I recently purchased a vapometer to get some preliminary data estimating water lost through the skin of lizards this summer. The model I got comes with a wireless receiver so as a measurement is made it is downloaded directly onto the computer. This allows for ease of measurements without a bunch of wires in the way. But what computer to use?I recently learned about windows 8 tablets that are a hybrid between a tablet and a pc and I wondered if we could take this wireless system on the road, making it portable and usable in the field. After some searching, I settled on an Acer tablet, with a full processor, running full windows 8. This tablet PC has a usb 3 port, which is essential since the wireless receiver connects via usb. Today in the lab I tried it out on my arm, taking 3 measurements per site, across three different sites, forearm, back of hand and palm. And after some troubleshooting, it worked well. Turn on vapometer, place on the skin, wait, water loss estimated, values sent to program on the computer along with ambient relative humidity and temperature. So, I now have a portable, wireless system to measure water loss. I’m going to look into more sturdy cases for the tablet, but once you set up the program with subjects, the measurements automatically are sent to the computer. I think this is pretty cool, and was amazed it all worked. I think it would have to be a two person job, or one person and a very carefully placed tablet. Is it ready for some field testing? We’ll see.
Here’s a picture of the setup. I have the bluetooth keyboard hooked up, but in the field this would not be needed at all. Any typing would be minimal, and could easily be done with the qwerty keyboard on the tablet.