Selecting the Instrument Preferences


You can set up certain operating parameters for your instrument through the instrument control software by selecting Tools/Instrument Preferences. Several pages will be displayed to allow you to set these parameters. To display the desired page of Instrument Preferences, click on the corresponding tab.

Choose the topic below for more detailed information:

Specifying the Connected Purge Gases

To set up the gases select Tools/Instrument Preferences, then click on the MFC Purge page. The appearance of this page differs slightly depending upon whether your instrument is equipped with mass flow controllers (MFC) or not.

Use Gas #1/#2 to specify the purge gases that are connected to the corresponding ports on the instrument. A purge gas is a gas, often an inert gas such as nitrogen, that flows through the instrument during the experiment.

Select the flow rate of the purge gases on the Notes Page.

NOTE: If you are using laboratory purge gas, rather than bottle purge gas, you will need to install an external drier.

CAUTION: Use of corrosive gases will shorten the life of the instrument. NEVER use a corrosive gas.

WARNING: Use of an explosive gas as a purge gas is dangerous and is not recommended for this instrument.

Back to top

Setting Up the Instrument Touch Screen

You can set up and calibrate the touch screen by selecting Tools/Instrument Preferences, then clicking on the Touch Screen page to perform the following steps:

  1. Select the desired Screen Saver Selection from the drop-down list. If you select "Custom," enter the desired Text using 20 characters or less.

  2. Enter the desired Delay time in seconds.

NOTE:  The screen saver will turn off automatically after one hour. Simply touch the screen to activate it again.

  1. Calibrate the touch screen, if desired, by checking the Start Instrument Touch Screen Calibration box and click OK. A series of prompts will be displayed. To continue with the calibration, follow the directions displayed. Reset the instrument as directed and follow the prompts using a non-sharp, pointed object (such as a blunt pencil or pen) to tap the touch screen at the indicated points.

  2. Click the OK button when finished.

Back to top

Setting Up the Signal Display Touch Screen (Q100 and Q1000 only)

To determine which signals coming from the instrument will be displayed on the Signal Display touch screen (touch the Display Menu key to display), select them from the dialog that is opened through the Tools/Instrument Preferences/LCD Signals page.

Select up to six signals. These signals will appear on the instrument touch screen.

NOTE:  This does not affect the signals displayed on the instrument control Signal Display Pane. Those signals are customized using another function.

Back to top

Setting Up the DSC Options

Select Tools/Instrument Preference/DSC page to open a dialog that allows you to select certain parameters that will be used by the instrument while it performs experiments.

Choose the topic below for more detailed information:

Transition Direction

Choose the radio button that will set the way the data is plotted–either with the Transition Exotherm Up or Exotherm Down, depending upon your own personal preference.  See the figures below for examples.

Exotherm Downup

Back to top

Heat Flow Selection

Choose the desired heat flow signal from the Heat Flow Selection drop-down list. For the most accurate results, the selected heat flow signal should be the same as that used for calibration. Changes to this option will require you to recalibrate for cell constant and temperature using the newly selected heat flow signal. If you do not recalibrate as directed, the heat flow results will be incorrectly calibrated.

Back to top

Related Topics

Standby Temperature

Enter the desired temperature value that will be used when Control/Go to Standby Temp is chosen. This option is used when the selected cooler is LNCS or RCS and the Post Test temperature window is not used or stopped.

Back to top

PCA Operation

Click on the PCA Operation checkbox when you are operating a Photocalorimeter Accessory (PCA) with the DSC instrument. This is very important for proper operation of the instrument. When this checkbox is checked, the AutoLid and Autosampler are disabled and the Event state will always turn off after a method regardless of the RCS setting between runs (see below). If the PCA is checked and the cooler type is RCS, the RCS must be set to "Manual" (rather than "Event") on the back of the RCS instrument.

Select Single or Dual operation from the drop-down list. See About the PCA for more information.

Back to top

Related Topics

Diagnostic Signals

The Enable Diagnostic Signals checkbox is only used for troubleshooting by your TA Instruments service representative. This is a diagnostic tool and should not be used unless directed to do so by a TA Instruments service representative.

Back to top

Selecting and Setting Up the Cooling Accessories

Select Tools/Instrument Preference/Cooler page to open a dialog that allows you to select certain parameters that relate to the DSC cooling accessories and their use.

Choose the topic below for more detailed information:

Back to top

Cooler Selection

Choose the type of cooling device that is to be used with your DSC from the Cooler Selection drop-down list (see Introducing the DSC Cooling Accessories for more information on the coolers). (The RCS40 is compatible with the DSC Q2000, Q200, and Q20 only.)

NOTE:  When using the FACS quench cooler make sure that the Cooler Selection identified is the FACS and not the quench cooler.  If the wrong cooler is identified your results will be inaccurate.

Back to top

Secondary Purge Activation

When using the RCS or LNCS, it is recommended that a source of dry nitrogen gas be connected to the cooling gas port if the instrument is used in high humidity environments or when recovering from moisture contamination. When the Activate secondary purge when lid is opened checkbox is used, the secondary purge will supply additional dry gas into the RCS and LNCS housing when the AutoLid is opened or when the PCA Operation box is checked.

This option should be left blank when there is not a secondary gas connected to the cooling gas port and/or the port is capped. See also:  Connecting the Cooling Gas Line.

Back to top

Between Run Options

These items will be applied between runs, if selected.

  1. Check the Leave RCS on option to leave the RCS on between runs. (Default = checked) See also:  PCA Operation above.

  2. Check the Leave LNCS on option to leave the LNCS between runs. (Default = checked)

  3. Check the LNCS Autofill if below option, then enter a percentage to automatically fill the LNCS, if desired. This indicates that you want the LNCS to automatically fill at the end of an experiment when the level of liquid nitrogen falls below the specified percent. The fill process, when activated, will fill to completion before advancing to the next scheduled run. If left unchecked, you will need to manually fill the LNCS when needed. (Default = checked, 40%)

Back to top

Selecting DSC Autosampler Options

Use the Tools/Instrument Preferences/Autosampler page to set up the actions of the DSC Autosampler. The stop options instruct the Autosampler on the action to take when the run sequence has been stopped or runs to completion. The error handling options determine whether the Autosampler will keep going or halt when a nonfatal error is encountered.

Autosampler Sequence Stop Options

These options will override the Post-Test conditions for the last run in the sequence. Select the desired stop sequence option (click for a definition):

NOTE:  Autosampler sequence stop options are invoked even for a one run sequence when the Autosampler is enabled.

Back to top

Autosampler Error Handling

Use the Instrument Preferences/Autosampler page to continue or halt the sequence when a recoverable error occurs. Select the radio button next to the desired setting to turn it on (click for a definition):

NOTE: Changes made to these settings during the last run of the sequence will not have an effect until the next sequence.

Back to top

Disabling/Enabling the Autosampler Functions

If you prefer to work with the DSC without using the Autosampler to load pans, you may do so by disabling the Autosampler. This can be done using one of these methods:

NOTE: The Autosampler may not be disabled during an active sequence.  

Back to top

Related Topics