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Robotguy 01-13-2013 11:35 PM

DIY-ish glass drop checker
I've built 1 or 2 plastic drop checker before but I've always wanted a nice glass bulb drop checker. This morning I was window shopping at GLA and saw the Clip-n and thought "Hey, i've got some glassware that looks kinda like that. Maybe I can make one."

I collect cool looking glassware from the surplus store at my local university (The Bargain Barn at UC Davis) and happened upon some 1.25" diameter round flasks with 4.75" long necks. Perfect.

Unfortunately I couldn't manage to bend the neck with my little butane torch, so I tried using an ampule that I had picked up at the same time. It wasn't easy to bend the neck nicely but it looks like it's working:

OK, so it's pretty ugly, but buoyed by my success I tried again with the tiny flask:

I shoved a piece of tiny styrene tubing in and filled a small (unsharpened) syringe with some drop-checker solution:

And here's the final result (the flask was just added so the solution hasn't had time to react yet):

It's not really very DIY because the hard part was done when I bought the flasks and I'll never be able to find more, but I'm excited because I picked up 10 of these flasks for about $0.50 each. Attempt #2 resulted in broken glass, so we'll see if I can even manage to reproduce these. It could have just been beginner's luck.

If I can make some more, I'll probably RAOK a few and then see if I can trade for some decent shrimp for the new tank.

blink 01-14-2013 12:06 AM

That looks really nice, good job!

Robotguy 01-14-2013 03:21 AM


Originally Posted by blink (Post 2234786)
That looks really nice, good job!


Well it looks like I can make more than one:

I also have one on my 40b with a much wider arc in the neck to fit over the rim:

HD Blazingwolf 01-14-2013 02:11 PM

is there any way u can flare the neck where it interfaces with water?
this will increase the response time of the drop checker if so

Robotguy 01-15-2013 01:19 AM


Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf (Post 2238906)
is there any way u can flare the neck where it interfaces with water?

I gave it a quick try, but it looks like I'll have to lathe a flaring tool out of aluminum or something. I'll probably give that a shot in a day or two.

Robotguy 01-16-2013 05:07 AM

Score at the surplus store today:

And a few trial pieces:

Robotguy 01-21-2013 06:13 PM

OK, I've been practicing a bit and will be posting the extras (I only have 2 tanks) on the RAOK forum in a half hour or so. I wanted followers of this thread to have first crack (no pun intended :icon_wink (Well, OK. Yes, it was :hihi: ))

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