5890 Series II with FID and 5971

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

7 posts Page 1 of 1
I'm scratching my head over this.

I learned GC and GC-MS on an instrument with this exact configuration, and we controlled the MSD with Chemstation then used an external integrator for the FID. It was installed in ~91 by an HP engineer, who claimed at the time that there was "no possible way" to make the computer collect BOTH the FID and MSD data. Since then, a few other independent guys have looked at that system and concluded the same.

I'm now facing a second system where I'm trying to reconstruct things from scratch since someone stole the hard drive, and has essentially an identical configuration(albeit with an autosampler and two towers).

I have a working copy of MSD Chemstation A, and "dry testing"(I won't be in front of the system for a few more days) shows that the MSD SHOULD work perfectly fine but I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how to get the FID working.

There's another 5890 II in the lab that has an NPD and ECD, and it's actually running the MSD version of the software. The "operating method" seems identical to what I'm use to with mass specs-you use "MS Top" to set up a method/sequence, then use a separate data analysis program to look at the data.

I THOUGHT I could configure the FID/MSD system the same, but I'm running into a bit of a roadblock. I've tried adding a second instrument to the MSD control panel, but the software won't let me because I'm trying to add something without an MS.

I've tried installing "standard" copy of Chemstation, but it blocks out the HPIB addresses for the GC and autosampler-presumably because the MSD software has already claimed them. I'm going to take a hard look at how the other system is configured when I go in tomorrow, but in the mean time does anyone have any suggestions?

I'll also mention that I had never used a non-MS system operated by the MSD software before, but after using the ECD/NPD system they have, I actually much prefer it to standard Chemstation. It could well be because I'm so use to using the MSD software, but both for in-lab consistency and my sanity I'd really like to get it working that way.
Why bother using the FID detector simultaneously? You can use the H variable to do area integrations just like I and S are used for Internal stds and Surrogates and M is used for Target analyte. I routinely do both GC-MS and GRO on my instrument simultaneously. The H variable automatically removes the internal and surrogate peak areas from the total. You can define multiple overlapping H peaks.
I thought I used to have the same setup and actually could acquire the data from the FID along with the MSD.

We always use the MSDChemstation to run all of our GCs, and it handles dual ECD signals just find. In the method you could set it up to look at just the FID by unchecking the "Use MSD" button in the method setup I would think.(been a while since I used that old version of software) That way you have one method for MSD and another method for FID if you want them separate. It should transmit the signal right through the HPIB to the software.
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
Wanted to follow up on this one with a report.

As it turned out, the version of MSD Chemstation that I was attempting to use would NOT actually talk to the one I was working with at this particular lab(I have the same install working fine now with a 5890/5971A in my lab, so I don't know what's going on there).

I ended up piggybacking the second 5890 onto the other computer in the lab, which was set up to run a 5890 with an NPD and ECD. I did a bit of HPIB ID juggling on the 5890 and the 7973, and all was fine.

In any case, one copy of MSD Chemstation, or at least this version, can control 4 instruments so I just added the MSD/FID GC as instruments 3 and 4 to the computer, and all was fine. I set up instrument 3 as the MSD, and of course checked "Use MSD" in all the set-up, then set up instrument 4 as the FID.

Unfortunately, the oven flapper actuator was dead(I could open and close the flaps by hand) so I left it not really functioning. Fortunately, this isn't a difficult part to find nor is it difficult to change, so I'll have to make another trip up.

As for why to use both-this lab does a lot of environmental work(if the ECD and NPD were any clue as to that). They run a 15mx.15mm HP-5 column on the MS(yes it is an HP branded column), while the FID has a 50m .530mm CW-20M column. They truly are two GCs that just happen to share the same oven, and columns tell me that they are set up for very different analyses.

BTW, in my "day job" I dusted off and set up a 5890/5971 as an overflow instrument for the main 7820/5975 last week. This particular instrument had been out of service since 2010 if the logbook is to be believed. I've never worked with this particular configuration 5890-it has an EPC which is both a bit of a headache but is also quite nice since you can set flow rates directly(provided you've input the column parameters, either in Chemstation or via the front panel) and it will also hold the flow rate through a temperature program. Of course I'm use to doing this on the 7820, but I didn't realize that 5890s could be configured with this. I have to admit to it being a bit weird to work with a 5890 that doesn't have a head pressure gauge on the front!

In any case, I know that the 5971 definitely has its weakness, but the past few weeks have made me really appreciate just how good of a mass spec it is. I kind of had to piece this one together using a foreline and roughing pump from a dead Saturn 2000, but it pumped right down once I'd powered it on. Chemstation reported the pumpdown complete within about 10 minutes of starting the pumpdown cycle(I couldn't check the pressure since the gauge controller has disappeared in the last 9 years), and the only real issue within a few minutes of it pumping down was a lot of noise at 502. The cal gas vial did need to be refilled(the Saturn with its huge cal vial came to the rescue on that again), and it wouldn't autotune that day but did the next morning. I've run ~30 samples on it since pumping it down on Tuesday afternoon, and it all looks good.

I do wish that the 5971 had something other than the transfer line heater, but that's my chief complaint on it. I occasionally need to ionize at something other than 70 EV, but at the same time I've seen grad students figure out how to change it on the 5975 without actually understanding what they were doing and end up getting crazy results. Consequently, having one MS where I can do it and another where it's not even available is a nice compromise to me.
We had the very first 5971 in the state. HP engineer set it up in a few hours to its 5890, gave us a 15 minute how-to and said to try it. I said: "wait a minute, what's that thing?" It was a mouse, the first I'd ever seen; computer used Windows 286, the computer was a 386.

Ben - I think there was an oven actuator in the parts box I'd sent.
KM-USA wrote:
Ben - I think there was an oven actuator in the parts box I'd sent.


There was-both a complete flap assembly attached to an actuator, and a new/never used actuator itself. They will come in very handy!
benhutcherson wrote:
In any case, I know that the 5971 definitely has its weakness, but the past few weeks have made me really appreciate just how good of a mass spec it is. I kind of had to piece this one together using a foreline and roughing pump from a dead Saturn 2000, but it pumped right down once I'd powered it on. Chemstation reported the pumpdown complete within about 10 minutes of starting the pumpdown cycle(I couldn't check the pressure since the gauge controller has disappeared in the last 9 years), and the only real issue within a few minutes of it pumping down was a lot of noise at 502. The cal gas vial did need to be refilled(the Saturn with its huge cal vial came to the rescue on that again), and it wouldn't autotune that day but did the next morning. I've run ~30 samples on it since pumping it down on Tuesday afternoon, and it all looks good.

I do wish that the 5971 had something other than the transfer line heater, but that's my chief complaint on it. I occasionally need to ionize at something other than 70 EV, but at the same time I've seen grad students figure out how to change it on the 5975 without actually understanding what they were doing and end up getting crazy results. Consequently, having one MS where I can do it and another where it's not even available is a nice compromise to me.
You can use the 59864B gauge controller from the 5973 and the short triode tube is a perfect fit for the 5971.

I've had the same thoughts about the EV because of buying some SISweb ytttria coated Y-Re filaments. They work fine for small peaks but oversaturate too easily on large peaks. The extra flexibility of the 5973 compensates somewhat.
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