Safe Training Systems Ltd. (STS)

- Model SMF 4 - Portable Fluorimeter for Organic Pollution Monitoring



STS have produced the fully portable SMF4 Fluorimeter which allows instant quantification of Tryptophan, a surrogate for BOD, in water samples on site, allowing immediate decisions to be taken regarding water quality and control actions.This technique simplifies and quantifies investigations into cross connections in sewers and recycled water systems, illegal discharges to surface waters and monitoring consent agreements.Operation and control of the instrument has been streamlined so that it can be used by non scientific staff.

The great benefit of the SMF4 is the speed of measurement enabling large surveys to be undertaken, recorded and analysed within a matter of hours, whilst also giving real time information on immediate pollution issues.

The design of the SMF4 draws heavily on the research carried out by Prof Andy Baker and his team at the University of New South Wales & formerly of Birmingham University (UK), who showed that Tryptophan is an excellent indicator of anthropogenic pollution and that its measurement by fluorescence was straightforward. Further research allowed strong correlations to be made between tryptophan and the standard Biological Oxygen Demand test, but with an instant result rather than a 5 day delay. (research papers are listed at the end of this document)

The graph below shows an example of the established correlation between BOD and SMF4 fluorescence intensity counts.

The instrument is capable of detecting concentrations of BOD equivalence as low as 1 BOD and up to 300+ BOD (with very high BOD’s some dilutions may be necessary to reduce turbidity) giving the instrument a very wide scope of use from Final Effluent analysis through to direct pollution from farm, industrial and household point sources.

  • Measurement of organic pollutants in water giving BOD equivalence.
  • Instant readings on site without laboratory analysis costs and timescale.
  • Tracing pollutant sources back to origin.
  • Data logging & remote monitoring capabilities.
  • Can be used by unskilled operators for routine monitoring.
  • No consumables or reagents required

Instrument Dimensions

  • Size including carrying handle 18 x 30 x 15 cm
  • Weight including batteries 2.2 Kg
  • Splash proof sealing

Instrument Features

  • LCD Display 93 x 70 mm
  • Dimmable Backlight
  • Internal rechargeable batteries
  • Alphanumeric & Navigation Keypads
  • Cell holder and Cover
  • Internal Memory data capture of up to 2000 sample records
  • Automated serial sample data recording

The instrument menu is accessible from the keypad and offers the following user defined settings:

Data Input -will allow specific sample number and location information to be attached to a sample record.  Each sample captures a unique ID number, date, time and reading in addition to the 2 user definable parameters.

Set Sensitivity -the instrument has 3 sensitivity settings accommodating a wide range of Tryptophan concentrations. Concentrations can be measured from 0.025ppm to 25.0ppm Tryptophan.

Backlight -may be set to desired intensity as light conditions require and will automatically be turned off after 5 minutes of inactivity to preserve battery life.

Auto Sampling -using a flow cell and pump the instrument may be set up to carry out a series of measurements over a specified period at user defined intervals. The results may be written to either the internal memory or to an external data logger.

The internal memory is capable of storing approximately the following:

  • 1.3 days sampling at 1min intervals
  • 20 days sampling at 15min intervals
  • 83 days sampling at 1hr intervals
  • 250 days sampling at 3hr intervals

Internal Memory -may be downloaded via an RS232 port. A 9 pin RS 232 to RS232 / USB output is provided to connect the SMF4 to either a PC or data logger.  PC requires Windows 98/2000/XP/7.  The internal memory may also be cleared using the download function.

Set Date/Time -date and time are set in dd/mm/yy and hh/mm

Battery Information
The SMF4 is powered by NiMH rechargeable batteries, which give a useful operating period of approx 30hrs with the backlight on. When logging in sleep mode at hourly intervals the battery life is approximately 4 weeks. Approx 8hrs full recharge time required using provided charger.

Battery life is shown by a battery level indicator icon on the LCD display.

