Building the $100 Thermocycler
Wolfgang.Schechinger at med.uni-tuebingen.de
Wed Feb 2 07:39:46 EST 2000
I once have seen a thermocycler built using a "Fischer
Technik" construction set. I don't know if anyone knows it outside
Germany, but you probably can imagine what I mean: It's a
construction set normally use by children to experiment with
There were three small aquariums filled with heated
oil of apprpriate temperatures (melt, anneal, extend). A cup holder
for small eppies was attached to a kind of crane and immersed into
the oil baths. The setup was controlled by a computer interface that
came together with the construction set.
There's just another setup thet came into my mind:
You may call the whole stuff "computer controlled
thermostate" and you will need a peltier element (for heating and
cooling), some power transistors or relays to switch the current for
the peltiers, a temperature sensor (semiconductor like KTY10 or PTC
resistor) and a computer interface (maybe a 8032 signal processor is
a good idea). And a home brew computer program to control it.
When you attach it to the PC through a serial port, it even will work
with virtually any computer and any old PC will do.
For educational purposes, why not simply using three wather baths and
transferring the eppies (assembled in a floater) manually? Is
more fun for children and more instructive.
Dr. Wolfgang Schechinger, Pathobiochemistry Dept.
University of Tuebingen, Germany
email: wolfgang.schechinger at med.uni-tuebingen.de
*unsolicited mail is *NOT* appreciated, usual disclaimers apply
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