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Compact Controllers for Microscopy


  • Operate Motorized Microscopy Stages and Components
  • Peak Power Output up to 7 W
  • Hand-Operated Knobs for up to Three Channels

MCM3001

MCM3002 Used to Control the Cerna® Translating Platform

Controller Box

Knob Box

Related Items


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Motorized Rigid Stand
Click to Enlarge

MCM3001 Being Used to Control Both Axes of the PLS-XY and one ZFM2020 Focusing Module

Controller Front and Back Views
Click for Details

Controller Front View
(Click for Back View)

Features

  • Knobs Provide Hand-Operated Control for up to Three Channels
  • Each Axis can be Individually Disabled to Prevent Unintended Movements or to Retain a Position
  • Adjust Translation Speed via Top-Located Knob
  • Remotely Control Translation Using Standalone Software (Windows® 7 and 10 64-Bit)

The MCM3000 Series Controllers consist of a hand-operated knob box and a separate controller. Each side face of the knob box includes a rotating knob and a push-button switch that are dedicated to a single channel. The push-button switch enables and disables the channel, and is lit in green when the channel is enabled. Disabling the channel lets the user preserve a position or prevent accidental movements. A smaller knob on the top face adjusts the amount of translation per rotation of the knob (see the Specs tab for details).

Each controller is designed to operate different stages: the MCM3001 is compatible with motorized Cerna® components with a travel range of 1", the MCM3002 is compatible with motorized Cerna components with a travel range of 2", and the MCM3003 is compatible with non-Cerna stages that utilize a DRV014 stepper motor.

Since each controller has three channels, you only need to purchase enough channels for each of the modules you intend to drive. For example, a Cerna microscope equipped with a ZFM2020 Motorized Focusing Module (which has one axis) and a PLS-XY Translation Stage (two axes) would only require one MCM3001 controller. Because of the compatibility of the controllers, if you have a PMP-2XY Translating Platform and a ZFM2020 Focusing Module, you will need both the MCM3001 and MCM3002. Please contact Tech Support for controllers that will drive more than one type of stage.

Axis translation can also be adjusted remotely via software (see the Software tab for details). Alternatively, LabVIEW™ software development kit (SDK) and support documentation are available to integrate these controllers with custom imaging software.

Item # MCM3001 MCM3002 MCM3003
Compatible Stages PLS-X & PLS-XY Translation Stages for Rigid Stands PMP-2XY(/M) Translating Platform LNR50S(/M) Linear Translation Stage
ZFM2020 & ZFM2030 Focusing Modules MMP-2XY Microscope Body Translator DRV014 Stepper Motor
Item # MCM3001 MCM3002 MCM3003
Motor Output
Motor Drive Voltage
24 V
Motor Drive Current 7.0 A (Peak)
3.0 A (RMS)
Motor Drive Type 12-Bit PWM Control
Control Algorithm Open-Loop Microstepping
Stepping 64 Microsteps per Full Step 128 Microsteps per Full Step 128 Microsteps per Full Step
Encoder Resolution 0.212 μm 0.5 μm N/A
Total Steps per Revolution 12,800 25,600 25,600
Maximum Stepping Velocity 4577 steps/s 793 steps/s 793 steps/s
Position Feedback Quadrature Encoder (QEP) Input
5 V
Encoder Feedback Bandwidth 16 MHz
Position Counter 32-Bit
Operating Modes Position and Velocity
Velocity Profile
Trapezoid
Motor Drive Connector
Mechanical Specifications 15 Position D-Type, Micro-D Plug, Male Pin Connector
Motor Drive Outputs 200
Quadrature Encoder (QEP) Input
Single Ended
Limit Switch Inputs Forward, Reverse, Index
Encoder Supply 5 V
Input Power Requirements
Voltage 24 VDC
Current 3.75 A (Peak)
General
Computer Connection
USB 2.0
Housing Dimensions
(W x D x H)
97.3 mm x 50.8 mm x 73.6 mm
(3.83" x 2.00" x 2.90")
Compatible Motor Specifications
Motor Type 2-Phase Bi-Polar Stepper
Rated Phase Current Up to 7 A Peak
Step Angle Range 1.8° to 20°
Motor Drive Mode Current
Coil Resistance (Nominal) 5 to 20 Ω
Coil Inductance (Nominal) 2 to 5.5 mH
Position Control Open or Closed Loop
Compatible Stages
MCM3001 ZFM2020 & ZFM2030 Focusing Modules
PLS-X & PLS-XY
Translation Stages for Rigid Stands
MCM3002 MMP-2XY Microscope Body Translator
PMP-2XY(/M) Translating Platform
MCM3003 LNR50S(/M) Linear Translation Stage
DRV014 Stepper Motor

