New electronic gizmos

Just joined :smile: there are a few bits of kit about that would maybe be useful for the group, some of which can be donated others on loan RSVP if your all interested. 1 x 20 MHz Oscilloscope, 1 x 100 MHz Scope, a few oscillators/function generators. Waters Quattro Premier LC/MS/MS mass spectrometer waters 1525 HPLC. The mass spec needs a couple of side panels but is in full working order I know it inside out, interesting mix of digital, analogue, high voltage, RF et cetera. It’s fun :slight_smile: project aim would be to put transparent acrylic panels on it, with some simple led circuits with push to make switches to light up all the parts. Teaching tool… then we can ship it off to a university that needs it in a developing nation. Just need a couple of 13 A sockets, exhaust hole and some oxygen free nitrogen (can bring a bottle). :slight_smile:

Wow. This stuff is over my head but sounds intriguing :grinning:

Welcome, @Giles :smiley:

A scope and function generator would be great to have down at the space! If you do bring them down, just make sure not to put them on a lower shelf, as when we flooded a couple of pieces of equipment that were on a bottom shelf got soaked.

Would love to have a go with a mass spectrometer and learn how they work. What you suggest certainly could make for a fun project. I guess the only concern would be safety, but if you know these machines inside out I suspect that you could take any necessary measures.

Thank you Rob and Andrew. I can bring the scopes and function generator next time, the 20 MHz scope as a donation with a function generator the 100 MHz scope on loan assuming it will not take up other needed space. I could drop it off with the mass spec this Thursday evening if that’s OK with everyone?

Regarding the health and safety aspects I can sort out a risk assessment no problem :grin: the mass spec does contain quite a few high voltage power supplies but they are all enclosed during normal operation with multiple interlocks (+9 kV, +/-8 kV, +/-5 kV, +/-1350 V, +/- 430 V and 12 kV RF at 832 kHz also 1.2 MHz traveling wave guide RF generators). The ion source is hot at about 100 ºC with hot gas at up to 450 ºC but this is interlocked as well. The equipment does not need to be left switched on, the tandem quadrupole mass analyser runs under high vacuum with 3 x turbo molecular pumps and a rotary pump. It is possible to pump it down to an OK vacuum in about 3 hours, ultimate vacuum is about 3 e-6 mbar. A nitrogen cylinder will be required and secured so it is safe, the only other hazards are solvents we will only require small quantities of methanol, acetonitrile and HPLC grade water for the liquid chromatograph and other test solutions to check its working to spec. If everything is switched off and the gas bottle is secure there is no significant risk posed by the addition of the mass spec the risk rating is low as long as there is some help carrying it, it weighs about 120 Kg, I can put together a set of ‘local rules’ than forms part of the risk assessment for when the equipment is in operation but it is all common sense really, no risk of high voltage shock (due to interlocks and all HVPSU are very low power so potential shocks are not lethal anyway) the only real risk would be touching the ion source that is hot but it is clearly labeled and human reflex should kick in before that…

Let me know what you all think, if you need more information email me at gilese at

Cheers, Giles :smile:

Hi @Giles, 3x turbo pumps? Crikey! How big is it? Now wondering if it might take up a bit much space…

Has all the ingredients to be a lot of fun :smiley: I have a scanning electron microscope in the workshop here, but that has just one turbo, and a backing pump obviously, plus a few high voltages here and there.

Hi Andrew, wow an SEM is it up and running? :open_mouth: I am working with Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) at uni which is similar to SEM but we use an ion beam to probe the surface instead of electrons.

Do a search for ‘Waters Quattro Premier’ and you will see some images, it use to be their top of the range tandem quadrupole LC/MS/MS. Looking at the site prep guide it is about 48 cm wide and 89 cm deep so it would take up a third of a desk, Martins benches look strong enough it weighs 150 Kg… The HPLC can sit on top with the roughing pump underneath next to PC tower, the nitrogen gas cylinder can sit out of the way in a corner.

I was chatting to some synth enthusiasts last night about musical mass spectrometry which would be an interesting colaboration. The scan speed of the quadrupole can be as fast or slow as you like this would be the BPM of the sequencer and the heights of the different fragments in the mass spectrum are output from the detector head amp at 0 to 10 V which could easily interface with a synth as a CV input to change the pitch of the oscillator, hours of fun :smile:

See you on Thursday :grinning: