PC-Based Interfaces: Labworks
THE NETWORK CONTROLLER AND STUDENT STATIONS
Does each student workstation need maintenance & regular upgrading?
No. MeasureNet student data stations were designed as “dumb terminals” with little processing power and no significant memory or storage drive. This eliminates the need for upgrades and reduces station maintenance. Processor and memory in our network design resides in the central network controller. The expected life expectancy of student data stations in a wet lab environment is 10-15 years. Network software upgrades occur at the network controller via the internet, not at individual stations. Update an entire 15-station network in a single stroke!
How is a MeasureNet spectrometer different from an Ocean Optics spectrometer?
Unlike Ocean Optics spectrometers, MeasureNet's shared adaptation is not tied to individual PCs. A single spectrometer is efficiently shared by up to 12-student pairs in a teaching laboratory. You would need 12 PC-based spectrometers and their associated PCs to perform similar emission or absorption measurements as efficiently.
I have "Spectronic 20" spectrophotometers in my lab. How is the MeasureNet spectrometer different?
MeasureNet designed each of its 12-station networks to share a single, diode array visible or UV-vis spectrometer. Unlike traditional single-wavelength devices such as the "Spec 20", a MeasureNet spectrometer is a scanning device with considerable range (visible 400-1000 nm, 1 nm resolution; UV-vis 200-850 nm; 1 nm resolution). It is capable of both emission and absorption measurement via a fiber optic cable.
I have HP spectrometers in my labs. Aren't they the same as MeasureNet spectrometers?
No. Unlike MeasureNet spectrometers, most are incapable of emission measurement. They are also designed for individual use and require a PC as an interface, increasing the maintenance and repurchasing costs. A single networked MeasureNet shared spectrometer can perform the functions of up to 12 equivalent stand-alone PC-interfaced spectrometers.
How do we avoid backups as multiple students use the shared spectrometer for kinetics experiments?
MeasureNet has introduced a new multi-function colorimeter. The instrument attaches to each station and can be used for kinetics experiments, as well as fluorescence and turbidity acquisitions. The colorimeter has a dual-beam design for reduced drift-rate and has factory-customizable LEDs at various wavelengths. Learn More
How is MeasureNet's drop counter different from other drop counters?
MeasureNet designed the fist infrared drop counter, introduced to MeasureNet users in 2002. Traditional drop counters used metal wires to count drops that were easily damaged during use. MeasureNet uses an infrared beam to count drops for improved productivity and accuracy when performing titrations. Its compact design is an industry standard, providing support for a temperature probe and pH electrode.
Some PC-based competitors have introduced similar drop counters after MeasureNet. But unlike the MeasureNet drop counter, alternate designs often need larger volume beakers and have exposed infrared cells that can deteriorate with exposure to acids and bases.
Wouldn't it be awkard for students to share just one pc for data analysis?
It would be, but students don’t typically use the single PC provisioned for each network. The MeasureNet PC is intended to store data, interface with the shared printer, help instructors monitor experiments on the network, and upload data to the MeasureNet web-based data storage site for later downloading and analysis. Students can perform needed analysis on the existing PC infrastructure of the department or campus.
Aren't the displays on the terminals too small for analysis?
Yes. They provide only immediate visual feedback for collections. Printing the collected data will give the best resolution. Students also can use MeasureNet "print codes" to perform initial analysis on their data from the MeasureNet stations. Data sets can also be distributed to existing PCs in the department or student dorms/homes using the department's local area network or MeasureNet's web-based storage facility for further analysis.
Is a MeasureNet solution more expensive than a PC-based solution?
No. If a department is purchasing PCs, printers, and interfaces with probeware for a typical 24-student lab, the initial cost is often less with MeasureNet. Long-term costs savings are significant with MeasureNet due to decreased maintenance & upgrades.
How much money will I save with a MeasureNet system?
Departments save up to $70,000 over a 10-year period. The costs of PC upgrades, software licensing, electricity, and technical support balloon with other solutions over time.
PC-BASED INTERFACES : LABWORKS
Now that Labworks units are no longer produced, can its probes be used with MeasureNet?
Typically, pH and ion-selective electrodes using coaxial connectors can be used with a MeasureNet System. Many digital balances with an RS-232 out and Spectronic 20 type instruments with voltage out can be adapted as well. Customers converting to MeasureNet, however, need to purchase MeasureNet-specific probes for other data acquisition activities.
More on PC-based Interfaces versus MeasureNet