Wingmate Breathalyser vs BACtrack: A Comparison Guide
26 October, 2023
The BACtrack and Wingmate breathalysers are some of the reliable and easy-to-use devices for estimating blood alcohol levels. For personal use, there is the semiconductor breathalyser, which gives a quick alcohol reading. On the other hand, the fuel cell breathalyser is ideal for professional use. Other essential features to look at are accuracy, portability, and convenience. Both Wingmate and BACtrack offer various types of devices for different testing needs.
The alcohol breath test is a convenient way to measure the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). It is the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, indicating the level of intoxication. Knowing the BAC level is important as it aids in making informed and responsible decisions. For example, it helps individuals determine if they are within the legal limits to drive. In this article, we will compare the Wingmate and BACtrack breathalysers in terms of features, ease of use, and recalibration requirements.
Wingmate Breathalyser vs BACtrack: Device Features and Accuracy
The BACtrack and Wingmate breathalysers offer different features and levels of accuracy. They both provide breath testers with semiconductor and fuel cell sensors. The difference between the two sensor types is that the semiconductor sensor offers quick readings, while the fuel cell sensor offers precise readings. It is also vital to check the sensor range of the device. For example, the BACtrack Go from Breathalysers Australia has a detection range of up to 0.400% BAC.
A wide range of detection ensures it can measure the BAC more accurately, especially at high levels. Thus, it enables users to know their alcohol concentration when making decisions. Moreover, they have a small screen to display the BAC results. The personal devices have a two-decimal LCD display, while the professional-grade ones have up to three decimal BAC readings.
For individuals who need an accurate device, checking the unit’s certification can help. For example, advanced breathalysers like the Wingmate Pro and the BACtrack Gen2 series are Australian Standards AS3547 certified. This entails they meet the rigorous standards of accuracy and reliability.
Sensor Technology Used in Devices
- Semiconductor sensors: these sensors use a metal oxide material to detect alcohol molecules in the breath. However, semiconductor sensors could not distinguish between acetone and alcohol.
- Fuel cell sensors: the technology uses a chemical reaction between alcohol and oxygen to generate an electrical current. The output is then measured to determine the BAC. Fuel cell sensors are specific to ethanol and do not react with acetone or other endogenous substances in the breath.
- Infrared spectroscopy: this technology uses infrared light to analyse the breath sample. It identifies the specific wavelengths of light absorbed by alcohol molecules.
Wingmate Breathalyser vs BACtrack: Portability and Ease of Use
The BACtrack and Wingmate breathalysers have compact and sleek designs. The personal breathalysers are portable, making them easy to carry around. In particular, the Alcosense Wingmate weighs 85g, including batteries. Meanwhile, the BACtrack Go weighs 56g with a mouthpiece and batteries, making it one of the lightest alcohol testers on the market.
Moreover, the breathalysers are designed with simplicity and convenience. The devices have a one-button operation for easy access. When using the device, simply press the power button and wait for the sensors to warm up. Then, provide a breath sample upon the blow signal and wait for the results. This enables users to determine their level of sobriety in a matter of seconds.
Furthermore, individuals who need more functionalities may prefer professional-grade devices like the BACtrack Trace Pro, BACtrack Mobile Pro, or Wingmate Pro. The BACtrack Trace Pro has a memory feature that stores the last 10 BAC readings. On the other hand, the BACtrack Mobile Pro is Bluetooth-enabled. It connects to a smartphone app to deliver the BAC results directly to the mobile phone. It also estimates when the BAC will return to 0.00%.
Precautions When Operating the Device
Operating a breathalyser requires certain precautions to ensure accurate results. Firstly, it is essential to wait 15 to 20 minutes after eating, drinking, or smoking before using the device. The waiting period allows the body to process alcohol. Secondly, follow the usage or test guidelines of the manufacturer. It includes the recommended waiting time and blow time.
Additionally, always take the breath test in a well-ventilated area. This prevents potential errors due to the presence of other substances in the breath sample. Environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and smoke can impact the accuracy of the test. Lastly, avoid exposing the sensors to excessive saliva.
Wingmate Breathalyser vs BACtrack: Information on Recalibration
The breathalyser sensors tend to drift over time as they are exposed to air and other substances. The build-up of particles may cause inaccurate readings. Hence, regular recalibration is vital to maintain the optimal performance of the device. The recalibration duration may vary depending on the usage frequency and breath sample quality.
The Wingmate breathalyser and BACtrack have a recalibration requirement every six months for Australian Standard-certified devices. However, some units may require recalibration for a certain number of tests. Thus, it is advisable to check the recommended duration before getting a device. Furthermore, the recalibration procedure often involves sending the unit back to the manufacturer for servicing.
Some breathalysers may have a built-in recalibration reminder, while others may send a reminder through email. It is advisable to keep track of the next recalibration date to ensure on-time servicing. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid using a breathalyser that is past due to its recalibration period. This is because the sensors may not function properly, leading to inaccurate results.
Other Key Features
Other key features to look into are the breathalyser’s flow control, adjustable settings, and battery life. It is vital to blow steadily into the device for at least five seconds to ensure accurate alcohol testing. The breathalyser may display an error if the provided breath sample is insufficient.
The battery life is also important, especially for individuals who need to test their sobriety on the go. Old or weak batteries may not provide enough power for the device. Lastly, some devices may have adjustable settings. This includes an alarm to notify users if the BAC exceeds a pre-set limit.
The Wingmate breathalyser and BACtrack offer a convenient and simple way to test alcohol levels. They provide various types of devices with different features and levels of accuracy. This includes semiconductor and fuel cell breathalysers. Additionally, the portable breathalysers are easy to use. They have a one-touch button operation to enable breath testing in seconds. To ensure accurate results, it is essential to follow the breath test guidelines and take precautions when operating the unit.
Equally important, the recalibration of the device is vital for reliable results. The professional-grade breathalysers typically require servicing every 6 to 12 months, depending on the model. Other features to consider are the airflow control, adjustable settings, and battery life. The choice will depend on individual needs and preferences. Overall, using a reliable breathalyser helps in managing alcohol consumption and making informed decisions, especially in driving.