Argonne National Laboratory


Skype at GM/CA @ APS

Department of Energy Office of Science
GM/CA @ APS Sponsors:
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Using Skype at GM/CA @ APS

Users doing experiments at GM/CA beamlines can use Skype for convenient communication with their partners and users working remotely.

Skype options when you are at GM/CA facilities

You may use Skype either on your personal laptop or launch the pre-configured Skype account on Workstation-3.

  1. If you are using your personal laptop;
    • First, connect wirelessly to the "APS Guest" network.
    • After establishing the TCP/IP connection, open a web browser on the laptop. If this is the first time you are connecting or if the laptop was not connected to "APS Guest" for more then a year, the web browser will display a registration form that you need to fill and follow the instructions. Otherwise, verify that you are connected to the internet and can browse outside web pages.
    • As the connection is verified, you can start using Skype. Normally, no special Skype configuration should be required. However, if you are unable to login on skype or make calls, you may temporarily change Skype connection settings as described in this document.
  2. If you wish to use Skype installed on Workstation-3:
    • Turn on the speakers bar and the microphone attached to WS3 (yes, they are attached to Workstation-3 in spite of the fact that seem to lean more towards WS2!).
    • Skype on WS3 is pre-configured to auto-login as gmca23i, gmca23o, or gmca23b (depending on the beamline) for all users accounts. Do not logout from Skype (!) because to login back you would need the password that only your host knows. Since Skype accounts are shared between all users of particular beamline, hosts cannot disclose Skype passwords to users due to security reasons.
    • Be aware that Skype has a non-standard way of closing. Just clicking on the right top corner of the main Skype window does not actually close Skype. Instead, find the Skype icon in the system tray (the right corner of the bottom panel on the computer screen), right-click on it and choose "Quit". Do not logout from Skype before closing it!
    • You can make Skype video calls on WS3 if you see a webcam attached to the top of WS3.

Skype calls to GM/CA @ APS

When skyping to GM/CA beamlines, please call names gmca23i, gmca23o, or gmca23b, -- depending on the beamline. It will be a good idea to notify your host in advance that you are planning to communicate via Skype because by default the application is not started on WS3.



Frequently Asked Questions:
Q:I start Skype, but it cannot connect to the Skype server.
A:It happens sometimes because Skype uses random ports and those ports may occur outside of the firewall rules established for Skype. Try to close Skype by right-clicking on the Skype icon at bottom of the screen and selecting "quit" and then start over. Contact your host if does not help.
Q:I do not have sound in Skype.
  • Make sure that you started Skype on ws3 (workstation-3)
  • Make sure that both microphone and speakers are connected to the front of ws3
  • Check that the speakers bar is turned on and the volume is high enough
  • Check audio settings of your account on ws3: right-click on the speaker icon on the desktop panel and choose "Sound Preferences". Verify that the preferences look like this:

    If you have webcam connected (check if you see it on the top of WS3 monitor).

    If you use a microphone standing on the desk. The choice "Microphone 2" corresponds to connecting the desk microphone to the front of WS3. Please note that the default is "Microphone 1", which corresponds to the rear input of WS3.


GM/CA @ APS is an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory

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