GENERAL SALES QUESTIONS


A: You can contact us via phone at (508) 444-2616 or email at info@lowellinstruments.com with your request.

In order to give you an accurate quote we will need the following information:

• Name, institute/company and other relevant contact information
• What product(s) are you interested in?
• How many items would you like to order?
• When do you need the items?
• How are you intending to use our products?

• (Optional) How did you find out about us?

A:  We are available via phone at (508) 444-2616 or email at info@lowellinstruments.com during office hours.

A:  For all data loggers and tilt current meters we build to order.  Lead time depends on a variety of factors but generally it takes between 1 to 4 weeks after a confirmed credit card or purchase order.  Other items like batteries or spare parts that are in stock can be shipped the next business day.


A: The following international distributors are available for Lowell Instruments products:

Australia
OneTemp Pty. Ltd.
Phone: 1300 186 107
Fax: 1300 786 661
Email: sales@onetemp.com.au
Website: www.onetemp.com.au

Canada
Hoskin Scientific Ltd.
Phone: (604) 872-7894
Fax: (604) 872-0281
Email: salesv@hoskin.ca
Website: www.hoskin.ca

Israel
Vsense Technologies Ltd
Phone: +972.72.2113111
Fax: +972.3.5422557
Email: k.roman@vsense.net
Website: www.vsense.net

New Zealand
Scott Technical Instruments
Phone: 07 847 0646 Hamilton
Phone: 03 374 2101 Christchurch
Email: sales@scottech.net
Website: www.scottech.net

If you are looking to purchase outside of these countries please contact us to find the best option for you.


A: Yes.  Special discounts are available for large orders.  Contact us for pricing.

A:  Please contact us by phone at (508) 444-2616 or email at info@lowellinstruments.com for a quote.  We do not publish prices on the website since pricing can depend on options, accessories, quantity, etc.


A: Lowell Instruments is always open to new suggestions and applications of our products. Contact us and let us know about your project so we can assist you in choosing the right product.

PRODUCT QUESTIONS


A:  Once the logger is started and running you can run a demo deployment. Disconnect the USB cable, replace the cap on the TCM and deploy it. For a simple demo, simply roll the logger across a flat surface or swing it with your arm.

A:  The meters come with everything you require but if you are planning ahead we suggest a battery replacement tool kit for your specific meter model and additional batteries for the number of meters you are purchasing.

A:  The logger is battery limited not memory limited.  It is essentially impossible to collect more than 3GB of data on one battery charge. Unless you charge batteries and don't delete your data, you will never "fill" the card.  We are currently shipping meters with 8GB cards (Sandisk Class 4).  Our cards arrive pre-formatted FAT32, but if you need to reformat the cards we use the SD association formatter FAT32.


A: The batteries in our meters are not rechargeable, but they are replaceable.  Most of our meters use a custom lithium battery and they are available from Lowell Instruments at Accessories.  We recommend purchasing the battery replacement tool kit to make the process easier (the kit includes the first battery).

A: You need a MAT-1/TCM-1/TCM-3 or TCM-4 Battery Replacement Tool Kit.  The tool kit contains a special tool that allows you to easily open the logger with minimal risk of damaging the electronics.  The kit also includes the hex driver and one replacement battery (to get you started).  If you need to replace more than one battery, get one tool kit for the first logger and additional replacement batteries for the second, third... loggers. Due to the fact that the circuit board must be removed from the logger, it is recommended that the battery be replaced in the lab/office (not in the field). See Accessories for additional information.

A: The batteries in the MAT-1/TCM-X are lithium thionyl chloride batteries.  This chemistry of battery has excellent capacity and a long shelf life, but there is a catch.  While in storage, they develop an internal resistance called passivation. In some cases the passivation can be severe enough to brown-out the logger if installed and then immediately deployed.  The passivation can be broken down by running the battery.  To check, do a test run for a few minutes/hours (depending on the logging settings) and check for errors (red LED and status in MAT Logger Commander).  If there are errors, repeat the test until you are all set.  See here for a copy of the battery replacement instructions for the MAT-1/TCM-1/TCM-3 and TCM-4.

A: It can be difficult to determine the amount of capacity remaining in partially used battery.  The voltage should be ~3.65-3.75 volts, but that range is valid for the first 85-90% of capacity. (The voltage only declines in the last 10-15% of battery life.)  So the voltage is only and indicator to the end of life, similar to the low-fuel indicator in your car. A better indication is how much data has been collected with the meters and for how long.  A new battery can collect from 1-2.5GB of data.  But an allowance must also be made for time that the battery was installed but not in use.  Unless you know the batteries have been replaced and when, it is a good idea to replace them.

