Reading a refractometer

djryan2000

New member
After some testing I've concluded that my $120 Milwaukee Digital Refractometer is a pile of hot garbage. Following the proper test procedures I'm getting 1.023-1.024 on 1.026 calibration fluid. I ordered more calibration fluid just in case and got the same result.

My main problem with my regular refractometer is I can't really tell what it's reading. Are there any tricks from more experienced members to accurately discerning the salinity?


Edit: I know how to use and calibrate the refractometer. I know how to turn the piece to make it clear. The problem I have is even when it's clear I have trouble distinguishing within a couple points, for example I struggle to tell between numbers like 1.026 or 1.027.
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Last edited:

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
Looking through the refractometer ---use it looking to a window as that will give you the best light form, during the daylight of course.
You can tip it up or down & adjust the length of the eyepiece for clarity.
 

djryan2000

New member
always calibrate just before use, some refractometers can be very sensitive to temperature.


My problem isn't getting an accurate reading - it's when I look in the refractometer I can't tell which line exactly the white part breaks off versus the blue part. I can only guess within a few points.


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djryan2000

New member
Calibrated both my handheld and Milwaukee. Milwaukee reads 1.024 while the handheld is much higher. I took a photo instead of just looking.. here it is
52defcb118e6cfe222e775afc23c4f6e.jpg

Looks like 1.026 or 1.027

Not sure which the believe.


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djryan2000

New member
Calibrated both my handheld and Milwaukee. Milwaukee reads 1.024 while the handheld is much higher. I took a photo instead of just looking.. here it is
52defcb118e6cfe222e775afc23c4f6e.jpg

Looks like 1.026 or 1.027

Not sure which the believe.


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Here it is with 1.026 (35PPT) calibration fluid - I'm guessing my tanks at 1.027.
5ebec0cb1f277c6ed6b69d98c7bc312d.jpg




Milwaukee also reads that as 1.024


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djryan2000

New member
One more update.. my water change water. Milwaukee also read this at 1.024 *sigh*

a8b9702af41f4cc025be4a8136bea6ca.jpg



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Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
The eyepiece should be adjustable enough to make the chart clear to ones eye, just like binoculars. There should also be an adjustment knob or screw to make it match a calibration fluid. Check the manual.
 

djryan2000

New member
Ridiculous that the Milwaukee can't do what it's sold to do. Surprised they'd put their name to that.


Yeah I'm very disappointed considering the price tag on them too. I emailed their customer support so hopefully they'll respond next week.


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outssider

New member
to get a clearer line between the white and blue try tapping on the clear plastic cover to squeeze out any extra water.
 
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