There's a series of things we do before sending an instrument out to a customer for rental. One item in our checklist is to clear any existing test data from the device.
Earlier today, I was preparing a Svantek SV-106 vibration meter to ship, and when I tried to clear the data, I got a file system error.
How did I solve the problem? I used an old IT-guy trick.
Sometimes, a battery-powered device will give you a random error when the power is low.... not quite low enough to cause the power level indication to trip, but low enough to cause interruptions to regular processes. In my IT days, it meant plugging the unit in to AC power for a few minutes and trying again. But, since this unit is powered by AA alkaline batteries, it called for a simple swap-out, old batteries for fresh ones.
Because the battery was low, the unit didn't have enough power to clear its own data. But with fresh batteries, I was able to clear the data without any further troubleshooting, and without connecting to a computer.
We're starting to see this more and more, where a unit performs unexpectedly when battery power drops below the 25% capacity range. Look for a future blog post where we dig more into the issue, and figure out whether it's just alkaline batteries, or how the rechargeable battery-powered devices fare as well.