Chemstation 101 – Restoring a Previous Tune File

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, and I’m in Alpharetta, Ga this week attending the Agilent MassHunter Data Analysis class. Let’s say I’ve been inspired by the data acquisition review.

A few months back, Jason wrote about a way to reset his 5973 acquisition software after the tuning macro loses the ability to find the PFTBA mass peaks (69, 219, 502) in Cannot achieve constant peak widths. But what if you need to go back to a specific tune file? The most likely situation I can think of (since it has happened to me) is if you share an instrument, and a coworker re-tunes the instrument using the same .u file, changing the instrument’s response enough that your continuing calibration verification standard (CCV) now fails to meet method criteria. Instead of collecting a new calibration (ICAL), you can restore the tune file you used to collect the original calibration data, and reacquire and evaluate a CCV.

First, we should probably talk about the difference between tune parameters and tune files. Tune parameters are the collection of targets and other settings saved to a .u file, like dftpp.u.

tune parameter files


The file used to control the MSD during data collection can be found via the File menu in Tune and Vacuum Control.

menu 1


Selecting “Restore Previous Tune(s)…” will bring up a file browser for selecting the tune to restore. Unlike the parameter files, these don’t have a file extension; their names include the .u file used to generate them, plus a date and time code for when they were generated. This is where good record keeping helps.

browse for tune

After you select your tune, the software performs a profile scan. If you like what you see, you can overwrite the file currently associated with the selected .u file. This technique should also correct the “cannot find constant peak widths” error Jason described in his blog.

ok tune overwrite

3 Responses to “Chemstation 101 – Restoring a Previous Tune File”

  1. Derhsing Luu says:

    I’ve got the same problem. The 5973 MSD failed after the weekend. There’s no data collected (instrument did not stop, but no data). We can not perform either auto tune, standard tune, or dftpp tune …no peaks found. Profile shows bunch noises 69, 219, and 502.

    1. vacuum status -ok
    2. sideboard – ok (swapped sideboard from working 5973A showed the same problems)
    3. no burn mark on the main board.
    4. filaments checked
    5. no loose connections found
    6. swapped log amp board – same problems
    Is there anything else I need to check? Thank you for your help!

  2. Derhsing Luu says:

    just found out the ion-gauge says the vacuum is only 9.3X10-3, this vacuum is too high and will cause the problem I am seeing?

  3. Your high vacuum reading should be < 5 X 10-5. I typically see 1.2 X 10-5. You probably have a leak at the o-ring the side plate seals on, or at the MSD transfer line nut, or your column broke far enough from the detector that it is able to maintain a partial vacuum.

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