homeemade thermocycler?

Wolfgang Schechinger hubahopp at gmx.de
Fri Apr 30 05:46:35 EST 2004

Dear Walt, 

that's a very good setup if you want or need to save money. A device like
this, constructed from very famous Fischertechnik tiles and operating with
3 aquariums filled with oil was used for diagnostic PCR in a hospital in
Munich in the 90s and later, when commercial thermocyclers wre not
available yet or at least horribly expensive. It was controlled with a
PC-XT running at 5 MHz and worked like a charm for many years.

Basically, I am looking for some ideas on how to construct a programmable
thermostate which is small, portable, does not consume a lot of energy and
does not make a lot of noise. And supports gradients. 
Maybe there are some ideas or solutions on the net on how do heat and cool
the tubes and to control the temperature.

So, if you just need a PCR machine, you may go to ebay and buy a PE cetus
for 100 euros of course. I already have some ideas, but I don't want to
invent the wheel a second time. And I don't want to mis-invent a wheel with
3 or 4 corners.

Best regards,


At 14:28 28.04.2004 +0100, Walter Schick - BioSepCo wrote:
>Use several water baths, set at different temperatures and move a rack
>between them.  If you add a robot, you are recreating the principle of
>Stratagene's system.  Generally very fast reactions as there is no warm up
>ramp or cool down ramp like on commercial block systems.
>Best regards,
>Walter Schick
>Bio-Sep Company   agent for Labhoo.com

Wolfgang Schechinger


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