Graphs Stop Recording

There are multiple reasons the current information ceases or quits displaying. Here are the most common mistakes made by operators:

1 - Failure to enter a valid Season, Month, Year. Each season only lasts 235 days and recording data Stops. For site with multiple seasons in the same year you need a new season and month for each drying session to avoid this problem.

2 - The Date and Time in the Sheller Field (Blue Status) cannot be LESS THAN the length of the process or data will be cut off as if this bin is completed.

3 - The Configuration of the Date Format (MDY or DMY) MUST agree with the Microsoft Date Format or the time standard is confused. 

4 - The file structure of the program folder and/or the data folder is not correct. See another Blog section. 

5 - Obviously if no Network Response Data is received then there is no information to display. This is most likely a hardware issue.  The one software problem than can cause this is a missing serpdrv in the C:/optek5 folder.

Missing Sheller Data in the real time graph

If no moisture graph is occuring in the #1 Tab screen there can be several reasons. They are:

1- The incorrect Sheller ID chosen to display. They are potentially 8 sheller ID #s from F0 thru F7 and the correct installed ID must be selected to display the shelled moisture info in the graph. The selection is made to the far left of the graph. The calibration setting is also determined for the selected ID# and not the other sheller inputs.

2 - Incorrect Aoffset and Again values for the installed sheller ID#. See the manual - the offset is = the empty Present Value Reading and the Gain is = 75 default

3 - Insufficient corn covering the moisture sensor - this is indicated by very low (1200 - 1800) Present Values Reading with corn flowing. Relocating the sensor or adding baffles to cause corn to cover the sensor are the fixes.

4 - Defective or damaged sensor or wiring errors into the panel.  

5 - Lack of communication to the sheller panel will be a cause for no data reporting. This is seen by missing Response Field Data for the Sheller ID#

Moisture Probe Calibration & Repairs

Specifications to confirm the correct moisture input values:

Setting the Cgain value - One 10 foot probe Cgain=46; Two 10 foot probes Cgain = 92, any reduced length is Pro Rated from above values, i.e. 8 foot probe Cgain = .8*46 = 36.8. These value should not be altered. To calibrate the moisture probe for the correct moisture input we work with an Empty Bin. Read the scan result (Present Value Number) for the bin under consideration. The formula to calibrate the input is (Present Value # - Cgain) = Coffset. This is repeated for each bin. Reading the Log Value will yield an empty bin reading of 1.00. "JAM" and "Calc" buttons can aid in this process.

Diagnosis of moisture input reading errors. If Present Value # reading deviate from the initial empty bin settings (i.e the Log Value deviates from 1.0 ± .1 ) then you should look to the hardware involved. Each component part of the Moisture rod and coax cable contributes an amount of dead or offset capacitance and by this you can often pinpoint the problem. The best method I can offer is an example. Lets presume the majority of Present Value reading are about 190 to 200 which would represent a single moisture rod input with 10 foot of coax. How is this 200 value made up from the parts and what does it tell us.  The contribution estimates are:  Rod = 45,  10 foot coax 135,  Union = 6.5,  12" Box Coax = 17.   So in my example if I have a moisture graph problem and I read PV = 155 for that bin I would conclude the disconnect is where the coax connects to the rod. If the PV reads 17 or 23 I suspect the Union.                       If PV reads 0.0 I would look at the connection on the circuit card. Of course this presumes your first look at the problem would be for screen input error such as no Hybrid selected. Also, if the Bin has been loaded with corn and the input problem exists you can select "Faulty M% Probe" in the Start Status Window until the hardware can be fixed.

For those bins with more than one moisture rod the total dead capacitance will be comprised of multiple coaxes and rods and therefore this must taken into account with less definitive diagnosis. 

Connector Aging Issues

Several of our sites have been in operation for 20 years or more and we are starting to see the effects of connector exposure to the elements, mainly reliable contacts, especially if any moisture or high humidity conditions exist. Some suggestions to manage this issue are:

Exercise each circuit board connector several times to scratch away and re-expose bare metal to both sides of the contacts. A good dielectric grease on the pins may alleviate future corrosion.

Any conduit or cable runs entering a box from the top need to be examined closely since the condensation of summer humidity in the winter will accumulate in the housing and cause electrical issues as well as corrosion. Visually look for gray scum, green discoloration, or rust when opening any housing. 

Error Msg "Start Time Not Valid"

This is an indication that at the time entered to start a new batch there is no corn moisture input to the system. Possible causes are:

1 - No corn in the bin, 2 - Broken moisture sensor or bad connection, 3 - Software has not updated with current information to clear the message. Waiting 1/2 hour usually will clear the error if 1 and 2 are not true.

It is always best to start the fan and burner before entering the information in the "Start Phase". Generally this will eliminate this error msg.

Missing Site Data on Program Startup

We have had issues with the site configuration data not loading when starting the Optek Program. Generally this can be the result of the incorrect file structure, incorrect desktop shortcuts, or running the correct program from a incorrect location. In some cases, with multiple operator signs to run our program on a network, missing permissions can prevent loading the current data. Solutions to this phenom depend on the problem. The best approach is to assure the correct files structure and location is being used.