A:  To configure the TCM, make sure that both the “Accelerometer” and “Magnetometer” sensors are enabled.

This is a typical setting for Coastal Bay areas:

 

This is a typical setting for exposed areas with long swells:

 

For more detailed instructions see the Universal User Guide.

A:  There are many options for anchoring Lowell Instruments TCMs.  Typical anchors include:

  • - 12 or 18 inch square concrete patio stones (30 x 30 x 5 cm or 45 x 45 x 5 cm)
  • - Cinder blocks
  • - Lead disk weights
  • - Dive belt weights

Avoid steel/iron anchors as it may interfere with the compass.


A: The meter uses a three-axis magnetometer (not just two) so it can resolve the direction of the magnetic field relative to itself regardless of the logger’s orientation or the inclination of the earth's magnetic field.  The accuracy on the magnetometer is about 3-5 degrees.  The "real world" maximum acceptable inclination is probably about 80-85 degrees (5 to 10 degrees from vertical). You can see a map of the inclination here (bottom map): http://geokov.com/education/magnetic-declination-inclination.aspx.

A:  First, make sure to set your PC clock at the start and end of the deployment using a NIST time reference. When you connect to the meter look in the status screen. Both the logger and PC times are shown.  You need to manually take note of the time difference.  In the example below the logger is 8 seconds slow.

SOFTWARE/COMPUTER QUESTIONS


A: Windows assigns a COM port number for each physical USB port.  If you change the USB port that you use for communicating with the MAT-1 logger, Windows will assign a new number for that port.  Use the "find" button in the "Logger Status" screen to determine what COM port Windows has assigned for the logger.

A: Windows requires that a Communications Device Class (CDC) USB  driver be installed in order for the logger to communicate with MAT Logger Commander.  The driver is automatically loaded when MAT Logger Commander is installed. But in some rare circumstances, it may not be loaded properly or may need to be reloaded.  The driver is found here.  To re-load the driver you will need to connect a logger, open the device manager, find the port and re-install the driver.

A: Starting with Windows 8 (and now 10), Windows will only load drivers that have valid driver certificates. Lowell Instruments has not obtained these certificates, so, in order to load the driver, you will need to restart with "Advanced Startup" enabled. View detailed instructions.

A: The logger is most likely running.  Only one device, either the logger's microprocessor or your computer, can use the SD card at one time. You need to stop the logger in MAT Logger Commander: Go to "Logger Status", open the port and click "Stop Logging". Wait a few seconds and the drive should appear in Windows Explorer.

A: No. Unfortunately we do not support any version of Apple OS or Linux.  Please contact us if this is critical for your application and we can possibly move it up the "To Do" list.

A: The short answer is that the MAT-1 logger uses a microprocessor that is designed for low power, not fast USB speed.  Real-world transfer rates are 10-15 MB per minute (substantially slower than USB 2.0 flash card readers and much, much slower than USB 3.0 readers).  For files that are larger than 5-10 MB the fastest way to transfer files is to eject the SD card from the logger and read it directly with a flash card reader. Remember to stop your logger before ejecting the card.

A: There are two possibilities.  First make sure that you only have one version of MAT Logger Commander Running.  (The logger may be connected in the other instance of the application.)  The second possibility is that the Windows USB manager is confused; there are several variations:  Try disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable and attempt to reopen the port.  If that fails, close MAT Logger Commander AND disconnect the logger, then reopen and reconnect.  If it still won't connect, you need to do the all-too-familiar Windows restart and try again (fortunately this is very rare).

A: All computers should use the 32-bit version of the MCR (MATLAB version R2013b 8.2).  When MAT Logger Commander was compiled it was set to be compatible with 32 and 64 bit machines and needs the 32-bit version of the MCR to run. It will not run with the 64-bit version of the MCR.

screen magnification errorA: The MATLAB Compiler Runtime is not compatible with changes to display magnification in Windows.  To fix, open "Control Panel" then "Appearance and Personalization" and "Display" and change the view to "Smaller -100% (default)."  You will need to log off and log on again.  When you reopen MAT Logger Commander the screen will return to normal.


A:  MAT Logger Commander Version History

MAT Logger commander is periodically updated as new features are added to the application and bugs are found and fixed.

Update 1.49b October 5, 2018

  • Fixes an intermittent USB communications failure that appears to be more likely with older Windows 7 machines.
  • Fixed a rare data conversion error when using non-typical settings.

