Frequently-Asked Questions

General

What is POGO?

POGO is system for obtaining superior insight into turf conditions, allowing better decisions to be made more efficiently and cost effectively, and ultimately resulting in healthier turf. The Pogo system is made up of the POGO hardware, the free TurfPro Mobile smartphone/tablet app, and the TurfPro Cloud analytics system.

The three most influential soil parameters which contribute the most impact on turfgrass health: moisture, salinity (electrical conductivity) and temperature. The POGO system provides measurement of all three simultaneously, and very easily using a rugged hardware device and the smartphone you already own. All captured data is immediately available on-site for immediate decisions and is synchronized with a cloud-based analysis application which visually identifies good or bad trends and tells you what you need to do and when.

The POGO is not just a tool that measures moisture, temp and salinity. It is a system that captures every important variable that goes in to every day decision-making. Those three variables happen to be at the heart of the agronomy focus of the turf system, but many other features we offer are at the heart of course conditioning and operational management. They are all equally valuable to the superintendent and turf manager.

How does it work?

The POGO Pro contains a GPS receiver, a Wi-Fi transmitter, and a patented multi-parameter soil sensor. It connects wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet which runs the free TurfPro Mobile app. The app is used to initiate the recording of soil sample data (user places the POGO in the turf, taps a button in the app to record the data, moves to next location). The app logs data measurements while displaying real-time analytics and assessments of turf/soil moisture, conductivity and temperature. Data is synchronized with the cloud-based TurfPro Cloud application (through the device’s internet connection) which offers in-depth turf and property insight and analysis.

Who is it for and what makes it unique?

For golf course superintendents who have limited time and budgets for maintaining optimal turf conditions, POGO is a portable, turf and soil insight system that provides superior insight into turf health and performance and the influences on it. Unlike soil moisture sensors, POGO is the only research-grade, all-in-one system that measures all three critical parameters, providing near real-time analysis and logging of information in a cloud-based system.

Analysis

How does POGO help me optimize my irrigation program?

Moisture, EC and temperature are recorded along with the precise GPS location with every sample taken with the POGO. The Visual Insight™ reports show varying levels of moisture on each zone by interpolating values between samples and illustrating with color-coded areas on a satellite map. Because EC is measured, the moisture level is extremely accurate (since EC has an effect on the true moisture reading or moisture availability as the plant sees it). By viewing today’s and past Visual Insight reports, along with automatically-generated distribution uniformity analysis, you can see how moisture changes day to day or is impacted by routine operational procedures, and therefore know how your irrigation methods should be adjusted.

Can the data indicate the right time to flush?

Yes. By trending EC over time, it is easy to assess when it reaches a high level, prompting flushing needs.

How can the POGO identify moisture issues?

Compare variations within a zone and particularly from day to day. Easily complete distribution uniformity assessments. Utilize the powerful TurfPro Cloud analytics system for advanced analysis.

Measurement

Can pH be measured with the sensor in the soil?

No, pH is a measurement in solution. Soil consists of solution, air and particles.

Does the POGO directly measure salt / salinity?

It does not directly measure “Salt” (NaCl). But it does measure salinity activity by measuring EC. All salts (+ and – ions) in solution add to EC.

Does the POGO need to know what soil type my turf is growing in?

No. The POGO requires no calibration across turf/soil types and remains scientifically accurate and precise across measurements.

How accurate is the GPS?

Smartphone GPS receivers are rated at 4.6 m (16 ft) accuracy. However, the integrated GPS in the POGO Pro+ and POGO Pro has sub-meter accuracy when receiving signals from 9 or more GPS satellites.

How does the sensor in the POGO differ from other sensors?

Using the patented and unique Stevens HydraProbe sensor and its coaxial impedance dielectric reflectometry protocol, the POGO measures WFV and EC to an accuracy of ±1% without any calibration in any soil. Visit soilsensor.com to learn more about various measurement methods.

How does the POGO take its measurements?

Using a precisely-tuned and unique process focusing on dielectric permittivity of moisture and EC, making it the only commercially-available research-grade sensor requiring no calibration across turf/soil types. Surface temperature is measured using a thermistor in the plate that rests on the turf (POGO Pro) or via an infrared sensor (POGO Pro+). Soil temperature is measured via depth-adjustable stainless steel probe (POGO Pro+ only).

What is the relationship between EC and water %?

In many cases, as moisture goes up, salts in solution go up and therefore EC goes up. But this is not always the case and EC-to-moisture ratios change from many affecting variables in turf dynamics.

Miscelaneous

Is POGO available in different colors?

Yes, you can order your POGO Pro+ or Pro in green, black, blue, red and silver. Other than the color, the product is identical. The POGO Mini is only available in black.

What is the warranty?

All three POGO models are warranted to be free from defects for 2 years.

Can the POGO get wet?

The outside of the POGO can come into contact with wet grass and is fairly water resistant overall. However, do not submerge in water above the sensor area.

Do I have to insert the POGO fully into the turf/soil?

Yes, push the tines into the turf/soil and have the stainless steel base plate firmly in contact with the turf or soil surface.

How long can the data be stored on the smartphone?

Indefinitely. Historical data needs to be manually cleared/deleted by the user from the device. However, if utilizing the TurfPro Cloud analytics system, after an upload of data, the data is cleared from the app and saved indefinitely in your cloud account.

Operation

Can I communicate with the POGO and my cellular network or WiFi network at the same time?

Yes—two separate, independent radio protocols are used.

Do portable devices such as Android tablets, iPads or the iPod Touch, that don’t communicate via cellular, still work with the POGO?

