Frequently Asked Questions & Answers!
The fact remains that some questions just get asked over and over. Those listed below are at the top of the list. With each answer we try and describe why we do things the way that we do. If you do not find the question, or answer you are looking for, please feel free to send in an inquiry using the Contact Form at the bottom of the Home page.
In the past the Companion could travel with you as personal luggage in an airplane. The plain fact is that these days are gone and you need to check it in. However, the Companion, or Series 600 Lab GC can go anywhere in the world and operate just fine. Both can take any input voltage from 85 – 240Vac, and 50 -60 Hz. You may need to change the power cord to plug them in locally. This means you can purchase a GC with the confidence that it will be able to work wherever you have a mind to ship it.
It is really quite easy. We usually only ask 3 simple questions to get going
Which compounds are you interested and analyzing?
What are the detection limits do you need for these compounds?
Tell us about the matrix of the sample (air, water, liquid, soil, sludge, etc.) and what other compounds are in the sample that we should know about?
Absolutely, in fact you can even develop a method on the Companion and transfer it to the Series 600 Lab GC. Both lines of GC´s use the same detectors, columns, electronics, and software, so the results are always the same. Transferring a method is a simple as copying a few files from one hard drive to another. We are to only manufacturer that offers this transfer compatibility between a Lab and Portable GC.
Yes you can, but the fact remains that in most cases it is not practical. The Companion is a laboratory GC that has been scaled down and ruggedized for the field. This means it is a fully charged GC with complete Temperature Programming of the column oven. Which is great, but it uses power. You can connect the GC to a deep charge battery, like you would find in a golf cart or boat, and run for up to 8 hours. This is great, but the battery is big and heavy and then you also need a voltage inverter. A better solution is to run the Companion off of a portable generator, where you can run a power cord to the Companion, even from a long distance. And a 2000 watt generators costs less than the deep charge battery!
The TCD is a good all purpose detector and is specified in many methods, however we offer the HID (Helium Ionization Detector) instead. The fact is, that the HID sees all of the same compounds as the TCD (except for Helium) and is much more sensitive. Offering Detection Limits 10-20X lower than a standard TCD. Similar to the TCD, the HID can also be run in series with other detectors, such as a FID. However, the HID can run much hotter than a TCD offering more functionality and a broader range of compounds. These are just some of the reasons why we have standardized on the HID detector.
Unfortunately, we do not. We would love to add a MS to our line of detectors, but we have not found one from another source that keeps us price competitive. If you come across a source, please let us know. This would be a great enhancement to our product line.
An ECD is a highly selective detector for compounds containing Chlorine, Bromine, Fluorine, and some other specific classes of compounds. However, the fact is that the ECD is radioactive and requires a very long time to warm up and stabilize. This usually takes many hours. Which is just not in any way practical for field work. For these reasons, we have standardized on the BCD detector. The BCD is a non-radioactive detector that is sensitive to Bromine and Chloride containing compounds. The BCD is great for most of the environmental pollutants. And since the BCD takes only a few minutes to heat up and stabilize, making it perfect for field analyses. The BCD is slightly less sensitive than the ECD, but we think it is a better choice. In addition, there is no radioactive license to deal with.
The fact is that we actually use Windows XPe as an embedded operating system to run the DPS software. An embedded operating system is a smaller version of the full blown system. Yes, Windows XP it is old, but it is also the most stable Windows operating system ever. A small single board computer inside the GC runs the DPS, Chromatography, and Windows software. The internal computer was never meant to be the big computer! We run Windows XPe to give the user a familiar view. Rest assured that Windows does not run the GC! It is just the way that the user changes the GC parameters. All of the control parameters are stored safely within the microprocessors on the boards. We only use Windows for the user interface, file storage and networking.
Why do you ask, because if Windows ever crashes, the GC still maintains it´s current conditions. We always have our users safety in mind. For more power, the GC can be connected to a large computer to collect and process the data using standard Windows networking protocols. Best of all, any version of Windows can be installed on that computer. So, you can always be up to date and have the latest version of Windows on your computer.