Sample Cell

  • Cell holder accepts standard fluorescence cells of 10 x 10 x 40 mm
  • Cell holder and cover will accommodate flow through cells for auto sampling.

Instrument Dimensions

  • Size including carrying handle 18 x 30 x 15 cm
  • Weight including batteries 2.2 Kg
  • Splash proof sealing

Instrument Features

  • LCD Display 93 x 70 mm
  • Dimmable Backlight
  • Internal rechargeable batteries
  • Alphanumeric & Navigation Keypads
  • Cell holder and Cover
  • Internal Memory data capture of up to 2000 sample records
  • Automated serial sample data recording


The SMF4 has two control pads, an alphanumeric keypad and a navigation keypad
To select the required letter from the alphanumeric keypad press the key once for the first letter, twice for the 2nd etc. Please note that the 0 key if pressed twice will display a space.

The navigation keypad is used to move between the menus using the up & down arrows, and to move within menu items by using the left and right arrows.

When the instrument is first powered on the battery icon is displayed, the home screen will then appear and the battery charge status may show almost empty. The instrument will then make an assessment of the battery charge remaining and display the actual charge status after a couple of minutes. When the charger is connect the home screen will display CHARGING, when the battery is fully charged the instrument will turn itself off. Please note that with the charger connected you cannot turn off the instrument until unplugged.

The SMF4 has built in battery saving software to facilitate the longest possible use between charges. The instrument will therefore power down after a period of 10 minutes of inactivity. If the instrument is in a logging mode this will continue unaffected. In order to wake the instrument press the on/off key – the home screen will then be displayed. The instrument will also turn off the backlight after a period of 5 minutes of inactivity – to wake the instrument press the down arrow key.

It should be noted that whilst in logging mode the instrument set up cannot be changed, i.e. the logging interval, sensitivity, time/date, upload or delete data functions will not operate. To change any of these functions press Stop Logging, change the required parameter and then press start logging to resume.

  •  he start up screen is displayed
  • briefly on power up and displays

the following information:

  • Serial Number
  • Software version no.
  • Time
  • Date

After the start up screen is displayed the Home screen appears. This screen displays the following information:

  • Counts reading
  • Sensitivity setting
  • Battery status icon
  • Menu icon
  • Charging (if connected to the charger, note the battery icon is not displayed when charging)

If your instrument is version 2.03 or greater the instrument will have 2 additional items displayed on the Home screen.

  • the temperature of the instrument is displayed in degrees Centigrade (this is also output in the data log against each record.
  • The sample number generated each time the instrument is triggered is displayed to indicate that the sample has been logged to the instruments memory.

 There are 3 menu screens accessed from the Home screen by using the down arrow on the navigation key pad.

The menus allow setting of the following options:

  • Set Sensitivity - High/Med/Low
  • Zero Calibration - On/Off
  • Backlight timer - On/Off   
  • Logging - Start time & Interval
  • Upload & delete data log   
  • External Logging – On/Off
  • Location & Reference
  • Time & Date
  • Set Backlight intensity

The SMF4 offers a range of 3 sensitivities, HIGH, MEDIUM & LOW. This enables monitoring to be carried out in a variety of different conditions where the amount of contamination present may vary considerably.

The Sensitivity level is selected from the main menu by pressing option 1. for LOW, 2. for MEDIUM and 3. for HIGH. The screen will then reset to the Home screen and the sensitivity will be displayed under the counts reading as below
The SMF4 has a zero calibration function to remove background from the count figure displayed. To use this function place a cell in the holder containing the background sample and press no.4 on the menu screen.

The screen will return to the home screen and the counts display will read 0000. Subsequent readings will then be displayed having had the background subtracted.

To remove the zero calibration press no.5 from the menu list – the Home screen will then appear and the next reading will not be adjusted for background.
The instrument has a backlight timer function to help maintain maximum battery life.

