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Pumps 2017-07-17T02:55:25+00:00

 Pumps

How to power your pumps – DIY 2017-12-16T03:05:02+00:00

How do you power your pumps?

Every now and then I get an email from someone who has been handed a pump to use in a project with no cables and no powerpack. The powerpack’s are generic 12V units and as such often get redeployed to somewhere else. Leaving their pump behind. So what power does the pump need and what should you buy to supply that power?

If you need cables see this article.

This is easy! I have attached a photo which shows the US power supply. All you need is a 12Volt power pack capable of delivering 1Amp. It needs the correct size power connector. It needs to have a positive center or tip. You should be able to find such an item locally (where ever you are ). They are called a Barrel Plug. Mostly the pumps use 2.1mm plugs. Note I said mostly….

WARNING Older pumps such as the Genie and may use a smaller diameter barrel connector. I have one such pump in my collection and it’s always a pain to locate it’s special power supply.

A pump this old usually had a smaller plug (diameter) than the current models but the same style. When you purchase the power pack, you might need to take the pump to test the connector.

High Pressure Pump Owners

The high pressure pumps such as the NE-8000 require 24V. Just between you and me – they will run on 12V but they wont develop their pressure and may do all sorts of weird stuff as they starve for power.

Where to buy a pump power supply

Do you sell pump power supplies? I don’t sell them because they are heavy and cost a lot to post from Australia.

My Diy Pump Power Supply

I generally run 2 or 6 pumps on my bench and 6 powerpack is a real pain in the a**. So one day I found an old 12V power supply capable of delivering more than 300Watts which is more than 20Amps. This should be capable of supplying 20 pumps at the same time.

Can I just grab any old power supply?

Yes… No You need to be sure that it’s 12V – if you measure it and get say 14V I think you will be fine.

NO! Laptop power supplies cannot be used.

Laptop power supplies – that I have played with are all 19-24Volts. That’s double the recommended voltage – I have to say don’t do it. Some laptop supplies may be 12V and that would be ok.

Here in Australia, they look exactly like the one supplied with modems. In fact when desperate I have been known to use a modem power supply. Some of them measure at 15V. I only did it for a short duration, and not with the pump working at pressure. I don’t recomment this – remember I have a number of pumps so if I killed one…. AND I know a bloke who would repair it for free – right then and there from his spare parts collection. Your probably talking about risking your only pump that’s worth $100’s of dollars. Please be careful with your pump.

DIY Syringe Pump – A Starting Point 2017-11-23T02:14:04+00:00

There are a lot of people on the internet making their own syringe pumps. Making your own syringe pump will be an interesting and rewarding project. If your here because your thinking about it – you have my full encouragement. DIY pumps are in their early stages and they offer new and exciting possibilities.

There’s a number of folks who argue that commercial pumps cost too much – but I don’t agree with them.

Here’s a few links to open source syringe pump projects:

  • This fascinating 3D bio printer which uses a diy syringe pump.
  • Another acrylic plate design diy syringe pump – looks like work stopped on this some time ago. The lead screw was causing issues.
  • OpenSyringePump – there’s plans and parts listed at Hackaday.io and at Naroom’s GitHub.
  • Dr D-Flo has released plans for a pump with a metal rail chassis, powered by an Adafruit computer board – very interesting. Approximate parts cost – just under $200.
  • Gerrit Niezen has OpenPump a nice clean looking design, but the project seems stalled.
  • There’s Open Source Pump Library

What Problems Do You Have To Solve?

supervista_graphics_drawing_board_256Here’s a short list of electronic and mechanical issues you will need to engineer solutions too.

  • Driving the syringe plunger – ok that’s obvious – but you need to apply smooth constant pressure to create your flow rates. Easy if you only need a narrow range of flow rates. Most designs use a stepper motor, although I have seen a couple of designs based around a servo from radio control models. Drive electronics – obviously a stepper motor controller or a servo controller.
  • The ability to crunch some numbers to work out rates, pressures, forces – that sort of thing. In the example links above, designs direct drive the stepper motor to the lead screw. No reduction drive system is used. Many commercial pumps use a reduction drive with a belt system to help reduce the pulsations from the stepper motor and increase the resolution. Even servos have stepped output.
  • Holding the syringe. That sounds easy – but the syringe has to be pushed and possibly pulled (infuse and withdraw) and it has to be removable. Syringes need to be filled, and replaced – they wear out.
  • A case to contain most if not all of the mechanics and electronics to protect it from fluid leaks – imagine a split or leaky syringe under constant pressure! The containment also provides protection from dirt and filth which can ruin electronics and bind your smooth moving mechanics.
  • Control with calibration and sequencing. You will get to a point where you want to set a rate. Then perhaps set another rate. Perhaps you will then want to only dispense a certain volume and stop. More sophisticated applications might require a number of rates and volumes to be cycled through.

