Group Skills

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The purpose of this page is to serve as a list of skills that new group members need to either already have, or acquire as they start to work in the group.

Tubing, fittings, flows, etc.

Tubing and Fittings

___ Types of fittings: swagelok, ultratorr (cajon), NPT, barbed, other pipe (ISO, FPT...), others
___ Ferrules: front and back, how to put them in (use tube trick)
___ How to swage a fitting: 1 1/4 turns when new (less when re-doing)
___ How to tell whether a swagelok fitting is damaged
___ How to tell whether an ultratorr fitting has all the parts and is assembled right
___ How to make an NPT connection (only one that uses teflon tape)
___ Types of manual valves: ball 2-way, 3-way, needle
___ Types of fitting materials and when to use each: steel, brass, nylon, teflon, aluminum
___ Types of tubing materials and when to use each: steel, copper, TSI silicone conductive, nylon, teflon, sulfinert, others
___ Avoid TSI black silicone conductive tubing ahead of chemical or hygroscopicity instruments
___ How to tell whether an ultratorr fitting has all the parts tube)
___ Tubing cutters for metal and how to cut
___ Tubing cutters for plastic
___ Can we use scissors for plastic tubing
___ Tubing benders for large copper and steel

Controlling and Measuring Flows

___ Using the Gast air pumps / compressors (34 lpm free air displacement, only 1 use)
___ Measuring flows with a Drycal (intermittent)
___ Measuring flows with a rotameter (intermittent or continuous)
___ Measuring flows with a Gillibrator or bubble flowmeter (intermittent)
___ Measuring flows with a TSI mass flowmeter (continuous)
___ Controlling flows with a mass flow controller (continuous)
___ Measuring flows with a Differential P gage or transducer (intermittent or continuous)
___ Controlling flow with O'Keefe critical orifice set
___ How to control larger flows (parallel orifices, drill orifices)
___ How to control smaller flows (AMS style orifices)
___ Using Computer-controlled ball valves
___ Using Computer-controlled solenoid valves
___ Estimating pressure drop on a tube
___ Determining whether flow in a tube is laminar or turbulent
___ Deciding whether you want the flow in a tube to be laminar or turbulent
___ Estimating particle losses in a tube

Using Cyclones to Cut Particle Size

___ How does a cyclone work
___ Connecting a cyclone at the end of a line
___ Connecting a cyclone in the middle of a line (be wary of leaks)

Testing for Leaks

___ Making bubbles with Snoop (if system can be pressurized)
___ Pressurizing the system and checking rate of P loss (if system can be pressurized)
___ Evacuating the system (with hand or electrical pump) and checking rate of P loss (if system can tolerate vacuum)
___ Filtering the air into the system and using a CPC (for flow systems)
___ Using a Helium leak detector
___ Using the AMS mass spectrometer (for leaks in the AMS)

Electricity & Electronics

AC Power

___ Making a new AC plug or socket
___ Testing AC sockets with plug tester
___ Using a Kill-a-Watt for measurement
___ Knowing the current limit of a Kill-a-Watt
___ Identifying circuits with circuit tester
___ Use good quality surge protectors to power instruments
___ Using a UPS
___ How to tell the limits of a UPS in current and time
___ How to comply with the limits of a UPS

DC Power

___ Using DC power supplies
___ Testing DC power supplies

Making electrical and electronic connections

___ Using a soldering iron
___ How to tell the gage of a wire
___ How to tell which wire gage you need for a certain current or signal
___ Differences between normal, twisted pair, and shielded cables
___ Making a new serial connector
___ Telling the difference between serial (9-pin), VGA (15-pin), and other connectors
___ Straight-thru vs. null-modem cables and adaptors
___ Loopback plugs (serial)
___ BNC cables and connectors, and when to use them
___ How to finish the shield on a BNC or other shielded cable
___ MHV and SHV connectors
___ Never connect or disconnect cables without turning things off first
___ Label all permanent cables with permanent tape
___ Managing cables with cable ties (velcro for temporary, plastic for permanent)
___ Cutting cable ties carefully with tie-cutter
___ Using a multimeter: measuring AC, DC voltages
___ Using a multimeter: testing continuity and open circuit
___ Using a multimeter: measuring current
___ Using a multimeter: measuring capacitance and inductance
___ Using the high voltage probe
___ Using an oscilloscope
___ Using an oscilloscope dividing probe
___ Using the high voltage probe with the oscilloscope
___ When do you need to use a grounding strap
___ How to use a grounding strap
___ Measuring voltages with a computer (NI USB, Labjack) & how to test
___ Measuring voltages with a computer (PCI Cards)
___ Generating voltages with a computer (NI USB, Labjack, PCI) & how to test
___ Creating simple programs in Labview

