The VG-METER-200 is a low cost hand held soil moisture meter
with a professional digital display.
This a break through soil moisture meter is for professionals,
but is in the price range that any home gardener afford it.
Not only does it provide accurate readings of soil moisture
content it also displays the current ambient temperature, and
has a light sensor which detects and displays the level of
This meter uses our break through VH400 soil
moisture sensor, and presents soil moisture results as a
simple percentage (VWC). Light is also returned as a simple to
understand percentage, where 0% is dark, and 100% is full
sunlight. The VH400 sensor is included and integrated into the meter.
The temperature displayed is the ambient temperature measured
at the hand held unit. The meter can be figured to display
either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The temperature sensor can be
calibrated for even greater accuracy.
The meter displays the current time. All measurements
including the time can be displayed on the data display screen,
or they may be individually disabled.
Probes come standard with a 1 meter cable. The probe is
waterproof, and about 5 inches long. Because it is slender it
can be used to measure soil moisture in potted plants, as well
as the ground. Because it uses a capacitive based VH400 probe,
it never corrodes, is insensitive to soil salinity, and gives
very precise readings.
The hand held enclosure is small enough to fit in a pocket,
and has in-molded rubber side grips for a comfortable grip.
It runs on 2 AA batteries and because it is so low power,
the batteries should last for years, with normal use.
The meter comes in two varieties, one with a USB interface
and one without. The version with the USB interface, can
stream data to a computer through most communication programs
such as Windows Hyperterminal. The USB version comes with a
The meter makes the perfect gift for any avid gardener.
Digital Soil Moisture Meter Videos
Techno Gardener: Soil Moisture Meter and Dead Peas
The Techno Gardener uses the Vegetronix soil moisture meter to figure out why his sugar peas vines are dying.
Techno Gardener: Digital Soil Moisture Meter and Dead Grass
The Techno Gardener uses the vegetronix digital soil moisture
meter to figure out why a patch of his grass is dying.
Digital Soil Moisture Meter Applications
Irrigation and sprinkler systems.
Moisture monitoring of bulk foods.
Rain and weather monitoring.
Water conservation applications.
Fluid level measurements.
Digital Soil Moisture Meter Features
Includes integrated VH400 soil moisture sensor.
Graphical digital display, with LED back light.
Displays moisture, ambient air temperature, and light levels,
and displays time.
Easy to use.
Not conductivity based, and insensitive to salinity.
Probe does not corrode over time.
Rugged design for long term use.
Batteries last for years with normal use.
Measures volumetric water content (VWC).
The probe can be buried and is water proof.
Because the probe is slender, it can also be used in smaller
house plants without disrupting roots.
The USB version can be stream data to a PC, and recieve firmware
Enclosure: 2.5cm x 6.4cm x 94 cm (1in x
2.5in x 3.7in)
-20ºC to 85ºC
8 bits, No Parity, 1 stop bits
Sample output rate (USB version)
Soil Moisture Meter Operating Manual
To turn the unit on, press the center button.
To scroll up and down through the menu, use the up and down buttons.
To return to the previous menu without saving data, use the left
To return to the previous menu and save data, use the center
To modify data on a a data input screen use the up and down keys.
The meter has the following menu items available:
On time before sleeping - Set the number
of minutes for the display to stay on before sleeping. Set to zero
for always on.
Backlight LEDs (On/Off) - Turns on or
off the display back lights.
Battery Voltage - Displays the current
Show - Show or disable the moisture
level on the main screen.
VWC/Volts - Express the soil moisture
reading in VWC (Volumetric Water Content) or in sensor Volts.
Show - Show or disable the light level
on the main screen.
Show - Show or disable the temperature
on the main screen.
Units - Express the Temperature in
Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Calibrate - Set an Celsius offset or
multiplier to fine tune the temperature reading. Note that the calibration
coefficents are in Celsius not Fahrenheit. There are two coefficents that
you can adjust: a multiplier and an offset. The multiplier coefficent is factory
set to 1.00. The offset coefficent, the second number which is preceeded
with + is normally what you will use to adjust the temperature. We set
this coefficent to an approximate temperature. To adjust it use the up and
down keys, for each digit. For example, if the current temperature that is
displayed on the meter is too high by 1C, then you should lower the coefficient
Show - Show or disable the current time
on the main screen.
Set Time - Set the current time.
USB Commands for USB enabled Soil Moisture Meter
The Logger doesn't come with any software. A serial
communications program must be used to access the logger. We recommend
Windows HyperTerminal or Real Term
which is shareware. We only provide technical support if you are using
HyperTerminal or Real Term. HyperTerminal comes preinstalled on all XP and
legacy Windows computers.
The Meter may be configured, controlled and monitored
by using the following commands.
Open Windows HyperTerminal - Normally under
Start/Programs/Accessories/Communications in Windows.
Set up the session for the appropriate USB/comm port.
Set the comm port setting to:9600 baud, 8-N-1. Set Hardware Flow Control
The easiest way to figure out, which comm port number the USB board is
being referenced as, is to plug it in and look at the list, then remove it and
see which comm port disappears from the list. You can also use the windows
Hardware manager, and look at the ports under the ports branch of the tree. As
you plug the USB device in and out, you will see it be displayed with is COMM
When properly connected data will be displayed in the following format:
Moisture, VWC, light, %, time
0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:03 P
0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:03 P
0,VWC,3,%, 26,C,12:18:04 P
0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:04 P
Make sure that the meter is turned on, by pressing the center button, otherwise
the data will not stream.
For a volts reading via USB, use the keypad to put the unit in volts mode, as
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Do I have to insert the blade of the probe all the way into the soil?
Answer: You may have shallow pots where the blade will only partially be
inserted. The meters are calibrated assuming that the blade is fully inserted,
however, you can still take a reading even if the probe is only partially
inserted into the soil. The soil moisture sensor takes an average reading over
the length of the blade. As a rule of thumb, if you insert the blade only half
way, then you will get approximately half the reading you would normally get, if
you inserted it fully.
2. The meter is not measuring the soil temperature, what's wrong?
Answer: The meter measures the ambient air temperature, not soil
temperature. There is no temperature sensor in the probe. The
temperature sensor is in the hand held display.
How to Get Started with Digital Soil Moisture Meters
Vegetronix sells and ships these meters direct world wide. Use the
red button above to make a purchase.