Hardware Failures on 377... alternatives?

John Barlow john_q_barlow at hotmail.com
Sun May 2 15:53:46 EST 1999

We have two ABI 377 machines and there are four at my neighbor's lab.
We and they had some problems with the lasers and they were fixed quickly
(our machines have an maintenance contract).  Nevertheless, I experienced
a lot of problems with incompetent (and rude) ABI support both in the
field and on the phone.  I would advise you to call ABI and after talking
to one person, ask for their supervisor and try to go to the top.
Your problem should be fixed by a competent person very quickly.

As to new sequencers, please see my earlier posting.  In essence,
the ABI 310 is too slow and too expensive and a bit outdated.
The ABI 3700 is wonderful end expensive.

The Beckman CQ needs better software and then might give the ABI
models 310, 373, and 377 serious competition.  If Beckman's software
team is good, this may last at least a year.

The LiCor machines are highly praised by some people, however,
I have no experience with them.  You will need to go on the phone with
more than one user to get their real-life experience.

I am getting more and more negative signals about the Visible Genetics
machines - "junk" is the most popular description.  Software seems
like it would be designed and tested by very incompetent people and the 
basecalling error rate is horrible.  this is partially explained by the fact 
that the Visible Genetics Blaster, Clipper, and a newer instrument
are all single color with each termination reaction being run on
a different lane.  As ABI found earlier, it is not trivial to write
such software.

In conclusion, nothing beats the ABI 377 with the BigDye technology,
however, next year this situation may change dramatically.


In article <7g963p$hr9 at net.bio.net>, Tim.Marriner at Bristol.ac.uk says...
>Has anyone had much trouble with constant hardware cop-outs on 377's?
>  Our machine is about 5 - 6 years old, but in the last 6 months has been 
>plagued by untraceable problems... mainly with the laser...(we've had 
>every single part except the case replaced, but to no avail..!)
>   Unfortunately, this may end up bankrupting the service, because we 
>can't get enough runs through...
>     I understand there is a new high-voltage sequencer on the market, 
>which can do a full run in about 2 hours.... anyone know it's 
>   Does anyone have alternatives to the 377 that have very good 
>reliability/service records, with similar throughput?
>          TIA
>            Tim

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