Basic Measurements

Measuring and controlling temperature

___ Types of thermocouples (we normally use yellow = K)
___ Using a thermocouple display
___ Using a thermocouple amplifier (1 mV per degree, use in F for better SNR)
___ Changing the battery in a thermocouple amplifier (Lithium 3V, NOT AA 1.5V)
___ Connecting a thermocouple amplifier to a multimeter
___ Connecting a thermocouple amplifier to a computer
___ Using an infrared handheld thermometer
___ Using a Variac with heating tapes

Measuring and controlling pressure

___ Measuring pressure with a passive gage
___ Measuring pressure with a baratron gage
___ Pressure limits of baratrons (do not overpressure)

Measuring and controlling humidity

___ Relative humidity probes
___ Stand-alone T & RH probe (with display)
___ Humitter 50Y T & RH probe
___ Salts for calibration of RH probe

Using Computers for Data Acquisition

___ Making sure that Windows Update and Antivirus are updated
___ Serial to USB connectors
___ Working with USB hubs
___ Using KVM extenders
___ Using KVM switches
___ Synchronizing computer clocks at least every day
___ Getting external clock from serial or IRIG line
___ Data acquisition hardware: USB NI Card, Labjack, PCI cards
___ Data acquisition software: Labview
___ Data acquisition Software: Visual Basic
___ Daily backup of data using Viceversa
___ Backing up campaign data and notebooks in group server

Aerosol Measurements

Non-AMS Measurements

___ How to use a CPC 3010
___ How to test a CPC with a filter
___ How to compare two CPCs
___ How to read a CPC 3010 in a computer
___ IMPORTANT: how to avoid flooding a CPC 3010
___ How to use the water CPC
___ How to fill and empty a CPC
___ Safety procedures with butanol
___ Dry a CPC overnight before transport
___ How to use a DMA
___ How to use an SMPS
___ Radioactive chargers: Kr-85 vs Po-210
___ How to tell if a charger is still active or has decayed
___ Safety and regulation of radioactive sources
___ How to read and analyze data from an SMPS
___ How to use the DustTrak
___ How to use the Grimm OPC
___ How to use the CO and CO2 probe
___ How to use the O3 analyzer (2b)
___ How to use the O3 analyzer (TECO)

AMS Basic Use

___ Shutdown procedure in case of panic: close valve, shut down TPS, vaporizer
___ What to monitor on the AMS: bare minimum check flow (5% changes) and AB (10%)
___ How to change the critical orifice (close valve first!)
___ How to clean a c.o. (isopropanol)
___ How to test a c.o. (microscope, flowmeter)
___ Proper positioning of a c.o. (larger side on high P side)
___ How to test the chopper servo
___ How to change the chopper servo
___ How to measure ambient temperature (plug thermocouple amplifier to channel 0)
___ Connecting and disconnecting quick flanges
___ Connecting and disconnecting ISO flanges
___ Make sure all structural screws are present and tight on the AMS frame
___ How to tell whether it is the turbo pump or turbo controller that has failed

Basic Experimental Laboratory and Campaign Tasks

___ Keeping a good notebook in a consistent format (electronic or paper)
___ Label all parts with PERSON, DATE, and status (esp. used parts)
___ Record any instrument or experiment changes in the notebook, especially unusual or unexplained ones
___ Keep computer clocks synchronized
___ Pick up everything that is or falls on the floor
___ Make sure you bring everything back from field study (including stuff we loaned)

Basic Data Analysis in Igor

General Igor Usage

___ Creating and modifying waves
___ Making scatter and line graphs
___ Formatting graphs
___ Doing calculations in the command line
___ Re-doing past operations in the command line
___ Creating and executing functions
___ How to use a FOR loop
___ How to use an IF statement
___ Passing variables by reference
___ Using global variables (best to avoid)

AMS Data Analysis Tools

___ Using Squirrel to do UMR Analysis
___ Using PIKA to do HR Analysis
___ Finding and reading the code behind a button or display
___ Using APES to do Elemental Analysis
___ Using PET to do PMF Analysis