Friday, October 08, 2010

If it works don't mess with it!

I'm currently in Brussels vistiting a collaborator. The research groups lab is absolutely fascinating and contains several old school mechanical contraptions that do a great job.
For your glassware drying pleasures:
For melting point determination (not sure how useful this device is but its looks cool):
It's not always necessary to upgrade to an expensive model with digitals controls to achieve the goal. Check out this solid phase synthesis shaker and the fantastic sound it makes - music to my ears. D!


Anonymous said...

Should have recorded the noise generated by the shaker and use it as a mobile phone ringtone.

Anonymous said...


milkshake said...

I see they they are using syringes equipped with a filter disk for peptide solid phase synthesis. Thats the easiest way to do it, for up to 2 grams of resin.

Melting point apparatus they have is OK (love the mercury at the bottom to allow for Bunsen Burner heating) but Koffler block microscope or its version with a heating block and magnifying glass is somewhat better. Not that too many people care about melting points these days...

John said...

The melting point apparatus is of coarse the old school Thiele tube.

In terms of usefulness, Buchi sell MP tools for something like $6k. And they are essentially a heating block with a digital control, and vastly over priced by the looks of things.

For the manual models, all of the electronics required to do that is painfully simple. The only expensive component would be a platinum RTD, which I expect it's using given the temperature accuracy claimed, but even those are tens of dollars to a hundred for a Class A band element.

This is similar to their vacuum pump, which costs multi thousands, for the rotovaps, when a fridge compressor will produce a similar level of vacuum, for free.

And then they want to sell you a controller on top of that.

Yep, they're all useful and things I'd like to have at home. But once you start talking about $10k+, it better be doing something fairly unique and exceptionally well. And I feel Buchi are going down the route of DeWalt. I'd go further and say, perhaps worse than DeWalt, as they have a huge amount of competition and a wide consumer base who are very picky about what they're getting for their money.