We recently launched a new YouTube channel to help us service our own equipment. You see, for the longest time, the CAT Facility has avoided purchasing service contracts for our equipment in order to make some very valuable savings. It does mean that the burden on fixing issues on our instruments falls back on the staff. This requires us to find the necessary parts and the information on the issues at hand. This was done fairly easily back in the days because, for one thing, manufacturers such as BD were very helpful in provided whatever we needed. Amnis, the manufacturer of the Image Stream platform, remains my personal favorite company on that front. They actually didn’t want to travel to fix your instrument, and would go the extra mile to help you repair it over the phone. This has changed lately and it has become much harder to both get proper instructions and find parts. I’m still unclear why that has changed, but my working hypothesis is a simple mercantile consideration over the secondary market of repair and maintenance of instruments.
Yet, the information exists in the field. My flow cytometry colleagues all over the world are very crafty people and they collectively know a thing or two about how to take care of their instruments. This is why the FixYourFlowDepot YouTube channel was created. It’s a place where I’m hoping we’ll have more and more of our colleagues post videos of their own issues and solutions regarding flow cytometry equipment. The idea is fairly simple: if you have any videos explaining maintenance or repair of anything flow, please consider sending it my way. You can simply send the YT link and I can get the video from there. I’ll copy whatever is in the description box to the new entry on the FYFD channel, so feel free to promote your own lab. Then I’ll tag a few warning notes, those will be the same on every posts. It should look like the example cited above. Every entry will be from submission by the original authors, there will be minimal curation on our end, and we’ll let the viewers judge the quality using the regular YT features.
So this is a call for content! I’f you have an instrument in your lab and you’d like to share your know-how, get o your phone and start making videos!!
If you’d like to learn more about what’s going on with the service part of the activities of instrument manufacturers, check out this discussion we had with Tony Leger from ALT on the ChUG podcast!