CS616 Water Content Reflectometer
High Accuracy and Precision
Designed for long-term monitoring
weather applications supported water applications supported energy applications supported gas flux & turbulence applications supported infrastructure applications supported soil applications supported

Overview

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.

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Benefits and Features

  • Compatible with most Campbell Scientific data loggers
  • High accuracy and high precision
  • Fast response time
  • Designed for long-term unattended water content monitoring
  • Compatible with AM16/32-series multiplexers, allowing measurement of multiple sensors
  • Probe rods can be inserted from the surface or buried at any orientation to the surface.

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Specifications

Measurements Made Volumetric water content of porous media (such as soil)
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).
Rods Not replaceable
Sensors Not interchangeable
Operational Temperature 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
Resolution 0.1% VWC
Output ±0.7 V square wave (with frequency dependent on water content)
Current Drain
  • 65 mA @ 12 Vdc (when enabled)
  • 45 μA (quiescent typical)
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

Compatibility

Please note: The following shows notable compatibility information. It is not a comprehensive list of all compatible products.

Data Loggers

Compatible Note
21X (retired)
CR10 (retired)
CR1000
CR10X (retired)
CR200X (retired)
CR206X (retired)
CR23X (retired)
CR295X (retired)
CR300
CR3000
CR310
CR500 (retired)
CR5000 (retired)
CR510 (retired)
CR6
CR800
CR850
CR9000 (retired)
CR9000X

Additional Compatibility Information

RF Considerations

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.

Installation Tool

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.

Data Logger Considerations

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.

Common Accessories


FAQs for

Number of FAQs related to CS616: 36

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  1. The CS616 has a faster period output than the CS615-L, so it does not work with the 21X dataloggers.

  2. No. The output is too fast to be measured on the pulse channel of a 21X or CR7.

  3. If the new site has soil with a different soil type, a soil-specific calibration may be needed. For soil that is sandy or sandy loam with low bulk electrical conductivity, the calibration equation in the CS616 and CS625 instruction manual works well. 

  4. 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.  

    • The CS616/CS625 is not receiving power. Ensure that the red wire is well connected to 12V and that the black and clear wires are both connected to G. Also check that the orange wire is well connected to a control port and that the data logger program references that control port as part of the sensor measurement.
    • The data logger is not receiving a signal from the CS616/CS625. Ensure that the green wire is well connected to a single-ended analog input channel and that the data logger program references that channel in the CS616() or PeriodAvg() instruction.
    • The soil is too conductive. If the soil has high electrical conductivity, high clay content, or high organic matter content and the CRBasic instruction CS616() or Edlog instruction P138 is used, the period might be out of range for that instruction. In that situation, it may be possible to use PeriodAvg() or P27 as shown in the program examples of the CS616 and CS625 instruction manual.
  5. The CS616 and CS625 are water-content reflectometers with measurement electronics built into the probe head. The electronics generate a signal, which is sent directly to the data logger. The CS610-L, and other three-rod probes sold by Campbell Scientific, are TDR probes that have no electronic components and serve as wave guides for a time-domain reflectometer such as the TDR100.

  6. If the electrical conductivity within the waste is less than 5 dS/m and there is good contact between the probe rods and the waste, the CS616/CS625 should respond predictably to changes in water content. The heterogeneous nature and changing bulk density of solid waste, however, make calibration difficult.

  7. Yes, as long as the data logger can detect a ±700 mV square wave over a frequency range of 29 to 67 kHz.

  8. 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.

  9. Fine roots do not significantly affect the CS616/CS625 reading.