This document is provided as a reminder of commands available in SPEC for beamline control. It is designed to jog the memory of commands that may have been forgotten rather than be an alternative to first-hand instruction. A more update version of  useful commands can be found on the id13 wiki available through the intranet.

It is not recommended that users utilise commands they are unsure about or have not previously used under local contact supervision. Remember that many of the commands provided here could lead to permanent beamline damage if used inappropriately!


Shutter commands

The following are commands used for shutter control on EH2/EH3:


Open both EH safety shutters


Close both EH safety shutters


Open the fast shutter


Close the fast shutter


Return the current state of the fast shutter


Set the fast shutter to automatic mode


Detector commands (marccd)


Turn on the MAR detector for data capture



Turn off data capture on the MAR detector



Sets new file saving settings for detector


mccdbin n

Sets MAR binning (n=4=1024x1024, n=2=2048x2048)



Enter beamline menu (can be used to change detector settings)



Movement commands (basic for eh2 and eh3)

The following are movement commands for the motors on ID13. The commands can be applied to any motor (m) and for any position (p) or distance (d) as follows:

mv m p

Move motor m to absolute position p

mvr m d

Move motor m relative distance d

tw m d

Progressive tweak of motor m by distance d


Scan commands (basic for eh2 and eh3)

The following are scan commands for the detectors on ID13. A scan is any operation involving the capture of a diffraction pattern for time (t) in seconds. In the case of the commands involving motor movements motors (designated m1, m2..) the relative distances (designated d1, d2..) and scan steps (designated s1, s2..) are given in the syntax as follows:

ct t

Data capture at current position for t seconds

ctw m1 d1 t

Progressive tweak of motor m1 by distance d1 capturing data in t second scans

dscan m1 d1 d2 s1 t

Distance scan of motor m1 from relative positions d1 to d2 in s1 steps and t seconds per scan

dmesh m1 d1 d2 s1 m2 d3 d4 s2 t

Distance mesh scan of motors m1 and m2 between relative positions d1 to d4 using a mesh of s1*s2 steps and t second scans

timescan t

Sucessive t second scans at current position


Beamline motors (eh2)

This list shows all commonly used beamline motor names, and the distance units of movement:


IN SPEC (sample environment & apertures)


Sample stage x axis (positive towards detector) (mm)


Sample stage y axis (positive towards door) (mm)


Sample stage z axis (positive towards ceiling) (mm)


Micos rotation stage (degrees)


Huber goniometer y axis tilt (degrees)


Huber goniometer x axis tilt (degrees)


PI stage y axis (positive towards door) (mm)


PI stage z axis (positive towards ceiling) (mm)

IN BIGMIC (microscope, beamstop and detector)


Detector rail motor (positive away from optics) (mm)


Beamstop z axis (positive towards ceiling) (microns)


Beamstop y axis (positive towards door) (mm)


Vertical microscope translation (mm)


General commands

These commands are more general in nature. The inclusion of motor names (designated m) and limit values (designated l1,l2..) is also given:


Start a new SPEC session (saving to a new log)


Show all motor positions and limits on screen

wm m

Show motor m position and limits on screen

set_lm m l1 l2

Set the lower and upper safetly limits of motor m


Printer on


Printer off


Beamline reconfiguration, used only for catastrophic failures