The quality of the Alpha is checked by the instrument itself. When the SoilWizard is started the software will ask to perform a quick instrument test. This is a check to see if you can continue with you soil measurements. To perform this test you should place the gold cup in the Alpha and click ‘continue’ (figure 1).
Figure 1: To start a test
The system can also ask for an additional PQ test. This is a thorough instrument check. The SoilWizard automatically asks for a PQ test once a week. You also require a PQ test when the quick instrument test has failed.
Figure 2: Indication light
On the lower right part of your screen you can see the status light (figure 2). If the light is green then all is fine and you can continue to work. If it’s grey then the Alpha is not connected to the software. If the status light is orange then the PQ test has expired. A red light means that the PQ test failed and that additional action needs to be taken. Double click the indication light to navigate to the ‘Instrument Status’ (figure 3).
Figure 3: Instrument Status window
If the PQ test has expired then this will be visible in the Instrument Status window. The Drift menu will show the text “Expired”. Double click the Drift menu to navigate to the ‘OVP Measurement Dialog’ window (figure 4). You can start a new PQ test by checking the box for ‘Run PQ Test’ and then to click the ‘Run Tests’ button.
Important: the Alpha needs to be on for at least 1 hour before doing any tests; the gold cup needs to be inside the Alpha before doing any test.
Figure 4: OVP Measurement Dialog window
When the PQ test is done a report will be produced (figure 5). A successful test will show that each of the three test has passed. In that case the indication light on the lower right part of your window will turn green and you will be able to continue working.
Figure 5: Results of the PQ test, test has passed
If one or more tests have failed then you can’t continue to scan with the Alpha. The problem needs to be fixed first. Please check the following things:
- Was the Alpha really on for more than an hour before doing the test?
- Was the gold cup in the Alpha before doing the test?
- Is the gold cup clean?
- Is the Alpha in a horizontal position?
- Are the front and back part of the Alpha properly connected?
- Is the Alpha not interfered by vibrations? E.g. the Frisch mill standing on the same table and causing vibrations, heavy traffic passing by at the moment of measurement, someone bumping into the table during measurement, etc.
- Are the front mirrors of the Alpha clean? Cleaning Alpha mirrors.
- Are the back mirrors of the Alpha clean? Cleaning Alpha mirrors.
- Does de desiccant needs replacement? Changing the desiccant.
- Was de Alpha calibrated after changing the desiccant? Changing the desiccant.
- Check the interferometer (figure 3, third menu). Are there any error messages displayed? If so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If these suggestions did not solve the problem, them please contact us via email@example.com.