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Circle #133 on the Reader Service Card.
The assembled sensor board installed in the Mag-lite body.
flashlight without having to split the knurled nut that holds
Using the Unit
Remove the lens, reflector, and the bulb from the flashlight. Place the bulb adapter into the bulb holder and screw
on the knurled nut. Connect the wires to the board, minding the polarity. Put the board into the lens holder and
screw it onto the flashlight. Prevent the board from turning
by holding the components.
Turn on the flashlight. The LED should light either red
or green. The sound transducer may be squeaking. Let the
unit warm up for about two minutes. Adjust the potentiometer until the LED turns green. As the unit stabilizes,
the pot may need adjusting.
Open a bottle of rubbing alcohol and place the unit
near the top of the bottle. Any bottle of alcohol will work
just as well. The LED should turn red and the speaker
should change tone. The higher the tone, the more parts
per million of vapor are present. When you place the unit
in clean air, the tone should fall and the LED should switch
back to green.
The unit can also be used to check someone’s breath
to see if they have been drinking. Just have them blow
toward the sensor from about two feet. The unit is, however, qualitative and not quantitative. It does not mean the
person is drunk. Do you need to check to see if a drink has
alcohol in it? Just place the unit over the glass. Try it with
a glass of wine.
Check out www.figarosensor.com for more specifications on using gas sensors and their detection limits.
Happy sniffing! NV
About the Author
Ron Newton is a retired clinical scientist with degrees in
chemistry and electronic engineering. He volunteers his time to
the Republic of Georgia Pediatric Hospitals (Asia) by providing
consulting and teaching in the fields of blood banking and
bacteriology, and provides instruction in the repair of hospital
equipment. He also donates his time to NASA by providing R&D
in the field of photonics and hopes to have his spectrometer
design for the determination of ultraviolet light spectrums on
one of the upcoming Mars shots.