We have compiled a list of questions that are commonly asked. This section will continue to grow and new Q&A will be added. 

Nuclear Gauge  Gyratory Compactors

           
      

 

Nuclear Gauge Questions

Batteries:

My batteries don’t seem to be taking a charge even though it has been on an AC (wall) charger all night.  

Can I install Lithium-Ion batteries into my nuclear gauge?


Errors:

My gauge display shows weird characters and/or all plus signs (+++++) when I start and take test.  

Why is my 3411 is giving an error 30 message?

My gauge displays tube error.  


Service:

Why are my gauge readings off?

My gauge readings do not match my sand cone readings. 

My gauge is locked up and there is no keypad response.

How often should my gauge be calibrated?

Why does my gauge fail the standard count?

Gyratory Questions

What kind of basic maintenance can I do to my gyratory?

What kind of basic maintenance can I do to my gyratory?

The printer for my model 4140 is not working or is printing strange characters?

The outlet on the back of the gyratory is not working (printer is not turning on)?

Why are my gyratory specimens not matching specimens of another gyratory?

 

 


 

Answers –

 
My batteries don’t seem to be taking a charge even though it has been on an AC (wall) charger all night. What is the problem?
• Answer – There are several things that could be the issue.

    A. The first check is to see if the AC charger is good. Does it charge other gauges?
        1. Try another charger
        2. Purchase a new AC charger
    B. Next check the charger jack, where the charger plugs into the gauge. Is it loose and/or seem to flop around?
        1. NETS will have to installed a new charger jack
    C. Next check battery life (if it is a Troxler 3440 or 4640) and reset if needed. Display should show a sign that is charging. 
        Different models have different signs such as “battery charging” or just a “c”.
        1. For 3440, follow this link to step-by-step instructions for resetting battery life.
        2.
For 4640, follow this link to step-by-step instructions for resetting battery life.
    D. Finally, the batteries may be worn out.
        1. NETS will replace the battery pack(s)

Can I install Lithium-Ion batteries into my nuclear gauge?  
• Answer –
No, Lithium-ion batteries are not available in standard sizes that nuclear gauges use like AA or D cell. We believe this is because it would be too easy for users to inadvertently put them in equipment not designed for Lithium-ion batteries creating a potentially dangerous situation. (If an alkaline battery is charged it might leak or even burst, but a lithium-ion battery put into equipment that typically uses NiCd batteries might ignite. Also, because Li-ion batteries operate at much higher voltage (typically 3.7V per cell)  than the 1.2 to 1.5V of most cell batteries, designing a 1.5V lithium-ion cell would be expensive. Additionally, a nuclear gauge cannot operate on the voltages of Li-ion with their current design.

Lithium-ion batteries also require sophisticated chargers that can carefully monitor the charge process.  And because of their different shapes and sizes each type of Li-ion battery requires a charger designed to accommodate its particular size. This means lithium ion battery chargers are more expensive and more difficult to find than iCd battery chargers. Nuclear density gauges do not contain the internal circuitry to charge a Lithium-Ion battery safely.

Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than similar capacity NiCd batteries, but sometimes last twice as long. The reason for the price is because they are much more complex to manufacture.  Li-ion batteries actually include special circuitry to protect the battery from damage due to overcharging or undercharging.  They are also more expensive because they are manufactured in much smaller numbers than NiMH or NiCd batteries. Li-ion batteries are becoming less expensive and over time we should see their price decrease significantly. Maybe one day we will have a gauge that can utilize the economical Lithium-Ion battery.




My gauge display shows weird characters and/or all plus signs (+++++) when I start and take test. What is the problem?
• Answer – Most likely the gauge lost its calibration constants.

    A. Plugging in the constants can be done in the field if you have the last calibration report for your gauge.
        1. For 3411 with smart panel, follow this link for step-by-step instructions for re-entering constants.
        2. For 3430, follow this link for step-by-step instructions.
        3. For 3440, follow this link for step-by-step instructions.
        4. For 4640, follow this link for step-by-step instructions.


