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Colorimeter User Manual

Order Code: COL-BTA

The Vernier Colorimeter is used to determine the concentration of a solution by analyzing its color intensity. The cuvette slot is designed to accommodate most cuvettes with a 10 millimeter path length. The Colorimeter measures the amount of light transmitted through a sample at a user-selectable wavelength. You may choose from four wavelengths: 430 nm, 470 nm, 565 nm, and 635 nm. Features such as automatic sensor identification and one-step calibration make this sensor easy to use.

Note: Vernier products are designed for educational use. Our products are not designed nor are they recommended for any industrial, medical, or commercial process such as life support, patient diagnosis, control of a manufacturing process, or industrial testing of any kind.

What's Included

  • Colorimeter
  • 15 polystyrene cuvettes
  • 15 plastic cuvette lids

Compatible Software and Interfaces

Choose a platform below to see its compatibility requirements.

LabQuest
InterfaceLabQuest App
LabQuest® 3Full support
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full support
LabQuest (discontinued)Full support
Computers
Software
InterfaceGraphical Analysis App for Computers
Version 5.4
Logger Pro
Version 3.16
Logger Lite
Version 1.9.4
LabQuest MiniFull supportFull supportFull support
LabQuest® 3Full supportFull supportFull support
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full supportFull supportFull support
LabQuest StreamFull support 1Full supportFull support 2
Go!LinkFull support 3Full support 3Full support 3
LabQuest (discontinued)Full supportFull supportFull support

Compatibility Notes

  1. Connect LabQuest Stream via USB. Future software updates will support connection via Bluetooth® technology
  2. Connect LabQuest Stream via USB. Wireless connection is not supported.
  3. This sensor and interface combination can be problematic when measuring at 565 nm.
Chromebook
Software
InterfaceGraphical Analysis App for Chrome
Version 5.4
LabQuest MiniFull support
LabQuest® 3Full support
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full support
LabQuest StreamFull support 1
Go!LinkFull support 2
LabQuest (discontinued)Full support

Compatibility Notes

  1. Connect LabQuest Stream via USB. Future software updates will support connection via Bluetooth® technology
  2. This sensor and interface combination can be problematic when measuring at 565 nm.
iOS
Software
InterfaceGraphical Analysis App for iOS
Version 5.4
Graphical Analysis GW for iOS
Version 4.0.6
LabQuest StreamFull supportFull support
LabQuest® 3Full support 1Full support 1
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full support 1Full support 1

Compatibility Notes

  1. iOS and Android devices can only connect to LabQuest 2 or LabQuest 3 via Wireless Data Sharing.
Android
Software
InterfaceGraphical Analysis App for Android
Version 5.4
Graphical Analysis GW for Android
Version 3.2
LabQuest StreamFull supportIncompatible
LabQuest® 3Full support 1Full support 1
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full support 1Full support 1

Compatibility Notes

  1. iOS and Android devices can only connect to LabQuest 2 or LabQuest 3 via Wireless Data Sharing.
Arduino
Software
InterfaceArduino
Vernier Arduino® Interface ShieldFull support
LEGO MINDSTORMS
Software
InterfaceLEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3
Version 1.1
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT
Version 2.0
NXT Sensor AdapterPartial support 1Full support

Compatibility Notes

  1. You can only read the raw count/raw voltage output by this sensor. You must do the programming to convert to proper sensor units.
LabVIEW
Software
InterfaceNI LabVIEW
SensorDAQFull support
Vernier myDAQ AdapterFull support 1
Go!LinkFull support 2
LabQuest MiniFull support
LabQuest StreamFull support
LabQuest® 3Full support
LabQuest 2 (discontinued)Full support
LabQuest (discontinued)Full support

Compatibility Notes

  1. You can only read the raw count/raw voltage output by this sensor. You must do the programming to convert to proper sensor units.
  2. This sensor and interface combination can be problematic when measuring at 565 nm.
Texas Instruments
Software
InterfaceEasyData
Version 2.4/4.0/5.2
DataMate
Version 1.15
TI-84 SmartViewDataQuest
Version 4.2
TI-Nspire Software
EasyLinkFull support 1 2IncompatibleFull support 2 3Full support 2Full support 2 3
CBL 2Full support 4Full support 4 5IncompatibleIncompatibleIncompatible
TI-Nspire Lab Cradle (discontinued)IncompatibleIncompatibleIncompatibleFull supportFull support

Compatibility Notes

  1. Use with TI-84 Plus calculators only.
  2. This sensor and interface combination can be problematic when measuring at 565 nm.
  3. Requires an Easy to Go! adapter
  4. CBL 2 and LabPro interfaces cannot be used with TI-84 Plus CE calculators.
  5. DataMate cannot be used with color screen TI-84 Plus calculators; use EasyData with these calculators.

