[3dem] Vitrobot: Humidifier error "empty"

John Rubinstein john.rubinstein at utoronto.ca
Wed Sep 24 11:24:28 PDT 2014

Dear Roglio,

We had a problem that gave that error message (and occasionally some other messages, if memory serves) that turned out to be a problem with a Vitrobot circuit board.

We were quoted ~$20,000 for a replacement circuit board, which I couldn’t bring myself to pay. Instead, I did two things:
1) Bought a Gatan CP3
2) Bought a small $20 ultrasonic humidifier and attached it to Vitrobot chamber where the humidifier used to sit (picture attached). The new humidifier raises the humidity in the chamber much faster than the Vitrobot humidifier ever did. You just have to remember to turn it off before blotting and on when you want to increase the humidity. People in the lab have also found that leaving a small beaker of water in the chamber raises the humidity to the point where the hygrometer reads 100% and don’t even tend to use the ultrasonic humidifier (although I think the hygrometer is not particularly accurate).

You may find the solution for your current Vitrobot problem, but even if you don’t the Vitrobot can still be used successfully.

Best regards,
John Rubinstein
Molecular Structure and Function Program The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
686 Bay Street, Rm. 20-9705
Toronto, ON
M5G 0A4
Tel: (+001) 416-813-7255
Fax: (+001) 416-813-5022

On Sep 24, 2014, at 2:04 PM, Rogelio A. Hernandez-Lopez <rhernand at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

> Hi All,
> We are experiencing a problem getting the humidifier to work after cleaning the water cylinder 
> and expect it might have something to do with the connection between the  water cylinder 
> and the system. As soon as we try to increase the humidity in the chamber the systems trows a message saying 
> "empty" (in the humidity panel). We have already tried emptying and refilling it again and removing any air bubble in the line but that has not fixed the problem.
> Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you solve it? 
> Thanks.
> Rogelio
> -- 
> Rogelio A. Hernandez Lopez
> Leschziner Lab 
> Harvard University
> 305.G NWB
> 52 Oxford Street, Room 305
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> rhernand at fas.harvard.edu
> (617)-872-5399
> http://labs.mcb.harvard.edu/leschziner/rogelio/index.html
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> 3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu
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