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The materials of the section were prepared by Denis BOROVITSKY, Alexey VOROBYEV-OBUKHOV, Sergey MISHIN


Test devices will help to quickly identify substandard fuels and lubricants.

Examination of fuel in a specialized laboratory is an expensive and long pleasure. It will take more than one hour to test a sample in a “hospital”. Will a petrol tanker wait for the test results or find a more accommodating buyer? Supporting documents with current printing capabilities are not trusted. What to do? The way out is analog probes: they can give a preliminary, but quite objective assessment of fuel literally in a matter of minutes.

One of such microelectronic “controllers” of automobile gasolines - “Mikon-X001” fell into the hands of specialists of ZR. Unlike the Petersburg colleague - the device

“Rhombus-P”, which does not distinguish between water and other “criminal” liquids in gasoline (ЗР, 1998, No. 11), “Mikon” senses them, as they say, from the inside.

A probe operates on the principle of indirectly determining the detonation resistance of gasolines by the method of dielectometry - measuring the dielectric constant of a medium. Fill in a special sensor, inside which the emitter with the receiver, a few milliliters of gasoline, connect the module to a special connector and turn on the device by pressing a key. The electromagnetic wave emitted by the emitter penetrates the test sample, is distorted, and enters the receiver. The microchip hidden in the double bottom of the sensor, after processing the analog signal into a digital one, transfers information along the chain to the main processor of the device, which compares the received signal with the standards stored in the memory. There are many of them: Mikon is able to remember 215 gasoline samples “in the face”! And, if the “brew” that is poured into the sensor does not fit into any standard or technical specifications, the electronics will signal an alarm in the same way as if it detects tetraethyl lead, water, and dirt in gasoline. Things are somewhat more complicated with the now popular iron-containing and other antiknock additives. To identify them, the developers, at the request of the customer, “sew in” special routines. Some devices are equipped with an additional output for connecting “operating controllers” to the automated line of oil refineries.