Getting Started

  1. Connect the sensor to the interface (LabQuest Mini, LabQuest 2, etc.).
  2. Start the appropriate data-collection software (Logger Pro, Logger Lite, LabQuest App) if not already running, and choose New from File menu.

The software will identify the sensor and load a default data-collection setup.

If you are collecting data using a Chromebook™, mobile device such as iPad® or Android™ tablet, or a Vernier wireless sensor or interface, please see the following link for up-to-date connection information:

www.vernier.com/start/col-bta

Using the Product

Connect the sensor following the steps in the Getting Started section of this user manual. After connecting the sensor, the following steps must be completed prior to starting data collection.

  1. Press the < or > button on the Colorimeter to select the correct wavelength for your experiment (430 nm, 470 nm, 565 nm, or 635 nm).
  2. Allow the Colorimeter to warm up for about five minutes before calibrating.
  3. Calibrate the Colorimeter.
    1. Slide the lid of the Colorimeter open to reveal the cuvette slot.
    2. Insert a cuvette, filled with distilled water or other solvent used to prepare your solutions, for your calibration blank (100% transmittance or 0 absorbance).
      Important: Line up one of the clear sides of the cuvette with the arrow at the right side of the cuvette slot. Slide the Colorimeter lid closed.
    3. Press the CAL button on the Colorimeter to begin the calibration process. Release the CAL button when the red LED begins to flash.
    4. When the red LED stops flashing, the calibration is complete. The absorbance reading should be very close to 0.000 (100%T).
    5. Remove the blank cuvette from the Colorimeter.
  4. Continue with data collection.

Videos

Specifications

Colorimeter range

0 to 3 (absorbance)

Useful range

0.05 to 1.0 absorbance (90% to 10% T)

Wavelengths

430 nm, 470 nm, 565 nm, 635 nm

Supply voltage

5VDC ±25 mV

Supply current (typical)

40 mA

Power up time

700 ms (maximum)

Output voltage range

0 to 4 V

Transfer function

Vout = 0.035*(%T)+0

Stored calibration values

  • slope: 28.571
  • intercept: 0

How the Sensor Works

Light from an LED light source passes through a cuvette containing a solution sample. Some of the incoming light is absorbed by the solution. As a result, light of a lower intensity strikes a photodiode.

Troubleshooting

Here are some tips for best data-collection practices:

  • Allow the Colorimeter to warm up for about 5 minutes before calibrating.
  • Fill a cuvette two-thirds to three-fourths full with liquid, including the calibration blank, so that the light travels through the liquid reliably.
  • After filling a cuvette with liquid, seal the cuvette with a cap to prevent spills.
  • Make sure to place a cuvette in the Colorimeter so the path of the light source travels through the clear sides of the cuvette. An arrow to the right of the cuvette slot shows the light path.
  • For best results, use one cuvette to make all your measurements for a given experiment.
  • If you calibrate a Colorimeter and then change the wavelength, calibrate the Colorimeter again to ensure the proper identification of the new wavelength.

For best results, a sample's absorbance or transmittance values should fall within these ranges:

  • percent transmittance:10–90%
  • absorbance: 0.05–1.0

We have found that Beer’s law experiment results begin to lose their linearity at absorbance values above 1.0 (percent transmittance values less than 10%). If you have a solution that transmits such a low level of light, consider diluting the solution so that it falls within this range.

Repair Information

If you have watched the related product video(s), followed the troubleshooting steps, and are still having trouble with your Colorimeter, contact Vernier Technical Support at support@vernier.com or call 888-837-6437. Support specialists will work with you to determine if the unit needs to be sent in for repair. At that time, a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number will be issued and instructions will be communicated on how to return the unit for repair.

Accessories/Replacements

Item Order Code

Replacement cuvettes (package of 100 with 20 lids)

CUV

Replacement cuvette lids (package of 100)

CUV-LID

Cuvette rack, holds 10 cuvettes

CUV-RACK

Warranty

Vernier warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five years from the date of shipment to the customer. This warranty does not cover damage to the product caused by abuse or improper use. This warranty covers educational institutions only.

This warranty does not cover consumables, such as the cuvettes and lids.

Contact Support

Fill out our online support form or call us toll-free at 1-888-837-6437.

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