Using The Method Screens

The nerve center of ChromGraph Control is the Method file. The Method contains all the information about how to do a series of runs: how many runs, which detectors and which filter settings to use, what pump settings to use, the duration of the run, the data collection rate, etc. In addition, the Method screens provide the means to manually control the various instruments -- you can turn detectors on and off, start and stop the pump, and set all the conditions so the system can equilibrate.


A temporary Method is always loaded into RAM at startup, so a Method is always present. You can make changes to this Method or load an existing one.

To load an existing Method, select the LOAD METHOD option from the Method menu at the top of the screen:

A directory of existing Methods that reside in the default data location will appear.

The DEFAULT DATA LOCATION is the subdirectory on the hard drive into which Data, Method, and other files are saved. Initially defined as C:\BAS\Data, the default directory may be changed by loading or saving data to another directory, then exiting with the save initialization file option.

To load a Method, either double click on its name or highlight it and click the OK button.

Methods can be loaded from other locations by using the mouse to select other drives or subdirectories. Such a selection automatically becomes the new default data location. The default location will remain in effect throughout the session, unless changed by another LOAD or SAVE operation. When you finish your session and quit, saving the CONTROL.INI file will save the new default data location so it will be used at the next session. If you do not save this file, the original default data location will be used for subsequent sessions.

To save a Method, either click the Save button from any of the Method screens, or take the SAVE option from the Method drop-down menu. A dialog will open up allowing you to save to the location of your choice with the name of your choice:

A Method name can have any combination of characters and spaces. The program will automatically append the extension .MTH to the name you choose. Method names can theoretically be up to 127 characters long, including the path (thus, C:\BAS2\DATA\mymethod.mth = 25 characters). Some advanced procedures may require shorter names, so we recommend using names with total lengths (including the path) of less than 33 characters.

For display purposes, a Method name may be truncated somewhat in various places in the program.

As with a load operation, saving to a new location will change the default data directory for the remainder of the session.


To edit or review the Method you must open the Method screens. Start by clicking on the METHOD section of the main menu. A list of options will appear:

Except for the LOAD, LIST and SAVE options, each option will open a screen for a section of the Method. Simply click on the desired section with the mouse. You can access each screen through this drop-down menu. Once a screen is opened, you can use the << OK and OK>> buttons to move from screen to screen.


At the bottom of each Method screen (more correctly called a dialog box) are pushbuttons for subsequent action:

OK accepts any changes and saves them to RAM. These changes are then used in subsequent runs of the Method. To permanently save these changes to disk, use the SAVE option.

<< OK and OK >> These have the same function as OK, except they automatically bring up the previous (<<) or next (>>) screen of the Method.

CANCEL closes the dialog box without accepting any of the changes. The original information is thus preserved.

EXEC sends a command to the epsilon hardware to set the conditions called for in the dialog box (e.g., pump speed, detector conditions). For screens with multiple time lines (e.g., Pump Gradient Schedule) the conditions on the 0.0 time line are activated.

STOP sends a command to the epsilon hardware to stop or turn off the appropriate device.

DELETE removes the highlighted line from a dialog box with time lines.

CHANGE puts edited information into the highlighted line of a dialog box with time lines.

INSERT inserts a new line into a dialog box with time lines.

SAVE opens a dialog to save the Method with a name and location of your choice. As with a load operation, saving to a new location will change the default data directory for the remainder of the session.

Screens concerned with time schedules (pump, detector, timed events) contain listboxes -- lists of up to 10 time lines that change the operating conditions during a run. Time is measured in minutes from the start of a run. Time lines are automatically sorted by time as they are entered. The maximum time is 999.9 minutes, and lines must be at least 0.1 minutes apart.

Only the 0.0 time line can be put into effect from these screens. To run the entire schedule you must start a programmed run.

Under the listbox is found a set of edit boxes, used to enter, delete, and modify the time lines. To insert a new time line, enter the information in the edit boxes, then press INSERT. To modify the information in an existing line, click on the line to make it appear in the edit boxes. Make the changes, then press CHANGE. To delete a line from the listbox, click on it, then press DELETE.