The CS616 measures the volumetric water content (VWC) of porous media (such as soil) from 0% to saturation. The probe outputs a megahertz oscillation frequency, which is scaled down and easily read by a Campbell Scientific data logger.Read More
The CS616 is comprised of two 30-cm-long stainless-steel rods connected to the measurement electronics. The circuit board is encapsulated in epoxy, and a shielded four-conductor cable is connected to the circuit board to supply power, enable the probe, and monitor the output.
The CS616 uses the time-domain measurement method to measure VWC; a reflectometer (cable tester) such as the TDR200 is not required. This method consists of the CS616 generating an electromagnetic pulse. The elapsed travel time and pulse reflection are then measured and used to calculate soil volumetric water content.
The signal propagating along the parallel rods of the CS616 is attenuated by free ions in the soil solution and conductive constituents of the soil mineral fraction. In most applications, the attenuation is not enough to affect the CS616 response to changing water content, and the response is well described by the standard calibration. However, in soil with relatively high soil electrical conductivity levels, compacted soils, or soils with high clay content, the calibration should be adjusted for the specific medium. Guidance for making these adjustments is provided in the instruction manual.
|Measurements Made||Volumetric water content (VWC) of porous media (such as soil)|
|Measurement Range||0% to saturation|
|Water Content Accuracy||±2.5% VWC (using standard calibration with bulk EC of ≤ 0.5 dS m-1, bulk density of ≤ 1.55 g cm-3, and measurement range of 0% to 50% VWC)|
|Required Equipment||Measurement system|
|Soil Suitability||Long rods and lower frequency are well-suited for soft soil with low electrical conductivity (< 2 dS/m).|
|Operating Temperature Range||0° to +70°C|
|Probe-to-Probe Variability||±0.5% VWC in dry soil, ±1.5% VWC in typical saturated soil|
|Precision||Better than 0.1% VWC|
|Output||±0.7 V square wave (with frequency dependent on water content)|
|Power Supply Voltage||5 Vdc minimum; 18 Vdc maximum|
|Enable Voltage||4 Vdc minimum; 18 Vdc maximum|
|Electromagnetic||CE compliant (Meets EN61326 requirements for protection against electrostatic discharge.)|
|Rod Spacing||32 mm (1.3 in.)|
|Rod Diameter||3.2 mm (0.13 in.)|
|Rod Length||300 mm (11.8 in.)|
|Probe Head Dimensions||85 x 63 x 18 mm (3.3 x 2.5 x 0.7 in.)|
|Cable Weight||35 g per m (0.38 oz per ft)|
|Weight||280 g (9.9 oz) without cable|
Note: The following shows notable compatibility information. It is not a comprehensive list of all compatible or incompatible products.
The RF emissions are below FCC and EU limits as specified in EN61326 if the CS616 is enabled less than 0.6 ms, and measurements are made less frequently than once a second. External RF sources can also affect the CS616 operation. Consequently, the CS616 should be located away from significant sources of RF such as ac power lines and motors.
The CS650G makes inserting soil-water sensors easier in dense or rocky soils. This tool can be hammered into the soil with force that might damage the sensor if the CS650G was not used. It makes pilot holes into which the rods of the sensors can then be inserted. It replaces both the 14383 and 14384.
The reflectometer connects directly to one of the data logger’s single-ended analog inputs. A data logger control port is typically used to enable the CS616 for the amount of time required to make the measurement. Data logger instructions convert the probe square-wave output to period which is converted to volumetric water content using a calibration.
Number of FAQs related to CS616: 36
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No. The output is too fast to be measured on the pulse channel of a 21X or CR7.
The CS616 has a faster period output than the CS615-L, so it does not work with the 21X dataloggers.
Fine roots do not significantly affect the CS616/CS625 reading.
If a soil-specific calibration is performed, the CS616/CS625 may be used in soil with a maximum bulk electrical conductivity of 5 dS/m.
Yes. For program examples and guidance on using a multiplexer with one of these reflectometers, see the CS616 and CS625 instruction manual.
Yes. The dielectric permittivity of water varies with temperature, which will cause the CS616/CS625 period to decrease with increasing temperature and increase with decreasing temperature. In addition, the electrical conductivity of the soil water solution is temperature dependent, causing the CS616/CS625 period to increase with increasing temperature and decrease with decreasing temperature. The net effect of those two opposing forces depends on the soil texture and electrical conductivity. The temperature correction equation in the CS616 and CS625 instruction manual was developed using a sandy loam soil with relatively low electrical conductivity. For soils with finer texture or higher electrical conductivity, Campbell Scientific recommends a soil-specific temperature correction equation.
Running the cable through electrical conduit or PVC pipe will protect the cable from rodents. A trench 30 to 60 cm deep will protect it from most other human or animal activity. Some customers have found that extra cable can be coiled and left inside a box, such as an irrigation valve box or something similar. When using a box, seal any holes that are large enough for rodents to enter. When cables are exposed on the ground surface, some customers have found that wrapping the cables in the metal screening used for screen doors discourages animals from chewing on them.
Cutting down rods should only be done at the user’s own risk. Doing so will cause the probe to need recalibration. Campbell Scientific does not provide calibrations for shorter rod lengths for the CS616 or the CS625.
With shorter rods, the probe will work, but there will be some reduction in accuracy because the length of the rod in the soil contributes a smaller proportion to the total transit time. However, probes with shorter rods will work in more saline soils.