Clearly the first design consideration is your applications fluid pumping needs. This will determine the features you need in your DIY syringe pump

SyringePumpProCan SyringePumpPro control your DIY syringe pump?

SyringePumpPro controls pumps by sending ASCII commands over an RS232 connection to the controller inside. For example, to get the pump to infuse 750mls per hour the command sent to the pump would be

RAT 750mh

The pump receives this command and then performs the electronic and thus the mechanical operations to effect that pumping rate.

You will need a micro-controller based design. Then using my software with your syringe pump will be fairly straight forward. When you create the software for your pump’s microprocessor, simply write your code to implement the some or as much as you need of the command set for a New Era System’s Syringe Pump over the RS232 connection, or create your own command set and send them to me. We can talk about implementation at that point.

You will need to give your pump a unique version message in response to a VER command.  Then will need to let me know what your pump response will be to the VER command so that I may update SyringePumpPro so that it recognizes your new make and model of Syringe Pump . You will also need to provide me with some technical specifications such as the range of syringes, and the pressures your mechanism generates.

Have you built a DIY Syringe Pump?

If you have – whether it be micro-controller (ASCII/rs232) controlled or not – please send me a link to your design.

Dimensions of a syringe pump? 2017-08-17T06:06:07+00:00

Syringe pumps come from their manufacturers in a wide variety of shapes and sizes so it’s hard to give dimensions without having a pump model in mind.

However if you know what pump you have or are thinking of purchasing, you can find the dimensions in the pump’s user manual.

If your dimension inquiry is for a SyringePumpPro compatible pump, then you are in luck because this site has both the pump user manual for download and the pump’s 2D draftsman’s drawings available for download.

 

 

 

 

Is my pump compatible with SyringePumpPro? 2017-08-17T06:06:58+00:00

Click the button below to view brands that are compatible with SyringePumpPro.

Compatible Pumps
Infusion Pump Stall Detection 2017-08-17T06:07:51+00:00

When the plunger of your syringe strikes the syringe holder block – or ‘bottoms’ out, a large mechanical load is placed on the drive motor, the drive belt, the drive pulley, the drive screw, and the pusher block, The mechanical drive train ‘stalls’. This doesn’t happen with peristaltic pumps.

Pumps come with and without stall detection.

Pumps without stall detection will continue to push against the load until either some one stops them or something breaks.
Pumps with stall detection will stall and then stop pumping shortly after. Thus preventing damage to the pump and especially to expensive glass syringes.

Bad Operator Behavior

It is generally considered bad operator behavior to allow a pump to stall, and worse yet is to rely on the stall detection to stop your pump. For example putting a 60ml syringe on your pump and saying go ahead, pump 100ml – relying on the stall mechanism to stop the pump when the syringe is empty.

You should be programming your pump carefully to avoid stalls and keep the syringe from extracting the plunger or striking the bottom. Some calculation is required here.

It’s Hard on Your Nut Block

Pump warranty is voided by high stalling levels. Each time the pumps stalls, the nut block is damaged, and will eventually ‘loose it’s teeth’ causing a loss of pressure. However, these nuts are a sacrificial replacement part designed to protect the other drive components. It is not acceptable to run the pump till it ‘bottoms’ out. Stall detection will ‘see’ the pump stall and stop the pump drive. The drive nuts are not user replaceable.

Without the stall detection feature, how does the pump respond to stalls?

Would the pump continue to run even though no fluid is being dispensed?

Yes the pump will continue to run and the toothed belt will slip over the gears on the motor and screw drive. This damages the gears (slowly) the belt, and the drive nut – which will loose it’s teeth and fail first by design.

Tip: Buy the stall detecting pumps.

Despite all your best attempts – there will be times when your pump stalls. If this is on Friday night after you have left a pump running for the weekend, and something unexpected happens (and it does!) a stall detecting pump will stop pumping in a moment or two and save it’s self. What ever was expecting fluid will be starved of it – but the pump will be saved. Without stall detection, Monday morning you will be sending a pump away for repair.

Video: Introduction to Pump Programming 2017-08-17T06:08:46+00:00

If you are new to pumps and pump programming and would like an introduction to the process, this video is for you.

You will learn –

  • How to read and write pump programs
  • How to use the pump programming spreadsheet.
  • How to manually enter a pump program using the front panel buttons on the pump.
  • How to upload a pump program using SyringePumpPro.

Here’s the video on YouTube – please leave a comment!

Pump Programming – Example 2

This video works through the example 2 pump program in the back of your Pump manual.

If you install SyringePumpPro, the manual is viewable by selecting

Pumps -> NE1000 Manual.

