Its repeat time is 78, but it can be also overclocked to function with glider streams of period 74 or 75. Jeremy Tan coined the term 'syringe' to describe how it injects a glider into a Herschel system. Attempting to overclock the syringe at the intermediate periods of 76 and 77 causes the block to become an LWSS or MWSS; this immediately crashes into the beehive with tail so is of limited utility.
The syringe allows much more compactness and timing versatility in signal circuitry than Herschel conduits alone, and in combination with the Snark, it can largely replace very long p1 Herschel tracks (if they are not required to be Spartan, and the dependent form is spartan) by simply passing a glider from somewhere near the start to somewhere near the destination. This works similarly to Herschel transmitters and receivers, but in more flexible way. Within 3 days of the syringe's discovery, over half of all known guns from periods 14 to 999 were obsoleted by loops involving a syringe and various Snarks.
If the bait block is removed, subsequent gliders entering the syringe will be cleanly consumed by the eater 2. This was utilised by the 0E0P metacell in various places to act as a one-time valve, with the dependent form of the syringe.
A variant of the syringe that replaces the welded eater 2 and eater 5 with a separate eater 2 and eater 1 was used in the Demonoid, a self-constructing spaceship. The eater 1 can only be made to fit if the syringe is followed by a dependent conduit. In rare cases where the following conduit does not allow any glider to escape at all (like the dependent beehive-producing H-to-MWSS conduit), only the eater 2 is required.
Unlike welded variants, this 'dependent syringe' is considered Spartan. It is most useful when attached to an Lx200, as this gives the minimal recovery time of 90. Another commonly used device in Spartan constructions is a small glider duplicator known as Scorbie Splitter.
If the non-transparent block is removed, a stray beehive will be left while still giving the output Herschel. In April 2019, Tanner Jacobi found that a dot sparker can perturb the reaction to give a glider instead; this has since been used to construct many glider guns.