All Blog Posts
MD2 Centering Stage Repair
Also during the last run cycle, we noticed that the centering stage on the 24-ID-C MD2 exhibited a level of slippage which made it unacceptable for use with crystals smaller than 10 microns. This slippage may be a result of mechanical damage suffered by the MD2 during its initial shipment to NE-CAT which has worsened over time. As a result, we have sent the centering stage to Maatel. They have received it and are looking it over. During the interim, Maatel has loaned us a centering stage.
Update on High Capacity Sample Automounters
The linear servo for the new sample automounters has arrived. It has been tested and is functioning to our expectation. This linear servo will replace a pneumatic motor for the long, linear motion between the sample storage dewar and the goniometer. The linear servo has the advantage of continuous monitored feedback, adjustable distance of the actuator move, and adjustable speed and acceleration of the actuator move.
New Sample Automounters
The Summer 2013 Newsletter is now available.
As stated in the previous status update, moving to the new piece of software to control the MD2 hardware is a necessary step in implementing shutter-less vector scans (kinematic scans) and taking full advantage of the speed of the PILATUS-6MF. As a first step, during the May shutdown, shutter-less continuous vector scans became a reality. It is now possible to perform continuous vector scans on 24-ID-C beamline without closing the shutter while the MD2 moves the crystal to a new position.
On April 1, 2013, NE-CAT received word that the NIGMS Advisory Council had recommended that our grant be funded in full. Though we are still subject to sequestration, we will be the “NE-CAT Center for Advanced Macromolecular Crystallography” for the next five years.
The 2013-1 run is in progress. On the surface, the NE-CAT beamlines look the same to the casual user. However, during the January shutdown, the control software for the MD2 underwent a major change. In collaboration with LS-CAT (Keith Briester), Malcolm has implemented a new software that controls the MD2 microdiffractometer by communicating directly to the Delta-Tau PMAC system (PMAC - Programmable Multi-Axis Controller) rather than through a COM server connected to the MD2 software provided by Maatel.
NIH Site Visit
On November 8th, the site-visit for NE-CAT's P41 grant application to NIGMS took place. Reviewers were presented with short talks on our three Technology Research and Development (TR&D) Projects, PIs of the Driving Biomedical Projects for each of our TR&Ds spoke on the importance of NE-CAT to their research, and the reviewers were given a tour of the facility.