Why is my 3411 is giving an error 30 message?
• Answer – This message means the gauge can not calculate the test results. There is two possibilities for this error
    A. There is no standard count
    B. The depth switch is at the wrong depth


My gauge displays tube error. What’s the problem?
• Answer – There are two possible problems. First, the tubes have actually gone bad or the gauge may have gotten wet. The easy check in the field for 3440 and 4640 is to skip the countdown by pressing shift and the start/enter button at the same time. For 3430 press the down arrow and the start/enter button at the same time. At this point you should be at the ready screen. Take a standard count on the gauge and view the next step. If the standard counts are fine then continue operating the gauge. The gauge sometimes may give an erroneous error. If the standard counts are not proper do the following.
    A. The first step is to eliminate the possibility that moisture may have affected the gauge. Remove the keypad from the gauge and disconnect the ribbon cable. Allow the gauge to air dry for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight if possible. Reconnect the keypad and bypass the countdown as stated above
    B. If the counts are off, density halved or if the moisture standard is off, NETS will have to troubleshoot the error and determine its cause. It may be a bad GM or Helium tube as the error stated or it may be an electronic component that controls the tubes.


Why are my gauge readings off?
• Answer – Ensure you have good standard count. Verify you are at the correct depth and no offset are enabled that should not be used.

My gauge readings do not match my sand cone readings. Why?
• Answer - Usually they will not. There is a lot of room for operator error when performing a sand cone test. There is really no way to prove which test is more "accurate" because there is no absolute test for soil density. The best way to compare the two test methods is to take at least three 4 minute nuclear gauge measurements at different locations (preferably direct transmission @ 6 or 8 inches) and at least 3 sand cone tests (at the same locations as the gauge readings). Find the difference at all locations and average them.

My gauge is locked up and there is no keypad response.
• Answer - Press and hold the OFF button for 15-30 seconds until the gauge turns off. If it does not turn off, remove the scaler and unplug the ribbon cable from the baseboard. Plug the cable back in and turn the gauge on allowing it to go through its 5 minute self-test.


How often should my gauge be calibrated?
• Answer – Current standards state not to exceed twelve months.

Why does my gauge fail the standard count?
• Answer - Ensure that the gauge is positioned properly. Make sure that those std. counts stored are appropriate by comparing to the factory std. counts.

Gyratory Compactor Questions 

What kind of basic maintenance can I do to my gyratory?
• Answer - Grease cam followers daily using Teflon based lubricant such as Magnalube-G. Keep gyratory clean of binder build up. Clean the ram head, and molds daily and cam followers weekly using WD-40. Remember to re-grease cam followers after cleaning.

What kind of basic maintenance can I do to my gyratory?
• Answer - Grease cam followers daily using Teflon based lubricant such as Magnalube-G (a can supplied with the gyratory). Keep gyratory clean of binder build up. Clean the ram head, and molds daily and cam followers weekly using WD-40. Remember to re-grease cam followers after cleaning.

The printer for my model 4140 is not working or is printing strange characters?
• Answer - Make sure to plug the printer into the outlet on the back of the gyratory (not into a standard wall outlet) and make sure the printer's On-Line light is on. The printer should be turned on before the gyratory is turned on.

The outlet on the back of the gyratory is not working (printer is not turning on)?
• Answer - Check and replace the fuse for the outlet.      

Why are my gyratory specimens not matching specimens of another gyratory?
Check the preheat temperature of molds and hot-mix-asphalt (HMA). Make sure they have been heated up to the same specified temperature. Low mold and/or HMA temperature will cause lower compaction. Make sure the HMA is covered while preheating the mix. Uncovered mix will not compact as well. Make sure the millimeter machine setting for your mold is the same as the mold you are using (i.e. 150 mm or 100 mm).                                           back to top

 


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