Compatible Pumps

This video will show you how to program pumps from

  • New Era Pump Systems
  • Aladdin from WPI
  • Cole-Parmer
  • Landgraf HLL
  • Next Advance
  • Protea Bioanalytical Biology
  • Stoelting
  • TSE Systems
  • YMC

Video Contents

This video starts by providing a quick walk through example 2 to familiarize the viewer with the programming task.

It then demonstrates using the PPL Spreadsheet to enter a PPL program.

The next section gives a very quick over-view of the pump buttons and their functionality.

Using the PPL file created earlier the video now shows how to enter the pump program through the pump buttons. An easy but repetitive, error prone process which takes considerable time.

The same PPL program is then uploaded using SyringePumpPro, demonstrating the significant time savings possible.

Note:

  1. The PPL programming spreadsheets are now accessible through the in program menus. PPL -> PPL Creator.
  2. This video was produced some time ago and shows a much older version of SyringePumpPro.

For more information about programming peristaltic and microfluidic infusion syringe pumps visit the SyringePumpPro website

Here’s the video on YouTube – please leave a comment!

Shout out to Andre – who asked the question that inspired me to finish this video.

Operate an OEM pump without buttons or display? 2017-12-12T23:37:32+00:00

Here in Australia we play while the rest of the worlds sleeps, or so it would seem. When I get up in the morning the second thing I do is read my email. First thing?

This is when I get customers and potential customers asking questions. Questions about applications and problems. On of today’s potential customers had a OEM style pump like the one pictured here – no buttons or display. The only option to control this pump is with a computer. He had one questions – which was:

OEM Pump – Do you need SyringePumpPro?

This was the question that faced me at breakfast email this morning. By the way these keypad less pumps are brilliant AND economical too!

TIP OEM pump + SyringePumpPro is much much cheaper than pump with keypad.

Here’s my answer: So, my question is, can this be done without the software?  Yes! You don’t need my software to do this. What do you think would be the best option if I have to utilize the software? You don’t have to use my software. You need some software but you can get it free!

SyringePumpPro Screenshot

SyringePumpPro Screenshot

Here’s where I tell you why you might part with your $ for my software.

Why Use SyringePumpPro?

  • In your application, think of SyringePumpPro as a configuration/setup/maintenance/monitoring tool for pumps. An essential tool for pump application development and those times when things need a little work.
  • Labview and Matlab users will tell you spend the money and save a ton of time.  Read on and you will see it for yourself
  • Your pump has no display – what is it doing? – The pump’s tone has changed – now whats it doing? SyringePumpPro is displaying updated information constantly – no guessing or assuming what the pump is doing.
  • Yes it’s moving but what volume did/has it dispensed? What rate? Is that what you programmed? Is the pump working as expected?
  • Microfluidic users – Where’s my fluid going? Is the pump withdrawing or infusing?
  • For your application – indeed anywhere folks use a keypad-less pump, you need to write a little bit of pump code, you can’t hit the start button – there isn’t one! There’s a programming spreadsheet included with my software that makes writing pump programs a lot easier.
  • Uploading your pump programs into the pump. You can do it via the keypad on ….. ah no you can’t – no buttons. You do have to have my software to get your pump program loaded.
  • There are a couple of free offerings at the New Era Pump Systems web site. They will upload your program – but you will wish it were easier. Try them anyway. Depends a lot on how you cope typing long command lines.
  • Think of the time you will save with SyringePumpPro. Click upload, select the file – watch the pump program go in. Wait till you are iterating and fine tuning your design and you need to upload a pump program 10 times in a row… the time saved – $49? More than one pump to program?
  • Here’s a quote from a soon to be customer in a similar situation to yours…. (2 days ago) I will also get two licenses for SyringePumpPro to be able to communicate with the pumps independent of LabVIEW (I recently built a system for conducting pyrolysis experiments based on LabVIEW and know the value of of having an independent means of  communicating with hardware).

A few days later – here’s the customers findings: After playing with the pump and your software, it became apparent that I need the software to upload a single program and use the TTL I/O serial connection for a signal to start and stop (PLC). So, your reply makes perfect sense. It may take playing with a few different dispensing settings to get our pads coated properly with silicone though and that’s where the $50.00 is a cheap solution.

See also: How to save $$$ by buying the correct license.

Dual Pump Set 2017-12-11T02:36:08+00:00
Dual Pump Set

Dual reciprocating pumps

What is a Dual Pump Set?

A Dual pump set is used to create continuous flows. Two pumps are used in a reciprocating configuration. The pumps used are a special standalone configuration of the NE-1000, where the two pumps work in a reciprocating fashion. This is to produce a more precise continuous flow, with less pulsation and pauses in the flow at pump change over. The pumps operate on an internal pump program which is selected using the buttons on the pump.

This special mode of pumping addresses the issues of flow rate pauses and pressure drop off’s at the the change of pump that is often found with normally configured push pull syringe pump configurations.

