Outline by Jon Leer

  1. Introduction

Now that you have unpacked your ColorStar Color Analyzer, let's get set up and learn how to use its features to measure and calibrate color for your specific application.

  1. Components and Accessories

Your ColorStar color analyzer is built into a lightweight but durable metal carrying case.

Unlatch the case and fold it open.

To the left there are two storage compartments. In the center is the transmission lamp, and on the right, a display and three control switches.

Open the two storage compartments and pull out the accessories: a mouse, stapler, tripod, light tile, dark tile, and power cable and transformer.

Display - shows the mode and value. It consists of an 8 line x 15 character LCD with a 64 x 120 dot bitmap.

Contrast knob - modifies the contrast of the display.

Joystick - controls the position of the reverse video cursor on the display menu (up/down arrows) and modifies the reference values (left/right arrows).

Select button - executes the specified menu function and color measurement.

Transmission lamp - light source for transparency and film measurements. Cover unscrews to replace bulb.

Mouse - fitted with a tri-sensor optical head and measurement switch (red button on side).

Stapler - base adapter that mounts to the mouse for measuring hardcopy or film and transparencies.

Tripod with suction cups - attaches the mouse to a computer screen for measuring color.

Lens - attaches to optical head on mouse to restrict measurement area when measuring color on the computer screen.

Light tile - maximum light target reference.

Dark tile - maximum dark target reference.

Power cable and transformer - attaches to 100 AC outlet.

  1. Removable ROM

Look inside the storage compartment in the base of the ColorStar and find the ROM chip. This chip contains the calibration and control firmware. It can be replaced at any time by reaching inside the compartment and sliding the lever to the left.

  1. Connector Panel

On the back side of the ColorStar case is the connector panel.

ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) connector - connects the ColorStar to your MacIntosh computer.

RS232C port - enables RS232C communications

BNC trigger - triggers programmed I/O events

Power connector - connect ColorStar to power transformer.

ON/OFF switch - powers the ColorStar on or off.

  1. Setting Up the ColorStar

The ColorStar can be used as a stand-alone color analyzer or as an integral component of a computer-driven manufacturing system.

Connect one end of the power cable to the Power connector on the back of the ColorStar unit and the other end to the power transformer. Connect the transformer to a 110 AC power outlet.

If you want to use the ColorStar with a MacIntosh computer system, connect your computer to either the ADB or RS232C connectors on the back of the ColorStar.

Which ColorStar attachment you need will depend on your specific application. No attachment is necessary to measure ambient illumination. However, to perform measurements in Reflection Densitometer mode or to measure the color content of transparencies and films, you must attach the stapler to the bottom of the mouse.

If you need to measure a color monitor, connect the lens attachment (for specific spot measurements) to the optical head of the mouse. Mount this configuration to the tripod and then position the tripod feet using the suction cups so the mouse/lens is in position on your monitor screen.

  1. Operating the ColorStar

Turn on the power to the ColorStar by switching the ON/OFF switch on the control panel to ON. The analyzer powers up and displays the last measurement mode in which the ColorStar was operating. The first time you use the ColorStar, the display shows the Main menu which lists the ColorStar's nine measurement modes.

Since the LCD display shows only eight lines at a time, only 5 modes will be listed on the screen at any given time. Use the joystick to scroll through the nine modes.

To select one of the nine modes, scroll to the desired mode and press the Select button. The ColorStar beeps, indicating that the mode has been selected.

The ColorStar displays the corresponding menu for the selected mode, showing the supporting parameters. In this case we have selected the R Density mode.

To return to the Main menu, use the joystick up and down arrows to move the reverse video cursor over the mode title and press Select button.

  1. Making a Measurement

You can make a measurement whenever the ColorStar is displaying a specific measurement mode or alternate function menu. Press the mouse switch (red button on the side of the mouse) to trigger a measurement reading.

Here are some of the common measurements.

General Ambient Illumination (Luminance, Illuminance, Pulse Luminance, Color Temp) - hold the mouse toward the light source you want to measure and press the mouse button.

Reflection Densitometer mode - place the stapler (connected to the base of the mouse) over the hardcopy so that its aperature is over the area to be measured. Press down on the mouse so the optical head contacts the aperature and press the mouse button.

Measuring Color Content of Films and Transparencies - place the aperature of the stapler (connected to the mouse) over the ColorStar's transmission lamp. Then, place your film between the stapler aperature and the optical head of the mouse. When the film is in position, press the mouse down until it contacts the film, and press the mouse button.

Measuring Color on a Computer Screen - mount the mouse/tripod to the monitor screen so the lens attachment is over the area to be measured, and press the mouse button.

  1. Alternate Functions

The alternate functions are useful for verifying or calibrating the ColorStar values for your specific application. To select an alternate function, move the cursor down the measurement mode menu to "Alternate Func" and press select. The display shows the different values you can modify.

For example, to calibrate light to the light tile included with your ColorStar accessories, select "Light Calib" from the menu. The display prompts you to place the mouse/stapler over the light tile, press down, and press the mouse button to take a measurement. The ColorStar displays a list of reference density values, corresponding to the reading you have just made. If you want to change any of these, use the joystick arrows to select new values.

  1. Programming Measurement Modes

To custom program the ColorStar so that your computer system can automatically access specific measurement modes, connect a cable between a serial port on your computer and the RS232C port on the ColorStar control panel. Then, download your custom program files to the ColorStar.

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