Sonicator upgrade

Science Technology
Sonicator upgrade


Sean Ragan writes:

Working in a chemistry lab will spoil you to the use of certain tools. An ultrasound bath is one of them. While a proper laboratory sonicator is a fairly pricey piece of equipment, by amateur standards, there are ultrasonic cleaners designed, marketed, and priced for the home market. They are primarily intended for cleaning jewelry, spectacles, and other small parts. The cheapest one I’ve found is manufactured by “Chicago Electric,” a Chinese manufacturing concern, and sold through Harbor Freight. This model, unfortunately, is not equipped with a timer, and as manufactured it will only run for 3-minute cycles: You push the button, you get three minutes of ultrasound. If you want more than that, you have to come back at the end of three minutes and push the button again. This in stark contrast to my old laboratory sonicator, which featured a timer switch that would run the bath for as long as an hour without supervision. So I modified my home sonicator, first by opening the control panel and soldering the start button closed. As shown in the picture, the timer switch is mounted in an expedient plastic case. I’ve run the sonicator for the timer’s maximum period of one hour many times with no problems whatsoever. I’m obliged to disclaim, however, that this device was not intended to run continuously for that long and it may not be smart to wander very far away while it’s in operation.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

View more articles by Becky Stern


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).