What’s in a Dual Pump Set

First you get two NE-1000 (or NE-500) pumps. These are normal NE-1000 with the extended control software X upgrade installed. This provides extra pump programming features beyond the standard NE-1000. Hint: one of those features is the ability to do Dual Pump mode.

Dual pump continuous flow plumbing

Dual pump continuous flow plumbing

Dual Pump Syringe Plumbing

To plumb your dual pumps you will obviously need 2 syringes.

In addition 2 check valves are required to prevent the infusing pump filling the withdrawing pump. This forces the withdrawing pump to fill from the source rather than accept the infusing syringes output.

Save a few $

It’s actually cheaper to buy a dual pump set than it is to separately buy 2 NE-1000 pumps with the X upgrade – well it is as I write this. So it’s a good way to buy two NE-1000X model pumps for normal use.

Can I connect my computer to a Dual Pump Set?

I often find new purchasers of SyringePumpPro have purchased my software and cannot get the pumps to connect to their computer. They often see the first pump connected but not the second. They also see garbled information being displayed from the pump.

Is it possible to connect SyringePumpPro to a Dual Pump Set whilst it is in operation?

See  Using Continuous Infusion Pump Set with SyringePumpPro.

Can I Use a Dual Pump Set as Two Normal NE-1000 Pumps in a Pump Network?

Yes. You need a set of the standard cables and to take the pumps out of reciprocating mode. You can make your own cables.

What cables would I need?

This page outlines the cables you need to purchase to build a pump network with your Dual Pumps after they have been taken out of reciprocating mode. You can’t network these pumps with other pumps whilst they are configured as dual pumps.

Pump Maintenance for a Long Pump Life Time 2017-08-17T06:25:05+00:00

Syringe Pumps and Peristalitc Pumps are machines. They get dusty – even in clean environments. These great laboratory devices cost a lot of money – so you should look after them by performing some pump maintenance for a long pump life time.

What are the Pump Maintenance items that you can do?

Most importantly keep your fluids away from your pump. If your plumbing weeps under pressure – fix it.

If leaking fluids pool on the top from dripping plumbing connections or worn syringes, what ever you are pumping will make it’s way down the front of the pump and into the keypad and LCD display if your pumps has them. They can spray onto the lead screw and the guide rods which are highly resistant to rust – but  rusty components bring about pumps stalling and excess wear affecting your pump’s precision.
Clean all spills from the pump in an manner approved for the materials you are pumping.
A lint free cloth can be used to clean LCD displays – but don’t apply a lot of pressure – you might damage the display. Treat it as you would your mobile phone – maybe better than your mobile phone :-}.
For more stubborn staining the lint free cloth may have some isopropyl alcohol applied to that it is barely moist and the stain can be cleaned.

 

 

 

Oiling – How should you oil your pump?

1 drop of oil at these points

Guide Rod Close Up

Guide Rod Close Up

Syringe pumps have a lead screw that is subject to considerable pressure forces. There is a nut block running up and down the thread on the leadscrew.  There are two guide rails either side of the leadscrew as well, which if they become mechanically sticky will affect the pump’s performance.

The pump’s lead screw and guide rods, should be very lightly oiled when they look dry. Look for a slight oil sheen – if it isn’t there – lubricate. Make sure you clean the parts you oil first to remove any dust and other dirt from them. The lead screw can be difficult to clean.

  • Use 1 or 2 small drops of light machine oil on the leadscrew (blue arrows) – one either side of the pusher is best.
  • 1 drop on each guide rod (green arrows).
Lead Screw Up Close

Lead Screw Up Close

Why more oil on the threaded rod? Pressure and surface area of the lead screw.

Then operate the pump with no syringe fitted to spread the oil up and down the lead screw.

Be careful not to flood the lead screw or the guide rods as the excess oil will be squee-geed out to the ends of the lead screw by the nut-block assembly traveling back and forth. You might find that either end of the top of your pump will become oily. This will then spread across your pump as a fine film of oil.

Normal lead screw wear

Normal lead screw wear

Loading A Syringe on Your Pump 2017-08-17T06:25:58+00:00

This short video shows you how to load a syringe onto your syringe pump. Please note that the video starts with the both Syringe Retainer Thumbscrews loosened and the Syringe Retainer Bracket separated from the syringe v block ready to accept the syringe’s Barrel Flange.

Here is a table of the main things to look out for in the video and when they occur.

