Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Microscope Rig

For those of you who don't know, I am working on an automated microscope rig for capturing images of tree ring core samples. The rig, once fully assembled, should consist of nothing more than an optical breadboard with a linear axis and a microscope positioned above.

The linear axis is a Velmex Xslide, and has a leadscrew pitch of 1mm. The attached Vexta PK245 (NEMA 17) stepper motor is driven by a Velmex VXM-1 stepper motor controller. This stepper motor controller is on the pricy side, but has the capability of storing 4 programs at a time. Ideally, it would be nice if the whole rig had the capability of operating independently of a connected computer.

The microscope being used with this project is an old Wild M5, with an added SLR camera adapter purchased from Matrin Microscope. The camera used is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi (450D), which is a fairly new model (The big question: is there third party software to control the shutter?).

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