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Author Topic: Favorite Instrumentation?
ChemGeek
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Icon 1 posted October 28, 2006 18:51      Profile for ChemGeek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was talking with some friends (all chemistry geeks) about what our favorite form of analysis was in school. Mine was always HPLC and FT-IR. I use Waters Alliance systems at work, but I miss the HP 1100 I used in school. What are your favorites?

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Experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 01:18      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HP is all Agillent now (in regards to chromotographic equipment). I use both the Waters and HP systems daily (with DAD). The Waters I find much more user friendly but the Agillent has more abillity. Our Waters and Agillent systems are 5 years old. Our HP model is the 1100, I think, and I don't remember on the Waters. What I really want is for programs( I should say Methods) written on our Waters to work on our Agillent and vice versa.

My current favorite however is the Bruker 4000 NMR I get to use. That or the old CE we use because it was broken and in the basement until I dug it out and got it working again.

FTIR is boring. [Razz] Just kidding. My main research project at University was with FTIR.

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MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 07:31      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, a specialized topic I can actually relate to. I deal with inorganics. I used to use a Leeman Labs PS1000 ICP. It was my baby, I could coax it to do pretty much anything, even though the software was DOS based and F-key powered. We've since "upgraded" to an HP-4500 ICP-MS which uses a version of HP ChemStation that I still feel lacks a lot of decent UI design. You can tell it was written by an engineer.

I also use a Milestone DMA80 Direct Mercury Analizer with EPA Method 7473: "Analysis of mercury through decomposition, amalgamation, and atomic absorbtion spectrometry." I like tools that multitask and this machine absolutely doesn't. It does one thing, and it does it rather averagely. I suppose with some very tweaked settings, you might be able to make it cook your lunch a half-gram at a time, but that's about it. And the software for this thing.... ooooh don't even get me started!

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"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 07:47      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ten ton hydraulic press that makes IR wafers. The only thing that works reliably.

But if your machines work every day, you're not at the cutting edge of science are you?

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ChemGeek
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 15:27      Profile for ChemGeek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Waters software is a bit more user friendly then the Chemstations I used in school. I found the 1100 hardware easier to use, maybe that just because thats what I learned on. I guess I was biased from the start. And please, they are instruments not machines. [Wink]

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Experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 17:52      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Favorite Instrumentation_____________Honky Tonk Piano, or Alto Sax ala Bob Segar.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted October 29, 2006 23:09      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ChemGeek:
The Waters software is a bit more user friendly then the Chemstations I used in school. I found the 1100 hardware easier to use, maybe that just because thats what I learned on. I guess I was biased from the start. And please, they are instruments not machines. [Wink]

We don't use Chemstation, We use Empower for all lab equipment. In Empower the colomns are automatically cleaned on the watersm but the sequence has to be put into the method on the agillent. PLus that stupid leak sensor on the agillent. If you get a drop of any liquid on it, it shuts the machine down(which is good.) but then it usually take me 30-40 minutes to convince the "instrument" that there are no leaks. The damn sensor just won't dry. That is my main complaint of the agillent. .

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2006 00:15      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As an undergrad I really liked the FT-IR. I can't remember what brand it was, but it was fast and easy to use.

So was the NMR, now that I think about it, but I wasn't as good at reading the spectra as I was with the IR. Fortunately, my partner had the opposite problem. [Razz]

I also spent a lot of time with a Typhoon scanner and the accompanying PhosphorImager plates. We used the full size, old-style plates with metal cassettes and metal backing on the storage phosphor screens. For some experiments I ended up using two. THey weighed about ten pounds each and the plates were held down by a large metal clamp so they were bloody awkward to stack and carry in pairs. They also cost over a grand a piece, and the scanner was one of those things that labs pool money to buy so I, the spaz, had to exercise extreme care every step of the way. Amazingly enough, I never broke anything. The scanner itself read with a laser that chugged up the plate with enough noise to be heard down the hall and around the corner. They've figured out how to build these things with three colors of laser light, but they can't make them run quite yet.

As a grad student, my favorite instrument is a Rigaku MSC x-ray diffractometer with a copper anode and nice osmic mirrors in the collimator that you don't need to dick around focusing. The department has two, and sometimes they're both working (and sometimes they're both down, but usually at least one of them is up and running). They're basically the same but each has its own little quirks that must be dealt with and, if both are working, balanced against each other. The debates about which is better go 'round and 'round. The accompanying software is easy enough to use, but very prone to crashing during the data analysis. Fortunately, it saves in real time so you don't lose anything. I have other options for data analysis, but once again there are all sorts of trade-offs and I usually end up taking the unstable program because it does a better job with less than pristine data.

My least favorite instrument is the VP-ITC from Microcal. The data is great, the software is fantastic (it has the magic "delete bad data" button!!) but you have to do a little voodoo dance at the right hour of the night of the new moon to get it to work.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2006 00:30      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's all about the good old-fashioned petrological microscope... [Smile]
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