Monday, September 10, 2007
What NOT to do, Part 1 of a Multi-part series
Tip loader errors
The tip loader is the least reliable location on the deck because it is a moving part, is not screwed down and can be displaced by a stray tip or cable caught underneath. Positions which have conical pins rather than a rim around all corners (tip loader and fan) can be loaded incorrectly with the plate skirt over, rather than inside, one pair of pins (see picture). Therefore it is good practice to use these positions last, use for flat bottomed labware like troughs, which cannot be misplaced, or just always double-check for this error.
In addition always check the position of the notch. Some plates unfortunately have two notches, but most only have one. The notch should be on the upper left corner ALWAYS. Mis-alignment of the notch may cause a robot crash with either the span-8, pin tool or the multichannel head.