The Alpha sensor has several lights that help the user to keep track of the instrument performance. In this article we explain the meaning of the lights and how to act when they give a warning. These are 1) the status LED on the top of the Alpha, 2) the instrument status in the software and 3) the lights on the rear side of the Alpha.
The alpha has a status LED which is located on the top of the spectrometer as shown in the picture.
There are slight changes in the meaning of the indicator lights between different Alpha serial numbers.
Green - permanent; The Alpha operates properly
Green - flashing; The Alpha is in stand-by mode
Green/red combination; Alpha is initializing, internal test failed
Yellow; Alpha is in the initialization phase, or it is a warning message (e.g. the Alpha is still heating up and hasn't reached it operating temperature, the Alpha is too hot (>35ᵒC), the humidity inside the Alpha is too high, etc)
Red; The Alpha is not able to operate, front and back of the Alpha are not properly connected, an internal test or calibration is needed, there is a malfunctioning, there is a defective hardware component.
The Alpha needs to have a green light for scanning. If this is not the case then check if:
- the Alpha is on for more than an hour
- front and back side are properly connected
- check the instrument status
The instrument status is the dot shown at the lower right corner of the SoilWizard software. It can have a grey, green, yellow and red colour.
Grey; there is no sensor connected to the software. Sometimes the software needs a moment to recognize that the Alpha is connected.
Green; all is fine, you can start measuring.
Yellow; there is a warning message. You can still scan, but we advise you not to.
Red; an instrument test has failed or there is a malfunctioning in the Alpha.
If you see a yellow or red dot, then double click the status light. This will open the Diagnosis window. This window shows the status of the hardware components in the first row. The second and third row show the active tests. If a test is needed, or if there is a warning message, then this will be shown in the Diagnosis window. When the instrument status is yellow or red, then usually a PQ test is needed. This is explained in the following article: PQ instrument test. If the warning concerns a PQ test, or a high humidity (article: Changing the desiccant) then you can follow the instructions of the articles. The light can also become yellow/red if the user failed or ignored the instrument test that the Alpha requires at the start of the day. If this is the case the user can restart the software and do the instrument test again. When there is a different warning in the Diagnosis window, please contact support via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find indication lights on the rear side of the Alpha. SoilCares support will only ask you to check these lights when you are experiencing difficulties with the Alpha. It is not needed to monitor these lights on a frequent basis. There are two lights beneath the ETH/LAN port (blue circle) and there are the TDK/ACC/ERR LEDs (red circle).
Underneath the ETH/LAN cable (blue circle) you can see a orange and a green light. These lights indicate that the Alpha and laptop are connected.
The TKD LED (red circle) is a green light. It indicates that the interferometer mirror is within the data acquisition range.
The ACC LED is a yellow light. It means that the network has access to the optics of the Alpha.
The DIR/ERR LED is a red light. If the red light flashes slightly then the Alpha is functioning normally. If this LED is permanently bright, then there is an interferometer problem. If this is the case, please contact SoilCares via email@example.com.