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Control software for legacy spectrometers

We all had this issue: an old spectrometer, mechanics & optics in good working condition. However: the software is missing. Or, the software would only work on already broken computer hardware. Or runs only on a completely outdated operating system. Of course, the product has long been out-phased by it's manufacturer, or the manufacturer vanished after a series of M&A activities.

Seems, the durability of spectrometers is much longer than that of their manufacturer... But, there is help! At least for some devices:

The free DATALYSE by retired engineer Carl Hemmingsen from Danmark allows controlling a number of older spectrometers, as there are:

  • Cecil 1000/2000/3000 spectrophotometers
  • DiVA spectrometer
  • Hitachi U-1000, U-1100, U-2001 spectrophotometer
  • Jenway 6300, 6305, 6400, 6405 spectrophotometer
  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 2 spectrophotometer
  • Phywe spectrophotometer
  • Shimadzu UV2101, UVmini1240 spectrophotometer
  • Spectronic Genesys 8, Genesys 20
  • Spectronic 301 spectrophotometer
  • ThermoSpectronic, Genesys 6, Genesys 10
  • Ultrospec I, Ultrospec 3000I spectrophotometer
  • Unicam Helios e spectrophotometer
  • UNICO UV-spectrophotometer
  • WPA lightwave spectrophotometer

The software Lambda-SPX from German company ascanis is a modern times replacement for UVCSS for those devices:

  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 16, Lambda 18, Lambda 19
  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 5, Lambda 7, Lambda 9, Lambda 15, Lambda 17
  • will als work for Lambda 650, Lambda 750, Lambda 800, Lambda 850, Lambda 900, Lambda 950 and Lambda 1050
  • additionally, control of Thermo Scientific Helios, Evolution and Genesys spectrometers with their EnzLab software

Scantraq is a software alternative from FTG Software for controlling multiple spectrometers, as there are:

  • PerkinElmer Lambda 2/10/12/14/20/40/25/35/45, 9, 19, 650-1050 (URA, TDM); Lambda Bio/XLS; 580B-983G (IR); Spectrum GX, Spectrum One, 100 & Frontier (FTIR)
  • Agilent 8453 Diode-Array
  • Varian Cary 1-5 (100-500, 4000-6000i)
  • Hitachi U-3210, U-3410 (3200/3400)
  • Nicolet: all models supported by OMNIC
  • Ocean Optics: all models supported by SpectraSuite
  • Carl Zeiss MCS 500 Series
  • StellarNet: instruments supported by SpectraWiz

The BioLight Studio software was made by German company BioLight Luminescence Systems for control of PerkinElmer fluorescence spectrometers, and also for some absorbance spectrometers:

  • Perkin Elmer LS45, LS55 and LS50B fluorescence spectrometers
  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 2, 10, 11, 12, 14, 20, 40, 25, 35
Original Software

Over the years, some original versions of original legacy spectrometer software accumulated in my place. Just some examples:

  • Perkin Elmer CFS (BASIC source code from 1988)
  • Nicolet OMNIC from 1993
  • Beckman DU WinConnection Suite 1.11 from 2010
Virtualisation approach

In case you don't have (any more) the computer hardware required for running old software on old operating systems, you can always try virtualisation for running it on modern computers. I recommend VMWare, because it is quite good for connecting software from inside the virtual machine to real hardware.
Her comes an example for interfacing a 1994 HORIBA SkinSkan spectrometer with DataMax software to a modern computer (including a Boot floppy disk):

  • make a Win98 virtual machine (VM) using VMWare Player
  • assign the serial port to the VM (might also use a USB-to-serial adaptor)
  • use ImgBurn to convert the Windows 98 SE DVD to a .iso image
  • use Winimage to convert the SkinSkan Boot floppy disk to a .flp image
  • finally: launch the install Windows 98SE from the .iso, take control of the serial port, and boot the SkinSkan using the floppy image

The whole procedure has been described by Dr. Philip Yip, see this youtube video!

upcycling/
long-term maintenance

Besides being able to provide decade-long updates to their own products, US-based company Olis, Inc. also upcycles the work-horses of the past, making them fit for future:

  • Perkin-Elmer™ IR-983
  • Cary 14 UV/Vis/NIR
  • HP 8452 diode array
  • Aminco™ DW-2 & DW-2000
  • SLM SPF-500, 4800, 8000, 8100


Safas from dwarf state Monaco builds sturdy, long-lasting, high-performance absorbance and fluorescence spectrometers with extremely long-time available spare parts and upgradability.

They have a long history (since over 50 years) of ground-breaking innovations, however the fame often went to their successors…

DISCLAIMER:
I am not affiliated with any of the above mentioned companies, nor do I receive any rewards for mentioning. This information was just collected to help you. Please let me know of more and other sources!



 © 2001-2015: Friedrich Menges. Last Change:
9 July, 2017
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