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.
From 2009 through to 2014 I have normally had about 20 to 30 boards here that I can potentially sell. However I do not have a dedicated supplier for these boards and may run out completely one day soon. If you have any cards to sell, please contact me.
There has been an incredible amount of liquidated Waters HPLC equipment auctioned off over the past 9-10 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 7X since 2006.
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. I believe 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. I have participated in chat rooms and mailing lists that focus on electronics. While I have studied diligently and continue to do so to expand the scope of things I can do, I have consistently been surprised at the level of knowledge that other people on the Internet have.
Please consider sending me your Bus Lace boards for repair, there are a million people on the planet that know more about electronics then I do but I believe I am the only person on the planet that is has a shop dedicated to repairing these cards.
It has been very difficult to learn this circuit as Waters will be the only organization that has the schematic but 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 virtually impossible 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. While again, there are electronic geniuses on the Internet and you may have one in your organization too, they will likely be stuck with oscilloscopes and multimeters. They will need extra days to accomplish the same tests I can carry out in minutes.
Please note that I am note affiliated with Waters Corp in anyway and that LAC/E is a trade name owned by Waters as well.