MCM3001

Motor Cable Connector for Controller I/O
Micro-D 15 Pin Female

Micro D-Type Male

Computer Connection
USB 2.0 Type B

USB Type B
USB Type B to Type A Cable Included

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Stepper Motor Phase A+ 9 Stepper Motor Phase B+
2 Stepper Motor Phase A- 10 Stepper Motor Phase B-
3 Not Used 11 Not Used
4 Not Used 12 Ground
5 5 V 13 5 V
6 Ground 14 LL
7 UL 15 Encoder Phase A+
8 Encoder Phase B+  -  -


MCM3002

Adapter Cable Connector for Controller I/O
Micro-D 15 Pin Female

Micro-D 15 Pin Female

Adapter Cable Connector for Motor Drive
D-Sub 15 Pin Male

D-Type Male

Adapter Cable Connector for Encoder Drive
D-Sub 15 Pin Female

D-Sub 15 Female

Pin Description
1 Stepper Motor Phase A+
2 Stepper Motor Phase A-
3 Not Used
4 Not Used
5 5 V
6 Ground
7 UL
8 Encoder Phase B+
9 Stepper Motor Phase B+
10 Stepper Motor Phase B-
11 Not Used
12 Ground
13 5 V
14 LL
15 Encoder Phase A+
Pin Description
1-6 Not Used
7 Stepper Motor Phase A+
8 Stepper Motor Phase B+
9-13 Not Used
14 Stepper Motor Phase A-
15 Stepper Motor Phase B-


Computer Connection
USB 2.0 Type B

USB Type B
USB Type B to Type A Cable Included

Pin Description
1 Not Used
2 Ground
3 Not Used
4 Not Used
5 Encoder Phase B-
6 Encoder Phase A-
7 5 V
8 5 V
9 Ground
10 LL
11 UL
12 Not Used
13 Encoder Phase B+
14 Encoder Phase A+
15 Not Used


MCM3003

Adapter Cable Connector for Controller I/O
Micro-D 15 Pin Female

Micro-D 15 Pin Female Connector

Adapter Cable Connector for Motor Drive
 HD15 D-Sub Female

D-Type Female

Computer Connection
USB 2.0 Type B

USB Type B
USB Type B to Type A Cable Included

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Stepper Motor Phase A+ 9 Stepper Motor Phase B+
2 Stepper Motor Phase A- 10 Stepper Motor Phase B-
3 Not Used 11 Not Used
4 Not Used 12 Not Used
5 5 V 13 5V
6 Ground 14 LL
7 UL 15 Encoder Phase A+
8 Encoder Phase B+  -  -
Pin Description
1 Ground
2 Counter-Clockwise Limit Switch Output
3 Clockwise Limit Switch Output
4 Stepper Motor Phase B-
5 Stepper Motor Phase B+
6 Stepper Motor Phase A-
7 Stepper Motor Phase A+
8-14 Not Used
15 Not Used
MCM3000 Software Screenshot
Click to Enlarge

MCM3000 Controller Software

Links to the latest versions of the MCM3000 series controllers software and firmware are below. The software download page offers a link to the GUI interface and driver. In addition, we provide a LabVIEW™ software development kit (SDK) and support documentation to allow any of the controllers to be controlled using custom imaging software.

Software

Version 4.0 (August 8, 2019)

The software package contains the installation files
for the GUI interface, driver, SDK, and support documentation. The software is compatible with Windows® 7 and 10 (64-bit) systems.

Software Download

Firmware Update

Version 1.3 (August 8, 2019)

The latest firmware version for the MCM3000 Series Controllers. For installation instructions, consult the User’s manual.

