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PLASMACHEM-L  April 2003

PLASMACHEM-L April 2003

Subject:

Re: Damn PQ2

From:

Gavin Robinson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PLASMACHEM-L: Analytical Chem.(ICP's, DCP's, MIP's).

Date:

Mon, 7 Apr 2003 16:37:06 +1200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (106 lines)

Hi Richard,

We suffered the same problem as Georges - a number of times.  The problem
was with the quad RF generator usually, sometimes the controller.
Specifically the ceramic rectifier and high precision resisters in the quad
RF generator were the most common culprits.  This was several years ago now
but I remember clearly due to many late nights fighting the exact same
problem...

We had replacements of these parts several times, and it was not uncommon to
receive the replacements with poor workmanship and / or damage to them
before we even installed them.  One example was a few components damaged
obviously by the tip of a soldering iron around the ceramic rectifier
mountings.  I understand these parts were made by a sub-contractor for
Fisons at the time.  We took to disassembling and photographing the
generators before installing them to prove that we weren't the ones damaging
them!

In the end after several faulty replacement quad RG generators (damn) and no
sign of things improving from the manufacturer, despite an excellent local
service engineer, we mothballed the instrument and replaced it with a more
reliable alternative.  Prior to this we went through all the processes with
the manufacturer, including engineers being sent out from the UK a couple of
times, but the problem always came back to unreliable and / or faulty quad
RF generators.

Our usual symptoms were poor signal stability, mass drift, resolution change
and low sensitivity.

In my opinion apart from these very troublesome quad RF generators the PQ2+
was a good instrument.

Good luck resolving your problem.

Best regards,
Gav
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gavin Robinson, BSc, MNZIC
Senior Technologist
Hill Laboratories
1 Clyde Street, Private Bag 3205
Hamilton, New Zealand
pH +64 7 858 2816, fax +64 7 858 2001
[log in to unmask]
-----------------------------------------------------------



-----Original Message-----
From: PLASMACHEM-L: Analytical Chem.(ICP's, DCP's, MIP's).
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Georges L. Paradis
Sent: Thursday, 3 April 2003 5:51 am
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Damn PQ2


Hi Richard,

I, too, agree that your expletive is very appropriate for this line of
business, especially if you are struggling with a PQ2!  I've been there
brotha, and I know it can push some buttons trying to get that beast to
behave.  Toward the end of the our PQ's useful life we had a visit by 4 VG
reps, two service guys and two sales guys.  The VG guys were ABSOLUTELY
certain that the torch box wasn't grounded properly due to negligent
maintenance.  They were very accomodating and tore the matchbox off and
cleaned up all the sites of contact and reassembled.  It didn't make any
difference in the instrument performance.  I can recall letting a few damn's
and other more colorful expletives loose from my lips during those trying
times.  Hang in there!

We did finally discover a defective quad RF controller/generator set was the
cause for the poor instrument performance.  We got the PQ running again with
the new SX-300 quad controller and RF generator combo, which, by the way,
are available as spare parts.  I certainly don't claim to have the answer to
your PQ's problems, but wanted to check in anyway.

Good luck,
Georges


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Richard Cox
  To: [log in to unmask]
  Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 4:57 PM
  Subject: Damn PQ2


  I am still unable to get the machine running properly. Apparently there
  were similar problems which were resolved by fixing the grounding in the
  torch box. Can anyone think of a reason for signal instability and poor
  sensitivity which may be due to a front-end electronic problem (torch box,
  RF generator, etc.)?

  Cheers,
  Richard Cox.


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