Time

Description

0:00First lift the Syringe Clamp and rotate it out of the way
0:04Lower your syringe into the (I have my tubing connected in this video, it’s easier to connect the tubing, fill the syringe)
0:11Be sure to locate the syringes Plunger Flange between the pump’s Anti Siphon Plate and the Pump’s Pusher Block
0:14Rotate the Syringe Clamp back to hold the syringe in the Syringe V block.
0:19Tighten both Syringe Retainer Thumbscrews firmly but not over tight
0:23Tighten the Siphon Plate Adjustment Knob until the Syringe Plunger Flange is firmly gripped in the Pusher Block
Parts Of A Syringe Pump 2017-08-17T06:26:52+00:00
Parts of a syringe pump

Part

Definition

Anti-Siphon Plate Adjustment KnobThis finger screw is used to tighten the anti siphon plate against the syringe’s plunger flange.
End PlateMechanical support for the guide rods and lead screw.
Pusher BlockPusher block is driven by the lead screw and is supported by the guide rods. Pusher block captures the syringe’s plunger flange.
Guide Rod (2 guide rods)Guide rods prevent the pusher block from skewing and causing a mechanical lockup on the lead screw.
Guide Rod Collar ClampThe collar clamp allows operator to set a stall point on the pump by limiting the travel of the pusher block. Used to prevent expensive glass syringes from being crushed when the pusher block is driven too close to the syringe retainer bracket and holder block.
Keypad/User InterfaceThis is where humans can press buttons to program and operate the pump. More details on the front panel.
Syringe ClampThis clamp is lifted up and the syringe barrel is placed underneath the clamp. If there was no clamp a syringe might work it’s way out of the syringe holder bracket and pumping could cease.
Syringe Holder Block
“V” Slot (on syringe holder block)
This block features a large V shaped recess where a syringe barrel may be rested and supported.
Syringe Retainer BracketThe syringe retainer bracket is used to hold the syringe barrel flange securely to prevent the barrel moving backwards and forward whilst pumping. This increases reputability and accuracy of the pump.
Syringe Retainer Thumbscrew (2 on each side) These thumb screws secure the Syringe Retainer Bracket
Drive-ScrewCommonly referred to as a lead screw. The pump motor (unseen) drives this precision threaded rod which passes through a brass nut block (unseen) in side the pusher block. This pushes and pulls the pusher block and thus the syringe plunger flange.
Anti-Siphon PlateIf a syringe is under vacuum pressure it’s plunger would tend to be withdrawn if it wasnt secured by the anti siphon plate.
Drive-Nut Button Under this button is the brass nut block which is driven by the drive screw. Pressing and holding this button allows the plunger block position to be set at any position in the pump’s travel. It is normal to hear a click at the beginning of pumping as the nut block’s teeth re-engage the lead screw. If you stall your pump often it is the nut block that takes the punishment and will be worn out – you will need to have your pump serviced.
Power On/Off Switch It’s a power switch!

 

Parts Of A Syringe 2017-08-17T06:27:28+00:00
Parts of a Syringe

Part

Definition

 Plunger FlangeThis bears the load of whatever is pushing the plunger – thumb or syringe pump.
 PlungerConnects the Plunger flange where the pressure is applied through it’s shaft to the seal where it presses on the liquid in the barrel.
 Barrel FlangeThe barrel is supported here usually used by a couple of fingers or a syringe pump mounting bracket. Pressure exerted between the plunger and barrel flanges results in liquid being forced out of the syringe.
 BarrelStorage cylinder for the liquid which is to be dispensed. Pressure on the seal reduces the volume of the barrel below the seal expelling fluid.
 SealSlides up and down the barrel in response to the pressure on the plunger. Forms a liquid seal between the plunger and barrel. In time can wear out and leak liquid. Also high pressure on the plunger can drive the plunger through the seal causing fluid leak.
 Leur LockThe output of the syringe is surrounded by the Leur Lock. The Leur Lock is a standardized screw fitting for attaching fittings to the syringe that will not ‘blow off’ when the liquid is under pressure.  There is aslo a Leur Taper.

Luer-Slip fittings conform to Luer taper dimensions and are held by friction there is no thread.

 

Parts Of A Peristaltic Pump 2017-08-17T06:28:19+00:00
Parts of a peristaltic pump

Peristaltic pumps vary their flow rate by changing their rotor turning speed and by changing the number of rollers fitted to the rotor.

Part

Definition

CassetteRemovable shell that contains the tubing and rotor – during operation the tubing will need to be replaces as it wears.
Shaft This shaft connects to the pump’s motor inside the red case to the rotor
RotorContains a number of rollers (depending on head model clear, blue, green) which turn with the rotor squeezing the tubing creating a peristaltic pumping action.
Tie wrap knots turned to same directionThese wraps create a mechanical connection to the outside of the pump tubing. They lock into recesses in the cassette and prevent the tubing from ‘creeping’ along as the rotor’s rollers kneed the tubing.
Pump head
Cassette + Rotor
The cassette containing tubing and a rotor ready for fitting to the pump – Pump head.
Keypad/User InterfaceThis is where humans can press buttons to program and operate the pump. More details on the front panel.
Base Base is mounted permanently on the pump. Receives the pump head which clips onto it.
AxleThe same item as the shaft. This end is formed as a flat blade which engages in the rotor – the rotor diagram shows the t shaped receptacle in the rotor’s centre.

