but “when” event. T en get online, scour websites of second-tier sellers, get necessary computer hardware (motherboards, processors, memory, peripheral cards, etc...), and build backup PCs for every instrument you have. If you have the expertise and time to do the work yourself, then virtually any PC can be rebuilt for much less than $1K in cost of parts. If you use one of the decent third-party support organizations, then cost of labor/travel would increase overall price but is likely to be still lower than the price of new replacement PC from the OEM. Alleged problem with XP network security due to dropped support is easy to bypass by placing a cheap Win10 PC, or a Linux box, as a fi rewall between your XP PC controlling the instrument and institutional network; images are passed through from instrument to network, but any other access to/from XP PC is blocked. Truly proprietary cards in PCs do pose some problem, although not all instruments have them. If there is such a card found, then depending on the level of technical expertise available you can either (a) try buying a card from OEM or third-party support organi- zation, if available, or (b) monitor second-hand equipment market and snatch a PC from similar instrument when it comes up somewhere, or (c) rely on component-level repair to restore original card when and if it fails, (d) clone the proprietary card, many of them are quite simple, or (e) bite the bullet and upgrade PC by paying the OEM - which most of the academic and institutional users do anyway. Valery Ray vray@ Mon Mar 26

I’m in the same position with one of our confocals, and it’s not as simple as not being able to replace the computer because it’s too expensive. T e system has proprietary circuits boards in the computer, which cannot be moved to a new(er) computer because the bus architecture is diff erent (and obsolete). So before simply upgrading a computer — even to a newer, old model — check if your system has such boards in the current computer. If so, you might have to try to fi nd “new old stock” obsolete computer boards that are better but still use the old architecture. (Got any 20 or 30 year old relatives who were big into building their own computers when they were young teenagers?) Maybe someday soonish there will be TV shows about collecting and restoring old computers, like they have for cars. Phil Oshel oshel1pe@ Mon Mar 26

We just linked the old XP machines to another computer running Windows 7 which is secure. I don’t know exactly how to do this - check with your IT department. T ey can probably fi x you up. Carol Heckman Mon Mar 26

Many times the issue with the custom PC cards is that they plug into an outdated bus. T ere are companies that still make mother- boards and chassis components for the older interfaces. If the computer is failing, but the cards are still OK, you can get a new PC system and “just” plugin the cards. It may require some fi ddling to get things to work, but at least you can get a few more years from your system. I just did a web search and found “” that sells ISA bus PCs. “” also has passive backplanes with ISA slots. T ere is no motherboard per se; you add a processor card to the system. (I have no interest in either company) Henk Colijn On a related note, our new (2016) Hitachi SEM and Oxford EDS are banned from accepting Windows 7 updates (by Hitachi) - updates beyond the Windows installation they provided will break the soſt ware. I have them connected via a router, with both being denied Internet access by giving them a bogus Default Gateway in the Local Area Connection setup. Another computer (with Internet access granted) is also connected to the router, and we get data from the two instruments out to the real world through drive shares. Not elegant, but it works. And I have to say that having two computers that never nag about updates or suddenly become broken when M$ screws up some driver fi le that the instrument depends on is quite refreshing! Jim Ehrman Mon Mar 26


T e tricky thing is that even Windows 7 will not be supported (by MS) anymore in 1 or 2 years’ time. We will not have fun with "old" computer systems. Reinhard Rachel reinhard.rachel@biologie. Mon Mar 26 On a lightly diff erent matter. T e problem of out of date EM computers has been going on for many years and when training service technicians I encouraged then to educate the customer on this. At the time of an EM installation the laboratory will usually be fl ooded with PC, so we suggest that when replacing that equipment the laboratory keeps a couple of the redundant units complete with keyboard and mouse as back up spares. How oſt en when training operators did we have a failure, fan, transformers, keyboard etc, when with redundant PC available we were up and running again in no time. Being prepared is a good idea. Steve Chapman Sat Mar 31 Good advice, but even better than Norton Ghost is cloning. I have had service engineers “ghost” hard drives many times, and every time the ghost was needed to restore a system, it failed. For less than the cost of Ghost, you can buy a new hard drive, clone it, and keep the clone around for when something happens to your system disk. I have never seen a clone fail, plus you can test it right away to see if it is good. One note: Acronis recommends never leaving the cloned disk and the original disk connected to the bus; attempting to boot the computer with both drives connected can corrupt the boot sector of the new clone. A. John Mardinly Sun Apr 1

TEM: high tension (HT)

Can I please get your advice on a problem with the HT on a Philips CM100? When I press the HT On/Off button to turn on the high tension, I got no response, i.e., I cannot turn on the high tension. T e vacuum is good, both HiV and UHV lights are on. I pulled the power supply (A7) and found that the fuses are intact. T e voltage going into A7 is 227V. I also measured the resistance across the HT On/Off push button. It is 12 ohms when pressed and 0 ohms released. Is there anything obvious that I have missed? Wai Pang Chan T u Apr 19 T ere is a security switch “S34” on CM100. You can fi nd it on the

leſt side of the column on the liſt ing assembly. Check it if it is closed. If it is open, the HT cannot be switched on. Oldřich Benada benada@ Fri Apr 20 T ank you for the helpful tips. Here is the follow-up. 1. All the power supplies in the electrical closet are on except A7 (24V h.t.) and A8 (24V fi l.). When I pushed the HT on/off button, A8 came on and the red LED of A9-X2 was on. Seems like it indicates a problem with the HT oscillator. Aſt er about 1 minute, both went off and HT cannot be activated.

2. S34 is closed during operation. However, it does not disengage when I liſt ed the gun. T is could be a problem, but I don't think it is related to not being able to turn on the HT.


S33 is also closed during operation, and it is open when the gun is liſt ed.

4. T e four fuses behind the Right Hand Panel are intact. T ey are labeled Z201-4.

5. Upon restart, the fi lament type defaults to LaB 6 . T is should not prevent activating the HT or the fi lament, even if a tungsten fi lament is installed.

6. Wehnelt protection circuit is not triggered. T ere are no red LED lighted up for any parts of A9, except for X2 mentioned above.

7. Restarting the TEM does not help in turning on the HT. 8. On our CM100, HT defaults to 40kV upon startup. I tried various values of kV but still couldn't turn on the HT. Wai Pang Chan, Tue Apr 24 • 2018 July

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