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 automounter design, click here.

Automount robots are currently comissioned at three beamlines:
Beamline Contact Phone E-mail
All PXRR automounters

X12b Alexei Soares (631) 344-7306 soares@bnl.gov
X29 Howard Robinson (631) 344-4789 hhr@bnl.gov

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 tool set. We will ship the loaner set when you contact Alex Soares at soares@bnl.gov 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