MSD Chemstation wont read 7673 autosampler UPDATE:SOLVED!

Discussions about GC and other "gas phase" separation techniques.

25 posts Page 2 of 2
Email me at hutchersongcservice@icloud.com and I should be able to send images of BA. I'm also happy to send the 5970/71 patch for it, which I realize you don't need but is handy to have.

For some reason, I can't locate the compatibility matrix(I need to just save it because I never seem to find it when I need it) but for some reason I thought CA was the last version that officially supported HPIB. I know DA can be modified to run a 5890/5971 and there's a company offering that service(and tie it to a HASP to do it).

Just out of curiosity, and to eliminate other issues, have you removed the ALS completely(or at least disconnected the G1512A) and attempted to run the 6890/5973 alone? Is it otherwise operational?

Having never used DA, I don't know exactly when things changed, but BA only supports 9 character file names. I know that for me, that can be SUPER limiting for setting up a sequence. I've gotten creative with naming, of course judicious use of folders, and sometimes just having to stick to vial numbers and cross referencing my lab notebook(which I generally will need to do for quantitation anyway). With that said, when, for example, I'm doing a calibration curve it's super easy to be able to just dump concentration info right into the file name for when I'm working it all up.

Also, in the grand scheme of things, it's probably not terrible to look at doing a LAN upgrade on the system if you plan to continue using it. JetDirect cards are easy enough to install in 6890s since AFAIK all have the slot there for them. You can salvage them from old printers, although you need a BootP server to get those to work and Geoff has told me that it's iffy when running EA under Windows 10(the JetDirect card you get from Agilent now doesn't need one). You need a SmartCard III, which you can get from Agilent still, on the 5973. Geoff does a really need job of installing them-I hadn't really looked at the install before a few months ago when my mainboard went out(I'd basically left it alone since he did mine in May 2021) but IIRC the remote port lines up well vs. the SCII++ and he uses the standoffs there to hold the SCIII in place. I'm working a lot on memory, but I think he basically used a sheet metal nipper to open up the original slot for the HPIB port large enough for the LAN cable to plug in. When you look at the cost of the "good" JetDirect card, the cost of a new SCIII, and a G1701EA license, the $10K or so that Geoff charged us a few years ago really was pretty reasonable for his time coming and setting it up.
Thanks for the detailed reply, email sent. I've been running the 6890 with a single FID for a couple years, and about a year ago bought the MSD for it and got it hooked up no problem. The system has been running completely smooth with chemstation and manual injection, and only since getting the ALS setup has it encountered the problems. When chemstation isnt running, the ALS/MSD/GC setup works great which leads me to believe it is the software. Id love to upgrade to LAN or a whole newsetup altogether but am on a tight budget at the moment sadly. I appreciate all of your help tremendously!
Still no luck!!!! Thank you to the above members who sent the ChemstationsI have tried both the DA and BA chemstations to no avail. When I have the controller turned off, chemstation loads the GC-MS just fine in both versions. I can even turn on the controller while chemstation is running and the "ALS ON/OFF detected, restart chemstation to connect to sampler" message pops up so I know its being recognized....

But when I try to run chemstation with the controller on, the software says it cannot bring up GC and will remain offline, but it appears it is seeing the ALS. Very strange.

Any and all ideas are welcome at this point, no matter how far fetched I'll give it a shot!
Sorry that I never found my images to send you...

Do you have another G1512A you could try swapping around on this system and see if it works? Do you have a different set of cables? I'm not sure if any DB-9 cable with the correct gender on each end will work, or if there's a specific way the ports are connected. That COULD make a difference.

I can try to check mine(probably won't be this week) and report what the connections are. That would actually be a handy thing to have since generic DB-9 connectors are not that expensive and genuine Agilent cables are $$$.

Even assuming yours are correct, though, it might still be worth checking them with a VOM and making sure you don't have an internal break or lack of continuity that's causing issues. I'd worry less about the sync cable than the comm cable from the 6890 to the G1512A-IME with using a G1512A on a 5890, if the sync cable is missing I think it will make the injection but just not start the run(or will it just stall out and not make the injection? That was 5 years ago when I last tried that).

