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Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:22 pm
by WillieBill

My knowledge is limited with GC's as my position as a fuel tech was given to me.

My question: How can I connect a Sargent-Welch XKR to WinXP Pro laptop running Chemstation and to communicate with an HP Agilent 5890 Series II?

Testing racing fuel Methanol for accelerates or other additives that show up abnormal from our baseline. Chart recorders are more sensitive in my experience than the 'off the shelf' Walmart printer that we have now.

Thank you in advance,

William J Isley

Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:31 pm
by tom jupille
The short answer is "you can't". The recorder is analog, and any output from the laptop will be digital.

Check to see if the GC has an analog output (it would be two wires and say something like "0 - 1 V" or "0 - 10 mV").

That said, the actual data processing and quantitation is done by the ChemStation software. What the printer is showing is simply a "snapshot" of the separation. Even if you manage to hook up an analog recorder, it will not affect the results from ChemStation, simply give a prettier snapshot.

Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:04 pm
by WillieBill
Thank you for your quick response. I understood the complications of older vs newer, guess hoping there was a workaround.
I'll request to my supervisor the need of more recent recorder.

Again, thank you

William J Isley

Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:24 pm
by tom jupille
It's not the age of the recorder. It's the fact that strip chsrt recorders are designed for ANALOG input, and a laptop is DIGITAL.

Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:22 pm
Mr. Isley,

5890 has an analog out (0-1V) that runs in parallel to the Chemstation output so, yes, you could run a strip chart at the same time. The challenge with the analog out is that you are much more limited in the detector range (by the 0-1V out.) If you set a low range for minor components, you clip everything else.

But with Chemstation, why would you want too? I guess I don't quite understand the issue.

If you want a pin diagram for the analog out I can provide one.

Best regards,


Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:43 pm
by WillieBill
Reason for wanting analog graph is that peaks are more visible than with my current printer. From earlier experience, a recorder can show same detail as what our laptop provides. As it is, I have to take snapshot of monitor screen to show my superiors what the printout misses to prove suspicion for a particular test. A recorder would be better since a snapshot is smaller screen.

I've located a cable that will connect to the Signal #1 or #2 that will connect an analog chart recorder with three (3) wires.

Would purchasing a used Linear 1201 have better results than my current Sargent-Welch XKR? So far, my searches for pens/markers have not provided much. Plus I've had previous experience with the Linear 1201 when I first started testing fuel.

We are running ChemStation A10.02 (1757) on WinXP Pro SP3.

Also, what printer would be best to display peaks if analog recorder isn't best choice?


Re: Connecting Welch XKR with Agilent 5890

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:02 pm
by benhutcherson
As said, the data is THERE in Chemstation.

If you need to show a specific area of the chromatogram in better detail, you can zoom in and just print that part of the chromatogram. You don't have to deal with taking screen shots of it.

There's nothing wrong with a strip chart recorder, per se, but the beauty of software like Chemstation is that you can save all of the information from the chromatogram and then analyze it as needed.

When I provide a report on a complex sample, it's often several pages long as I will include blow-ups of specific areas of the chromatogram. Of course, in my case I'm often giving GC-MS data so I include the mass spectral data(and library matches) as part of the report in addition to the TIC(total ion chromatogram) but none the less for a complex sample I do show variations of the TIC.

I have less experience with the GC-only Chemstation software(I'll try to figure out how to do it if you're interested in this option) but I wrote my masters thesis using data from thousands of runs on an Agilent GC-MS(7820/5975). At least on THAT version of Chemstation, every run generated a folder that contained a half dozen files. Among them were two .csv files(comma separated value, basically an ASCII spread sheet), one of which contained the peak assignments/retention time/area/width at half height/area percent. The other was the chromatogram in ASCII form-retention time and ion count at the sampling frequency. Everything in my thesis used this particular file plotted in Excel. Even if it's not automatically saved(like I said, I'll investigate in a bit if you're interested) I'm sure there's a way to export it.