Damark has a Chlorine and pH Electro-Tester Item No. B-40070-426137 on sale for $29.99 was $39.99, typical price is about $59.95. Call 1-800-729-9000 to order. Was in the just released Jul 97 catalog. Uses one AA battery. Is a white hand held meter with a two terminal probe for the water. Could be useful with hydroponics and gardening in general for pH measurements. For after PS I suspect it to be cheaper in the long run and to last longer and be more accurate than stockpiling pool test kits and or pH paper. One or more rechargeable AA batteries could be recharged from a 12V DC system with a simple limiting resistor.
I was able to find a simple pH meter with no batteries. Found it at a large Armstrong Garden Centers, Inc. Manufacture is Rapitest distributed by Luster Leaf Products, Inc. 2220 Techcourt, Woodstock, Il. 60098. Cost was $19.99 before tax. Has one probe that is stuck into the wet soil that is made with two different types of metals insulated apart to make two separate electrodes. The acid or base of the soil makes a battery that moves a meter needle away from pH 7 (no flow or zero point) to Alkaline (positive flow) or Acid (negative flow). The pH scale runs from 3.5 to 9.
The instructions for use are a bit complicated and include shining or removing the oxide from the probe before each use. Under tips on testing it says - Use the Meter Only in Soil. Do Not Place the Probe into Water. Don't see any good reason for this statement, unless if you let it sit in water for a while, water may seep past the plastic seal between the two electrodes and possibly short to some extent the electrodes from the inside out, decreasing it's sensitivity.
Offered by Mike.