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Bending magnet beamline 9.3.2 at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) was designed for high resolution spectroscopy with the capability for delivering circularly polarized light in the soft x‐ray energy region using three gratings. The monochromator is a fixed included‐angle spherical grating monochromator (SGM) and was originally used at SSRL as a prototype for later insertion‐device‐based monochromators for the ALS. For operation at the ALS, the toroidal pre‐mirror used at SSRL was replaced by a horizontally focusing and a vertically focusing mirror in the Kirkpatrick‐Baez configuration. Circularly polarized radiation is obtained by inserting a water‐cooled movable aperture in front of the vertically focusing mirror to allow selecting the beam either above or below the horizontal plane. To maintain a stable beam intensity through the entrance slit, the photocurrent signals from the upper and lower jaws of the entrance slit are utilized to set a feedback loop with the vertically deflecting mirror piezoelectric drive. The beamline end station has a movable platform that accommodates two experimental chambers enabling the synchrotron radiation to be directed to either one of the two experimental chambers without breaking the vacuum. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.