Last summer, the field station got a few CHN-OS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur) analyzer. Our old one wasn't able to hold a calibration curve, burn things a consistent temperature, or accurately dispense samples. Plus, it would print out all results on a DOT MATRIX printer (yeah, it was that old), and the way you entered info was with this 0-9 keypad...no letters. So if you wanted to call your sample "A", then you had to enter some random 3-digit code that meant "A". It was horrible. The new one is so much better! It runs on a real computer, and results are exported into Excel.
|Our CHN Analyzer. Isn't it purdy?|
This new CHN can process up to 96 samples at once, which is AWE-some! The old one could process a lot too, but not that many. This machine does it with 3 samples wheels. The only problem is that once your sample is in the wheel, unless you wrote down somewhere what is in a well, it's hard to tell what it is. This was a problem with the old CHN too, but we're really noticing it with the new one.
|The 3rd wheel, pencil for scale|
|Tiny tins folded up with sample in them. So tiny, so annoying, so unlabeled!|
We've had some problems with the machine, and yesterday Lab Tech decided that he was going to fire the bad-boy up and get it working right again. He thinks that whatever problems it was having was "user error" but whatevs, here nor there. But when we were down there, we noticed that the last person to use it had left some samples in a tray. We have no idea what they are, and it's very easy to get confused and forgetful with these wheels. I've loaded up a wheel, looked away and then back, and forgotten what I'd done. But we got to talking and we tried to figure out how we could possibly label these things. And I had a wonderful idea! Lots of offices have lots of extra, unused, overhead projector sheets laying around. And did you know you can photocopy on them? If you didn't, well, news flash..
|First, I made a paper template of what we wanted the labels to look like|
|Next, I photocopied the template on to a projector sheet|
|Cut it out and voila! Now we can label these sample wheels!|
Well, y'all may not be impressed, but I certainly am please with myself...obviously. Feel free to take the idea and apply it to anything else you think it could be useful