[3dem] F20 microswitch

Ishikawa Takashi ishikawa at mol.biol.ethz.ch
Tue Jan 19 05:11:00 PST 2010

Dear all,


We have a problem on the microswitch (mechanical sensor) inside the compustage of Tecnai F20 (FEI). This is located at the left side of the pathway of the holder (~2cm from the entrance) and recognizes the insertion and the removal of the holder. This switch is covered by a thin cupper block and, when this block is pushed by the holder, it recognizes the insertion.


Recently in our F20 (ten users share this microscope), this microswitch is occasionally bent, maybe either during insertion or removal of the holder. Onc we have this problem, the switch does not recognize the removal any more (always in the state "holder in") and therefore cannot be ready to insert another specimen. We think it is due to improper usage of the holder and instructed our users not to rotate the holder inside of the compustage (as you know, the holder is tilted ~120degrees in the pre-evacuation chamber), i.e. the user must rotate first and then insert the holder into the stage (same when it is taken out; first take it out and then rotate back to the normal angle). But, it did not really help and we still have this problem.


Did any of you have the same problem before? I would appreciate it if you give us any suggestion to avoid this problem.


Best regards,



Takashi Ishikawa 
Research Scientist / Group Leader 
Department of Biology 
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) 
ETH Hönggerberg, HPK F18
CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 
phone: +41 44-633-2462 
Fax:  : +41 44-633-1073 
e-mail: takashi.ishikawa at mol.biol.ethz.ch <mailto:takashi.ishikawa at mol.biol.ethz.ch>  
Web:  http://www.mol.biol.ethz.ch/groups/ishikawa_group


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