 

Low Pressure – wont stop when it hits the end 2017-12-07T02:55:38+00:00

There comes a time in an old pump’s life when it develops problems of low pressure.

Is your syringe pump suffering from these symptoms?

  • Low pressure – your pump doesn’t deliver anything like the pressure the manufacturer claims
  • Doesn’t stop pumping when the syringe pusher block hits the end stop. Could be a stalling problem too.

drivenutbuttonThere Might Be a Quick (and Cheap) Fix

There is a thing called the Drive Nut Button on your pump.

When you press this button it lets you move the pusher block freely up and down the lead screw – the long threaded rod shown in this image. It’s used when you are loading syringes.

This lets you adjust the position of your pusher block to where your loaded syringe plunger handle will be.

When you release the drive nut button, it re-engages the drive nut on the lead screw.

It is very easy to release the Drive Nut Button and not have it properly engage the hidden nut and the worm screw. I call this condition ‘riding the worm’.

If your drive nut is ‘riding the worm’ you will not get full pressure from your pump.

If your pump is allowed to stall often, slowly but surely your drive nut will wear and need replacing.

At the same time your stall detection mechanism will not trigger, and your pump will not automatically stop pumping when the pusher block bottoms out on the collar or the end block. This will effect both the infuse and withdraw directions. It might damage expensive small glass syringes too.

‘Riding the worm’ has it’s own special sound – that of a plastic clicking where as failed stall detection has a rubbery repeated thumping sound as the teeth of the rubber drive belt slip on the motor drive – slowly eating your belt.

Riding the worm effectively means an end to unattended pumping because you can’t trust the pump to stop.

How to fix it.

If you pick up your pump and try to set the drive nut button such that your ‘riding the worm’ you will convince yourself it’s almost impossible to do and if you did do it, it would self correct as soon as the pump started moving.

When it happens to me, I firmly grasp the pusher block and rock it from side to side until I hear a clear and fairly loud ‘click’. This is the drive nut engaging properly.

Don’t let your pumping program stop by waiting for a stall – set a target volume and stop the pump before a stall occurs.
If it’s happening all the time, your drive nut needs replacing – contact your pump supplier.

Pump Wont Stop Automatically 2017-12-07T02:52:52+00:00

Syringe pumps are supposed to automatically stop when they had reach the end of the plunger travel. This is called stall detection. There is stall detection circuitry which can see the high load on the motor and signals the computer in the pump to stop applying the driving force. This is to protect the tooth drive belt and syringe driving mechanism and of course the syringe itself from damage. Especially those tiny glass syringes the micro-fluidic people use!

This end stop can either be the syringe clamp or the Guide Rod Collar Clamp.

These collars are used to set this end point to anywhere you wish on the plunger travel.

guide rod collar clamp

Some newer pumps (the NE-8000) for example, have two of these collars – one to set the limits of both infusion and withdrawal travel.

If your pump wont stop when the pusher block hits the collar or the syringe clamp then you possibly have a faulty stall detector, or your drive nut can be stripped from repeated runing the pump until it hits these collars or the end block – in either infuse or withdraw directions.

Failed stall detection has a rubbery repeated thumping sound as the teeth of the rubber drive belt slip on the motor drive – slowly eating your belt.

How to fix pump stall detection

If your stall detector has failed, then your pump needs to be returned for repair. It might be a problem with your drive nut.

How to avoid stalling your pump

Start programming your pump to deliver set volumes that are smaller than the total volume of the syringe you are using. Once you start programming you will find a whole new world of pump functionality!

How To Find Your Pump’s Software Version 2017-08-17T06:37:17+00:00

To Find Your Pumps Internal Software Version

  • Switch your pump off.
  • Press and hold the left most arrow key whilst turning on your pump.
  • The pump will display it’s software version in the form rX.YZ where X.YZ is the version number. This video shows 3.80

Does It Matter?

No. It has never mattered. In my testing I have had an occasion where two pumps with differing software versions returned a different result after a series of commands. The version numbers were important to me then for documentation. If I find these things, I add code in SyringePumpPro to return the expected results.

About Pump’s Internal Software (Firmware)

Like most modern devices with a computer chip in them, these pumps have internal software to implement their feature set.That software changes very slowly as new models are released.

There are 3 basic versions:

Standard

Fitted to all pumps – may have special features relevant to a particular model. For example, the standard software of the NE-1000 and NE-9000 are different because their hardware environment is very different. However many of the programming commands are identical.

