Iron Miners
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:58 pm 
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Chris, nice one..

Doug, I also have an MSA Solaris which is primarily what I use today now. Much smaller than the Passport and more reliable. I'll agree with Chris, the size of the Passport can be difficult when working in a mine or even crawling. It really is kind of big. The sensors on the Passport are also slower to react than the Solaris. The Solaris sensors react almost immediately and go down pretty quick too. If you expose the Passport to a combustible gas, it detects it quickly, but it might take a minute or so for the numbers to come down. The Solaris is quicker..

I bought my Solaris brand new on EBay for $400. Four sensors, 2 year warranty.. I did have an O2 sensor go, I called MSA up and they shipped me a new sensor out the next day. MSA is a pretty good company like that. The Solaris doesn't beep unless you turn it on, so it sounds like someone doesn't know how to operate a gas meter... :roll:

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Chris,

Thanks for the offer. Buying a new one has crossed my mind, but only in a flash.

As I don't know the location of abandonded mines that are open for exploration in the Midwest, nor do I foresee actually working in a mine. I'm playing and collecting. I have picked up three units off of E-Bay, hoping for good fortune that one might work. Or for a few bucks could get one working.

No dice. All three had the CO detectors leak acid to some degree. On one of the sensor boards, traces where the acid leaked are FUBAR. The other two I think are still functional, but with slight trace damage.

My wild hope is to locate more detailed testing and repair proceedures. It's the technician / engineering side of me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Doug,

When you run a Calibration Test on the unit, holding PAGE and RESET together when turning it on, select calibration, and it asks you to apply Fresh Air, what error do you get? Have you tried doing this with the CO sensor removed from the unit?

We have found when flying to Arizona that we needed to perform this step on the Passport because the O2 sensor would not zero out using the normal Fresh Air Setup when turning it on. I would assume the altitude diferences is enough to through off the calibration of the sensors.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Greg,

I put it into calibrate mode:

Apply Fresh air

Wait 1 min for warm-up

<RDY>

Adjusting Zeros

ERROR- CANCELLING




This unit is a 2100 M. The CO sensor is removed and the switches set to off on the main board. This sensor board is the cleanest, and all of the traces are intact.

The O2 sensor just came off E-Bay still in the factory packaging. I would assume that they don't go bad in the factory package, as I didn't see any expiration date.

This is the same results that I get no matter which of the three I try. And I have tried the O2 sensor in two of them.

IN the technial manual from MSA Site. They did not define this error, but would lead one to believe that it's factory repair time.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:44 am 
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When you get the ERROR CANCELING, do you see any black boxes appear or numbers over one of the figures for the sensors? As the O2, CO, COMB, and H2S sensors all have a dedicated place on the passport display screen to present the user with the reading for the sensor, I believe a failed sensor may show black squares over the number where the reading would be for the sensor. Do you see anything like this before it cancels the calibration? Anything that would indicate which sensor is failing the test?

So long as you turned the CO sensor off via the dip switches, it shouldn't cause you any problems when calibrating. It sounds like you have the technical guide for the Passport as it contains all of that information on which switches to turn off. If you think you figured it out, then I won't look it up (unless you would like me to).

The other question that I have is what is the date code on the O2 sensor you bought? Did the package that the sensor came in have any date codes on it? You should be able to tell how old the sensor is and if it is past warranty.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:17 am 
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The black box is over the O2.

The date code doesn't make sense to me: 647006.

I assume that is the date code as it is not a part number.

Yes, I downloaded the Technical manual from MSA's website.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:49 pm 
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That number you read off is the part number. The date code is located in two places. The original sensor box should have a green sticker on it which has the date code. You see two digits for the month and two digits for the year. This number should match the date code stamped on the TOP of the sensor itself. On the sensor, there is a two character stamp which identifies when it was manufactured. It is stamped into the sensor, not printed.

If you see like 'H 7' stamped into the sensor, that would indicate the month 7 (July) and the year ends in 7, hopefully 2007. The sensor package, if you still have it, would have then a "07 07" on it.

The symptoms of the black box over the O2 reading would indicate the O2 sensor is failing the test and probably out of it's span parameters. While it is possible the main boards are bad, it is unlikely in my opinion. The O2 sensors are probably bad. If you turn on the passport again in normal mode, skip the fresh air step, does the O2 sensor return a 0 reading after it has been zero'ed? Or a number lower than 20.8? When the sensors start going bad, you might only get a top reading of 17, 15, or whatever reading performing that step.. When they are completely bad, you'll just get 0.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:03 pm 
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The "new sensor" is A4.

Had to take my contact out to find it, They don't make those too ledgible.

I can't find the package.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:01 am 
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So then this sensor would be from January 2004... Just over 5 years old.. Sounds like the sensor is past life.. Problem is that new sensors are close to $200 on EBay. I just took a quick look, a few guys are selling other sensors for the Passport, all around $190ish. You might be able to get an O2 sensor from one of those guys, but it is going to be around that price.

Your problem is that you have other sensors bad as well (at least your CO). If you wanted to replace that, there is on listed on EBay for $68. No date code is listed though but it is in the original box. Plus you don't know the state of the LEL sensor or even the battery..

If you are still considering repairing it, you might want to check the state of the LEL sensor and the battery first. The problem with all gas meters is that they are not always cost effective to repair unless you either have sensors on hand or at a reasonable price.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Miner Greg wrote:
So then this sensor would be from January 2004... Just over 5 years old.. Sounds like the sensor is past life.. Problem is that new sensors are close to $200 on EBay. I just took a quick look, a few guys are selling other sensors for the Passport, all around $190ish. You might be able to get an O2 sensor from one of those guys, but it is going to be around that price.

Your problem is that you have other sensors bad as well (at least your CO). If you wanted to replace that, there is on listed on EBay for $68. No date code is listed though but it is in the original box.

Miner Greg


Is there any safe way to know that a sensor off of E-Bay is any good?

The one O2 sensor I got came off E-Bay in factory package. Luckily, I paid less than $50 with shipping, so it's no big loss. But I don't want to throw money away.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Well, a safe bet would be if you buy a non new gas meter on Ebay, I would assume at least the O2 sensor is shot unless the unit was recently calibrated. For a new meter or sensor, I would ask the seller to read of the date code on the meter and or sensor. A sensor or meter older than two years would be suspect. I personally wouldn't buy a sensor or meter older than a few months old so that I know it has some life, unless the price is right..

All recent meters and all sensors have date codes on them. An O2 sensor will usually last 3 years once exposed to Oxygen from what I have been told, so keep that in mind.

Miner Greg


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