Like the Intoxilyzer 5000 and Intoximeter 3000 commonly used throughout California, the Datamaster operates on the principle of infrared analysis. And as with those devices, the machine is subject to all of the flaws of infrared analysis-nonspecificity, see Breathalyzer Tests.
The designers of the Datamaster, opted for the faster and cheaper infrared method of analysis, hoping to minimize the problem of lack of specificity by utilizing two wavelengths. The microcomputer was integrated to control sequencing, calibration and self-checking, making it easier to use and less susceptible to operator error. Additionally, the software can be custom-designed to meet the requirements of a given jurisdiction or the specific needs of an agency.
The detachable breath tube contains a sealed wire-wrapped antenna for the purposes of detecting radio frequency interference. Further, the manufacturer offers two options:
Subsequent to production of the BAC Verifier, Verax Systems designed the BAC Verifier DataMaster — primarily for use in Washington State. The principle of operation for the DataMaster is the same as for its parent machine; the differences lie in the changes made to comply with the state's bidding requirements. The case of the Datamaster is metal, for example, while the original machine is plastic impregnated with metal; this was done, in theory, to reduce the chances of radio frequency interference. Other changes include a different printer to provide multiple copies of the evidence ticket; a different layout of the printed circuit boards to make the machine easier to maintain and repair; a new central processing unit (CPU) to inhibit the electrical interference previously noticed in the poorly designed circuitry of the original Verifier; significantly different data collection and storage software — most notably, changes in the formula used to calculate the presence of acetone in a breath sample and in the previously defective "erasable programmable read only memory" (EPROM) used to calculate BAC; and changed breath-tube mounting.
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