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Frequently Asked Questions

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Software & Data Processing

The spike seen in the pump out phase is due to the commencement of flow and reagents/material that is outside the optical path initially but is swept through the optical path during flush out. The spike is accepted as normal behavior of the system and does not affect data quality.

Scientific

The ECO-PAR, due to the nature of PAR sensors, cannot be accurately calibrated outside of the Sea-Bird facility. However, there are some functionality tests that can aid in pre-deployment. A bright flashlight can validate whether the instrument sees light at all.
On a bench test one should see between 1000-4000 counts normally with the instrument in the white cap standing up on the benchtop. Use a terminal program to see the raw counts, such as Tera Term, and point a flashlight beam near the white cap. Doing so with a functioning unit will cause the counts to go to approximately a couple of thousand in a hair trigger fashion. It should be possible to decrease the counts on a properly functioning instrument by cupping ones hands around the white cap to shield it from light. It should be easy to get a response of a couple of hundred counts total in doing this. In the field if you shine a flashlight beam directly into the optics will see low level ambient light and it is easy to regulate the output in counts at the low end of the range (less than 1000 counts) when it is functioning normally. If your unit is not properly functioning, it will go from 50-ish to a couple of thousand counts and it will be very difficult or impossible to get an output of a couple of hundred counts. While the ranges of the response may differ between PAR models, these tests can be used with other PAR sensors to verify operation.

There are two optional modifications that can be done to your 9p at our facility (during service or as part of your original order) that will allow the 9p CTD to operate in freshwater deployments. The 9p’s pump will not operate in freshwater without these options.
First, the Modem Pump Control, allows you to control the pump directly, bypassing the requirement for it to see a certain conductivity frequency to activate. (On other CTD’s we can change this conductivity value to allow both freshwater and saltwater).
The second option is the freshwater contact pin, an optional pin modification that allows for the detection of fresh water by the 9p.

Field Procedures & Deployment

The ECO-PAR, due to the nature of PAR sensors, cannot be accurately calibrated outside of the Sea-Bird facility. However, there are some functionality tests that can aid in pre-deployment. A bright flashlight can validate whether the instrument sees light at all.
On a bench test one should see between 1000-4000 counts normally with the instrument in the white cap standing up on the benchtop. Use a terminal program to see the raw counts, such as Tera Term, and point a flashlight beam near the white cap. Doing so with a functioning unit will cause the counts to go to approximately a couple of thousand in a hair trigger fashion. It should be possible to decrease the counts on a properly functioning instrument by cupping ones hands around the white cap to shield it from light. It should be easy to get a response of a couple of hundred counts total in doing this. In the field if you shine a flashlight beam directly into the optics will see low level ambient light and it is easy to regulate the output in counts at the low end of the range (less than 1000 counts) when it is functioning normally. If your unit is not properly functioning, it will go from 50-ish to a couple of thousand counts and it will be very difficult or impossible to get an output of a couple of hundred counts. While the ranges of the response may differ between PAR models, these tests can be used with other PAR sensors to verify operation.

There are two optional modifications that can be done to your 9p at our facility (during service or as part of your original order) that will allow the 9p CTD to operate in freshwater deployments. The 9p’s pump will not operate in freshwater without these options.
First, the Modem Pump Control, allows you to control the pump directly, bypassing the requirement for it to see a certain conductivity frequency to activate. (On other CTD’s we can change this conductivity value to allow both freshwater and saltwater).
The second option is the freshwater contact pin, an optional pin modification that allows for the detection of fresh water by the 9p.

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