Setting up a Direct Read test on the AutoTester

A direct read test is where you mix the sample and various reagents together in fixed quantities and the final color of the sample is how you read the results.

The first step of setting up a direct test is to define the colorsheet. The color sheet is where you tell the AutoTester what the colors of the test mean.  The AutoTester remembers these colors and values and uses them to evaluate the test results.

From the AutoTester webpage navigate (using the purple buttons on top) to the ColorSheet page.  From here you can view, edit, delete, create, and rename colorsheets.

At this point, the AutoTester is generating a live stream of what is in front of the camera. Place the colorcard, or bottle, or whatever has the target color swatches in front of the camera.  One of the 3D printed objects is an easel that you can attach the card to.  Look at the image being streamed to the webpage and make sure all the swatches are visible without a lot of glares or anything else that would prevent accurate rendering of the color.  You will capture each color swatch one at a time.  If you need to move the card between captures, you can do that.

Before capturing the colors on the color card, put the cover back on the AutoTester.  It is important that the lighting conditions used for capture be the same as the one used for evaluating the test.  Those are LED provided lighting with the cover on.

Now we want to create a new colorsheet (or edit one if you previously created one for this test).  To define a new colorsheet, give it a name (I usually give it a name based on what it measures (like ‘pH’) and the test manufacturer (like ‘API’) and click on CREATE NEW.

You have now created a new color sheet, but it is empty.  You will see it appear in the list of radio buttons above the VIEW/EDIT/DELETE/… buttons.  Click on EDIT to start adding color swatches.  This will take you to a static display screen for capturing the colors.

For each swatch to be captured, type in the value to be assigned and right click on the spot in the image that bests represents the color to be captured.  You will see that color appear in a colortable to the left of the image.  That is the color sheet that you are building.  If you want to change a swatch, enter its value and click on the screen again.  The new color captured from that location will replace the previous color in the color sheet.  If you want to delete a color swatch, then click on that swatch in the color table.

When you are finished, click on Done.  It will save the ColorSheet under the name you assigned previously.

Now that you have set up the ColorSheet, you can define the test.  Using the purple button navigate to the Test Setup page.  You can create a new test or edit an existing test.  If you create a test click on CREATE NEW.  This leads you to a test setup page.

Here you will define parameters such as:

  • The name of the test
  • You can create, but disable the test if you like.  This means it won’t actually run until you enable it.
  • Amount of water needed in the mixer tube (in ml)
  • What is the first reagent (carousel slot number)
  • How many drops to dispense (or ml)
  • How many seconds to agitate the reagent before dispensing drops (or 0 for no agitation)
  • If there are more reagents, then insert the information for the additional reagents.  If the amount to dispense is 0, then that reagent is skipped.
  • Set up if the final mixture needs to be agitated and for how long.
  • If there is a delay (to allow the color to develop) before reading the results, indicate that.  This is the total time since the last drop was dispensed in seconds.
  • Ignore all the Titration parameters, they aren’t used for direct read tests.
  • Finally, from the drop down list, select the colorsheet that you just set up in the previous sets.
  • If you want any alarms or warnings sent to you, then enter the appropriate thresholds there.  If the value is empty, then no alarm will be sent.

One these parameters are all set up, click on Save.  The test is ready to go.

If you want to schedule the test to run automatically, then set that up from the Schedule screen.