PV Measurements, Inc. Technical Support PVM-Support@groups.ioWelcome to PVM Support!
Here we discuss how to get the maximum benefit from solar cell measurement equipment, both I-V and QE systems, made by PV Measurements, Inc (PVM). Discussion of measurement techniques, repairs, modifications, data interpretation, and calibration are all welcome. A PVM engineer monitors the forum and will contribute guidance, but users are encouraged to help each other out as well. This is a replacement for the forum that was previously hosted at PVM's website. While PVM recognizes that equipment users are from all over the world and speak many languages, this forum uses English because PVM employees know English and almost all PVM customers are very proficient with English. We request that members for whom English is difficult engage a colleague with good English skills to help interpret and create clear posts.
Learning to Use your Equipment
PVM offers training to buyers of its equipment at time of purchase. Usually, as the original users move on and people not present at the original training join the group of a system's users, the experienced users train the new users on the equipment. PVM supplies two paper copies of the equipment manual at time of purchase. New users should always read the manual before using the equipment and before asking questions here.
How to Join
Membership in this forum is available only to users of equipment sold by PV Measurements, Inc. Apply for membership by first creating an "account" at groups.io and then requesting membership in this group using the "Join" or "Apply..." button below. Next, using an email address that shows that you are associated with the institution that purchased the PVM equipment that you use, send an email to the Group Owner email address shown below. In it, specify the model number of your equipment, its serial number, and the approximate purchase date. Include photos if you're unsure of which equipment in your lab is from PVM. If you used a different email address to join the group, then cite that address. It's okay if you are not the original purchaser.
How to Use this Forum
Once approved for membership, consider making an introductory post sharing your name, institution, what equipment you use, what kinds of solar cells you work on, and anything else that might be of interest to other users.
To resolve issues of how to use the system or solve problems, please first consult the manual that came with your system. If the manual does not have the answer, then search the discussions here to find others' experiences with similar issues. If the problem is still unsolved, please post a question here, including all the information about your issue that you think might help someone else understand it. Include information about what you have already done in your attempts to solve the problem. When posting a message, include a "hashtag" from the list that indicates the category of measurement you're using. Optionally, you can also include a tag showing the model number of the product to which your question pertains. If a photo will help illustrate the issue, you can upload it in the Photos section. If you do this, create a folder and description that references your post. Or, you can drag and drop a photo into your post itself. Please do not include or upload large photo files. First, reduce them to the smallest size that still shows the necessary detail. Sometimes a measurement file is helpful to illustrate an issue. You can excerpt some text from a measurement data file and include it in your post, or you can upload the file to the Files section. In the latter case, use a folder and description that references your post.
Please respect PVM's designs and technology by not sharing forum content with PVM's competitors. If such sharing occurs, then this forum may be removed, which would be a loss to the community of scientists who use it.
Things Not to Do
All members must comply with the groups.io terms of service. Among other things, this means that you must not post or share PVM equipment manuals because they are copyrighted. Persons violating the copyright by posting or sharing PVM equipment manuals, even if this is done outside of this forum, may cause their equipment to become ineligible for future technical support or membership in this forum. This may affect other users and future users of the equipment. So don't do it.
Don't say mean things about anybody, even if they're true.
Don't include text from the previous post in your post. It clutters your reader's screen. Exception: if you're responding to a part of a post that is several items down the post topic thread, you may excerpt the relevant part for inclusion in your post to help orient your reader.
Don't include excessive "signature" lines. Your name and where you work is enough. More than that generally clutters your reader's screen.
Stay on topic. In particular, don't invoke or mention political or religion issues.
Hint about Managing your Subscription
If you're new to groups.io, explore your options in the bar to the left. Start with the "Subscriptions" category to tell groups.io how you would like to be notified of new posts. After making your selections, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to save them.
When ready to post a message about a topic that's not already covered here, click on "New Topic" in the bar to the left of the screen.
FAQ and MUQ (made-up questions)
1. I can't find my equipment manual.
Look some more. Ask around. If you still can't find it, PVM can supply a replacement copy, but you'll have to pay for it. It's a big hassle for us to arrange for an old manual to be printed.
2. Why won't you just send me a manual in electronic format?
PVM puts a lot of helpful information in its manuals. Thus, our competitors find them very interesting. In today's dominant economic system, companies that make it easy for their competitors to copy their products don't last very long. Electronic format manuals are too easy to share.
3. I have a problem with my equipment, but it's not made by PVM.
Contact the maker of your equipment for help.
4. I don't read manuals.
Ask a colleague to read the manual to you.
5. I applied to join this forum but never heard back about my request.
Verify that you sent us the information requested in the instructions above.
Look in your spambox. Groups.io should have sent you a confirmation email after your membership was approved. Such approvals should take less than 2 days (longer if we're on vacation) after your completed request.
6. I'm too busy to describe my equipment's issue in detail. I just want your engineer to come to my lab tomorrow and fix it.
PVM doesn't offer this level of customer support.
7. I posted my message, but it didn't appear.
You might be under moderation. All new members are moderated for the first few messages to make sure they're actually here for the group's intended purpose. The delay should be between 2 minutes and 2 days (longer if we're on vacation).
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