Narrow Gauge Root Imager


Product Details


For the CI-600 In-Situ Root Imager, we recommend a 3” (inch) diameter auger bit with two extension pieces for drilling holes to accommodate the 2.75” outer diameter of the CI-600 tubes.

For the CI-602 Narrow Gauge Root Imager, a 2.5" auger bit with two extension pieces is recommended for the 2.25" outer diameter of the 105 cm length CI-602 tubes.

When using the earthquake auger, brace the auger to steady the bit and to ensure that the angle of the holes for each tube placement is consistent. The hole created by the auger should be just larger than the tube to minimize the airspace around the tube exterior. With excess space, created by an unsteady auger bit, air pockets can occur between the tube and the soil, which will be visible in the root image and may lead to excess condensation on the exterior of the root tube. It is best to limit the space between tube exterior and soil wall to 8mm, or 0.3".

You can source a longer 15-conductor cable if needed for your imager. Ensure that all 15 pins are physically wired inside the cable. An easily identifiable symptom of a wrong cable is that the scan head will light up with a blue light. We recommend the following cable for a longer 15-conductor cable:

Under the product features of the cable linked, they list that all 15 pins are wired to support DDC2 (E-DDC) and EDID.

Image quality can sometimes be improved through calibration. View the images below for examples of typical quality verses necessary calibration.

No Recalibration Necessary

Bands of lighter or darker pixels, visible as wide stripes across the image

These are typical of images captured with the CI-600 and CI-602. The scan head is composed of banks of sensors for which the calibration may be slightly different, resulting in thick bands of slightly lighter or darker hue.

Uneven, colorless, thin lines on image

These are a result of the fibers that make up the root tubes. The imager is essentially capturing the walls of the root tube and then the soil and roots beyond. These thin lines should not be consistent from tube-to-tube if it is truly the root tube fibers. This is caused by the soil not being packed tightly around the outside of the tube.

Recalibration Necessary

Thin, consistently pattered stripes

These kinds of images are a result of either a failed calibration, improper connection between instrument and PC, or failed hardware. To troubleshoot, ensure you are using the proper cables and that your connections are secure. Next, try a recalibration using the provided calibration tube. If recalibration does not improve your images, contact

  1. Open up the desired manual in a browser window 
  2. Click ‘Accessibility Mode’ 
  3. Select the download icon. The manual will download as a pdf. 

  1. Ensure you are using the most current software version on your PC. Please see our CI-602 software page for the most current release.
  1. Proper positioning of the imager in the calibration tube is the most important aspect of a calibration. While there is an indicator of the proper insertion position on the calibration tube, it can be necessary to manually adjust the positioning. See the steps below.
    1. Insert the imager at the position noted on the calibration tube with white dots properly aligned as well.
    2. Take a test scan at 100 dpi.
    3. The image should clearly show a white band at the very top, followed by a black band. See the image below as an example.
    4. Insert the imager slightly clockwise from the indicated home position if you do not see the white stripe on top of the black stripe. Insert the imager slightly counterclockwise from the indicated home position if there is anything above the white stripe in the image.
    5. Take another test scan and repeat as necessary.


  1. Change the number of calibration scans run for each dpi. Navigate to advanced>calibrate>options># of samples and set this to 48.

The CI-602 is typically safe to use in conditions ranging from -5c through 55c.