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Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 31.03.2010 12:28
by jackal
Hi there

Having a little difficulty getting a good stack.

Im using a Russian Biolam compound microscope and would like to make the focusing steps more precise and possibly automated. Is there a way this could be done with a stepping motor and and some diy skill? or maybe is there a way to intergrate it with remote focus?

Thanks

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 01.04.2010 12:34
by Stas Yatsenko
We do plan to add support of stepper motor into Helicon Remote. We should have the motor in a week or two and will need some weeks to program and test it. I would appreciate your feedback and testing. We plan to use Trinamic PD3-110-42 motor but the program should work with any Trinamic motors. We will add support for other motor producers later. If you contact us in 4-6 weeks, I will be able to provide you with beta program and information about hardware.

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 01.04.2010 14:41
by jackal
Thats great news.

I would be happy to install and test the setup. Do you know of any suppliers here in the UK? I think RS should be able to help

Jackal

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 02.04.2010 13:54
by Stas Yatsenko
We ordered our motor from Farnell which has local offices in many countries and in UK for sure. We expect to receive it in couple of weeks, I will be able to give you more information then.

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 16.01.2012 22:51
by George Langford
It's easy to mount a dial indicator on the post of a stereomicroscope and then create the stack with equal height increments. I did this with an Olympus SZH to which I had added a stage attached to the microscope's post. The stage makes the position of the object quite stable.

With a metallograph or other such high-magnification microscope the fine focus might have graduations on the focus knob; or you could add them. My B&L Research I does, and the marked divisions are stated to be 0.002 mm in vertical motion of the objective. For a 41X objective, using 0.001 mm increments works OK; at 21X the 0.001 mm increments may be too close together, as I end up with fifty to seventy-five images in my stack before I run out of sharpness in the retained images. My object in the case of the metallograph was a piece of 30 mm tubing which I had polished & etched on the side. The field of view wasn't very flat - hence the large number of images in the stack.

Yes, it would be nice to let the stepper motor run the fine focus and the shutter release, but I use the self-timer with a two-second delay to avoid shaking the microscope, and that's what limits the rate of making the images. It's just tedious. My exposure times are short - 1/15 second, for example. My light source is a one-watt white LED; the Foster prism in the metallograph gets most of that light to the specimen.

All the best,
George

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 18.01.2012 11:38
by Stas Yatsenko
Current version of Helicon Remote can control Trinamic stepper motor or StackShot macro rails. Both devices can be used to move the stage or to rotate the knob. Please see more information about external steppers on our site: http://www.heliconsoft.com/steppers.html

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 10.09.2014 10:36
by orac
I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if the system you posted can deal with backlash with in the drive system, or does helicon deal with that?

Also, stepper motors do miss steps, specially under micro stepped conditions. The step accuracies are equal to the quality of the driver and motor but can still give large percentile difference from step to step (around 88% at 32 micro steps, each micro step would be 0.05625 degrees at that setting)

Re: Focussing stack using Microscope ?

Posted: 11.09.2014 14:26
by Stas Yatsenko
No, the software doesn't specifically deal with backlash in any way.