Choosing a PCR machine

Ted M. tedm at
Wed Aug 23 23:06:40 EST 1995

In article <41e7im$f1k at>, sullivan at
(Steven Sullivan) wrote:

> MJ's are good, but they tell me they're a little backlogged on certain 
> models.  Expect a month delay if you order one.  What I especially liked 
> about the MJ I used was its ease of programming.  The Thermolyne we have 
> now is a bear to program, and not very flexible.  
> We just ordered a cycler from Ericomp; its specs seem comparable to MJ's, 
> it's Peltier-driven, and we got two independent blocks with heated lids 
> for a good price (less than MJ).  They also tell me they;ve been making 
> cyclers fro about as long as Perkin Elmer.  I don't have their address 
> handy, but they advertise in Biotechniques.  

Ericomp may have been making cyclers a while but they have not, to my
knowledge, been making peltier device cyclers. Their older units were
resistance heated and WATER cooled, if I remember correctly. I belive MJ's
earlier units had problems because they used commercial peltier units that
failed. I was told they either made their own now or had them custom made;
their experience is earned. 
   I purchased a 96 well unit from MJ with a heated lid which worked
GREAT, very flexible. I used it for kinetic reactions, extensions,
sequencing, even PCR and the programing was the best I have seen. Perkin
Elmer is overpriced, Thermolyne is awkward and badly designed and I still
have condensate with the heated lid. If you can afford the MJ machine, by
all means buy it.  My $0.02...


Ted Michelini
Institute of Molecular Biology
University of Oregon
tedm at

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