Update 1.47b April 13, 2018

  • Adds support for future features.
  • Corrects a rare bug where MAT Logger Commander will not communicate with a data logger due to a formatting error in the loggers internal flash memory.

Update 1.46b April 2, 2018

  • Corrects a minor error when averaging Yaw/Pitch/Roll.
  • Adds back in compatibility for calibration values that were used in some older data loggers.

Update 1.42b December 21, 2017

  • Restores support for the Yaw/Pitch/Roll as an output type.

Update 1.41b November 3, 2017

  • Adds support for the TCM-4 Shallow Water Current Meter
  • Restricts temperature recording interval to be equal to or longer than the burst interval when both temperature and accelerometer and/or magnetometer are enabled.

Update 1.40b August 22, 2017

  • Added support for new calibration parameters included with firmware version 1.8.xx and higher.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.

Update 1.36b July 10, 2017

  • Modified USB communications to improve reliability.
  • Fixed an error in the installer where the TCM calibration files were loaded in the wrong location for new installations.

Update 1.34b June 27, 2017

  • Fixed a bug where if "averaging" was selected with "heading" as an output type, the binary file conversion could become stuck at ~99%.
  • Fixed a bug where, for certain recording settings, when converting from binary to text files, a redundant bad data point would appear in the text file for every 1MB of data file.

Update 1.30b January 26, 2017

  • Added user defined magnetic declination to compass calculations when converting binary files to heading and current.
  • Removed Yaw/Pitch/Roll output type and replaced with Heading by customer request.
  • Fixed bug where it was possible to create invalid logger settings that resulted in a data file that would not parse automatically.  Added an additional check to prevent it from occuring in the future.
  • Minor bug fixes and edits.

Update 1.26b July 7, 2016

  • Fixed a calibration error in a handful of loggers manufactured in 2014 using and older procedure.
  • Minor bug fixes and edits.

Update 1.25b April 5, 2016

  • Renamed the "Status" tab to "Start/Stop Status."
  • Changed user interface to switch tabs from "Setup File" to "Star/Stop Status" after saving MAT.cfg file.
  • Minor bug fixes and improvements.

Update 1.22b January 12, 2015

  • Added support and tilt-to-speed curves for the TCM-3 Tilt Current Meter.
  • Fixed a bug that resulted in one bogus data point for every 1 MB of binary data for certain channel configurations.
  • Added limited support for planned firmware upgrades.
  • Minor bug fixes and improvements.

Update 1.10b December 8, 2014

  • Updated the TCM-1 calibration curves to improve average accuracy in the field and reflect the best available test data.
  • Updated the "Convert Files" screen to streamline selection of tilt-to-speed curve.
  • User interface changes to the "Logging Control" to clarify how to start and stop the logger.
  • Moved LED control check box to clarify its use with respect to the temperature channel.
  • Minor bug fixes and user interface changes.

Update 1.04b August 7, 2014

  • Revised the TCM-1 calibration curves to improve accuracy beyond the recommended speed range.
  • Modified the user interface to clarify that the Setup File must be saved on the SD card in the logger.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Update 1.03b June 13, 2014

  • Updated the tilt-to-current calibration tables to support fresh and salt water with and without the low-speed ballast washer for the TCM-1.
  • Adds "Roll" to Pitch and Yaw output type.
  • Corrects an error in how the average bearing over the major interval is calculated.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Update 1.01b May 30, 2014

  • For logger with serial numbers greater than 1404099: corrects an error in how calibration coefficients are applied to raw acceleration values.  All users with serial numbers 1404100 or greater should upgrade to this release.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Update 1.00b May 16, 2014

  • Adds support for the TCM-1 Current Meter.
  • Adds "real time orientation mode" while logger is connected to USB.
  • Adds "Pitch and Yaw" as a file conversion output option.
  • Adds support for additional magnetometer and accelerometer calibration parameters.

Update 0.80b February 3, 2013

  • Recompiled on 32-bit version of the MATLAB Compiler Runtime to support older 32-bit Windows machines.
  • Downgraded Windows .NET version to 3.5 (from 4.0) so that the application is compatible with stock versions of Windows 7.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Update 0.78b December 3, 2013

  • Corrected a bug that resulted in a missing data point for every 1 MB of binary data for certain channel and interval combinations.
  • Changed text file name format to reduce the length of file names.
  • Updated software license agreement.

Update 0.76b November 15, 2013

  • Initial beta release