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Experimental setup recommdations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gerry Spain   
Saturday, 09 May 2009 09:39

These are some general recommendations :

1) The timezone for the site is UTC - ensure automatic daylight savings adjustment is turned off on your instruments and computers

2) Use English keyboards (UK in preference to US), English versions of operating systems and software, 230V equipment and UK style power plugs. It really helps when debugging problems.

3) The site has a backup generator but you still need a UPS for protection. It takes up to 30 seconds for the generator to get up to speed and the switchover can be dirty. The quality of the generator power signal may be a little different to the mains and could potentially affect sensitive equipment however in my expeience, the only equipment which has ever been affected are UPS's which can detect the diffrence betwen mains and generator power.

4) Ensure your computer can be set to startup up automatically after a power outage. This especially applies to laptops as many of them can't be set to do this. It also applies whether or not you have a UPS - do not assume you will always have power. Backup generators can run out of fuel, UPS batteries expire, circuit breakers trip and reset and sometimes we do major electrical maintenance work which may necessitate long outages.

5) Space is tight so make your installation as neat as possible. Use instruments, computers, keyboards, UPS's and LCD monitors which are rack mountable or small enough to fit in a 19" rack.

6) Tower installations (inlet lines, inlets, instruments etc) should be kept as neat as possible. Ideally it should be possible to remove any installation without affecting any other installation. In practice, this is difficult to adhere to completely but as long as no-one does anything stupid, there's generally no problem. Talk to me in advance so I can point out the usual pitfalls to be avoided.

7) Where possible, use Unix/Linux for data acquisition/control. This is a personal opinion but in my experience, Windows is not as stable or reliable and commercial Windows software rarely works quite as you want it to. A lot of Unix/Linux software is open source so you at least have the option to change it.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 September 2010 12:49
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