Chemstation upgrade worth it? 5890/5972 GC/MS

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

11 posts Page 1 of 1
Hi everyone,

I have two 5890 units, one is a FID unit while the other is a coupled 5972 MSD (2 separate systems). The FID unit is running ver. B of Chemstation (CS) while the other is A ver. MSD.

My question is, is there any benefit to using a "newer" version of CS, namely a D or E ver.? I know these versions are NOT compatible with 5890 units. But are there better data analysis features on these newer versions, is a upgrade worth it? The cost is quite minimal from our vendor.

The newer software will be installed on a separate, newer workstation, the GC systems will be controlled as they are now (ie. with older software). Just wondering if taking the data files off the old CS (after a run) and opening it in the newer CS (again, on a separate workstation) would be of any benefit to me.
I can't speak specifically about those versions of the Chemstation. There have been a couple of times in my career when IT forced me to upgrade my instrument-control software so that I'm compatible with our corporate network. In both cases, I didn't really see that the upgraded software helped my work process at all. It didn't really hurt me, but it didn't help either. If you're like me, the process is developed, it works, why mess with it?

My opinion is that either way, it'll probably be ok for you. I just have my doubts that you'll come across something that will make you say "wow, I'm really glad I upgraded".

Since one is a '95 box, how confident are you that if the computer fails, you can find another that you can configure to make the instrument work again? I'm in that boat on a couple of instruments. If the computer fails, I pretty much have to antiquate the GC's. At least for a while, you'll be more likely to configure XP boxes than '95 boxes (with the right bus architecture for the control boards in the pc).
I seem to remember from investigating a more than a decade ago that 5972 MSD was not easy to upgrade to use newer Windows, something about a smart card 9whatever that was).

Boss did not like that it was running on Windows 95 still.....so we sold it....
@rd6banjo:

Thanks yeah thats what I thought. I dont think their would be much benefit, but its always tempting to see 'whats new'. I don't think their will be a compelling reason to upgrade, but then again, I dont know what new features for data analysis are included in the newer versions (eg. D or E).

Just to clarify, the newer CS software would be installed on an entirely new, separate workstation. The data file would need to be 'walked over' to this workstation. The GC systems themselves would remain the same, that is, controlled by the old software/hardware. This was just for data analysis.

@Consumer Products:

Thanks so much, I hear ya, my Win95 box is now on its last legs though I do have a clone of the HDD/system.
Ok. I guess I'd be sure to ask Agilent if the file formats are the same for both CS versions. I haven't ever tried to transfer data between different versions of CS like that.

E

lespaul wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have two 5890 units, one is a FID unit while the other is a coupled 5972 MSD (2 separate systems). The FID unit is running ver. B of Chemstation (CS) while the other is A ver. MSD.

My question is, is there any benefit to using a "newer" version of CS, namely a D or E ver.? I know these versions are NOT compatible with 5890 units. But are there better data analysis features on these newer versions, is a upgrade worth it? The cost is quite minimal from our vendor.

The newer software will be installed on a separate, newer workstation, the GC systems will be controlled as they are now (ie. with older software). Just wondering if taking the data files off the old CS (after a run) and opening it in the newer CS (again, on a separate workstation) would be of any benefit to me.

I have the same situation only my MSD is a 5971. I networked mine and simply copy the data directories to a faster PC and d.02 chemstation for calibration, QEDITing, and processing; and from there up to the front office for final reporting. The excel file generated in the data directory by updating to database is perfectly readably by Excel 2003 or higher. But don't try to edit them in newer versions of office and save back to the Win95 machines.

I am running the d.02 version of chemstation on my two 6890 machines. I have checked around and there is no later of chemstation that can control the 5890 generation of instruments. Also, you cannot edit methods with d.02 and expect them to work on A or B versions of chemstation. On the other hand, you can import the A or B versions into d.02 and use them there. I set my methods up in version A/B for acquisition, etc. then I dump all the data from my 5890 FID and 5890/5971 to my d.02 chemstation PC and process them with that imported method. It makes processing the data much faster to do it on a faster XP machine.

Your platform choices are limited. The HPIB boards require ISA bus and only have Win95 drivers. The only thing I can suggest you do to make the win95 PC's a little better is that you can buy ATA to SATA adapter cards for ~$10-15 and fool your Win95 into running on SSD SATA drives and a SATA DVD. I got several 32GB SSD's made by ADATA, and imaged the original ATA hardrives to the SSDs' with PQMagic (~$20 used on Amazon). So, now I have 32 GB of storage (which is all Win95 can manage) and greater reliability.
I'll just add, the main benefit is faster processing. Also, being able to use longer file names and slightly prettier interface. Thats about it.

On the other hand, my Win95 machine has a memory leak when running the MS software that eats memory for each sample processed on the PC and eventually crashes the system. I thought maybe its the printer driver (HP 2300). But the identical software running the 5890 FID system, using the same printer, never has this problem with processing data or printing it. So, I think its something about using the chemstation in MS mode.

So, its nice to be able to mess with data immediately on my 6890's PC. That system can be acqiriing data and does not even blink at me reprocessing the win95 generated data. If you can get it at low cost, I would do it.
@LALMan:

Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely look into improving my Win95 workstation. I will eventually upgrade to a 6890, but we're just starting off our lab so baby steps for now.

Also, I just checked my notes and I can confirm from my colleagues that the last version of Chemstation to support a 5890 is G1701BA. And in terms of OS, Win2k SP4 is the latest.

Being able to use longer filenames is a real benefit with a new version of CS would be great. And the fact that I'll have to use it on a newer computer, would be great as well.

Thanks again for all ur help
LALman wrote:
I'll just add, the main benefit is faster processing. Also, being able to use longer file names and slightly prettier interface. Thats about it.


Security is also an issue in that Microsoft doesn't support anything older than W7, so older systems are left with serious security vulnerabilities. XP can be kajiggered to receive updates, too, but it involves messing with the registry.

So if the system isn't airgapped (i.e., if it is connected to the Internet in any fashion) it's a dodgy security hole.
osp001 wrote:
LALman wrote:
I'll just add, the main benefit is faster processing. Also, being able to use longer file names and slightly prettier interface. Thats about it.


Security is also an issue in that Microsoft doesn't support anything older than W7, so older systems are left with serious security vulnerabilities. XP can be kajiggered to receive updates, too, but it involves messing with the registry.

So if the system isn't airgapped (i.e., if it is connected to the Internet in any fashion) it's a dodgy security hole.

I have my lab network isolated from the outside by using a second NIC in the front office PC. One NIC in the PC is connected to a router that serves internet from my DSL connection. The second NIC in the PC connects to a dedicated router that isolates and serves only the lab network. PC's in the lab network can see eachother and the front office PC but not the internet. Its not perfect but if anyone knows a better way, I'd like to hear about it.
The only advantage I have seen is faster processing. Some of the E versions MSDChemstations have bugs in the calibration table that I don't like. One is that if you have a 7 point curve and drop a point because it is out of range on that one analyte out of say 100, it won't show the curve fit properly. It calculates just fine, but the Rsquared or %RSD displayed is way off. Also with the newest versions you can only see the curve fit on the second tab and must switch back to the first tab to change from Avg Response to Linear or Quadratic. Having to jump back and forth for each analyte when you have 100+ becomes a pain.

B and C versions were probably the most user friendly and stable of the bunch. E version on W7 gives a lot of quirky problems too.
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
11 posts Page 1 of 1

Who is online

In total there are 14 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 14 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 188 on Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:58 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests