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Scott Niemann is the owner of CSS Analytical Co Inc.

Chemstation and Mass Hunter News Letter

Here's our new Product News Letter drawing attention to our three main products:

     Chemstation Upgrades for HP 5972, 5971 Mass Specs

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Mass Hunter Upgrades

Just released:    We are now providing Mass Hunter Upgrades for your HP 5973, Agilent 5975, 5977, 6890 and 7890.  See our web page for details:   Mass Hunter Upgrades

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5890 GC Chemstation Upgrades

Chemstation data system upgrades for HP 5890s are going well.  We can run your old 5890 on Windows 7 and G1701 Chemstation or G2070 GC Chemstation.  Give us a call and see how we can help you keep those old 5890s running full time for the next 5-10 years !  Visit us here: 5890 GC Windows 7 

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HP 5890 GC on Windows 7 and GC Chemstation

Windows 7 and Agilent GC Chemstation for your HP 5980 GC. 

A complete turnkey solution to keep your HP 5890 GC with FID, EPC, etc... running another 10 years.  Available for order now!   Click on our 5890 Upgrade page, to see a bit more about this new product and then ask for a quick, free quotation.

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Troubleshooting the HP 5971 and HP 5972 Electronics (Part 5 of 5), Top Board

Top Board - is physically mounted to the top stainless steel manifold plate and is primarily responsible for the RF power generation and peak control, peak width and peak location.  The  Top Board seems to be the most fragile board of the hp 5971 msd and hp 5972 msd.  Non-existing or inconsistent peaks are the main clues to a bad top board.  While RF power generation and control is a complicated engineering application, it is a board that can be relatively easy to repair.  Send it to us and we'll troubleshoot it and repiar (or replace) it for you.

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Troubleshooting the HP 5971 and HP 5972 Electronics (Part 4 of 5), Smart Card

I/O board - is otherwise commonly known as the "SmartCard".   The smartcard is the rectangular board to the left of and plugged into the Main board.   There are several versions of Smartcards and (for the hp 5971 and hp 5972) after the Smartcard I are all backwards compatible. The  Smartcard I can be identified by "Discrete" memory chips soldered directly to the board.  All Smartcards NEWER than the Version I, have memory in the form of RAM Sims, much like the RAM memory SIMS found in your desktop personal computer.  Go to our page:  http://cssco.com/smartcard-id  for easy id.  The Smartcard is the "Brain" of the mass spectrometer and is in fact a mini computer.  It has several micro processors and lots of memory.  It is responsible for the HPIB communication, control of the mass spectrometer scanning, data acquisition, data buffering and data manipulating.  Troubleshooting of this board is limited to "Initializing" (testing HPIB communication ... SCINIT at the comman line). hard reset - for newer boards,  and "Profiling" in manual tune.  Profiling with a bad Smartcard (in manual tune) can identify a memory SIM error.

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Troubleshooting the HP 5971 and HP 5972 Electronics (Part 3 of 5), Main Board

Main Board - is the large SQUARE board mounted on the front of the electronics chassis (right side board if you are facing the two boards).  Most of the control functions are placed on the main board and there is little to trouble shoot.  Testing of the DC power supply can be done by probing the test points on the main board.  (See our blog entry for troubleshooting the DC Power Supply)   This is the main mechanism used to troubleshooting the DC power supply.    However, a bad main board can  "Pull Down" the DC power supply.  Disconnecting the DC power supply from the main board and testing the power supply directly can help troubleshoot a bad main board.  It never hurts to remove all connectors (power off of course) and make sure none of the pins of the connectors or recipticals are bent.  We've seen that happen !  Other than that - remove and replace a bad or suspected main board with a known working main board, or send it to us for testing. 

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Troubleshooting the HP 5971 and HP 5972 Electronics (Part 2 of 5), Power Distribution Board

Power Distribution Board / Vacuum Controller Board

Power Distribution Board (PDB) - is both the primary distribution node for the the incoming power and the board that starts and controls the diffusion pump.   The PDB is stuffed under the manifold, behind the electronics chassis (sheet metal where main board and I/O board are mounted).  It is rare that this board dies, but it does happen. 

The beauty of this board is that it fully controls the diff pump with or without the PC and Chemstation up and running.  Get the manifold under vacuum and power on the MSD.  This board will take over and turn on the diff pump when the vacuum is low enough and provide the "Diff Pump On and Hot" signal when appropriate.  The board also provides a red led to indicate that the diff pump is powered on and running.  You can see the red led through a one-half inch hole in the chassis back behind the smartcard near where the power cord comes in. 

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Troubleshooting the HP 5971 and HP 5972 Electronics (Part 1 of 5), DC Power Supply

There are only 5 boards (assemblies) in the HP 5971 and HP 5972 MSD.  Over the next few blog entries we will assist you in troubleshooting each of these modules.

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Replacement O-Rings for the HP 5971 and HP 5972

O-Rings for the HP/Agilent can be purcased directly from Agilent  but they can be rather expensive.  Now that the HP 5972 and HP 5971 is so old, finding the right o-rings can be problematic.

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HP 5971 and HP 5972 Diffusion pump trouble shooting and service

If you have an HP 5971 or Agilent 5972 MSD and you can't get the diff pump to turn on there are only a few possibilities.  1)  You have a massive leak and the diff pump controller board won't allow the diff pump to turn on.  2)  The DC power supply in the MSD is dead and can't run the pump controller board,   and 3)  The diff pump heater is dead.  

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Too Cold and Too Hot Sensors for HP 5971 and HP 5972

HP 5971 and HP 5972 Mass Spectrometers have difussion pumps and on the frame of the diffusion pump are two sensors.  A   Too Cold Sensor, the bottom (white wires) and the Too Hot Sensor, the top (red wires).   The signal from the sensors report to the startup and run electronics of the Power Distribution Board.

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Connecting a rough pump to your mass spectrometer

Most HP/Agilent mass spectrometers have power outlets on the back of the mass spec in order for you to plug your rough pump(s) into.  In this case, the software can accommodate automatic  "Pump Down" and "Vent" procedures.  This is a great idea for a new mass spec, or a new mass spec owner/operator.

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Activate SICL Error - The Horror!

The Horror of it all!   Customers call when they get this error and exclaim all manner of frustration.  They've often spent several days trying to recover from this error - including re-booting, deleting and reloading the software, re-configuration of the instrument.  Violence is often part of the equation and sometimes I think drinking is also involved.  This particular error is very harsh and very un-forgiving.   In fact, the only way to recover from this insidious error is to reboot your PC!  Sometimes you even have to pull the plug.  Yikes!

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Backup Power Supply for your Benchtop Mass Spec

A customer recently asked me about installing a UPS (Uninterpretable Power Supply) on his bench-top mass spectrometer system.  Here's how I went about explaining how and why.

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More on Unplanned interruption of Chemstation Run

A customer read our first post on Unplanned Stopping of a Chemstation Run.  He contacted us with another problem he recently experienced.

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Unplanned stopping of a Chemstation run or sequence

Chemstation sequences are supposed to run without stopping until complete.  Ever set up a sequence only to find that it mysteriously stopped during the middle of the night or weekend?   If so, did you first think to blame the autosampler?

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Get more life from your Hewlett-Packard (HP) 7673 Autosampler

If your Autosampler has run thousands of samples like mine, it might be a little sluggish these days. Here's how to PM your Autosampler system and maybe get another six to twelve months of continued use from it.

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How to clean and condition o-rings

Mass Spectrometry is a analytical technique that makes and sorts molecules based on mass.  In order to make and move ions, a sufficient vacuum is required.  In order to make a good vacuum, GCMS Mass Spectrometers need o-rings.

Most o-rings, once put in place are never disturbed and are good for years but eventually they need to be attended to.  Most are easy to get to and are inexpensive and can just be replaced.  Such as for the rough pump, diff pump, ion gauge, calibration valve, etc... 

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New Blogging Front End

Just downloaded and installed a new Blogging feature for our web site. Easy to do, done! I'll download our old posts and publish new ones soon.
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