This webpage is available as a PDF. It has photos.

I repair Waters Bus Lace interface cards. I also have some stock of my own to sell.

I have been repairing these cards since 2008, I started my business in 2006.

There has been an incredible amount of liquidated Waters HPLC equipment auctioned off over the past 20 years. I spoke with one person who was losing his job at Pfizer and he had said that his company alone had liquidated 12000 auction lots and that was back in 2009. BMS, Merck and several others have also liquidated vast amounts of equipment.

Normally computers are not included in these auction lots. I have had a hard time selling refurbished Waters instruments over the past few years but I have found a niche in repairing and reselling Bus Lace boards.

While the used HPLC system prices have dropped or remained the same, these cards have increased in value about 3-4X.

If you have a board that is not working please do not throw it away. I can buy defective boards to repair and resell later or I can repair yours for a fraction of the price of what I can sell one to you for. You could always double check but I am certain that Waters has discontinued these boards now but a repair would have been less then 10% of the cost of a new board back when they were still being sold circa December 2011.

Assuming the connector that plugs into the computer is facing down, there is a series of 8 LEDs on the top right of the board.

When the computer starts up, these LEDs will light in a sequence. If I know what sequence they are lighting in, I can give you an upfront estimate by phone or email.

If you send the card and the cost is higher, there is no charge for the further evaluation and I can ship the card back on your account, anytime.

I have been servicing scientific instrument full time since 1999 and had some part time experience before this but still, it has been very difficult to learn this circuit as Waters is the only organization that has the schematic. However after hundreds of hours(in fact I am probably just past the thousand hour mark) of working with this circuit I have the knowledge required to repair them at an affordable cost.

These boards contain two chips that are FPGAs. An FPGA is a special chip that can act as a programmable circuit. A designer can fabricate a circuit within the FPGA by programatically reconfiguring logic blocks inside the device, thereby creating a little circuit inside.

FPGAs are handy for designing circuits but they also provide a serious deterrent to those trying to copy the design of the board. The circuit contained inside them is quite difficult to copy.

I purchased a number of cards that were intentionally damaged and then discarded. They are unrepairable but contain these FPGAs. I can rob these priceless chips from my surplus boards to repair yours, others simply will not have this option available. In addition I have heavily invested in test equipment and I can monitor the signals on well over a hundred pins at the same time.

Please note that I am note affiliated with Waters Corp in any way and that LAC/E is a trade name owned by Waters as well.

-Patrick McCavery