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Ion Meters and testing

<< You have a pH monitor? I recall that you do and you can watch things 
 and the KH test is very quick. >>


Speaking of quick tests - could you elaborate a bit on those "ion meters" you 
spoke of recently?  If I remember, I think you said they enable one to 
quickly and accurately test for N, K, P, and trace etc.

I've looked through the archives and done a netsearch - but the results were 
a bit incomplete and confusing to me. I get the impression they somehow 
measure total dissolved solids (TDS?) by gauging the resistance or lack 
thereof (conductivity) to electrical current passing through the sample of 
water in question. 

1. Does this devise give results which would allow one to detect and then 
separate out the chemicals by percentage? By that I mean the macro and micro 
nutrients we plant people are concerned with.

2. Are these devises hand held or of the lab bench variety? Which type would 
be best for our purposes?

3. Could you recommend a particular type, brand, model or give us a good 
source for purchasing or finding out more info of them?

I think most peoples gripe with testing is the amount of time and effort it 
takes - plus when color comparisons are employed - judgment calls have to be 
made - and losing count or miscounting the number of drops can easily occur. 
At least it does for me...

As always, thanks for your help. If it wasn't for generous, patient and 
knowledgeable folks like yourself - many of us would have given up on plants 
long, long ago...

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach