Troubleshooting a Failed Calibration

Posted by gamry on March 6, 2014

A Calibration Failure Warning Appears

During Calibration you may receive a warning dialog such as this:

Calibration Failure Warning

A calibration warning.

The first course of action is to double check your connection to the universal dummy cell, making sure you are connected to the calibration side. Check to make sure that your Faraday Cage or Gamry Calibration Shield box is closed securely, and that the ground lead(s) from your cell cable are connected to the outside of the Cage/Shield. Select Retry on the warning dialog. Framework will run the test again.

If you receive the same warning during the retry, next select Ignore to allow Framework to attempt the rest of the calibration. Ignore can be selected if any other Warning dialogs appear.

Framework will generate a “Calibration Results #####.txt” file in the My Gamry Data folder. This is a record of the entire calibration attempt along with detailed information about the results of each calibration step. This file should be emailed to Gamry Technical Support so that our technical support staff can review the health of the instrument. Be sure to include your full contact information.

Possible Reasons for a Failed Calibration

The modern potentiostat is an extremely sensitive instrument. It is possible for high precision analog components to “wear out” over time and cause problems during calibration. The cell cable is also a high precision part of the instrument and can develop its own problems with repeated use, thus it must be suspected. The procedure for checking the continuity of your cell cable can be found on our application note: Checking the Integrity of your Cell Cable. It is highly recommended to try calibration using a different cable, should you have access to one.

Because the calibration is testing the operation of sensitive components, electronic noise from the rest of the lab can adversely affect the calibration process. A properly grounded Faraday Cage or the Gamry Calibration Shield box is essential for a successful calibration.