My device will not take a reading/PBM won’t turn on
The following issues can be observed by users resulting in them being unable to take a reading:
- The PhotonMaster Bluetooth Module (PBM) won’t turn on
- The PhotonMaster Bluetooth Module (PBM) is not holding a charge
- The lights are illuminated on the PhotonMaster however the PBM cannot turn on
- The PhotonMaster lights flicker and shut off when taking a manual reading
The PhotonMaster Bluetooth Module (PBM) is a battery and data collection device for the PhotonMaster luminometer. The PBM allows you to power and operate the luminometer alone or paired via Bluetooth to your mobile device through our myLuminUltra Test + Analyze area.
If the device does not take a reading, the issue is with your PhotonMaster Bluetooth Module.
Typically, the common issue observed with the PBM is the device does not have a minimum charge and might take some time to turn on if it’s been a while since the last charge. The best practice is to leave the PBM unplugged from the PhotonMaster Luminometer while charging and to charge via a wall outlet, not a laptop.
Complete the following steps:
- Unplug the PhotonMaster Luminometer from the PBM
- Plug the PBM into a wall outlet (using any standard USB charger) for 40 minutes
- Try to turn the PBM on. Does the PBM turn on?
- If no, unplug for 10 seconds, plug back in, and try again for another 30 minutes.
- Is the red charging light visible when the device is plugged in and turned on?
If PBM does not turn on, attempt with a different power source and micro-USB - USB cable. If this does not resolve the issue, please share the device S/N and troubleshooting steps with firstname.lastname@example.org
I am experiencing abnormal readings
A Luminometer that is in good working condition should produce a background reading of less than 20 RLUs. A "blank" or "background" reading refers to the RLU produced when taking a reading of the luminometer chamber without processing a sample.
Abnormal Readings Observations
- Blank or Background RLU readings (bRLU) are in excess of 20 RLU
- Excessively high or excessive fluctuations in repeated test readings
These issues are most commonly the result of three things, please attempt the following steps
- Static electricity interference. Ground yourself before conducting tests (a common way to do this is to touch a faucet), use a different brand of gloves, or move to a different location.
- Dirty or scratched assay tubes. Discard the tube and simply try another one.
- Dirty luminometers (tube chamber). Clean instrument regularly and immediately when experiencing abnormal readings with the PhotonMaster Luminometer Maintenance Kit
High background readings are usually caused by dirt and debris in the assay tube through spilled reagent or dirt and dust collecting in the chamber. It is recommended that you have a PhotonMaster Luminometer Maintenance Kit on hand and complete a cleaning every 3-4 months and a linearity check should be done annually. When not in use, it is recommended that the PhotonMaster be stored in its field case to prevent any accidental damage to the unit.
When in operation, the sample door should always remain closed, except when a sample is being entered or taken out of the luminometer.
If you continue to experience high background readings, after completing troubleshooting steps #1-3 we recommend generating some data for our technical team to investigate. Please complete the following blank readings and note the RLUs in each light setting.
Once you’ve generated the information below, please share the .CSV file to email@example.com along with the device Serial Number
|In Brightly Lit Room||In the Dark|
|Assay tube blank||X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X||X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X|
Chamber blank (Brightly Lit Room): Take 10 readings with nothing in the instrument. A result greater than 20 RLU is indicative of light leakage or circuitry problems
Chamber blank (Dark Room): If a high reading was revealed in test #1, take a reading with nothing in the instrument while in a dark room. A result greater than 20 RLU indicates that light leakage is not a problem and that it is a circuitry issue.
Assay tube blank (Brightly lit room): Insert an empty assay tube into the chamber and take a reading. If low blanks were seen in tests #1 and #2, a result greater than 20 RLU is indicative of light leakage due to the cuvette preventing a good chamber seal and allowing light leakage or static charge buildup on the cuvette.
Assay tube blank (Dark Room): If a high reading was revealed in test #3, repeat the previous test in a dark room. A result greater than 20 RLU indicates that light leakage is not a problem and that it is likely due to static charge buildup on the assay tube. Wipe the outside of the assay tube gently with a clean and damp cloth and repeat or repeat the blank test with a new assay tube.
Luminase blank: Add 100µL of Luminase to a new assay tube and take a reading. If low blanks were seen in tests #1 - #4 a result greater than 20 RLU is indicative of assay tube or Luminase contamination. Repeat the test with a second assay tube to investigate assay tube contamination or a second Luminase batch to investigate Luminase contamination.
Does Sample temperature affect my results?
Cell activity will vary based on the temperature. At lower temperatures, cellular metabolism and reproduction are slowed and ATP levels will be reduced. It's recommended that samples be tested immediately at ambient temperature to make sure you're getting the most representative results. If samples were stored cold, allow them to come back to ambient temperature before running the test protocol.
Further Potential Reasons for High Backgrounds
If you are getting a high background value without an assay tube in the chamber this suggest light leakage and the luminometer should be repaired. Call our Technical Support for more information. Other reasons for high chamber blank RLU values:
Light Saturation - the photodetector used in the luminometer is extremely light-sensitive and can become "saturated" with light if exposed to ambient light such as that found in a normal laboratory. Although most modern luminometers contain redundancies that prevent such an occurrence, executing an RLU measurement with the chamber cap open can cause this problem. One solution in this case is to power down the luminometer and allow 4-6 hours for the photodetector assembly tube to return to normal
Radio Frequency Interference - Many electronic devices emit radio frequencies (RF), which are a subset of a larger group called Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF). Certain devices generate greater RF's than others and can artificially stimulate the luminometer electronics to emit high RLU's. These include wireless internet connections from personal computers or multi-function cellular telephones, very-high frequency (VHF) or ultra-high frequency (UHF) radios, cordless telephones, heavy equipment (motors, welding equipment), among others.
Helium Canisters - Avoid operating and storing the luminometer near Helium gas canisters. Helium gas can permanently damage the photomultiplier tube.
Contaminated Plastic Consumables - the various plastic parts used in 2nd Generation ATP testing should be sterile and free of ATP. It is important to ensure that unused plastic parts are stored in a clean environment in the sealed package in which they were received and that when in use the surfaces that come in contact with reagents or samples are not contaminated in any way (for example, avoid touching pipette tips on a surface). If you suspect that you have received contaminated plastic parts, obtain a fresh, unused quantity and re-check background noise to confirm. Also, because of the risk of cross-contamination, these components are meant for one use only and should never be re-used.
Contaminated Reagents - LuminUltra's reagents are manufactured using the highest purity raw materials and robust sterilization practices, backed up with stringent Quality Assurance practices. As such, factory-fresh reagents should be free of contamination; however, reagents in multiple-use forms (such as bulk bottles and dropper bottles) may become contaminated over time. If you suspect contaminated reagents, obtain a fresh batch to confirm.