Advanced Technical Topics

Using the Multiplexer Setup Script

Posted on 7 July 2016

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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Field Powering Your USB Potentiostat

Posted on 7 July 2016

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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USB Issue in Interface 1000 Potentiostat

Posted on 7 July 2016

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 on 7 July 2016

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 on 7 July 2016

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

Posted on 7 July 2016

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

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TDC4 Port Number Change

Posted on 7 July 2016

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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Reply Timeout Error

Posted on 7 July 2016

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 "vs. OCP" for Potentials Set in the Sequence Wizard

Posted on 7 August 2015

The Sequence Wizard includes steps to produce many of the same experiments that you can access from the main Experiment menu.  However, the sequencer steps do not automatically carry out the open circuit potential measurement.  If you plan to run an experiment with a potential “vs. Eoc”, you must be sure to include an Open Circuit Potential step somewhere in your sequence.  The Sequence Wizard will utilize this value in all following steps that require referencing an open circuit potential.  For example: A sequence includes the steps Open Circuit Potential, Polarization Resistance, and Potentiostatic EIS.  The Polarization Resistance and Potentiostatic EIS potentials are set with potentials “vs. Eoc”.  Both steps will use the Eoc established by the Open Circuit Potential step.

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OptiEIS: Signal optimization takes too long or chooses wrong range

Posted by Aaron on 7 August 2015

The signal optimization step of the OptiEIS experiments can take (at a minimum) as long as 2 cycles of the minimum frequency entered during setup.  During this step the current measurement range of the potentiostat is selected based on the amplitude of the signal.  The "Max Current" box of the setup screen determines the initial current measurement range used during optimization.  The optimization can take much longer, by multiple attempts at signal optimization, if the Max Current is too low, as it has to switch to the next range up and reattempt.  The best method is to make an educated guess of the maximum current value with some knowledge of the impedance of the sample.

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