X1

This version is your standard software with extended features available – such as

  • Linear/Gradient Flow Rate Ramping
  • Reciprocating Pumping for Auto-Refill Applications
  • Base Pumping Rate and Volume
  • Increment and Decrement Functions
  • Stall Event
  • Program Sub-Routine Return

Download the X1 Addendum Documentation

X2

This version is your standard software version with two extra features:

  • Increase the number of pump program steps from 41 to 340 (if you need this – you really need it!)
  • Supports one higher communications baud rate of 38400 ( which means you can mix Standard and X1 pumps with an X2 but you must use the normal baud rate of 19200 if you do.

Download the X1 Addendum Documentation

How To Update the Pump’s Internal Software

Unlike many other devices it is not intended that you update the software in your pump. The pumps use a one-time programming cpu chip – which means once they are loaded with software they cannot be updated.

Your only option should you decide you need an upgrade is to purchase an X1 or X2 update chip.

Front Panel Controls 2017-08-17T06:38:54+00:00

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Parts

Definition

RS-232 IndicatorSmall triangle in top left hand side of display. Indicates a connected RS-232 cable. It is possible for this to illuminate and communications do not work. See Pump Addressing
Units IndicatorsLed to indicates the pumping units uL, mL pL (varies with pump model)
IndicatorLed’s to indicate units and what information is currently displayed on the LCD display.
Pumping Direction IndicatorIndicates if pump is infusing or withdrawing. May not be pumping at the time.
Motor OperatingPump is pumping when lit.
Pumping Direction Key One press toggles between infusing and withdrawing.
Program Entry Keys Keys used to enter pump programs.
Decimal Point (Press 2 keys)To move the decimal point when entering numbers.

 

How To Reset a Pump 2017-08-17T06:39:00+00:00

Key Pad Models

  • Turn the pump off
  • Hold the right most arrow key down
  • Whilst holding the arrow key down, turn the power on and keep holding the arrow key down for 5 seconds.
  • Release the arrow key.

OEM Models – Button/Display less

Note the following OEM reset technique will work with Key Pad pumps too.

Note this method relies on working pump communications. To reset these pumps:

  • Connect only those pumps you wish to have reset.
  • Make sure they are connected correctly to your computer.
  • Start SyringePumpPro –
  • Wait for a moment for your pump to be detected. SyringePumpPro may detect none, one or more pumps. If you have pumps sharing a pump address you will see corrupted data being displayed.
  • Enter the command *RESET and send it.
  • If you have multiple pumps connected they will all now be configured for address 0 and you will see data corruption in the SyringePumpPro displays.
  • This will reset all your connected and powered on pumps. So if you have more than one pump connected you will need to manually set your pump addresses. See also: Connection Troubleshooting.
How to change the pump address 2017-12-07T03:16:21+00:00

How Do You Change The Pump Address?

Each pump has to be assigned a unique bus address on a multi-pump network. These addresses are between 0 and 99 inclusive. These addresses do not need to be in order on the wire physically, nor do they need to be numerically sequential. That said it’s normal to configure your pumps from address 0 to x incrementally, and we usually do put them in order on the wire.

Hint: Your pump network will perform better if you:

  • Start your pump address range at 0
  • Address the physically cabled pumps sequentially. By default SyringePumpPro products scan the first 10 addresses (0-9) and then if no pumps are located expand the search range to 99. Scanning all 99 addresses takes notably longer as the software must wait for 90+ non existent pumps to respond.

How Often Do You Need To Set The Pump Address?

Pump address assignments are stored in the pump’s memory and will persist when the pump is powered off. and on again. So if you keep a group of pumps together on a network – you should only ever need to set the pump’s addresses once.

Address Setting Methods

There are two ways to set a pump’s address:

  1. From the front panel buttons (not a method appropriate for OEM pumps) and
  2. By sending commands

Set The Pump Address From The Front Panel

 

Set The Pump Address Using SyringePumpPro Issued Commands

NE-500

NE-500

This procedure will work with buttoned and OEM pumps.

Start with only the pump you wish to set the address connected. Put any other pumps to one side.

To set the pump Address:

  1. Connect the single pump to the computer.
  2. Start SyringePumpPro – it should detect your pump – if not check your cabling.
  3. You should see a pump appear in the Pump Worksheet – most likely with the address/name of “0”.
  4. Select that pump in the Pump Worksheet so it is highlighted.
  5. In the command text box type “*ADRXX”. This tells the pump to set it’s address to #XX. There must not be a pump that is already assigned to address X on the wire.
  6. You will  now see two pumps in the Pump Worksheet. Only the newly set address is valid.
  7. Exit SyringePumpPro and restart it. Your pump should appear at the new address.
  8. Repeat until you have readdressed all of your pumps.
  9. Connect all of your pumps together on your pump network.
  10. Start SyringePumpPro – all of your pumps should be detected at their new addresses.
  11. If you see garbled information displayed in any row of the Pump Worksheet – you have an address collision. You will need to choose the offending pump and changes it’s address.

