Technical Support Resources
Effective May 1, 2016 we will no longer offer support or repairs on our PCI4 potentiostats. Please contact our Sales Department to discuss current 'Trade-In' offers available to upgrade to the latest instrument.
FAQs & Trouble Shooting
The information contained here addresses specific issues, frequently asked questions and troubleshooting. For general hardware specifications/details, go to the relevant section of the individual product pages. For more detailed information on specific applications, see the Applications Notes section. For any questions not addressed here, contact one of Gamry's electrochemical experts through the Technical Support Form.
How to install your Gamry equipment.
Setting up your experiment and running software.
Common questions that customers have about setup and use of our products.
Having a problem during your experiment? Start here for step-by-step troubleshooting instructions.
Special topics that go beyond basic setup and use of our products.
Framework is the basis for the Gamry Software.Learn how to use Framework.
Updated versions of our top Application Notes. Download now in PDF format.
Download the chart of electrochemial techniques matched to Gamry Interface & Reference Potentiostats.
MultEchem systems allow multiple instruments to share a single software license on a single computer. The system utilizes a USB dongle to activate the software license across all instruments. For all Framework versions before 5.63 one must select “MultEchem” from the Select Features page of the installation program to install the driver for the USB dongle. This driver is installed automatically in current versions.
When installing a second ECM8, or switching to a USB-to-Serial adapter for your ECM8 or TDC4, it is necessary to manually change the Port number in the Gamry.INI file. The correct Port number allows the Framework Software to communicate properly with the Gamry Hardware device. The INI file is accessible from the Windows Start Menu under Gamry / Framework / Gamry.ini. The file will open in your default text editor program.
There are several possible reasons that this message will appear during an EIS scan. The first thing to check is that all of your cell connections are appropriate. If the error continues to appear one should run a full calibration of the system. During the calibration the performance of the EIS components are checked. Depending on the results of the calibration, we can determine if the problem may be cable related or if a repair of the instrument is required. Please email your Calibration Results file (generated during calibration and stored as a .txt file in the My Gamry Data folder) to Gamry by using the Technical Support Form.
The symptom is that at the start of the experiment no data acquisition begins and the runner window displays “Autoranging” in the lower left hand corner. This applies only to PCI potentiostats installed inside a desktop computer. Verify that the 4-pin power cables are connected to the control board and potentiostat board inside the computer. The instrument will still be properly recognized by the computer without the power cables connected but no signal generation or data acquisition can occur without the power.
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.
Another reason for receiving the “Reply Timeout” error is a communication interruption due to the use of excessively long USB cables and/or passive external USB hubs. The Reference Family instruments are rated and tested with a 6’ USB cable. Longer cables can work, but the quality of USB cables varies quite a bit and the additional length or a poor quality cable will cause issues with instrument communication. Likewise, connecting through a USB hub that is not powered can cause the same problems. For the best performance the instrument should be used with the provided 6’ USB cable, or with active USB cables and powered USB hubs, and high data rate devices (such as external hard drives and video devices) should not be on the same USB hub as the instrument.
General instability in the operation of the IC8 can be caused by many things. Instability refers to a loss of keyboard and mouse input, loss of video or a Microsoft BSOD that can only be resolved by restarting the computer. These problems can come about from a corrupted operating system installation or from hardware problems. Operating system problem diagnosis is beyond the scope of this note. All internal power connectors and data cables should be checked for looseness. The most likely culprits for hardware failures that cause instability are: power supply failure or too weak, loose cables to hard drive, power supply or potentiostats, failure of power regulation components on the single board computer (SBC). Detecting a weak or bad power supply is not easy because they must be tested under proper load. If a power supply problem is suspected it is best to contact Gamry Technical Support to discuss the options for replacing the power supply. Failure of power regulation components on the SBC is indicated by bulging or oozing capacitors in the vicinity of the processor.
It is well documented that certain USB storage devices can prevent a computer from properly booting up. The USB dongle for your MultEchem IC8 system can cause this problem under certain conditions. To prevent it, either unplug the device before booting the computer or modify the BIOS settings for “booting from a USB device” so that the dongle is ignored while the computer is loading.