In actual testing done at customer sites, using the high power option, there was not a place within 100 meters that we could not connect, including going through multiple walls that were made of drywall. The only time we lost transmission was when the walls were made of concrete or we had to pass through some metal doors. With normal labs and offices the signal went right through. In several cases, including a solar power scribing application where windowed doors had to be closed, we were getting a continuous connection as we walked around the spacious building into offices and labs. With the standard range option, the range should be about 1/3 of this i.e. 30 meters.
Power Meters FAQ's
At what frequency does the Quasar work? Might there be concerns with interference from other devices?
Quasar runs on Bluetooth, the 2.4-2.5GHz "ISM" band (ISM = Industrial, Scientific and Medical). This is the same band used by WiFi and other technologies. This frequency was chosen as it is available without restrictions around the world. Because other technologies also use it, Bluetooth has to be designed to tolerate interference from other sources. It does this by swapping between 79 channels, at 2.402GHz up to 2.480GHz (each channel is 1MHz). This type of modulation is called FHSS, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. If data does not get through on one channel it retries on a different channel. Other technologies, such as WiFi, use different techniques.
This design makes Bluetooth very robust. In principle, if there is another radio transmitter nearby that is using the same 2.4-2.5GHz band AND using the same modulation scheme, interference is a possibility, but not a real likelihood. If the other transmitter is using a different band, there should not be a problem, because there is very little interference produced at other higher or lower frequencies - this is checked during qualification of these devices for CE and FCC in RF test labs.
In general, Bluetooth is in common use everywhere, by cellular phone headsets, for example, so interference is not normally a significant risk factor.
Yes, we have an Android app that you can download from the Android Market place to run your Quasar on your Android device. Search for Ophir Optronics Quasar. You need to be running Android 2.3.3 or higher.
If using the Bluetooth radio USB adaptor supplied with the Quasar, the adaptor software should be installed first. Once that is complete, and the StarLab software installation is complete, you are ready to connect the Quasar. You may need to change the discovery settings on your PC to allow the Quasar to connect.
To accomplish this, go to the Bluetooth Settings on your PC and ensure you have checked "Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer".
If you have designed your own data collection software to take data from the USB on the Nova II, can you do the same with the Quasar?
You absolutely can use the Quasar to do data collection, but how similar the process will be depends on the type of sensor being used. If you are using Ophir Thermopile and Photodiode sensors, these work much the same way on the Quasar as they do on the Nova-II. You should be able to collect data in much the same way as you do today. You just need to establish a Bluetooth connection, open a COM port on the PC, and then can send commands as with the Nova II. You might need a small amount of low level code just to send/receive the commands and strip the prefix/suffix, which is not difficult. Ophir-Spiricon tech support can help.
The Quasar is no different than the other instruments that have electronic components: it requires annual recalibration. But it’s up to the customer whether to do this or not. We know that the calibration of the instruments degrades somewhat over time, as shown in the datasheet. This may or may not affect your particular application. To maintain compliance with ISO and other standards, we highly encourage annual recalibration.
Can one device transmit data to more than one Bluetooth receiver? What if you are reading the data on a laptop in the clean room (one area) while simultaneously recording the data in an adjacent office?
Unfortunately, this is not possible, at this point. The Quasar can establish a connection with only one host PC at a time. If you connect to the laptop in the clean room, you will not be able to then connect to another PC in an adjacent office; the Quasar will be locked out. You would have to cut the connection on the laptop before you could establish the connection to the second PC. On the other hand, the beauty of the Quasar is that you can ONLY connect to the second PC in the adjacent room, outside the clean room, and log all the data from there. There is no need for a laptop in the clean room, unless of course, if you need to observe data while in there, in which case you would have to do the above.