In the ROOT Directory two primary folders viz,

C:/optek5/ODC11fap.exe (e.g. only one current exe file)
        /several *.fil configuration files
        /fildatxx/ subfolder with site xx configuration data
        /Discs or Runtime Install/ Subfolders

C:/DCDAT/fildatxx/subfolder with site xx configuration data
            /sensor files for each active bin,dryer, and sheller (e.g. F161.xx01)
            /ticketxx/subfolder with bin tickets
            /offset/subfolder with fuji offset data

As an example of incorrect structure and consequences would be if the ODC11fap.exe file is on the desktop,  each time the program is run it will up date the fildatxx files in optek5 and dcdat. When it is shut off and restarted the exe file location (desktop) will not have a current fildatxx array of configuration to load and hence loads blanks. 
This same thing occurs when the user signs on and runs without permission to access the correct directories and/or folders with the fildatxx files and sensor data.

Another error is to have multiple executables in the c:/optek5 directory and the shortcut targeting an older and incorrect version of software. This result in running a working program but not the latest version with resulting confusion. The only version in the C:/optek5 directory should be the current file.

Fuji Programming Errors

                FUJI Programs Errors

Incorrect Fuji programming can lead to serious consequences. Here is a list of errors we have seen, consequences, and solutions.

1 - Incorrect display resolution. The DP setting in #2 menu MUST be set to 1 which will cause the Fuji to read 95.6 as example. If your FUJI Model PXR is reading e.g 96 (only two digits ) then lookout as this will translate the Optek output temperature SV and Offset as x10 in value. This means a 2°F offset will read as 20°F and 95°F will read as 950°F.

Set DP = 1 on Param List 2

2 - As additional protection on bogus SV entries the range of SV can be restricted. This setting restricts the maximum value of the Burner Temperature request. Our recommendation is to set on param List #3.

SV-L = 0
SV-H = 120°F        or

SV-L= 0
SV-H = 49°C

A more complete list of Programming is found in our Operation Manual.

Autocalibration of FUJI Burner Control


1- For Autocalibration of the FUJI Burner Control system you must have selected "net to dryer type" = 9 for PXR FUJI or #8 for FUJI PYX. This will enable Optek software to correct the OFFSET to bring the burner system in agreement with the Optek NIST Temperature Device. This is done for either the Lower temp or the Upper temp depending on the Air Flow direction.
2 The specific sequence is when the software system read the sensor information from the bin - both optek sensors and the FUJI thermocouple temperature as well as the SV - we compare the FUJI Temp with the proper NIST device and send any difference as an OFFSET to the FUJI device.
example - in UpAir Status - FUJI thermocouple value = 34°C and Lower NIST temp = 36°C then Optek sys will send +2°C to the FUJI OFFSET. You can read the current offset in the "selnet location" for each bin or it is on the middle graph with a +40 Base to locate it on the graph.
Finally the Optek Sys changes the SV based on the Optek program setting. This is separate from the OFFSET adjustments.

You can choose not to change FUJI OFFSET (NOT Recommended) by selecting "net to dryer type" as #6 for PXR Model or #5 for PYX model Fuji.  We have made many tests of autocalibration and found significant temperature errors in the Burner Control systems. This is true in both Up Air and Down Air status. The OFFSET will be different in each case.

System Hangs

Program Hung Ups

There are several files that can accumulate if yearly maintenance is not undertaken. In extreme cases this can cause program slow downs and hangs. Let’s look at details

1 - There is a daily backup file of all configuration and sensors data. The location of these files is by default in the root directory but can be targeted to other drives, both local and network by selection in screen #2. Each day at the time entered in “Start Shift” (default =7:00am) a backup copy of data is created e.g. C:/dcbuxxx and depending on the length of the season and number of drying unit this file can be large. Each day the Optek program will look at the last backup and add 1 to the numerical value to name the next file e.g. c:/dcbuxxx+1.  In a 45 days season the will create 45 significant files and if left unpurged will accumulate year after year eventually using up memory space and causing problems. We have seen cpu lockups at each start of day. This is outside of the Optek Program control since it is under the Microsoft domain.  

Generally the only file need to preserve data if required is the most recent backup. Our recommendation is, after the season,  rename the most recent file dcdatyear and erase the remaining files. This will preserve the configuration data in folder fildatxx and the season sensor data for the year. Prudence would copy this file and c:/optek5 to a usb and secure its location.

2 - Along with the backup history there are season long files created each year and possibility multiple times in a year if additional seasons are used. This also can result in very large data folders such as C:/DCDAT (English, Portuguese, Romanian versions) and C:/CSDAT for Spanish. Each Season and or Year a new set of sensor data will be generated and the files grow with days of drying. If the previous season/year are not deleted upon starting a new season/year then the data folder becomes very large and can impact memory availability. The data files are denoted by F(C)XXY.ABzz where 

F or C is temperature form, XX is Year, Y is Season. AB is site code, zz in selnet number (net#). Our recommendation is to delete (provided #1 above is followed) all files in e.g DCDAT. Also the Bin Ticket records in the subfolder C:/DCDAT/Ticketxx can be deleted since this also will accumulated year after year. This will leave  C:/DCDAT with subfolders Offset and fildatxx. The ticket folder will be recreated upon the next usage whenever a bin process has been completed and populated with the new bin ticket information