How to Use a Gas Analyzer

Written by brian birmingham
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How to Use a Gas Analyzer
A gas analyzer will help you record and measure gasses. (Oxygen image by JASON WINTER from

Gas analyzers are rather complex pieces of equipment that should not be tampered or tinkered with. However, when the proper steps are taken, they are not as difficult to use as they appear. Follow these steps to utilise your gas analyzer properly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • PowerLab
  • Computer
  • BNC cables
  • I2C cable

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  1. 1

    Plug the PowerLab--a data acquisition system that records the information picked up by the gas analyzer--into the computer. Plug the gas analyzer into the PowerLab by plugging the BNC chords and the I2C chord into the appropriate outlets.

  2. 2

    Check the exhaust ports of the gas analyzer to make sure they are clear of any obstruction. When they are clear, turn on the analyzer. Lights should come on to indicate that it is on. To make sure the internal pump is functioning properly, flick the pump on switch so its indicator is on and the pump is heard. Allow the gas analyzer to warm up for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Turn on the PowerLab and open the Lab Chart. The status indicator on the gas analyzer will glow green.

  4. 4

    Select "Carbon Dioxide" or "Oxygen" from the proper channel pop-up menu to preview the gas analyzer's signal. The Oxygen or Carbon Dioxide dialogue box will appear.

  5. 5

    Record data in absolute or difference mode. Difference mode will record changes in gas concentration from ambient levels.

  6. 6

    Click "Units" to open the Units Conversion dialogue box. Enter different values depending on how you calibrated your gas analyzer. If you did not calibrate it, put in the default units.

  7. 7

    Record the gas concentration by setting the pump to breathe across rather than directly into the sampling tube. Record your findings in the Lab Chart.

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