Looking for a way to get up and running quickly with an RTD and temp monitor model 218. I'm looking to measure the temperature of a bulk superconductor within a cryostat and cooled down past Tc with a cryocooler. I was planning on performing a bench experiment with a platinum RTD (PT-102-AL) first and then move to the actual experiment with a Cernox RTD. Unsure how to setup the equipment and hookup sensor.
I have experience with shock and vibration instrumentation such as accelerometers, load cells, and VXI based data acquisition systems but have no experience using temperature measurement besides just basic thermocouple theory. Any links to tutorials on how to setup the instrumentation would be greatly appreciated.
There are several configuration settings that need to be entered to tell the monitor you are using a Platinum Sensor connected to a specific input and how you want the information displayed. Finally, you will need to connect the sensor using a 4-wire connection method.
Our service department will be more than happy to talk you through the setup if you give us a call at 614-891-2243 and select option 2 for service.
Post by Lake Shore Ryan on Jan 5, 2018 18:39:43 GMT -5
Nice idea starting out with a bench test. Using the platinum sensor will give you experience wiring up your connector in a 4-lead configuration like Jeff M suggested (see section 188.8.131.52 of the manual) and will give you experience configuring the 218 for that sensor. I'd suggest connecting the sensor to the Input 1 pins (pins 3, 4, 15, 16) of the 25-pin connector (see section 184.108.40.206 of the manual).
Once physically connected, it's going to be easy to set up since the platinum sensor follows a standard curve and you only need to set the Sensor Input Type to 250 Ohm Plat (see section 4.5 of the manual). As soon as you do this for Input 1, your 218 should now be reporting the resistance of the sensor, which would be around 110 Ω at room temperature.
The next step will be to tell the instrument that this is a PT-100 series sensor so that it can report in temperature units (kelvins by default). Section 4.6 of the manual will show you how to do this, you'll want to select Curve Number 6 so that PT-100 is displayed on the screen. Once you've assigned this curve to input 1, your home screen should now be showing a room temperature reading in Kelvin. Now you're ready for the big league.
Cernox sensor are a little more complicated unfortunately, they don't use a standard curve so you'll need to load the sensor's calibration curve onto the instrument. Before you do this though, you should change the Input type (section 4.5) to Cernox. So the 218 supplies the sensor with the correct excitation.
Now you'll need to use our Curve Handler software (free) to load your calibration curve onto the instrument. Hopefully you have something on hand to communicate with an RS-232 DB9 serial port. The 218 is one of our older instruments, so it's not very user friendly to get this done. To quote the manual:
Section 4.6 Curve Select: User curves must be stored in the same location number as the sensor input. Once an appropriate user curve stores for a sensor input, it can be selected just like standard curves, but it can be used for only one input.
The curve format you'll want to use is the .340 file that should have come with your calibrated Cernox sensor. Let me know if you have an issue with any of this. It definitely confused me the first time I tried to use a 218.
Use the process in section 4.6 again to select this new user curve for input 1, then you should be back to seeing a real sensor temperature on your front screen. At this point, I'd suggest reading chapter 2 of the manual for a primer on working with cryogenic environments if you don't have that background already.
Just a quick warning too: Take a look at your Cernox calibration document and make sure that the Cernox sensor doesn't exceed 7500 Ω at the temperatures you're expecting to measure. If you're measuring a low temperature superconductor, you might be seeing temperatures that would cause some Cernox sensors to overload the Model 218 monitor. If this is the case, I'd suggest getting a calibrated DT-670 silicon diode sensor instead. They can measure down to 1.4 K on the 218 and will generally cost less than a Cernox. They just aren't any good in magnetic fields.
Hopefully this is helpful in getting you going with the 218. It's hard to give a thorough run down of our instruments in a single forum post. Please let me know how you go, I'm writing this all without a 218 running next to me, so hopefully I'm not leading you astray with my suggestions .
Thanks again Ryan. I am having trouble connecting to the 218 although. I am running Windows 10 and I am using an USB to Serial adapter. Win I run the curve handler software and try to connect through the software, I receive a message that I cannot connect to the instrument. Any known issues with using Win 10?
It is a Staples brand model 18762 which I believe uses the Prolific (PL2303) windows driver that I downloaded from their website. I am using a serial cable between the 218 and the adapter but unsure if it is a null modem. How can you tell?
Post by Lake Shore Jeff M on Mar 8, 2018 7:08:35 GMT -5
The easiest way to determine if the cable is a Straight or Null Modem cable is to see how pins 2 & 3 are wired. A straight serial cable wires pin 2 to pin 2 and 3 to 3 where a Null Modem cable wires pins 2 to 3 and 3 to 2. If the 9-pin connector of the adapter is a Male connector, you will need the Null Modem cable.