Please see Connection Checklist or Connection Troubleshooting if further problem occurs.

Example Sequence – Adding a new pump to a number of connected pumps

In this example I am assuming that you have say 2 pumps connected and functioning, and you have a new third pump to add.

Try this

  1. Disconnect the new pump’s data cable
  2. Run SyringePumpPro
  3. Check that your pumps are detected and record the addresses they are using – I would expect 0 and 1
  4. Close SyringePumpPro
  5. Connect the new pump as a single pump – take the computer lead from your first pump and connect it to the new pump.
  6. Start SyringePumpPro – and see the the new pump is detected – and probably has an address of 0.
  7. Read the instructions on this page and follow them with only the new pump connected to your computer.
  8. Set the new pumps address to 1 more than the largest in step 3 ( probably address 2)
  9. Close SyringePumpPro
  10. connect all three pumps
  11. Run SyringePumpPro – 3 pumps detected?

Multiple Connected Pumps

It is possible to connect as many pumps as you wish and set all of them to a single address. I use this ability from time to time.

If you enter a command using * or star addressing all connected pumps will accept the address change. The command *ADR4 will cause ALL connected pumps to take the address 4. Which means that your next step is to disconnect all but one pump and manually set the pumps address using the command

*ADR##

where # is the pump address from 0 to 99.

Microfluidics 2017-08-17T06:40:37+00:00

Microfluidic applications use microfluidic syringe pumps to provide their fluid flows, which due to their low nano, pico and femto litre volumes need to be quite precise mechanically. The main concern is the flow smoothness or how free the flow is from pumping artifacts like pulsations, delayed starts whilst mechanisms take up mechanical slack, and pressure build up – from mechanical movement taking up slack etc.

I have microfluidic application customers who often pump low volumes at low rates for many hours at a time. Many of them employ repetitive sequences – a treatment, a wash, another treatment, another wash.

Volumes and Rate reporting for Multi channel pumps 2017-07-24T02:09:07+00:00

ne-1200 thumbThis is an interesting question that is posed by customers every now and then –

  • How does SyringePumpPro report rates and volumes for the multi-channel pumps? or
  • Why does SyringePumpPro only report rates and volumes for a single channel?

There are a number of multi-channel or multi-syringe pumps available from the manufacturers that SyringePumpPro supports. Currently SyringePumpPro treats them as a single syringe pump and relies on the operator to make calculations about rates and volumes.

For example in the 6 channel pump pictured here, SyringePumpPro doesnt know

  • how many channels are available
  • how many channels are loaded with syringes
  • if there are multiple syringes loaded -are they the same size and capacity (especially internal diameter)
  • are the syringes ganged to the same destination or are they feeding several destinations – resulting in several volumes to be tracked.

The pumps also don’t know these things, and treat the situation as a single syringe with the entered diameter. The pump uses that internal diameter to calculate the piston movements to give the requested rates and volumes.

Because of this, SyringePumpPro currently mimics the pump and only reports the single syringe rates and volumes, in fact these rates are volumes are the ones reported by the pump.

Customers are using these pumps in every combination suggested above, and I do get requests for the software to report on the different combinations. I am planning to provide this feature in later versions of SyringePumpPro, but I have quite a number of other improvements I would like to make first – all of which would help serve every pump owner.

The most challenging scenario I need to design a solution for, is the 12 channel pump. This will require quite extensive user input to capture the most complex case of 12 differing syringe diameters, being fed to several destinations, some ganged and some not.

New Era Labview Driver 2017-06-06T02:31:25+00:00
MyLabVIEW logo

MyLabVIEW logo

Looking for a LabVIEW Driver for New Era Pump Systems?

Funny logo? Yes! For the record I asked National Instruments if I could use the correct LabVIEW logo and was refused permission and told off for how I displayed the text LabVIEW. You see I had Lab…. I am not allowed to write what I had.

The Lab…. Driver….

You found it!  Getting from start to a working pump LabVIEW setup can be a long frustrating process.

If only you could build your apparatus and control your pump before doing battle with LabVIEW. You Can! While you connect, diagnose, test your build, test your pump commands, and generally debug your lash up – use SyringePumpPro for quick results with minimum complexity. You don’t want to have to write LabVIEW code to do every thing – your time is valuable. Grab a copy of SyringePumpPro to help you work quickly without frustration, then when everything works – connect to Labview.

There is a driver for the NE50X available on the National Instruments website. This driver is old and is not being maintained.

Neither driver is NI certified, nor is it endorsed by the pump manufacturer.

If you need to control more than one pump, then I don’t think either driver will be of any use to you. I am thinking of writing a driver to support all New Era Pumps and to support say up to 25 or more pumps. Does this interest you? Please contact me and register your interest. If enough folks indicate their interest then I will get started.