Introduction: Pearl Gel Box Kit

 A quick set of instructions to put together your Pearl Gel Box -- comments appreciated!

The instructions are in 4 parts. Page 1 covers soldering steps for the electronics, Page 2 covers installing the electrode wires, Page 3 covers the comb, and Page 4 the gel casting tray.

I made it at techshop!

Step 1: Electronics

 Tools:
Soldering iron + solder
Wire stripper (optional, if you're good with a pocket knife or scissors)
Small wrench
Loctite threadlocker (optional, helps hold washers onto bolts)

Parts needed from the Pearl Gel Box kit:
Orange gel box lid
2 test leads (1 red, 1 black)
2 Banana jacks (1 red, 1 black), plus washers

1. The first step is to attach the banana jacks to the orange lid. The long threaded part of the banana jack will point away from the lid (Picture 1).
2. Slide the same color cap over the other end (Picture 1, black banana jack)
3. Screw the washer on, add loctite to the joint, and tighten with the small wrench (Picture 2)

Now you're going to solder the test lead onto the banana jack.

4. Strip about 1/2" off of the end of both test leads.
5. Slide the banana jack cap onto both test leads BEFORE you solder them on! (Picture 3). 
6. Make sure the cap is facing the right direction, the cap is going to screw onto the banana jack after you're done soldering.
7. Pick one test lead and twist the copper wire around the unthreaded part of the banana jack so it's able to hold itself on even without soldering. *Keep in mind, this cap is going to need to fit over the joint after you solder.* (Picture 4)
8. Solder the copper wire to the unthreaded part of the banana jack. (Picture 5)
9. Screw the cap on over the joint. Since the cap has plastic threads, be somewhat gentle to avoid stripping the cap. If it doesn't seem to fit on, consider adjusting your soldered joint.
10. Repeat steps 7-9 with the second test lead.
You're all set!

Step 2: Electrodes

 Tools:
Small wrench
Loctite threadlocker (optional, helps hold acorn nut onto banana plug)
Wire cutters

Parts needed from the Pearl Gel Box kit:
Main gel box chamber
2 stainless steel electrodes (taped to the bottom of the gel box)
2 stainless steel acorn nuts
2 banana plugs

1. Screw both banana plugs into the gel box. The plug must point away from the box. (Picture 1)
2. Attach the acorn nuts, but don't tighten them too much, as you still need to attach the stainless steel electrode
3. Position the "L" shaped electrode so that the long part is horizontal, and the sheathed section points towards the banana plug. (Picture 2)
4. Apply loctite to the joint and use a small wrench to tighten.
5. Now repeat steps 3 and 4 for the second electrode.

Step 3: Comb

 Tools:
Acrylic glue and syringe applicator

Parts needed from the Pearl Gel Box kit:
White gel comb
Orange acrylic piece for attaching comb

1. Lay the comb flat on the table.
2. Position the orange bar so it overhangs the comb evenly on each side.
3. Apply acrylic glue with syringe application

Of course, you can tape these two parts together or use acrylic glue from a tube.

Step 4: Gaskets for Casting Tray

 No tools needed

Parts needed from Pearl Gel Box kit:
Gel casting tray
2 red rubber gaskets


1. The important note here is to *not stretch* the rubber gasket. Instead, lay it across the groove in the gel casting tray and simply push downwards. If you stretch the gasket in order to make it fit, it will not provide a good seal and your gel will leak out.
2. Press the rubber gaskets into the groove in the gel tray

Comments

author
lemonie (author)2010-04-24

While I have a pretty good idea what this is, other people may not. Could you add into the introduction what you use this for?

L

author
RadBear (author)lemonie2010-04-24

If I'm not mistaken it is used to run polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments. Since DNA has a charge on it you can seperate out various portions of DNA by applying a charge and drawing them through a gel substrate. The smaller the bit of DNA are the farther they travel in the gel.

author
mycroftxxx (author)RadBear2010-04-24

 Isn't this a Gel Electrophoresis kit?  I don't think this has the parts to do PCR.

author
lemonie (author)mycroftxxx2010-04-25

It sure looks like gel electrophoresis to me.

L

author
RadBear (author)lemonie2010-04-26

Yep. Gel eletrophoresis. I was close in a not really kind of way. :)

author
lemonie (author)RadBear2010-04-25

You'd use it after PCR, the separation is mass/BP/size-based

L

author
AndyGadget (author)lemonie2010-04-24

Go on - Give us a clue.

author
AndyGadget (author)AndyGadget2010-04-24

Found it!  My guess would have been some sort of electro-chromatography, so I wasn't too far off.

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