Welcome to the PXRR automounter information page.
Users can operate our automounters directly during scheduled
visits, or they can mail us automounter-ready samples for data
collection by beamline personnel through our Mail-in
program. For additional information and technical details on the
Automount robots are currently comissioned at three
To use our automounters, follow these steps:
1) Purchase automounter
compatible caps from Hampton (catalog # HR4-779 or HR8-116).
This small investment will pay handsome dividends because our caps
conform to the international standard for robot compatibility. We
recommend that you upgrade your laboratory entirely to the new
caps, which are compatible with other
robots at facilities around the world.
2) Purchase an automounter tool
set. Many users feel more comfortable making this large
upfront capital investment after gaining confidence in our
equipment and software, and we support this by providing a loaner
set. We will ship the loaner set when you contact Alex
Soares at firstname.lastname@example.org
with seven days advance notice.
It is very important that you use the correct pin length
for your samples. The overall distance from the bottom lip of the
pin cap to the crystal position should be 22mm. This corresponds
to breaking two segments off of a standard Hampton pin. Click here to see a diagram of the
cap and pin requirements for robotic operation.
3) Load your samples into robot
compatible pucks. Both written
instructions and an informative training
video are available to help familiarize new users with the
equipment and techniques for sample preparation. Once the pucks
are loaded with samples, they can be shipped in conventional crystallography dewars
accomodating up to seven pucks, or 112 specimens.
The effort to comission an automounter at BNL based on a design
developed at the ALS was driven by the evolving need for rapid
throughput data collection and screening at our protein
crystallography beamlines. This also assured a broad commonality
of hardware and auxiliary equipment. Consequently, all equipment
and tools that are user operated are cross compatible with similar
automounters at the ALS, MacChess, and at NSLS beamline X6c. Your
investment in a set of automounter pucks will allow you to use the
robots at all these facilities.
4) Enter the description of each specimen, and if desired
the planned experimental design for each crystal, into our database. While not
required for robot operation, it is our experience that having the
description of the contents of each puck in our database reduces
the incidence of error. Remember that the great advantage of a
robotic automounter is that the user need never handle the
crystal. This is no use if the user has to run into the hutch all
the time to check which crystal was placed where!
5) Ship the dewar with pucks loaded into it to:
Attn of (beamline scientist)
National Synchrotron Light Source
Brookhaven National Laboratory
75 Brookhaven rd.
Upton, NY 11973 USA
Phone: (631) 344-7444
Last modified 4 May 2005 by Alexei Soares