What's new (2007)


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The following e-mail was sent to Users (of the MX beamlines over the past two years):

Dear ESRF MX Beamline Users,

The following email contains IMPORTANT information concerning future use of the ESRF MX beamlines. Please read it carefully and give it your full attention as some of the information given is extremely important for the preparation of your future experiments.

1) Sample holders

From November 2007, plastic bases (i.e. Hampton CrystalCaps and similar) and Oxford-style top-hat systems will no longer be accepted for use on the ESRF MX beamlines.
The MX Group recommends that you use Spine standard caps and vials in order to ensure compatibility with the SC3 sample changer robot and other recent developments such as the motorised mini-kappa head. Other sample holders with metal magnetic bases (e.g. Hampton CrystalCap Magnetic) will still be accepted. However these latter bases are not compatible with the sample changer robot and must not be used in conjunction with it.

Spine standard caps and vials may be obtained from the following suppliers :
Hampton Research : CrystalCap HT (caps and vials) :
Molecular Dimensions Ltd : (caps and vials, and SC starter kits) :
Marresearch : (caps only) :

2) Non-standard setups

To ensure ease of use, the MX beamlines have a standard setup which is identical on each of the seven experimental stations. As a result of this, non-standard setups (e.g. use of samples mounted in capillaries, 4deg coolers, ultra low resolution measurements ...) require a certain amount of time to prepare. If you require a non-standard setup for your experiment please ensure that you submit your request to your Local Contact as early as possible and AT LEAST 10 DAYS prior to your arrival at ESRF.

3) Allowing other user groups on a beamline

In the case where you finish your experiment early and a user group from a different MX beamline requests to use the beamline after you, you MUST first request the permission of the Local Contact if it is before 10pm and of the Experimental Hall Operators (25-25) if it is after 10pm. The decision to allow another user group to use the beamline cannot be taken by the current users and must be made by either the Local Contact or the EHO. Experimental sessions classified RED by the Safety Group may not use a different beamline to the one on which the experiment has been scheduled.

4) Red Experiments on Weekends

Samples classified RED by the Safety Group may NOT be brought to the ESRF for experimental sessions scheduled on weekends. This is because for red samples the beamline setup must first be checked by the Biological Safety Officer. Please therefore try to arrange your beamtime usage so that red samples are brought for experimental sessions scheduled during the week. In the case where this is not possible please contact Debby Davison (deborah.davison@esrf.fr) to arrange for your experiment to be rescheduled. For questions concerning sample safety classification please contact the Biological Safety Officer, Véronique Mayeux (mayeux@esrf.fr).

5) Data Backup

For data backup at the ESRF MX beamlines, the recommended media to use is a USB2 hard disk. Some of the computers on some of the beamlines support other types of media (e.g. FireWire disks and DVDs) but they tend to be unreliable and less well-supported by the Computing Services division. On all the MX beamlines there is either a Windows PC or a Linux machine which supports USB2. For a complete list of what is available and detailed instructions on data backup see http://www.esrf.fr/UsersAndScience/Experiments/MX/How_to_use_our_beamlines/Prepare_Your_Experiment/Backup
Two important points to note :
- Please remember to always unmount your disk correctly before disconnecting it so that it doesn't block the computer for the next group.
- The supported filesystem at the ESRF is FAT32. You should always bring disks that you are willing to reformat whilst here at ESRF, i.e. disks with no important data on them or data that have already been backed up elsewhere.

If you have any questions concerning any of the above points please don't hesitate to contact either the MX BLOMS (nurizzo@esrf.fr, mccarthy@esrf.fr) or one of the MX beamline scientists.

Yours sincerely,
Didier Nurizzo
Joanne McCarthy