Software Download

MCM3001

MCM3001 Controller for 1" Cerna Stages
Click to Enlarge

MCM3001 Contents

Each MCM3001 Includes the following:

  • Knob Box
  • Controller Box, with Joystick Controller Cable
  • Power Supply, with Location-Specific Power Cord
  • USB Cable (A to B)
  • Two 1/4"-20 Cap Screws, 1/2" Long
  • Two M6 Cap Screws, 12 mm Long
  • Six 4-40 Hex Stand-Offs to Secure Cables Out

MCM3002

MCM3001 Controller for 2" Cerna Stages
Click to Enlarge

MCM3002 Contents

Each MCM3002 Includes the following:

  • Knob Box
  • Controller Box, with Joystick Controller Cable
  • Power Supply, with Location-Specific Power Cord
  • Three Motor Adapter Cables for Cerna® Translating Platforms
  • USB Cable (A to B)
  • Two 1/4"-20 Cap Screws, 1/2" Long
  • Two M6 Cap Screws, 12 mm Long
  • Twelve 4-40 Hex Stand-Offs to Secure Cables Out

MCM3003

MCM3001 Controller for 2" non-Cerna Stages
Click to Enlarge

MCM3003 Contents

Each MCM3003 Includes the following:

  • Knob Box
  • Controller Box, with Joystick Controller Cable
  • Power Supply, with Location-Specific Power Cord
  • Three Motor Adapter Cables for Non-Cerna Stages
  • USB Cable (A to B)
  • Two 1/4"-20 Cap Screws, 1/2" Long
  • Two M6 Cap Screws, 12 mm Long
  • Six 4-40 Hex Stand-Offs to Secure Cables Out

Posted Comments:
Dmytro Toptunov  (posted 2019-08-05 08:26:43.31)
Good morning, Does MCM3003 work with LNR50SE/M stages? They are also built around DRV014 stepper motor, but not mentioned in the MCM3003 supported equipment list. Does MCM3003 support mixed configuration, e.g. 2 x LNR50S/M stages and 1 x LNR50SE/M stage? Finally, could you please send an LabVIEW SDK and manuals? Best regards, Dmytro
nbayconich  (posted 2019-08-16 08:43:31.0)
Thank you for conctacting Thorlabs. The MCM3003 controller can be used with the encoded LNR50SE stages, the only downside is that the encoder can not be used with the MCM3003 controller. You can use a combination of either the LNR50S or LNR50SE just be aware that the encoder cannot be used with this particular controller, in order to have access to the encoders feedback you would have to use a controller like the BSC203 with the LNR50SE stages. Our SDK can be downloaded directly from our webpage under the software download link below. https://www.thorlabs.us/software_pages/ViewSoftwarePage.cfm?Code=MCM3000 I will reach out to you directly.
Matthew Broome  (posted 2019-07-03 05:35:19.95)
Does the SDK for this controller support integration with MatLab?
asundararaj  (posted 2019-07-08 02:59:06.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. At the moment, we do not have dedicated documentation/support for integration with MATLAB. However, we do have documentation for serial communication which can be used to integrate with MATLAB. I have reached out to you directly for further discussion.
Seonho Shin  (posted 2019-05-27 00:30:41.94)
'MCM3001 and ZFS2020' seems to work only on Windows 7. It does not work well when run on Windows 10. When I ordered just '0.1mm' move, It keeps going until the upper limit. It there other version of application or SDK which is compatible for Windows 10?
YLohia  (posted 2019-06-13 08:51:25.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. We believe this to be a configuration issue rather than a software or hardware issue (and should not be dependent on the OS being used). Does the problem show up for any motion or just 0.1mm? What version of the software are you using? We reached out to you directly at the time of your original post to troubleshoot your issue. If you still have this problem, please send us an email with the screenshots of your GUI.
chris  (posted 2017-07-21 16:19:51.013)
+1 for adding the SDK/software/examples + manual to the website. Since it isn't there right now, could you send it to me directly?
tfrisch  (posted 2017-07-26 11:43:08.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. It looks like our previous attempt to send you this file was returned because it contained a zip attachment. I will reach out to you directly about posting this in a place you can download it directly.
craig  (posted 2017-01-11 12:30:26.1)
The product MCM3001 has no manual available online. It would also be helpful if the SDK and LAbview examples were available for direct download rather than by contacting tech support. Your main office does not have any information to support this product and I was directed to contact the imaging group.
tfrisch  (posted 2017-01-11 01:24:23.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. I will reach out to you directly about your application.

Click on the different parts of the microscope to explore their functions.

