5975C MSD Electrical/Timeout Issues

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

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Hello Everyone,

I am new to writing in the forum, but I have been reading for a long time now and I really learn a lot and really just love this resource.

I have a 5975C MSD running with Chemstation E.02.00 SP2. The GC is a 7890A with an FPD installed.

For the last few months the system periodically shuts itself off in the middle of a run. Initially the error was a 'BitMap Error' where the line in the TIC when absolutely crazy out of the chemstation window onto the desktop. There is actually a thread about this on this forum. I reinstalled Chemstation on a fresh PC, but with the SP2 and I transferred our methods and sequence files. This didn't the "BitMap Error" problem initially, however, leaving the window minimized and not having it run maximized seems to have stopped that error from occurring.

Now we are getting an error that says "MS Instrument Control and Calibration has encountered a problem and needs to close". Some times this is accompanied by, literally, 500 small windows that say "Data Retrieval Failure" and some time not.

Sometime we have no error at all, except that Chemstation has completely closed and and the only indication is in the MSLog which is kind of scares. Normally the error in the log says "No responce, cannot bring MS online (possible bad address or exsisting lock) (error 209)" Error 209 pertains to the Foreline pressure I think which was fine at that moment. In this situation I bealive that the MSD thought it was going into Vent State as if the Foreline pressure exceeded 300mTorr - which it hadn't and wasn't actually vented. After a vent cycle is the only time I can think of that Chemstation closes automatically.

I've remade all our methods from the default.m and run our sequences from the default sequence and haven't had an error in about 200 injections except this morning so I'm kind of eliminating a corrupt method or seq.

Last night we had the same error window, but nothing had been recorded in the log. It stopped recording yesterday morning the when sequence finished, but it had run around 30 injections since then with nothing recorded in the log, but the log restarted after I re-started chemstation.

Also, when chemstation is closed the GC goes into ready Status which is not good for us as it is coupled to a TD via remote start/stop cable. This doesn't happen on the other instruments. Is it possible to set the GC to go into waiting for host status when chemstation is closed.

I'm really really at a loss. Any insight would be SO helpful.

At this point I am leaning towards needing to replace the Smart Card - any thoughts on that.

I think we are going to try another fresh install of Chemstation with out the PS2 - could the FPD be creating problems in our method files?

This is a new issue, the instrument has run well as a VOA instrument for about 10 years.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you very much!
Hi ""No responce, cannot bring MS online (possible bad address or exsisting lock) (error 209)"" is a smart card communication error. This frequently happens with this era of software if, for example, you turn the MS off while the software is open and then close and relaunch the software. Things have gotten much better with the more recent revisions of MH GCMS Acquisition. When I use old software I recommend rebooting the MS, GC, and PC when this happens. Before restarting you can check windows task manager and make sure you dont see mstop.exe, msinstctl.exe, apg_top.exe or other msd chem tasks running. If these tasks are running the software will have problems initializing.. which is why just power cycling is helpful.

It is possible that you are having small network interruptions on either the MS hardware end or the PC end.

How do you have things connected? Ethernet from MS to switch, ethernet from GC to switch, ethernet from switch to PC correct? Does the PC have two lan cards or one?

If the ethernet cables are old I would replace them. It is possible to run the MS or GC only, and directly connect the instrument to the PC temporarily. You would need to go into msconfig and configure a 2nd instrument. Make it gc only or ms only.

When you do the MS-only test you can set up a simple method: 0.2 minute solvent delay, 0.4 minute run time (these will both be set in the MS method parameters.) We won't care much about the actual MS data but set a simple scan range, the defaults are fine for this part.

Next click instrument > injection type (i cant remember the exact wording, might say inlet/injection types) and set this to a valve/immediate start injection. You can then set up a sequence of like 50-100 injections and it won't actually make an ALS injection, it will just run the method over and over.

If the problems still occur with a new ethernet cable running directly from MS to PC and the software running with a newly configured instrument in MS-only mode I suspect the MS smart card.

If the errors go away it could be due to an unreliable network switch, ethernet cable, or perhaps something to do with the GC. You could repeat the tests in GC only mode. If you dont have a gc detector just set up a simple method and save a diagnostic signal like the test plot or the oven temp signal (the software requires that you collect either an MS or GC signal to create a data file.) Set an isothermal oven program, for example 100 C for 0.5 minutes. Set it again for valve/immediate start or use your autosampler with no ALS syringe installed. No sense injecting solvent or putting wear on your consumables to test the software/PC.
Thank you very much for the thoughtful reply Aldehyde. We ended up finding and (hopefully) solving the issue.

When I initially re-installed Cehmstation E02.00 I was given SP2 for that version. Apparently based on the firmware installed on the GC wasn't compatible with the SP2 requirements.

We upgraded to E02.02 and installed the right firmware - this was about two weeks ago and we haven't had the problem since so I hope we're out of the woods.

Again thank you for the reply.
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