determine the relative humidity from the difference in temperatures.
Question: Can I use the indoor data loggers outdoors?
Answer: No. These loggers were manufactured for indoor use in non-condensing environments. Condensation will form from morning dew, temperature swings, fog, mist, and high relative humidity (RH). These data loggers are designed for indoor applications where the RH does not go above 95%.
If used outdoors unprotected, you will experience data loss and eventually damage the logger. If placed outdoors, the data loggers need to be in a waterproof container with desiccant packs to absorb condensation that builds inside the case from temperature changes.
Question: Can consoles for wireless weather stations be kept indoors even though the sensors are outdoors?
Answer: As a general rule, most wireless consoles can receive data through walls. If a unit is behind steel or thick walls, a repeater may need to be installed in a window or wall to insure the signal is captured.
Question: How does a tipping bucket rain gauge measure rainfall?
Answer: Tipping bucket style rain gauges feature two individual cells calibrated to a known volume of water. The cells balance on a fulcrum, and at the center of the fulcrum is a contact switch. During a precipitation event a cell will fill with water and tip, emptying the water. As the cell tips it causes a momentary contact closure that is recorded by the weather station or data logger to which it is attached. The weather station or data logger calculates the amount of precipitation required to fill the cell and cause it to tip.
Question: Do Enviro-Safe thermometers contain mercury?
Answer: No, the liquid in Enviro-Safe thermometers is a mixture of citrus oil and non-toxic dye.
Question: What is the difference between total immersion and partial immersion thermometers?
Answer: Total immersion thermometers show the accurate temperature when the thermometer is immersed to the liquid level in the capillary. Partial immersion thermometers show the accurate temperature when immersed to a specific depth, such as 76 mm.

Wildland Fire Clothing


What is the difference between Nomex and Indura Ultra Soft?
Answer: Nomex is a made with inherently flame resistant fibers and Indura Ultra Soft is made of a mixture of cotton and nylon fibers treated with flame retardant chemicals.

Don't forget to check out our Tech Info documents for additional information on soil sampling and how to use the tools you'll need.

If you have specific questions on product specifications, product applications or installation, personal safety gear, regulatory compliance requirements, or any other technical questions call our Technical Support staff at 800-241-6401 or 608-743-8001.