  • To select the backlight from the main menu press 6, the display will show backlight timer on. The backlight will now turn off after 5 minutes operation – press any key to turn back on.
  • To turn the backlight timer off (ie to have the backlight constantly on) select 6 again from the menu. The display will now show backlight timer off.
  • Please note that to preserve battery life the SMF4 will automatically turn off after 10 mins of inactivity when the backlight timer is on. Press the ON key to activate the display.
  • The auto sampling function allows the instrument to be used to record a set of readings over a specified time period using a flow cell provided by the user.
  • The instrument can capture up to 2000 records provided the memory has been cleared before sampling begins.
  • To access the logging setup press the down arrow to access the first menu and then press the down arrow again to access the 2nd menu screen.
  • There are 2 logging options, you may either set a logging interval and then manually start the log – or you may set an interval and a time and date for the instrument to start logging.
  • To start logging immediately, complete the following actions.
  • From the 2nd menu screen select no.3 LOGGING INTERVAL.
  • Enter the interval using the keypad and use the arrows to move the cursor to the next digit as required, press OK to save.
  • If you wish to write the data immediately to a pc from the 2nd menu screen select no.6. The screen will change to show EXTERNAL LOGGER ON (note in this mode only the reading will be output to the pc).
  • To set a location use the down arrow from the menu screen to reach the final (3rd) menu page. Select no. 1 and use the keypad to enter the location, press OK to save.
  • To set a unique reference repeat as above selecting no.2 from the menu and press OK to save.
  • To start the log running, select no.1- START TIMED LOGGING from the 2nd menu. (note you cannot manually trigger the device whilst in logging mode).
  • To stop logging select No.1 again from the 2nd menu which will now show “STOP TIMED LOGGING”
  • To set a timed logging sequence repeat the procedure for manual logging but DO NOT use the START TIMED LOGGING option.
  • Instead from the 2nd menu screen select no.2 –LOG START TIME/DATE.
  • The desired time and date can now be set using the keypad, press OK to save.
  • The Home screen will now show that logging is on and the interval selected.
  • The SMF4 may be turned off, the logging will start, and continue, without the display being on.
  • To stop logging select no.1 –STOP TIMED LOGGING from the 2nd menu screen
  • Please note that the SMF4 will also write the data to its internal memory until such time as the available memory is used up, therefore after a data logging exercise it will be necessary to clear the memory ready for the next sampling procedure.
  • To download the data from the SMF4 connect the RS232 cable to the USB adapter and connect to the PC which has had the terminal programme set up.
  • From the 2nd menu select No.6 to turn on -EXTERNAL LOGGER.
  • Connect to the SMF4 via the terminal programme and ensure that you can receive data.
  • On the 2nd menu screen select No. 4 -UPLOAD DATA LOG.
  • The screen will now show how many records there are to download, press OK to start the download.
  • Once downloaded the screen will revert to the Home screen.
  • To delete the data from the SMF4 select no.5 -DELETE DATA LOG. The number of files to be deleted will be displayed. Select OK to permanently delete the internal stored files. The screen will revert to the Home screen on completion.
  • To set the internal clock select option 3 from the 3rd menu screen.
  • Use the keypad to enter the time in 24 hour format, the > arrow on the navigation keypad moves the cursor between digits.
  • The date is set for UK format of DD/MM/YY.
  • Once completed press OK to save, the screen will return to the menu.
  • To select the intensity of the backlight go to the 3rd menu screen as shown opposite.
  • The desired backlight level can be selected by pressing 4 (low),5 (medium) or 6 (high) as light conditions dictate.
  • (please note that the backlight has a significant drain on the battery so where possible the low (4) option should be used)

  • SMF4 set to logging mode with sample being taken once a minute. Any variable between once per minute and once every 24hours may be selected.
  • All data is stored to memory with time and date stamp, sensitivity level, temperature and counts. Up to 2000 records can be stored before download is required.

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