Controlling the Isco CombiFlash Companion Without

Controlling the Isco CombiFlash Companion Without
Chromatography Technical Note TN06
Chromatography Technical Note TN06
Controlling the Isco CombiFlash®
Companion™ without Wires
IP Addresses
The Isco CombiFlash Companion is controlled
through an industry standard interface, 10/100 base T
Ethernet. This standard allows the Companion to be
used with a wide range of easily available commercial
accessories. This technical note discusses some of the
considerations necessary to use the Companion with
wireless communication products.
Before adding network or communication accessories, be sure to contact your facility’s Information
Technology (IT) department. There may already be a
number of wireless components in use at your facility. It
is important that any solutions used for the Companion
do not conflict with existing networks. This is true, even
if you do not plan on connecting the Companion with
your existing networks.
The Companion uses TCP/IP to communicate with
any networked device. This protocol uses a number
sequence called an “IP address” to identify itself in a network. The Companion is shipped with a default IP
address of It is important that any Companion placed on a company network or used in a
wireless setup has a unique IP address. Your IT department should provide this address.
When connecting the Companion to a nearby PC
using wireless technology but not integrating it into any
network, it is still important to assign a unique IP
address. Likewise, your wireless access point needs a
unique IP address. Coordinating with your IT department ensures that the wireless connection will not
interfere with an existing or future network in the same
Wireless Communication
Wireless Technology Compatibility
There are different types of wireless technology
available. When selecting a wireless system, all components need to use the compatible technologies. For
example, it would be possible to develop a network
using 802.11a devices, but an 802.11a network will not
allow 802.11b or 802.11g devices to be added later. Carefully plan and select a technology that will support all of
the devices that you intend to add.
Wireless Communication Example
A simple installation demonstrated wireless control
of the Companion using a wireless access point and a
correctly equipped PC. This installation did not use an
existing network. This configuration provided instrument control from anywhere in the lab within 100 to 150
feet from the Companion (see figure 1).
Some wireless technologies can be affected by the
environment in which it is installed. For example,
802.11b technology shares its 2.4 GHz bandwidth with
microwave ovens and cordless telephones. Interference
from nearby radio frequency (RF) devices may cause
problems for a wireless network.
Wireless technologies also have a range limit, some
greater than others. Range can be affected by room
layout and building materials. Often this limitation can
be overcome by adjusting the placement of the devices,
or adding wireless repeaters to extend the usable range.
Figure 1: Wireless Communication
For this example the following items were used:
• CombiFlash Companion
• Crossover cable (blue), Isco P/N 480-6545-02
• Wireless Access Point, Linksys WAP11 (802.11b)
• Compaq Tablet PC, TC1000 (with 802.11b)
Chromatography Technical Note TN06
The Companion and the Tablet PC were configured
according to the Direct Connection instructions in the
CombiFlash Companion Installation Guide. The crossover
cable connected the Companion’s Ethernet port and the
Wireless Access Point’s LAN port.
The Wireless Access Point was configured for “adhoc mode” according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In this demonstration, the WAP11 was shipped
with a default IP address of This address
is on the same subdomain as the Companion and Tablet
PC. Although the WAP11 did not need its IP address
changed, Isco recommends that you verify the address
using the manufacturer’s software before attempting to
establish communications.
After installation, the Companion could be controlled as if it was directly connected to the computer.
Wireless Corporate Networks
The same concepts can be used to connect the Companion to a corporate wireless network. Again,
assistance from your IT department is required for this
To add the Companion to a wireless corporate network, configure it according to the Network instructions
in the CombiFlash Companion Installation Guide. If a
Linksys WAP11 is selected as the wireless access point,
configure it for “infrastructure mode.”
For this wireless demonstration, data encryption was not
Last modified May 18, 2004
Isco, Inc. USA
◆ Toll-free: (800)775-2965 ◆ Phone: (402)464-0231 ◆ Fax: (402)465-3001 ◆ e-mail:
Isco, Inc. Europe (Germany) ◆ Phone: +49 6078 786-0 ◆ Fax: +49 6078 786-88 ◆ e-mail:
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