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Thread: Sap spy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ANDOVER, VT
    Posts
    760

    Default Sap spy

    Is anyone in maple country using a sap spy sensor hub?
    Looking for a little insight on it if you could.
    Reliability, accuracy, and easy function??

    Thank you
    Pm
    vacuum
    RO
    filter press
    auto draw
    New leader oil fired


    http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww123/jtrap/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,648

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    Ask me again in late-April....just ordered 3 units to test. They should arrive early next week. Although we use a Smartrek system and have over 100 sensors in the woods and in sheds, our internet goes out with some regularity...especially during the spring when we need it the most. Since this works entirely on cellular, we thought we'd give it a try as a backup system and also to provide a review of it. So far I can tell you that ordering was quick and easy and all pre-sale questions were answered promptly. Nice online videos on installation and operation. Has alarms you can set for different tank and vacuum levels. Looks very straight-forward and easy to us. There will be a renewal fee for cellular annually, but the first year start-up cost is included in the price.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 02-25-2021 at 02:05 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    ANDOVER, VT
    Posts
    760

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    Thanks DR Tim.
    I would be interested to hear how they work out for you. One of our sugarbushs is 30mins away. And to drive over just to find 200 gallons in the tank. Or worse to find the tank overflowing is a struggle.
    vacuum
    RO
    filter press
    auto draw
    New leader oil fired


    http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww123/jtrap/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,648

    Default

    Crew will be installing them in the next couple of days. Good setup instructional videos on their website. Looks pretty simple and straightforward.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    I'm curious about this. I'm interested in doing some remote monitoring, primarily for vac levels in the woods. It's hard to tell from their website if this system would be ideal. I like that it uses the cellular network, but beyond that I'm not sure if this would really work for me. It looks like they just use the hub and not specific sensors... right?

    Dr. Tim. Howare you using this system at PMRC? Tank level monitoring?
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  6. #6
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    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralStark View Post
    Dr. Tim. How are you using this system at PMRC? Tank level monitoring?
    We will use all the functions: temperature, vacuum level, and tank level. Looks like the vac and temp are in the box, but the tank level sensor connects via a wire. Seems to be targeted at smaller to moderate-sized producers and is reasonably priced. Basically we're just trying it out so we can answer questions and as a backup to our H2O Smartrek (ST) system. The ST system works well, but our internet itself is flaky...especially in the spring (seems to be a perpetual problem...cold/wet causes issues). Since SapSpy works on cellular, it doesn't require our network to be working. Secondarily, ST doesn't do so well with Apple phones....it is made to run on Android systems. All of us at UVM PMRC have iPhones. We'll use the SapSpy system as a backup if something really bad happens. It won't give us info about each of our individual mainlines, but if an entire pump goes down or a tank is about to overflow, it'll let us know.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 03-02-2021 at 12:45 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Suamico, WI
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    I know the design/ builder well, he is 30 minutes away and runs a decent size sugar operation. Multiple units were beta tested last season and they felt worked very well. He has an engineering background also
    custom made 2x7 intensofire
    With SL pans
    250 deer run
    300 3/16 (new 2016)
    500 sacks around the neighborhood

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sunapee, NH
    Posts
    154

    Default

    i have had the SapSpy in our woods for just over a week now. I think its the best in between option from a wifi camera set up and a full scale monitoring system. I've had great luck with it telling me what the vacuum is and the tank volumes. Super super easy to install and use. My temperature is off because the vacuum pump throws heat through the wall and screws up the sensor for an actual reading. Awesome to be able to check what the vacuum is while your working in the woods to see if the leaks you've fixed are actually helping or there is a bigger leak somewhere else. I'd buy another one in a heart beat. Actually convinced my buddy to buy one for his remote woods.
    Harding Hill Farm
    2650 taps
    3rd Generation Sugar Maker with a Chocolate Lab named Acer

    http://www.hardinghillfarm.com
    www.facebook.com/hardinghillfarmnh

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Sugaringman, would you be willing to share the setup you purchased? Number of sensors and such.
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- 3300 taps made 900 gallons.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Sounds like this is a good option if you want to monitor vac, tank levels, and temp. in your sugarhouse, at a pump station, or at a releaser/tank location. Probably not the best option for monitoring mainline vacuum in the woods for leak detection. For that a basic monitoring system with several sensors is probably cheaper and more effective.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

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