Yes, as long the device includes Bluetooth wireless it will work.

Why does the POGO utilize a mobile app to view its readings?

The POGO utilizes mobile app technology to provide a rich user interface to make it easy to take samples, view data and make timely decisions. Rather than integrate a small text-only display and difficult-to-use buttons, we can leverage the power of touchscreen gestures, color graphics, and synchronization with the cloud. In addition, customers can choose to update the interface with improvements and additional features as they are released.

How long will the tines last?

The tines integrated with the sensor have a 2 year warranty. The tines are made of very high marine grade stainless steel built to last through years of use in all turf/soil types.

Can I replace the tines on the POGO?

If the tines get damaged, the entire integrated sensor assembly can be replaced as one unit.

How long will the batteries last when charged?

The POGO can easily endure a full day of heavy use before needing to be recharged.

How long does it take to charge?

Up to 2 hours if the batteries are very low.

How long should I put the POGO sensor in one location before I take a reading?

For the POGO Pro, the first measurement in a zone should be taken after inserting the POGO Pro for 30 seconds, to acclimate the temperature sensor to the turf’s temperature. Each successive reading takes about 3 seconds.

For the POGO Pro+, surface temperature is measured via an infrared sensor which is instantaneous, so no acclimation period is required for the first measurement.

How many measurements should I take per area?

About 9-12 samples per average size putting green. For larger areas, take more samples. Smaller areas like tees should have at least 5 or 6 samples depending on their size. 9 samples will give you a representative sampling of a typical size putting green.

Do I need to have a cellular connection in order to use the TurfPro Mobile app?

In Internet connection is used to retrieve satellite map imagery upon which your current location is shown. Whether the Internet connection is provided via a cellular connection or some other connection doesn’t matter. If there is no Internet connection, the app can still be used, but only map imagery that has previously been downloaded in a session will be available.

POGO Turf Pro Cloud

Is there an additional cost to using the TurfPro Cloud analytics system?

Yes. There are packages available for various access and features. Every POGO comes with free 30 days of access to TurfPro Cloud.

Do I need to use the cloud application to access the data?

Moisture, EC and temperature data can be emailed in a .CSV file. However, since the Visual Insight reports use the GPS coordinates to display your data visually on an actual satellite map, we know you’ll find the value of the TurfPro Cloud application extremely high. Plus, you can try for 30 days for free.

About 90% of all POGO users purchase a full TurfPro Cloud account.

Do I need to purchase a TurfPro Cloud subscription for every user who wishes to synchronize data and share it with the rest of the team?

No, only one TurfPro Cloud subscription is required per property. There is no limit to the number of users for the property, the number of POGOs that can be connected nor the amount of data can be put through the system.

Salinity/EC

Does the POGO directly measure salt / salinity?

It does not directly measure “Salt” (NaCl). But it does measure salinity activity by measuring EC. All salts (+ and – ions) in solution add to EC.

What is the relationship between EC and water %?

In many cases, as moisture goes up, salts in solution go up and therefore EC goes up. But this is not always the case and EC-to-moisture ratios change from many affecting variables in turf dynamics.

Why do I need to measure EC if I don’t have a salt problem?

If you use fertilizer, you are adding salts continually. Unless your turf is consistently 100% perfect, any problem areas may be because of a “salt problem” or better stated, a salinity problem—you just don’t know if they are from overwatering, under watering, over fertilizing, under fertilizing, incorrect fertilizer application, or some cultural ailment, etc. The only way to know is to measure salinity along with moisture and temperature, and to trend this information over time so that you see an issue before the symptom shows up in your turf system.

Sensor

Can pH be measured with the sensor in the soil?

No, pH is a measurement in solution. Soil consists of solution, air and particles.

How does the sensor in the POGO differ from other sensors?

Using the patented and unique Stevens HydraProbe sensor and its coaxial impedance dielectric reflectometry protocol, the POGO measures WFV and EC to an accuracy of ±1% without any calibration in any soil. Visit soilsensor.com to learn more about various measurement methods.

How long will the tines last?

The tines integrated with the sensor have a 2 year warranty. The tines are made of very high marine grade stainless steel built to last through years of use in all turf/soil types.

Can I replace the tines on the POGO?

If the tines get damaged, the entire integrated sensor assembly can be replaced as one unit.

Shouldn’t POGO measure the moisture content across a deeper depth (to insure it include the entire root system?)

No! The predominant moisture and salinity exchange with the root system of all types of turf occurs in t the top 2” to 2.5” of the root system. This is why POGO was designed to measure the top 2.2” inches for moisture and salinity. When the sensor is measuring too deep, you are diluting the measurement outside of the most influential region.

Why can’t I choose the length of tines for the POGO, so I can measure at the depth I need for the location I’m at?

Even in deep-rooted systems, the predominant exchange of moisture and salinity that the turfgrass depends on for optimal performance occurs in the top 2 to 2.5”. This is always the region you want to measure and reference against over time. By varying the depth, you will end up basing your decisions off of invalid information. An independent study has been conducted that verifies this and is available upon request.

I only have roots that are 1” deep. Don’t I want to measure to a depth of 1”?

Even if roots are very shallow (1”), due to natural capillary activity in a turfgrass root zone, this shallow root system is still predominantly influenced by the top 2 to 2.5” of the root zone medium.

Why does the POGO have 4 metal tines?

It’s a uniquely patented design that maximizes sampling size and precision while utilizing a unique, scientifically precise and accurate measurement method called “Coaxial Impedance Dielectric Reflectometry“.