Ram Jam’s Quick-Start Guide to Embracing the Jaz!

Anyone who is anyone knows that portable spectrometers are the shizzle! The Ocean Optics Jaz is a must have for any colour scientist and works great as a desktop spectrometer or your friend in the field for measuring light wavelengths. The only problem is once you take this shiny little black box out of its packaging most people have no idea how to use it. Scores of colour scientists have wasted countless hours trying to figure out by trial and error how to use their magical spectro-box. A while ago I put together a quick start guide for the Jaz to get people started doing reflectance measurements. Since then it has been emailed back and forth by countless colour scientists and I thought it made sense to just make it available online if you or anyone you know needs it. Feel free to share this around, measure some surfaces and embrace the Jaz!

Using the Jaz with a computer

Step 1- Setup

  • Plug in USB Cable and Probe
  • Open Spectrasuite/OceanView/Whatever
  • Turn on Jaz
  • If Jaz does not appear under ‘Data Sources’ you may need to ‘Rescan Devices’ or try opening the program again.

 Step 2- Enable strobe using the Jaz unit.

  • Press red (X) button
  • Arrow down to ‘PX lamp’ press the green (P) button.
  • Select ‘Setup’ (#)
  • Select ‘Timing control’ (#)
  • Arrow down to ‘Free Running’ press the green (P) button
  • Select ‘Enable’ (∆)
  • Press (X) button
  • Press (X) button again
  • Select ‘Enable Strobe’ (∆)

Step 3- Settings

In your program set integration time (e.g. 40msecs) and boxcar (e.g. 10). These are the integration time and boxcar values that I have been using but these may differ depending on what you’re doing.

Taking measurements

How you set up for taking measurements (i.e. establishing your light and dark references) will depend on what program you are using. When set up press the disk button to save a file. Make sure to give it a file name and specify where it goes. Make sure to set the file type as Tab-delimited format or something that you can read as a text file.

Using the Jaz on it’s own

Step 1- Turn it on!

 Step 2- Enable strobe using the Jaz unit

  • Press red (X) button
  • Arrow down to ‘PX lamp’ press the green (P) button
  • Select ‘Setup’ (#)
  • Select ‘Timing control’ (#)
  • Arrow down to ‘Free Running’ press the green (P) button
  • Select ‘Enable’ (∆)
  • Press (X) button
  • Press (X) button again.
  • Select ‘Enable Strobe’ (∆)
  • Press home button to return to main menu. 

Step 3- Settings

  • Select ‘Tools’ (O)
  • Select ‘Manual Control’ (∆)
  • Select ‘Acq. Parameters’ (∆)
  • Select ‘Integration Time’ (∆)
  • Select ‘Manual’ (#)
  • Use arrows to set integration time (e.g. 40msec) and press green (P) button
  • Select ‘Boxcar’ (#)
  • Use arrows to set boxcar (e.g. 10) and press green (P) button arrows

Taking measurements

  • Press home button to return to main menu
  • Select ‘Reflectance’ (#) to do colour measurements
  • This will begin scope mode
  • Take a measurement of your white standard with the (triangle) button
  • Take a measurement of your dark sample with the (#) button
  • Begin measuring your sample with the (Oš) button. Sometimes it asks if you want to adjust to light, this will change your manual settings so best not use it.
  • Press the yellow disk button to save your spectra.

You will need a card reader to get your spectra off the memory card and onto your computer. The jaz saves things in weird file types with 5 columns that can be opened as a text file. The first column is the light spectrum, the fifth column is your reflectance data.

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