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General User Guides
Freedom Rocker™ BlotBot® FAQs
Can the Freedom Rocker BlotBot work in labs in other countries?
Yes. A wall transformer will convert the voltage from your wall outlet to 12V DC for the Freedom Rocker. Select the proper voltage when you order your instrument.
How much room does the BlotBot require?
The BlotBot 120 requires 15 inches (37 cm) of lab bench, models 240 and 248 require 21 inches (53 cm). The bottle for wash buffer can be placed behind or to the side of the BlotBot, or even on a shelf above or below the lab bench.
What is the minimum volume of reagent or antibody required?
Only 3.5 ml of antibody is required for a miniblot.
How do I switch between mini and midi size gels or blots?
The BlotBot comes with separate trays sized for mini and midi blots and gels. Model 248 also comes with trays for strip blots. Simply use the appropriate tray and set the blotsize in the program.
What happens at the end of the final wash step?
After the programmed duration of the final wash step, the rocking continues with the wash buffer in the tray(s).
What was the change in trays in 2019? Can newer trays fit in older BlotBots?
How many trays can the BlotBot run at once?
The BlotBot 120 can run 1 midi or 2 mini blots or gels at a time. The BlotBot 240 can run 2 midi or 4 mini blots or gels at a time. The BlotBot 248 can run 2 midi or 4 mini blots or gels or 8 strips at a time.
Do all the trays follow the same protocol?
Different reagents can be dispensed and collected from each blot or gel, however, the timing of each step and the volume of buffer in each wash step will be the same.
Can I dispense and recover different antibodies into each tray?
Yes, you can dispense different reagents for each blot, and the reagents can be recovered separately.
Can I reuse the reagent tubes?
You can either use a new reagent tube (RRVR-100 pack of 100 or RRVR-500 pack of 500) or replace the foil seal (RVRFL, pack of 200). If you are using a different antibody, we highly recommend using a new tube. If you are using the same antibody that was previously used in the reagent tube, and you want to save money you can replace the foil seal.
How do I replace the foil seal on a reagent tube?
To replace the foil seal, first completely remove the previous seal and make sure that the surface is completely clean and without cuts or nicks. Next, place a new seal on the bottom of the reagent tube and apply firm pressure all around. This process requires care to ensure that the seals do not leak. For more information, download the instructions for this process here.
Freedom Rocker Troubleshooting
If nothing happens (all the lights are off and the display is blank)…
Check that the power is properly connected. If the wall transformer is plugged in all the way and the power line is plugged into the instrument, then either the wall outlet or the wall transformer is bad. Plug something else into the same wall outlet. Does it work? If so, then the power supply may be bad. Contact us for a replacement.
If liquid is not dispensed immediately after the pump is turned on…
The tubing could be empty and needed to be primed. If this is the case, the problem should not occur as long as the tubing does not fill up again with air.
If liquid is not dispensed or aspirated…
The caps could be too tightly screwed onto the bottles. If this occurs, air is not able to enter or leave the bottles and equalize the pressure. Loosen the caps on the bottles. If not caught early, this could lead to tubes disengaging from fittings or leakage.
Programming the BlotBot
The Freedom Rocker™ BlotBot® is designed to work with your existing protocols. To enter a protocol into the BlotBot, follow these steps:
- From the home screen, select “Programs”. Select one of the programs using the dial, and press the “Edit” button to edit the program. The BlotBot comes with 8 programs with default values.
- Choose a name for your protocol. The “Save” button saves changes, while the “Continue” button moves on to the next screen.
- Select whether the protocol will be used with a mini blot tray (2 chambers with a central divider), or a midi blot tray (one large chamber).
- Now, choose whether you want a clearing rinse to be included in the protocol. A clearing rinse will briefly rinse the blot with 10 mL of wash buffer at the end of each step.
