This Note is concerned with problems using PRXM or PRUPLOAD, or the equivalent function on the Macintosh.
It deals with...

Checking Port

Use the PRXM menu item Test Communications (or the programme TEST) to confirm which serial ports are installed.

If you are using PRUPLOAD v1 and you need to change the port you will now need to run  PR4 and on the Defaults Screen set...
   COMMS. device: COM1: (orCOM2:)
   COMMS. baud+: 300,N,8,2,CS0,DS0,CD0

Assuming the upload does not work properly, the RS232 link can be tested as follows...

1. Plug the Hydroprobe into the charger.

2. Check that the baud rate in the Hydroprobe is set to 300, by pressing the buttons...

<ENTER>   read BDR 300 (or some other number)
<STEP>   untill read BDR 300
<CLEAR>   read READY

3. Connect the Hydroprobe to the Serial Port (COM1:) of the computer.

4. On the computer, run PRXM  (or PRUPLOAD) and choose Test Communications (TERMINAL MODE in Prupload).  Accept (or change) the communication port parameters. They should be...

300 baud  Options: DS0,CS0,CD0   (PRXM)

300,N,8,2,DS0,CS0,CD0    (PRUPLOAD)

Press <F10>.

An error message at this point, such as Error 24 Timeout, means that there is either something wrong with the communication Port Parameters, or the cable is not plugged into the Port.

You are now in 'Terminal Mode' -  any data sent from the Hydroprobe will appear on the computer screen, anything you type is sent to the Hydroprobe,

When finished with the following tests, quit TERMINAL MODE by pressing <ESC>.

Testing Probe Head to Computer

To test that the Hydroprobe is capable of sending to the computer...

On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...

<STEP>   untill read PRINT LP
<ENTER>   read LN 45 or some other number)

You should now see the output from the Hydroprobe on the computer screen.

If there is nothing on the screen, but the Hydroprobe counts down, it means that the RS232 cable is not connected to the Serial Port, or it is broken.

If there is nothing on the screen, and the Probe Head does not count down, disconnect the silver RS232 plug from the Hydroprobe. If the Hydroprobe now counts down, it means that a signal wire (RTS) is stopping the data. This could mean that the cable is connected to the wrong plug or socket on the computer, typically the printer port instead of the serial port. If you are sure it is in the right port, add RS to the end of the communication parameters...

Options: DS0,CS0,CD0,RS (PRXM)

Settings: 300,N,8,2,DS0,CS0,CD0,RS (PRUPLOAD)

Testing Computer to Hydroprobe

To test that the computer is capable of sending to the Hydroprobe

On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...

<STEP>   untill read PRINT CD
<ENTER> read LN 45 (or some other number)

You should now see the first header line output from the Hydroprobe on the computer screen. This shows only that the computer is receiving data.

Press key <Ctrl+F> (that is Ctrl and F at the same time) on the computer. The next line should appear on the computer screen, and the Hydroprobe should count down. If there is no response, it implies that there is a broken connection, possibly a break in the cable.

Reset Hydroprobe

It is essential at the end of testing to leave the Hydroprobe in PRINT CD mode. On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...

<STEP>   untillread PRINT CD

Wait untill there is a TIMEOUT on the Hydroprobe, but it will now be in PRINT CD mode.
To save waiting, you can go to READY mode by holding <STEP> and then also pressing <CLEAR>.

Neutron Probe Battery

The battery is a Ni-Cad, and unless it is discharged regularly it will lose its ability to store a charge (just like mobile telephones)

Most of the battery power used by the neutron probe occurs while uploading data - very little power is used while taking readings in the field. If a unit is used for downloading for 30 minutes, then it needs charging for at least 90 minutes.

The safe policy is to connect the charger while uploading, but to then disconnect the charger so that it will eventually need a full re-charge. Current is flowing from the charger if the red light on the charger is on.

If the battery voltage gets low, the unit will first give a warning, and then automatically shutdown.

1 Low battery warning (less than 9.6v) - dot to left of display...


2 Unit shutdown (less than 9.4v) - display shows...


3 The unit should immediately be connected to the charging unit. When the internal voltage rises to 10.6v, the unit must be re-started by pressing the <CLEAR> key

4 Some units appear to freeze-up, with no button working on the keyboard but without the low battery warnings. They will continue operation after charging.