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General

The Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer system includes both the instrument and the computer—you cannot start or restart one without starting the other. Improper boot sequence can lead to communication issues, aborted runs, and possible loss of data. The proper boot sequence is:

  1. Remove the thermal tape securing the capillary closest to the electrode and pull the capillary up until the end of the capillary is about 1 mm below the end of the electrode. Failure to do so can cause the capillary to break when the instrument is turned on. 
  2. Start the computer and the instrument:
    • Turn on the computer and log in, but do not launch the Data Collection software.
    • Turn on the instrument and wait until you get a solid green light.
    • Launch the Data Collection Software. 
  3. Re-calibrate the autosampler.
  4. Home the syringe and refill with polymer if needed.

Step-by-step instructions for the start-up procedures can be found in the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer: Starting Up the Instrument Technical Note and the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer User Guide.

For the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer, if the instrument will be idle for less than a week, perform the short-term shutdown of the system. If it will be idle for longer than a week, follow the instructions in the user guide for a long-term shutdown.

Perform the following shutdown procedure after doing a short-term or long-term shutdown:

  1. Close the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Data Collection Software and shut down the computer.
  2. Turn off the instrument by turning off the switch on the back left-hand side of the instrument. The LED status lights will turn off, and the autosampler will drop. 
  3. Short-term shutdown: Store the capillary by keeping one end in the block and the other in the buffer vial (on instrument). NOTE: remove the thermal tape holding the capillary to the heat plate and reposition the capillary into the buffer, then re-attach the thermal tape to secure it.
    Long-term shutdown: Uninstall the capillary and properly store it or discard it. If storing the capillary, ensure that both ends of the capillary are submerged in 1x Running Buffer (Genetic Analysis Buffer with EDTA). Maintain the buffer levels in the storage vials so the ends of the capillary are completely submerged. 

Step-by-step instructions for the shutdown procedures can be found in the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer: Shutting Down the Instrument Technical Note and the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer User Guide.

We recommend that you perform a restart of the system once a week. The system may require a restart more frequently if you experience issues related to a communication interruption between the instrument and computer. Some systematic issues include:

  • The software freezing or becoming unresponsive
  • The run timer not counting down or flashing back and forth between two different times
  • No data present at the end of the run

In the event of a communication issue between the instrument and computer, close the Data Collection Software (perform a forced shutdown of the application through the Task Manager if Data Collection is unresponsive), completely power down the instrument and turn off the computer. To properly clear the memory, power down the system for at least 2 minutes prior to a restart. 

There is no harm in restarting the system daily, but it should not be necessary unless there is an occasional loss in communication between the instrument and computer or in cases where the system is running significantly slower than normal. If the problems in run speed or communication loss are persistent, then it may be indicative of a larger problem. Technical Support should be contacted for further assistance at techsupport@thermofisher.com

The Data Collection and secondary analysis software requires certain permissions in order to function (Read, Write, Delete). To avoid issues with restrictions placed on user accounts, we recommend that you log in either as Administrator or INSTR-ADMIN.

Maintenance tasks on the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer take place over the course of 2–5 days. For detailed information on the maintenance steps and when to perform them, please refer to the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer Maintenance Checklist Technical Note or the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer User Guide.

For the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer, the polymer can remain on the instrument for 3 days.

For the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer, the buffer can keep for 48 hours or 48 runs.

If the instrument is not in use, it is not necessary to replace the buffer every 2–3 days. However, the buffer level needs to remain at the fill line to prevent the capillary or array from drying out. Top off the buffer volume with water if necessary. Replace the anode and cathode buffer with freshly made 1X Running Buffer prior to starting a new run.

Putting the polymer back at 2–8°C may extend the life of the polymer, however, we do not have any data indicating how long it might extend it. Removing the polymer and putting it back on the system can also result in a trade-off in usage. When placing it back on the system, you will need to degas the polymer for 30–60 min, refill the pump/block, array, and remove bubbles, which will cause you to use more polymer for maintenance than you would for running samples and may decrease the number of runs you can get out of a single polymer bottle/pouch.

Thermo Fisher Scientific can only provide warranty on performance on non-expired reagents. Using reagents past their expiration date is a risk and may compromise your data integrity.

The capillaries are warrantied for a certain number of runs or one year from date of receipt, whichever comes first. If you notice that you are starting to get reduced data quality (e.g., shorter reads, trailing peaks in all 4 colors) even with the Sequencing Standard, these may be signs that the array requires changing. 

All of our systems have been tested with Norton™ Anti-Virus Software.

The instrument computer can be connected to your local network via the second NIC card by your local IT group. We don’t offer Technical Support to assist with networking issues, and our warranty and service contract terms exclude coverage for instrument system problems that are caused by the network connection (i.e., computer virus, hacking, updates, or patches that alter the compute environment). However, our field service team will respond during the warranty period and while the instrument is covered by an AB Assurance service contract to isolate the cause of any problem either with instrument hardware, software, chemistry, or that arises from an external environmental source including the connection to a customer-owned internal network. Beyond that we can escalate issues to a product technical team who can review instrument logs and advise on the nature of the problem in an effort to help you find and correct the source of the problem.

For tips on connecting your computer to the local network, please see the Instrumentation Networking Technical Note.

If you map the network drive so it shows up under Computer as a drive letter, then this feature can be configured from the Instrument Data Collection Software through the Preferences by going to the Window menu in the Applied Biosystems™ 310 Genetic Analyzer Data Collection SoftwarePreferences and then changing the “Folder containing Run Folders” location by clicking on the button next to it and browsing to the network folder you will have the files saved in. 

If we do not specify the expiry date or number of uses, the warranty will last for 12 months from the date we deliver the consumable. 

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