Alternative to a radiator balancing thermometer

Any satisfactory alternatives to a 'proper' thermometer for balancing radiators? I don't want to buy a special one for just one job, and I have plenty of mercury/alcohol glass tube thermometers, which could be used with some adaptation.
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You could get a tube of heat sink compound and dab a dot on the radiator feeds so it makes good thermal contact with the thermometer bulb.
I used an electronic probe thermometer, but still used heatsink compound to make a good thermal contact. Otherwise temperature reading drifts all over the place.
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Andrew Gabriel

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