Frequently Asked Questions
1 : I have FluidX and Matrix tubes – will they work with your scanner?
2: My tubes are not in a 96-well SBS format, can I still read them on your readers?
Ziath readers can be configured with different “templates” that tell the reader where to look for the barcodes in any given rack. So if you have 24, 48, 96, 138 or 240 tubes in the standard SBS/SLAS footprint, we have already pre-loaded our operating software with templates for these racks. If you have the high-density 384-position racks, you will need either our DP5 or Datapaq Express or Cube readers to decode these smaller tubes, but again both the Datapaq and DP5 software have the templates there already.
3: My tubes are not in an SBS-format rack (SLAS/ANSI format), can I still read them on your readers?
Yes you can. If we do not already have a template written that matches your rack, we can write one for you. We just need you to send us an example of the rack and tube type that you would like to use.
4: My tubes have a “97th barcode” underneath the rack, can you read that too?
The so-called “97th code” is properly called an orientation barcode. It prevents the racks from being read on the scanner glass the wrong way around. Only if the orientation barcode is detected in the correct position will the rack be decoded, it also contains the rack barcode information. This may also appear in a linear barcode along one or more edges of the rack. All Ziath rack readers can identify and decode your orientation barcode and store its position in the rack template.
5: My racks have a linear code printed on the side, but no orientation barcode underneath, can I still get the rack code in my results?
Yes you can, but you’ll need to order our Linear Barcode Reader Accessory, the Cyclops This plugs into the rear of the Mirage or same computer as the Express or Cube reader and contains a laser scanner specially optimised for reading the linear barcode from the short end of your rack. If, for some reason, the code is only on the long side of the rack, we can make a special bracket to hold the unit so you can read that too. If the device is connected and selected as Active in the DP5 software, the rack barcode will appear at the head of your tabulated data for each set of barcoded tubes that are read. If you have the older Datapaq software rather than DP5, then you will need our ZTS-1DR2 linear reader attachment which works in the same way as the new Cyclops.
6: My racks have a 2D Datamatrix code on the side, can this be read by the ZTS-1DR2?
This was not possible in Datapaq 3.18 but in our DP5 software this Datamatrix code can be successfully decoded.
7: I’m working with tubes that come straight from a -80C freezer, can I read these on a Ziath Mirage?
Our Datapaq Mirage, Express and Cube readers can all work with cold racks straight from the freezer. You will need to specify our proprietary passive Cryoprotection™ option when ordering your reader. Cryoprotection prevents water vapour condensing on the underside of the reader glass, inside the machine, when cold racks are placed on the unit. It does not heat up your samples, it merely provides an anti-condensation coating on the glass – so it is safe to use with your precious biological samples and will not damage them (unlike some other available readers that heat up your samples by actively blowing warm air to heat the scanner!).
8: Our tubes are stored in Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) – will the Cryoprotection still work?
When removing racks from LN2, it is very important to first remove any ice build-up on the underside of the tube. This can also apply to tubes from a -80C freezer too. We show you how to remove the ice in our instructional YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJhEICRjHtI
Once they are clear of ice, the cold racks can be read on the Ziath reader fitted with Cryoprotection in the normal way, but it is best to be quick about changing the rack. You can also set a “multiple read” in DP5 that scans up to 5 times for each rack and aggregates the data to give the best chance of reading the barcodes from the frozen rack. Again, see our intuitive video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJhEICRjHtI
9: Do you have API documentation?
For DataPaq 3 we have a socket interface and a command line interface plus libraries in Java and .NET and sample code in Python.
For DP5 we have a RESTful interface plus sample code in Java, C#, Python and Go with a Swagger interface.
10: Do you provide adequate documentation, for example IQ/OQ or Commissioning Protocols and Manuals?
A full manual is supplied with every scanner, at no extra charge.
We can provide an IQ/OQ procedure at an additional charge with extra costs if Ziath staff are required to perform the IQ/OQ/PQ.
11: Is your software 21 CFR part 11 compliant?
A device cannot be CFR 21 part 11 compatible or compliant; the process that uses the device is what needs to be compliant.
Datapaq/DP5 – The current system can be setup so that only an administrator can change the settings, the user can be prompted for an identity when they scan the rack (though only an identity not a password) and every scan can be saved in an external RDBMS. The software has an audit trail (in the form of a log file, but it is not un-editable without filesystem protections). Should you require differential access based on a username/password and a full un-editable audit trail please contact us.
Samples – The software contains the necessary features to allow the user to create a workflow that is compliant. Samples software includes a full audit trail and differential login access.
12: I notice that your Single Tube acts via Keyboard Wedge, what does that mean?
A hardware keyboard wedge is a device that “wedges” between the keyboard and computer unit and helps translate data read by another device into keyboard data. DataPaq Single Tube is a software keyboard wedge which converts all barcode characters to keyboard keystrokes and sends it to an open application. In short, the barcode is transmitted to any open application, this could be into the cell of an Excel spreadsheet, a notepad or directly into any LIMS system.
13: I want my output format to be A1-B1-C1 (column wise) is that possible?
We can customise the text output file to match your requirements. For example, one users’ output file may contain headers that say- Tube barcode, Row, Column, Linear barcode. While another may say Tube Id, Position, Linear barcode. Ziath will write the template for you and all you need to do is to copy and paste the text into the settings. A column-wise template is the most common request that we have and so this template is already prepared.
14: What computer requirements are there for Samples, Datapaq and DP5?
Datapaq 3 / Samples
- Minimum requirements - i3 processor, 4 Gb RAM, Windows 10
- Recommended requirements - i5 processor, 8Gb RAM, Windows 10
- Minimum requirements - i5 8Gb, Windows 10
15: What is the difference between a fixed and floating licence in Samples?
A fixed license is a license on a single computer that allows access to Samples. If there are 2 computers, with 2 fixed licenses they will both be able to access Samples at the same time. If there are 3 computers, with 3 fixed licenses, all 3 computers will be able to access Samples at the same time.
A floating license allows Samples to be placed on multiple computers but how many floating licenses the user purchases determines how many computers can access Samples at the same time. If there is 1 floating license, that means that only 1 computer can access Samples at one time, even though the Samples software is on multiple computers. For an example of 3 floating licenses, that means that any 3 computers can access Samples at one time. The first floating license is more expensive and each floating license after the first, costs the same as a fixed license.
16: Can I plug two scanners into the same computer?
Yes, with Ziath's DP5 Network software, this version is specifically designed to control multiple scanners from one copy of DP5.
17: The window of my scanner is damaged; can it be repaired?
Ziath can repair the window of the scanner if it is damaged, please contact us for more information.
18: What warranty is there on my scanner?
The warranty is the same for all our barcode readers, we offer 2-year warranty parts and labour. With an additional 3 years for parts if you register your warranty.
19: I need to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10; will my scanner still work?