- Select the speeds, times and reagents for each step in your protocol. When selecting the reagent, you can choose the following: “Buffer” from the buffer bottle; “1” or “2” from the reagent tubes; and “END” to indicate that there are no more steps. Buffer wash steps can be repeated up to 10 times; reagent steps cannot be repeated; reagents can be recovered. Because blots and gels should be kept wet, the first step assumes that there is liquid, such as a blocking buffer, in the tray, and after the final step, the buffer (or reagent) will remain in the tray, and the tray will continue to rock slowly.
Press “Save” to save all of your changes.
Freedom Rocker™ FAQs for models before 2015: FRSK22, FRSK42, FRSKDX2, FRSKDX4
Can the Freedom Rocker work in labs in other countries?
Yes. A wall transformer will convert the voltage from your wall outlet to 12V DC for the Freedom Rocker™. Select the proper voltage when you order your instrument.
How much room does the Freedom Rocker require?
The Freedom Rocker takes up only 10 inches (25 cm) of lab bench. It is 10 inches (25 cm) wide by 15 inches (38 cm) deep, including the pump and the rocker. The bottles for wash buffer, waste, and reagent collection can be placed behind or to the side of the Freedom Rocker, or even on a shelf above or below the lab bench.
Can the Freedom Rocker drain the waste to a sink?
Yes, the hose for waste liquid can either run to a container or to a sink.
What happens at the end of the final wash step?
After the programmed duration of the final wash step, the instrument beeps to let the user know that the wash is complete. However, to keep the membranes, gels, or slides from drying out, the rocking continues and the wash buffer is not pumped from the tray(s).
How many trays can the Freedom Rocker run at once?
The Freedom Rocker model FRSKDX2 can run 1 large tray or 2 tray small or medium trays. With the purchase of AHDS24 Small Aspiration Head, one small or medim tray can be used. The FRSKDX4 model runs 4 trays or 2 trays at once. To run just 1 tray at a time, a different aspiration head is required. Aspiration heads and different tube sets can be ordered separately. See the pricelist for ordering information and current pricing.
Do all the trays follow the same protocol?
Yes, the Freedom Rocker pumps the liquids in and out of all the trays simultaneously to/from the same reagent/waste containers. Different reagents can be manually poured in the different trays initially, or automatically with the multi-dispense option, however, when these reagents are aspirated out of the trays, they will be combined in the waste or recover bottle.
Can I dispense different antibodies into each tray?
Yes, with the Multi-dispense (MD) models. Individual antibodies are loaded into the syringes on the dispense head. Antibodies cannot be individually recovered.
How do I switch from 4 to 2 trays?
The DX4 model can use 1, 2 or 4 sample trays. To switch between 2 and 4 trays, on newer models, simply move the plunger in the manifold of the tube set. In older tube sets, you may have to swap out the tube set.
How do I use just a single tray?
To use just a single sample tray, set up the Freedom Rocker just as you would for using 2 trays. Then attach the small dispense head AHD24. Since the instrument is now dispensing and aspirating into a single tray, twice as much buffer or reagent will be pumped into or out of the single tray, so set your volumes to half the desired amounts.
How do I dispense as little antibody as possible?
To dispense 10 ml or less per tray, attach the 50 mL tube to the blue tubing and set the fill volume to 30 mL and the clearing rinse to on. The Freedom Rocker can only dispense as much antibody as is in the tube, so if the 50 mL is full, i.e. there is tubing and about 46 mL in the 50 mL tube, only about 11 mL will go to each tray. If using just 2 trays, only fill the 50 mL with about 22 mL of antibody. Actually, about 1 mL per tray will be lost. The clearing rinse step will replace the buffer in the tubing with the antibody, by pumping the antibody into the tubing. To make sure that there is practically no buffer left in the tubes, about 1 mL of antibody will be pumped out the other end of the tubing. When the Freedom Rocker tries to pump 30 mL, it will pump about 10 mL into each tray. After that, it is just pumping air since there is no more antibody to pump. By pumping air, most all of the antibody is forced into the trays.