Answers to Alco-Sensor Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: What does the “bat” display on the Alco-Sensor IV mean?
ANSWER: That is a low battery message. Replace with a fresh 9-volt alkaline battery.
QUESTION: What does “.888” or “.88” on the Alco-Sensor III or Alco-Sensor display mean?
ANSWER: That is the low battery message. Replace the battery with a fresh 9-volt alkaline battery.
QUESTION: Why does the Alco-Sensor IV keep displaying the temperature, and does not go to “TEST?”
ANSWER: The battery may be low. Replace with a fresh alkaline 9-volt battery.
QUESTION: What is the difference between an Accuracy Check and a Calibration Adjustment?
ANSWER: In an Accuracy Check procedure, the operator performs a test on a known alcohol concentration from a Mini Alcohol Can, an Alcohol Gas Tank, or a Simulator, and compares the test result to determine how closely the Alco-Sensor reads the correct alcohol concentration.
In a Calibration Adjustment, the operator uses a known alcohol concentration from a Mini Alcohol Can, an Alcohol Gas Tank, or a Simulator, and follows a procedure to adjust the Alco-Sensor to read more accurately. The specific instructions to do this vary with each model of Alco-Sensor.
QUESTION: How often do I need to calibrate my Alco-Sensor?
ANSWER: First of all, do you mean “calibrate” or do you mean “accuracy check?” Many people use the term “calibrate” to refer to both the Calibration Adjustment procedure and the Accuracy Check Procedure.
AlcoPro recommends that operators perform an Accuracy Check on all models of Alco-Sensor at least once a month. A Calibration Adjustment is necessary only when the Accuracy Check shows that the Alco-Sensor does not read within an acceptable margin of error.
QUESTION: What do I need in order to check the accuracy of my Alco-Sensor?
ANSWER: You will need one of the following: the Mini Alcohol Can, or an Alcohol Gas Tank and regulator, or a Simulator and Simulator Solution.
QUESTION: Where is the temperature strip on the back of my Alco-Sensor III?
ANSWER: If your Alco-Sensor III has a red mouthpiece ejector button, then you have a “new version” Alco-Sensor III that has a digital thermometer instead of the temperature strip on the back. To display the temperature on new version Alco-Sensor and Alco-Sensor III, press the READ and SET buttons at the same time.
QUESTION: When I turn the screw on the side of my new Alco-Sensor III to adjust the calibration, nothing happens. How do I adjust the calibration?
ANSWER: New version Alco-Sensor III and Alco-Sensor instruments (identified with a red mouthpiece ejector button) use a different calibration procedure than the “old version” Alco-Sensors.
QUESTION: The display on my Alco-Sensor III is missing parts of some of the numbers. What can I do to fix it?
ANSWER: This problem is caused by a component inside the instrument. You must return the instrument to AlcoPro for repair. Click here to download the Repair Authorization Form.
QUESTION: Why does our Alco-Sensor IV flash “MAN” instead of “TEST?”
ANSWER: The breath thermistor is not working properly and requires repair. You may still perform a test by pressing the Manual button while the subject blows into the mouthpiece. Click here to download the Repair Authorization Form.
QUESTION: How do I turn on the backlight on the display of our Alco-Sensor FST?
ANSWER: Pressing and holding the ON button for several seconds will turn on the backlight.
QUESTION: What is the significance of the different colored dots on the front of Alco-Sensor IV instruments?
ANSWER: The colored dot tells us the type of microprocessor chip is in the Alco-Sensor IV, what protocol the Alco-Sensor IV performs, and which kind of printer is compatible with that Alco-Sensor IV.
The most common dot colors are:
- Blue dot = Dept. of Transportation testing protocol, connects to blue dot RBT IV printer
- Green dot = Generic protocol, sensor air blank, connects to red dot RBT IV printer
- Red dot = Generic protocol, connects to red dot RBT IV printer
- Black dot = Alco-Sensor IV with Memory, connects with DP1012 printer, Able thermal printer, or Slip printer
QUESTION: How many test records can be stored in an Alco-Sensor IV with Memory?
ANSWER: The Alco-Sensor IV with Memory can hold 75 test results or more that can be uploaded to a computer or printed.
QUESTION: How do I erase the test records stored in the Alco-Sensor IV with Memory?
ANSWER: Click Here to see the instructions for erasing memory.
QUESTION:How do I change the time and date in the Alco-Sensor IV with Memory?
ANSWER: Click Here to see instructions for changing date and time for the Alco-Sensor IV with Memory.
QUESTION: What is an acceptable “time to peak” for an Alco-Sensor?
- Alco-Sensor III = 60 seconds
- Alco-Sensor IV = 45 seconds
- Alco-Sensor FST = 30 seconds
QUESTION: How do I measure “time to peak” in an Alco-Sensor?
ANSWER: Time to peak is the amount of time from taking an alcohol sample to displaying the test result. (Timing starts when pressing the READ button on an Alco-Sensor III, or pressing the MANUAL button on the Alco-Sensor IV, or hearing the click from the automatic breath sample with the Alco-Sensor IV or Alco-Sensor FST.)
QUESTION: Why do I get a VOID 09 or VOID 10 when I try to calibrate my Alco-Sensor IV?
ANSWER: The Alco-Sensor IV must be in the temperature range of 23 C and 27 C to calibrate the instrument. VOID 09 means the temperature of the instrument is below this range, and VOID 10 means the temperature of the instrument is above this range.
QUESTION: How do I replace the rechargeable batteries in my DP1012 Printer?
ANSWER: The rechargeable batteries on the DP1012 Printer cannot be replaced by the user. You may send your printer to AlcoPro for battery replacement. Click Here for a Repair Authorization Form.
QUESTION: My RBT IV printer battery is not holding a charge. How do I know if the problem is the battery or the battery charger?
ANSWER: Send your RBT IV printer and your battery charger to AlcoPro for evaluation. Our technician can determine if your battery charger is working properly. Click Here for a Repair Authorization Form.
QUESTION: What should I do if the mouthpiece gets stuck in the Alco-Sensor IV?
ANSWER: Call 800-227-9890 immediately. A technician may be able to talk you through removing it. DO NOT force the mouthpiece out. This could result in the mouthpiece breaking off in the instrument causing further damage.