ECM Unit

Portable ECM Unit

ECM Unit

The handheld digital ECM unit operates from an internal battery and records conductivity data digitally in non-volatile memory. After scanning one or more ice cores, the data are transferred to an IBM-PC computer using the software provided. Data transfer is through a standard straight-through serial cable (i.e., not a null-modem cable). A USB-serial converter is supplied for use with computers lacking a serial port.


  • NEW! Version 2 device with an ergonomic case
  • Microchip PIC18F6722 8-bit processor with keypad and alphanumeric LED display
  • Dimensions: 60 x 80 x 180 mm
  • Weight: approximately 600g
  • Automatic power-down after two minutes of inactivity
  • Real-time clock preserved time even when off
  • Digitizing rate: 19Hz (~1 sample/mm for 2cm/s scan rate) using a 24-bit Sigma-Delta converter
  • Automatic 50 and 60Hz power line noise rejection
  • Non-volatile FLASH Storage for over 130,000 samples at 24 bits resolution (~100 minutes of sampling or 135m of core at 2cm/s)
  • NOTE: Recording time/length is halved when the encoder option is added
  • 8 letter/digit core identifier capability
  • Output voltage can be set in the range 500-1100VDC (specify when ordering)
  • Analogue display of ECM current (0-60uA)
  • 20mm electrode spacing
  • Safety switch and audible alarm for operator safety
  • Power supplied by a 6V sealed lead-acid battery for good cold-weather performance
  • Charger voltage: 9-16 VAC/VDC input
  • 9-pin standard serial connector
  • USB-serial converter with Windows driver
  • Windows compatible software for downloading and managing data
  • Options:
    • Wire-and-capstan encoder system for determining position along core
      • 0.22mm resolution, 14m maximum run length
      • data storage reduced to 50 minutes (about 70m core) in total
      • 2m of encoder tracking wire is standard
      • tracking wire is tensioned by a spring and is of a design that cannot slip on the encoder wheel
      • customer will have to supply anchor points for the two ends of the wire, as well as a tensioning system (e.g., spring) so that the system fits their laboratory configuration
      • NOTE: This option can be added to the unit at a later date
    • Down-hole configuration for performing ECM in-situ

Software download

ECM software, suitable for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista is available for download HERE. Save the setup.exe file to your computer and then execute it to install the ECM software.


Icefield Instruments may provide periodic software upgrades for the handheld ECM unit. Web upgrades can be made automatically from within your installation of the ECM software.


Pricing as of October 2009 is as below:

  • Pricing for the basic unit is $8,740
  • Pricing for the encoder option is $1,015
  • Prices are in USD, FCA Whitehorse Yukon. Price does not include shipping, insurance, or duty. The harmonized commodity code for the ECM unit is 9027.80.90.92

Our Clients

  • Johnson Space Center (JSC)
  • Norsk Polarinstitutt (Norway)
  • Geological Survey of Canada
  • Space Science and Engineering Center, U. Wisconsin
  • More Clients

Our Warranty

We stand behind our products with a one year parts and service warranty. Read More