Gertsch Group

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland

Naked machines

Naked machines
Jurg Gertsch - Fri Aug 28, 2009 @ 03:55PM
Comments: 0

Topcount naked WD-40One would never disassemble a machine worth 200'000.- Sfr, would one. We occasionally do it, just to safe on the servicing. OK, in this case it was not that expensive and it was an older piece of equipment. A slim PE TopCount scintillation reader, in its trendy 96-well format. Great, just great, because we previously used to work in the 2.5 mL format at ETH and now want to move to 200 microL in Bern - a big move ahead, at least for us. The only problem was that this second-hand Topcount reader did not count nor read. In fact, it didn't move at all, nothing, silence - so we started to disassemble it a bit. Fuses were changed and Tom got the electronics running. I then got rid of the chassis, think it is outdated. It looks great from inside, much better than expected. Some boring electronics but a really fancy motor assembly. As lonesome photons have to be detected and this is a very sensitive and difficult task, the 96-well moves into a black box, totally sealed, a real camera obsura. There is this heavy metal door opening and closing, the sesam of the whole piece ... it did not move but the motor inside made funny squeling noises. We had to decide whether to open the camera obscura or do some magic on it. So we applied our wonder remedy WD-40 spray and left it for 1 h. Now it works almost perfect. Remember, WD-40 (check it out), it the real thing for scientists, to clean, make move, and to enjoy ... why pay more?

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