Can Your Magnetic Hotplate Stirrer Interface with a PC?

Can your magnetic hotplate stirrer be interfaced with a PC? This is neither a trick question, nor an idle one. If your laboratory has a digital magnetic hotplate stirrer from CAT Scientific, then the answer is definitely “yes”.

But if you haven’t invested in the best equipment for your facility, you may be working with an outdated old stirrer that’s simply incapable of communicating with your computer. You may be missing out on a level of sophisticated monitoring and control that gives your laboratory the edge it needs to succeed and become even more efficient.

Still More Control

Of course, the purpose of a hotplate stirrer is to facilitate the dissolution of solids into liquids, and to thoroughly blend various reagents and liquids together. Uniform distribution of constituents is generally achieved by applying the appropriate amount of stirring energy (conveyed by spin velocity) and heating of your liquid to encourage better dissolution of any solids. Longer stir times typically yield better results.

Hotplate stirrers are among the basic workhorse pieces of equipment needed in any reasonably well equipped laboratory. They’ve been fundamental pieces of equipment in working laboratories for many decades. But a digital hotplate stirrer from CAT Scientific whisks this pedestrian item of equipment from the past into the 21st century. By digitally interfacing with a personal computer, this device is able to provide far more control over stirring and heating parameters than was ever possible before.

Direct Interface

By adding convenient ports to the device, we’ve ensured that you can exert even greater control over your stirring activities by allowing you to interface the device with a nearby personal computer.  In fact, we supply two RS485 jacks on the back of the device so you can interface in serial. Use a 9-pin Sub-D connector (female) of the RS485 to RS232 adapter (view on socket). If your PC has no RS232 port, you can also use a USB to RS232 converter (PN: 30244- 01).

Once you have interfaced the hotplate to a PC, you can use the PC to set commands, change stirrer variables, and control this and other devices at will. Use the optional Pt 100 sensor (temperature probe), initiate set points, preset stir times and temps, set alarms, etc., using your laboratory PC. While these functions can also be manipulated using the stirrer’s own digital controls, interfacing with a PC gives you convenient control over this and other devices from one central location.


CAT Scientific

Leave a Comment