This Note is concerned with problems using
or the equivalent function on the Macintosh.
It deals with...
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
and on the Defaults Screen set...
COMMS. device: COM1: (or
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...
3. Connect the Hydroprobe to the Serial Port (COM1:) of the computer.
4. On the computer, run
PRUPLOAD) and choose
Communications (TERMINAL MODE in Prupload). Accept (or change) the
communication port parameters. They should be...
300 baud Options: DS0,CS0,CD0 (PRXM)
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
To test that the Hydroprobe is capable of sending to the computer...
On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...
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)
To test that the computer is capable of sending to the Hydroprobe
On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...
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.
<Ctrl+F> (that is
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.
It is essential at the end of testing to leave the Hydroprobe in PRINT CD mode. On the Hydroprobe, press the buttons...
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
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
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.