The Chameleon is a resistance-type sensor that is calibrated to give the soil water tension or suction. It is different from a 'Gypsum Block' sensor. The Gypsum Block is not sensitive in the 'wetter part' of the soil moisture range (colours blue and green on the Chameleon). The Chameleon sensor is comprised of an inner core of highly absorbent material that releases a lot of water in the 10 to 50 kPa suction range. This is coated with gypsum to provide buffering of electrical conductivity. The resistance reading is also corrected for changes in soil temperature.
The expected lifespan of this sensor in the ground is 2 to 5 years, with the shorter time occurring in acidic or salty soils. We are regularly modifying the design to increase accuracy. We do dig up and retest sensors, but this version of the sensor is just 18 months old (and the calibrations have not shifted).
If you buy Chameleon equipment from our online shop https://viashop.csiro.au/ you will be issued account details and a farm will be created for you within a few days of completing payment.
If you are using Chameleon equipment supplied via an ACIAR funded project then you should have been issued account details.
If you have not received your account details then please contact us via the https://via.farm/contact/ page.
Please provide this following and request a login:
I have just received Chameleon sensors and a reader but the reader doesn't seem to be reading from the sensors?
The sensors when packaged for shipment are very dry. Far drier than when buried in dry soil and too dry for the reader to detect them.
When you try and read them straight out of the packet you may see the message on the reader screen "Partially plugged in". This is because the reader can only detect the temperature sensor and not the soil moisture sensors.
Before you can read the sensors you must soak them in a bucket of water for 1 hour. See the sensor installation instructions here https://via.farm/chameleon-sensor-installation-instructions/
The grey colour indicates the sensor is disconnected.
When a sensor cable is disconnected (open circuit) the reader sees it as a very high resistance. On the
You may want to export the sensor data into Excel or another program to analysis the data. You can do this following this method: