Advanced Technical Topics

USB Issue in Interface 1000 Potentiostat

Posted on 7 August 2015

If you recently purchased a Gamry Interface 1000 Potentiostat and are experiencing a problem connecting it to a computer, your computer may have the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller driver installed. Please read on for some background and workaround.

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Bad or Unresponsive USB Connection with Potentiostat

Posted by Dan Cook on 7 August 2015

Occasionally a Reference or Interface potentiostat will be plugged into a computer’s USB port and will not be detected. Initially this may lead one to believe the USB communications on the instrument may have failed, and a repair is necessary. However, it may be due to a computer setting known as “USB Selective Suspend Feature”, which may be turned on as a power saving setting in Windows. It is recommended to take the following steps to help determine the source of the USB communications failure.

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Custom Scripting with the EXPLAIN Scripting Language

Posted by Aaron on 7 August 2015

The flexibility of Gamry’s Framework software is largely due to its foundation built around the EXPLAIN scripting language.  All of the experiments run in Framework are written in EXPLAIN and the source code is available to the user for modification.  Working with the scripting language is not difficult, but some computer programming experience, and especially experience with object-oriented languages, will be most beneficial.  The following documents can assist the user with making some basic modifications to the scripts.  A comprehensive syntax guide is built into the Framework software under the Help resources.

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Field Powering Your USB Potentiostat

Posted by Aaron on 7 August 2015

A number of users bring potentiostats into the field and need a reliable source of short term power for experiments.  All of our USB potentiostats run from 120V AC wall outlets, but with varying power requirements.

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TDC4 Port Number Change

Posted by Aaron on 7 August 2015

Step-by-step Instructions for Changing Your TDC4 COM port Number.  Applies to Framework software version 4.35 to 5.XX

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My TDC4 displays the warning "tOPN" even with the probe connected

Posted by Aaron on 7 August 2015

The following steps should be taken if your TDC4 displays "tOPN" even with the probe connected.

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Reply Timeout Error

Posted on 7 August 2015

The “Reply Timeout” error means that the Gamry Software has lost hardware communication with the instrument. The most common reason for this is the resetting of the USB communication chip inside the instrument, caused by a static discharge. To reset the instrument switch it off AND unplug the USB cable from the back. Ensure that the instrument is being used in an environment that meets the operating conditions laid out in the hardware manual. If it is possible, ground the chassis of the instrument as well. Furthermore, discharge yourself before handling the instrument and cell cables.

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Using the Multiplexer Setup Script

Posted on 7 August 2015

In addition to controlling up to eight electrochemical cells in sequence, the ECM8 also has local potentiostats on each channel.  These are utilized in the standard Multiplexer experiments of Potentiostatic and Galvanic Corrosion to appropriately control the potential of the inactive cells.  These channel settings can be individually modified by using the Multiplexer Setup script in Experiment / Utilities…

The Setup screen is split into 3 sections:  Local Potentiostat Control, Active Cell, and Active Mode.  The local potentiostat for each channel can be set individually with a maximum potential of +/- 5V.  Set this to OFF for an open inactive cell, and set it to ON with a voltage of 0 V for a short circuited working and counter electrode.

The Active cell section turns on one channel of the Multiplexer.  This is necessary if you want to run a standard, individual cell experiment and do not want to disconnect the Multiplexer.  The amber channel light on the front of the Multiplexer will light up for the channel you select, and this channel will stay active until you change the setting or run one of the Multiplexed DC Corrosion experiments.  The Multiplexed DC Corrosion experiments handle all switching of the active cell automatically.

Active mode specifies the operation mode for the active cell.  In NORMAL mode the potential is controlled between the working sense and reference leads.  In ZRA mode the potential is controlled between the working sense and counter sense leads.

Scripts from Multiplexed DC Corrosion will automatically control these 3 sets of parameters so that the desired experimental conditions are applied (e.g. multiplexed galvanic corrosion will set each inactive channel to short circuit, change the active cell to take measurements, and utilize ZRA mode on the active cell).

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Utilizing the high-voltage electrometer on your Reference 3000

Posted on 7 August 2015

Your Reference 3000 has a high-voltage electrometer option for measuring cell voltages of up to 32V.  Only experiments from the PWR800 – Electrochemical Energy package can take advantage of the high-voltage electrometer.  Several software options must be chosen, as well as making changes to your cell connections, in order for the high-voltage mode to be utilized.

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Measuring Time Lag in Sequence Wizard

Posted on 7 August 2015

Experimental steps can be sequenced together using the sequence wizard, including digital out events to trigger external equipment.  However, there is a small amount of lag time between the end of one sequence step and the start of the next.  A rough estimate of this lag time is 50ms, but it can vary greatly depending on the computer’s performance, the amount of other software running, and the amount of data that the potentiostat must transfer at the end of a sequence step.  A second potentiostat or an oscilloscope can be used to measure the average delay time between sequencer steps on your computer.

From your first potentiostat, connect the Monitor V Output across the blue and white leads of your second potentiostat.  On the second potentiostat run and open circuit measurement experiment with a low sample period to increase your time resolution, and set the length of this to be sufficient to complete your entire sequence.  Now, start running the sequence on potentiostat 1.  You will be able to measure the time lag between the end of the first step and the beginning of the sequence step by using the data from potentiostat 2.  Repeat this several times to see how precise the time measurement is.

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