2-3 Troubleshooting

This page provides solutions to the most common troubleshooting issues we receive from users.

 

Most issues are easily solvable without help from the BL scientists.

It is best to work through a checklist first to see whether it is a simple fix or if you have to do something more complex.

 

We have categorized issues by software for clarity. Click on the program you are having trouble with to jump to part of the page.

What are you having issues with?

MMF_35um_35step_2560_0_001_process_P%20S
Microscan
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uXAS
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XAS Plotter
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XMAP
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Beam
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Data/T-drive
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SMAK
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SIXPACK

Microscan

Below are a list of common issues with Microscan. Follow the workflow to find a potential cause and solution.

Nothing happens when I press start

Microscan has stopped scanning

Microscan is unresponsive

Sample stage will not move

​One line is completed then scanning stops

The video feed doesn’t look rightI can’t get the crosshairs back in microscan

The video for the microscope won’t respond

Under Construction

Microscan (click on the topic for a probable cause and solution)

Nothing happens when I press start

Microscan has stopped scanning

Microscan is unresponsive

Sample stage will not move

​One line is completed then scanning stops

The video feed doesn’t look rightI can’t get the crosshairs back in microscan

The video for the microscope won’t respond

Beam

Is there beam in SPEAR?

Is there beam in the hutch?

Is there beam in I0 but not I1?

I have lost flux.

SMAK

I cannot see my XAS queue file

My queue file is messed up when I load it into uXAS

Other issues? See the SMAK Basics or SMAK how-to pages

SIXPACK

Context

Microscan is the friendly user interface for setting up maps. Once you hit Start Scan or Start Queue, another program called USDC takes over. USDC is the real mapping program, it has no GUI, only a command prompt window, and has this icon. When a map fails, it is almost always due to USDC, or at least USDC can tell us what the problem is. The main point here is that when USDC takes over, Microscan is locked so that you are unable to make any errant inputs while a map is in progress.

When a map finishes successfully, USDC sends a "done" command back to Microscan and unlocks it. If USDC does not send this done command, which can happen if it crashes completely or just gets stuck, the a map will stop and you won't be able to use the Microscan functions such as moving the sample.

Solution - Reset Microscan and restart USDC

When this happens we have to tell manually tell Microscan that nothing is happening and restart USDC. This is done in a few simple steps outlined below in text and video:

 

  1. First check to see if USDC has crashed. It may not obvious because it only has a command prompt window. In the Windows task bar, roll the mouse over the command prompt icons and look for a window with the USDC icon (you can see this in the first part of the video below). If USDC isn’t there then it has crashed and closed. If it is there, close it by clicking its red X as seen in the video.

  2. In MicroScan, go the Status menu and do both a Reset Scan Queue, click yes, and Reset All, click yes. You may need to double click these menu items

  3. Restart USDC from its desktop icon.

  4. Try restarting your map.

XAS plotter - I cannot see my XAS data or my data looks really crappy!

This is usually due to:
1. Having the wrong display parameters selected for the data you are collecting.
2. The plotter window having the zoom function or the vertical cursor still activated somewhere.

Solution to 1:
See here for the detailed list of plot options for XAS plotter. But in general:

  • for fluorescence data being collected in SCA1, you need FF/I0 selected in the Std Plots tab.

  • for fluorescence data being collected in SCA2, 3 or 4, you need to select Custom in the Std Plots tab. Then in the Custom tab select Requested Energy as the numerator, and 1 as the denominator. Then you would select the appropriate SCA channel as the numerator (e.g. SCA2.1), and I0 as the denominator in the Y-axis group area.

  • for transmission data you should have the appropriate ion chambers selected, usually I1, either in Std Plots or in the Custom tabs.

Solution to 2:
The display control buttons under the main plotter panel act as toggle switches i.e. one click to turn them on, one click to turn them off. As such they can be inadvertently left on causing the default auto scaling function of the plotter window to be overridden.

 

When the zoom rectangle or the pan scan buttons (highlight by the red box below) are activated the words “zoom rect” or “pan scan” will be displayed to the right of the icons (green box below). If this is the case, click the buttons again to turn them off. Your spectra should now appear and be auto scaling (if a spectrum is currently being collected).

If this doesn’t work then the vertical cursor may be still active somewhere. In the bottom left corner of the XASplotter window (purple box below) there is some small blue text that will either say “Marker at Nonee” (then it is already off) or “Marker at energy”. If it says a number then it is active somewhere so click just off the plot axes to deactivate it. This area should now read “Marker at Nonee” (yes it’s a typo).

Final solution: If none of this works, go to the Math tab and just click one of the radio buttons (try None). 

CONTACT:

Sam Webb

samwebb@sams-xrays.com

 

© 2018 by Sam Webb.

 

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