Technical Issues - Perkin Elmer Spectrophotometer Communicating?

eBay bargain? Be wary and insist on testing communications
before purchasing. We may be able to test remotely.

We suggest dealing with a recommended instrument supplier.

Your 'classic' PerkinElmer infrared spectrophotometer (580B, 68x, 78x, 88x, 983, 983G, Lambda 2-45/9) has a serial port, but does it work? It's easy to test. To start, you need a 9 to 25 pin 'modem cable' similar to the following:

http://www.computerplug.com/show_product.php?product_id=CMAT10

Note: Do not use a cable marked 'null modem'.

Next, run Windows HyperTerminal (or similar) to test serial communications. Hyperterminal is found under Accessories Communications in Windows XP. Windows 7-10 users can download here. Copy the EXE and the DLL to the same directory. Hyperterminal asks for a Connection Description. Type PE983, Lambda9 or similar. In the next Connect To dialog, select Direct to Com1 (or another COM port as needed). Too much hassle? We may be able to test remotely.


Windows Hyperterminal
File...Properties..Configure


Windows Hyperterminal
File...Properties...
Settings...ASCII Setup

This brings you to the COM1 Properties dialog shown above. To the best of our knowledge, assuming settings were never changed, baud rates are 9600 for 88x/983 and 4800 for 983G and other models. Set Data bits = 8Stop bits = 1, Flow control = Hardware. Click File Properties Settings ASCII Setup and enable Echo typed characters locally so that you see what you type. In addition, set Caps Lock on.  Before proceeding, hit File Save As to keep the changes in Hyperterminal..

Carefully type in the following with each line followed by <Enter>. Don't type the comments!

$RE 0<Ctrl+Q>  ' Free running mode (hold Ctrl key and hit Q).
               '     for 881/882/883 leave out <Ctrl+Q>
$GO 3000       ' Select another value if already set to 3000.
               ' The machine should now slew to 3000; when it
               ' stops you can enter the next line.
$MA            ' Restores manual mode

You should hear the machine slew, and the response in Hyperterminal window should be a series of zeroes. If the test fails, we suggest that you power the spectrophotometer off and on and repeat it at another baud rate. If you made any typing mistakes, you might have to restart the spectrophotometer.

Lambda 9 Test

The procedure is as above with these settings: Bits per second = 4800, Data bits = 7Parity = Even, Stop bits = 1, Flow control = Hardware.

Carefully type in the following with each line followed by <Enter>. Don't type the comments!

$RE 0<Ctrl+Q>  ' Free running mode (hold Ctrl key and hit Q).
$PA 1          ' Console page 1 (may not be required)
$PA 2          ' Console page 2           "
$GO 550        ' Select another value if already set to 550.
               ' The machine should now slew to 550; when it
               ' stops you can enter the next line.
$MA            ' Restores manual mode

Lambda 2 Test

Includes similar models: Lambda 10 through 45. The procedure is as above with these settings: Bits per second = 4800, Data bits = 8Parity = None, Stop bits = 1, Flow control = Hardware. Click here if you have an older instrument with 25 pin male connector.

Carefully type in the following with each line followed by <Enter>. Don't type the comments!

$RE 0<Ctrl+Q>  ' Free running mode (hold Ctrl key and hit Q).
$GO 550        ' Select another value if already set to 550.
               ' The machine should now slew to 550; when it
               ' stops you can enter the next line.
$MA            ' Restores manual mode

Remote Diagnostics

We can test the above-listed instruments and Lambda 650-950 remotely via Internet servers. Contact FTG for details. You'll be able to view the proceedings via our Glance Networks facility. There is a nominal $250 charge (CC, PayPal) to be applied to FilmStar MEASURE or Scantraq license fees (waived for currently supported MEASURE and Scantraq users).

Instrument Sales & Service

North America: Mono Instruments Calabogie, ON; Triad Scientific, Manasquan, NJ
Great Britain: Spectro Service, Brackley, NTH (UK).

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