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Luster Leaf Rapitest 1880 Electronic 4-Way Analyzer for Soil pH, Soil Moisture, Soil Fertility and Sunlight
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Measure soil pH, Moisture, Fertility and also Sunlight
- Great value versus (4) separate meters
- Large, easy to read scale plate
- Simple, yet extensive instructions/recommendations included
- Use for fruits/veggies, trees/shrubs, plant/flowers and grasses/lawns
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The Rapitest 4-Way Analyzer offers the best value, but featuring (4) premium meters in one. This multi-purpose meter allows you to monitor the conditions of soil pH, soil moisture, light quantity and total combined Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potash (K) levels. The extensive instructions guide you through the use of each function and also provide recommendations based on your results. A cleaning pad is also included which allows you to properly scrub the probes between uses. No batteries required.
From the Manufacturer
The rapitest 4-way Analyzer was designed and engineered in the USA to help gardeners measure 3 important soil requirements and sunlight levels, for more successful gardening: Soil pH to determine if soil is acidic or alkaline; total measurement of N, P and K to determine if plants are over or under fertilized; and a soil moisture reading to help prevent over watering of plants. The meter is also calibrated to the Mean Solar Table developed by USDA. It is designed and engineered solely to measure sunlight for plants. The meter uses an exclusive purple chromatic filter to color correct light for plants. No batteries required for operation.
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As soon as I received the unit, I tested the pH meter by putting it in various soils with different compositions. The pH meter level was consistently at 7 (plus or minus a hair or two). Suspecting a defective pH meter, I engineered a small amount of very acidic soil by putting alot of non-pH adjusted sphagnum peat moss in it. (Non-pH-adjusted sphagnum peat moss typically registers a pH level below 5.5.) I thoroughly mixed and moistened the soil and let it set over night. I tested it the next day. The Rapitest pH meter registered 7.0. Not good!
Their pH meter does not work right. The main reason I purchased the Rapitest soil analyzer was to guage the pH of potting soil I specifically engineer for various types of vegetable garden plants. I never checked any of the 3 other guages on it. I don't trust it.
I haven't contact Leaf Luster yet to inform them about the defective unit they shipped to me. I will do that once I get a bit of spare time after putting our vegetable garden in. (I am making time to write this review now, so other people can take it into account when making their purchase decisions.)
I am upset at myself for waiting until the "last minute" to order an instantaneous pH meter. But, I'm more upset at Luster Leaf. I specifically avoided less expensive units (with poor ratings) to increase my chances of gettng a good accurate pH meter. That strategy clearly didn't work. I ended up spending more money for a soil analyzer and still ended up with a worthless meter.
As a side note: do not stick this in water and then realise it doesn't work. This is not a water tester - it's a soul tester. If you stick it in water, all the junk that's in your water will throw off the meter - minerals, hard water, additives, etc...
If you just stick to soil testing this meter will do right by you and your plants. I've been using this for a few weeks now and I have very happy plants
Of course, you should not expect it to survive many nights outside in the rain, nor will you get the kind of results that NASA would require for a zero-g botany experiment, but for a casual gardener with a few temperamental indoor plants this is a perfect little tool. It will give you a rough idea of how your little patch of soil is doing and can assist you in diagnosing why specific plants seem to be struggling. The most useful setting is the pH tester which gives a acidity/alkalinity reading without using testing strips or dyes. The fertility setting is calibrated for a specific set of ppm for N, K and Phosphorous (these are listed in the instructions) - also useful if you know the mineral requirements of your individual plants.
The instructions included with the unit are printed on a single sheet of paper and are easy to follow. Step by step directions for using each setting are given.
On a side note: I'm not going to risk cracking my unit open but my guess is that this device works by measuring the flow of electric current and bases the results on pre-calibrated resistances. This means there is a battery in there somewhere that will eventually conk out.