I'm a die hard Orbitrap fan and I always will be. However, there are finally some other technologies out there that can compete in some ways with Dr. Makarov's incredible invention. I don't know if this has made the blog or not, it's been a busy year, but I've finally found a long-term position at JOHNS HOPKINS. I'm junior faculty in Namandje Bumpus's lab and we've got an amazing group of smart fast moving young people and a bunch of crazy ideas. Point of evidence? That ceiling disrupting monster in the picture above. We did a lot of research and compared a lot of data over the last year and a lab with all Thermo instruments filled most of a room with an instrument made by the NMR company? Sure did. That 2,000 pound 8'7" monster is the TIMSTOF Flex + MALDI 2.
There will probably be a lot of TIMSTOF posts as I struggle through learning this thing and making it do what we want it to do (much of which it doesn't seem to want to do) because writing about it will help me think about it. Here are some very early impressions and some information I would have liked to have had going into the last week.
First impressions. Installation:
It's frickin' huge.
The truck that came to deliver it, was TOO BIG for our loading docks. The 5 crates that arrived (2 of which were over 5 feet tall) does not include an HPLC (which, if you get from Bruker, would be box #6). If you have any space limitation of any kind, you need to really plan this out. Boxes need to be opened in a specific order, because some crates are just the equipment necessary to move and install the rest.
You'll also need to be prepared to remove lots of doors -- and to probably get on your neighbor's nerves for a day or two. Recommendation: Have at least 2 people around in addition to the FSE, and prepare for a solid 12 hours the first day to get moved and powered up.
Fortunately, you will only be swapping the sources every single day, so your chances of making mistakes will be rare. This can be minimized by putting evil fluorinated compounds into a filter so you have a spread of lock mass compounds into your nanospray at all times. I'm putting up a little sign to remind everyone. Gloves if touching the nanoESI. Huge shoutout to Gabriela and Brett at the UC Davis core for providing this secret protocol to me before I broke every NanoLC column in the entire mid-Atlantic taking the source off every day.