Just thinking through possibilities.
No worries at all Ben, cannot thank you enough for your help thus far!
(Right now) it actually appears the software was not the issue after all. I got a copy of older MSD chemstation from KM-USA and had weird issues that I could not find another report of anywhere on the net (after much digging, trust me).

I have a strong suspicion you are spot on about the cable, the G1530-60600 cable (the fancy agilent/HP 9pin serial cable :roll: ) was just tested for continuity and gave back some weird results. It looks like the cable may have an internal short between a few pins so I am going to try to pick up another one tomorrow and give it a go. This could possibly explain why the 6890 would read it but chemstation crashes.

I purchased the controller from a friend who bought it refurbed with a warranty but upgraded to LAN before they could use it so I hope its not that, but if all else fails I will definitely purchase a second one and give it a go.

None of the manuals or docs I've read mention upping the baud rate, but the 6890 is set to 9600 (I think), and the controller defaults to 2400. Changing the controller to match the 6890's rate hasn't done anything, but figured I would mention it.

I may also try using a Y APG-remote cable instead of the two I'm using now (one for mass spec, one for ALS controller).

Once again, thank you for the help everyone. This has had me quite stumped!
Update:

Got a new cable and tried it to no avail. After a closer look at the pin out diagram, I realized I was testing it wrong and all the cables have now been tested for proper continuity. Back to square one :monkey:

Either has to be the GC or the ALS controller, since an ebay G1512A is a lot cheaper than a 6890, Ill probably try that route first, but any other ideas are quite welcome
Cannot thank everyone enough for their help, I owe ya one big time.

The problem turned out to be the Firmware on the G1512A.....

As soon as I updated it, sure enough everything works like it should!!!!

Alas, victory!

I am having some pretty bad coring and my septa are starting to leak after only a few injections. Ive tried multiple different Agilent ALS syringes (even the tapered gauge one). Im using Supelco Thermogreen LB2, I usually get a couple hundred injections out of them when doing manual injection using my Hamilton Point Style 5 thin gauge needle. Any better septa recommendations? Is it possible the ALS is misaligned slightly? This is a whole new world for me 8)
boulderco wrote:
I am having some pretty bad coring and my septa are starting to leak after only a few injections.

We experienced same about 4 decades ago with fresh batch of septa from our usual supplier. I called them and insisted something was wrong, and we returned them and found out that there was indeed something wrong with the entire batch, so replacements were sent.

This was so long ago that I will not name the supplier, as that would have no value.

So it sure could be a bad batch of septa !!! I doubt that it is autosampler or syringe-related if you've tried different syringes or needles. And sometimes we did use syringes with side holes.
Consumer Products Guy wrote:
boulderco wrote:
I am having some pretty bad coring and my septa are starting to leak after only a few injections.

We experienced same about 4 decades ago with fresh batch of septa from our usual supplier. I called them and insisted something was wrong, and we returned them and found out that there was indeed something wrong with the entire batch, so replacements were sent.

This was so long ago that I will not name the supplier, as that would have no value.

So it sure could be a bad batch of septa !!! I doubt that it is autosampler or syringe-related if you've tried different syringes or needles. And sometimes we did use syringes with side holes.


I cannot second this enough. Ever since COVID, we've had nothing but quality and supply issues from our GC/sample prep consumables vendor, where we spend tens of thousands of dollars a year. I'm not surprised at all now to hear of quality issues with consumables.
I believe my coring issues are related to the ALS towers being slightly wobbly and not completely stable. Im going to 3D print some better stands for them and I think that will solve the problem. The issues are intermittent and I can see the tower move slightly when injecting. Oddly enough, I used a pack of septa from the late 70's that had been sealed well and they worked perfectly :lol:

Luckily I have had no problems with these thermogreens while manually injecting and only intermittent with the ALS. These are all I have ever used though, can anyone point me in the direction of something they prefer more?
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