Chromatography computing

srgxbhh at grace.dsir.govt.nz srgxbhh at grace.dsir.govt.nz
Sat Jun 6 16:25:59 EST 1992

In article <1992Jun5.120012 at IASTATE.EDU>, gea at IASTATE.EDU (George Einar Applequist) writes:
> I would like to solicit your opinions on a matter of new hardware and
> software.  I'm the designated computer person in a research group 
> studying vitamin A.  Our work involves a great deal of HPLC, utilizing
> photodiode-arrays and UV/visible spectrophotometers.  We are looking
> into new software and hardware to accompany a new HPLC system we will
> be purchasing.  Here I will share some of my own information and opinions,
> and perhaps some of you out there could add to them.
> One software system we viewed recently is the new Millenium system from
> Waters Chromatography Division of Millipore.  It is PC-based, running under

I suspect it also requires an i387, and this means that an i486 system is
usually the most cost-effective solution. The provenance of this system is
also interesting... I don't have the details but until mid-last year the
New Zealand Waters agents were selling "Baseline" as the PC based integrator.
The opposition claimed that the authors of this now have no relationship
with Waters, and that Baseline is no longer supported. Our sister division
has several copies of Baseline on HPLC systems, and when I was looking for
a PC based integrator two years ago, they were very happy with it. I'm
not certain how they feel now that it is no longer supported by Waters.

> Can anyone suggest a good PC or DEC-based chromatography system?
> Or are there even any systems that run on DEC?

My personal choice was Hewlett Packard  3365 series II Chemstation. In
NZ it is about the same cost as Millenium if you have to by the interface
for non-HP instruments, and if you are interfacing to HP instruments, it
offers complete instrument control via the HPIB bus. It runs under Windows,
requires an i386/i387 or i486 system. I have it running at work on a clone
i386-20 with 2MB ram and 40MB hard disk controlling an automated HP5890
gas chromatograph. The file format can be easily imported into MS Excel and
other Windows software ( I believe HP in the US provides User Contributed
Chemstation libraries - and I have seen automated routines for this as
well as using Excel to provide control Chart data etc. etc. Unfortunately
the NZ agents haven't fronted up with these free libraries yet, so I can't
comment on their robustness for complex samples. ) Chemstation is much 
cheaper if only used on HP instruments. HP have upgraded it 3 times in the
last 2 years, and will soon release another upgrade for Windows 3.1. I've
only had to pay one nominal sum for all the upgrades.

I have found the Chemstation to be very reliable, but I'm only using it on
HP instruments. It provides most of the features of millenium for HP
instruments, but does require asonably expensive interface kits for
other machines, as HP seen to believe the quality of the A/D is paramount.

We also use a much cheaper PC based intergrator called " Delta " that comes
from Australia. This is also fairly robust and is used on an Pharmacia 
FPLC system in our biotech area. They had a few problems with the early
version, it had problems interfacing to some detectors, but once again
upgrades were available to rectify problems. It seems to be a much lower
cost solution, but it also tends to use the instrument smarts and 
consequently requires the instrument to have a remote control plugif
anything better than stop/start and signal are required. If you are
interested I'll get the address details - this can run on a i286 and
may not require the i287, I'm not sure. It's currently on an i386-33
and I don't think that PC has the i387 installed.
> George               
>    ___    ____             George Einar Applequist
>   /   \  /       /\        Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics
>  /    __/_______/__\____   Iowa State University
>  \    \ \      /    \  /   Ames, Iowa
>   \___/  \____/      \/    
>                            E-mail to gea at iastate.edu
> Phone and address available on request.

    Bruce Hamilton       SRGXBHH at grv.dsir.govt.nz 

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