Explore the Cerna MicroscopeSample Viewing/RecordingSample MountingIllumination SourcesIllumination SourcesObjectives and MountingEpi-IlluminationEpi-IlluminationTrans-IlluminationMicroscope BodyMicroscope BodyMicroscope BodyMicroscope Body

Elements of a Microscope

This overview was developed to provide a general understanding of a Cerna® microscope. Click on the different portions of the microscope graphic to the right or use the links below to learn how a Cerna microscope visualizes a sample.

 

Terminology

Arm: Holds components in the optical path of the microscope.

Bayonet Mount: A form of mechanical attachment with tabs on the male end that fit into L-shaped slots on the female end.

Bellows: A tube with accordion-shaped rubber sides for a flexible, light-tight extension between the microscope body and the objective.

Breadboard: A flat structure with regularly spaced tapped holes for DIY construction.

Dovetail: A form of mechanical attachment for many microscopy components. A linear dovetail allows flexible positioning along one dimension before being locked down, while a circular dovetail secures the component in one position. See the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details.

Epi-Illumination: Illumination on the same side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Epi-fluorescence, reflected light, and confocal microscopy are some examples of imaging modalities that utilize epi-illumination.

Filter Cube: A cube that holds filters and other optical elements at the correct orientations for microscopy. For example, filter cubes are essential for fluorescence microscopy and reflected light microscopy.

Köhler Illumination: A method of illumination that utilizes various optical elements to defocus and flatten the intensity of light across the field of view in the sample plane. A condenser and light collimator are necessary for this technique.

Nosepiece: A type of arm used to hold the microscope objective in the optical path of the microscope.

Optical Path: The path light follows through the microscope.

Rail Height: The height of the support rail of the microscope body.

Throat Depth: The distance from the vertical portion of the optical path to the edge of the support rail of the microscope body. The size of the throat depth, along with the working height, determine the working space available for microscopy.

Trans-Illumination: Illumination on the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, and darkfield microscopy are some examples of imaging modalities that utilize trans-illumination.

Working Height: The height of the support rail of the microscope body plus the height of the base. The size of the working height, along with the throat depth, determine the working space available for microscopy.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Cerna Microscope Body
Body Height Comparison
Click to Enlarge

Body Details

Microscope Body

The microscope body provides the foundation of any Cerna microscope. The support rail utilizes 95 mm rails machined to a high angular tolerance to ensure an aligned optical path and perpendicularity with the optical table. The support rail height chosen (350 - 600 mm) determines the vertical range available for experiments and microscopy components. The 7.74" throat depth, or distance from the optical path to the support rail, provides a large working space for experiments. Components attach to the body by way of either a linear dovetail on the support rail, or a circular dovetail on the epi-illumination arm (on certain models). Please see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for further details.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Illumination with a Cerna microscope can come from above (yellow) or below (orange). Illumination sources (green) attach to either.

Illumination

Using the Cerna microscope body, a sample can be illuminated in two directions: from above (epi-illumination, see yellow components to the right) or from below (trans-illumination, see orange components to the right).

Epi-illumination illuminates on the same side of the sample as the viewing apparatus; therefore, the light from the illumination source (green) and the light from the sample plane share a portion of the optical path. It is used in fluorescence, confocal, and reflected light microscopy. Epi-illumination modules, which direct and condition light along the optical path, are attached to the epi-illumination arm of the microscope body via a circular D1N dovetail (see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details). Multiple epi-illumination modules are available, as well as breadboard tops, which have regularly spaced tapped holes for custom designs.

Trans-illumination illuminates from the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, oblique, and darkfield microscopy. Trans-illumination modules, which condition light (on certain models) and direct it along the optical path, are attached to the support rail of the microscope body via a linear dovetail (see Microscope Dovetails tab or here). Please note that certain imaging modalities will require additional optics to alter the properties of the beam; these optics may be easily incorporated in the optical path via lens tubes and cage systems. In addition, Thorlabs offers condensers, which reshape input collimated light to help create optimal Köhler illumination. These attach to a mounting arm, which holds the condenser at the throat depth, or the distance from the optical path to the support rail. The arm attaches to a focusing module, used for aligning the condenser with respect to the sample and trans-illumination module.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Light from the sample plane is collected through an objective (blue) and viewed using trinocs or other optical ports (pink).

Sample Viewing/Recording

Once illuminated, examining a sample with a microscope requires both focusing on the sample plane (see blue components to the right) and visualizing the resulting image (see pink components).

A microscope objective collects and magnifies light from the sample plane for imaging. On the Cerna microscope, the objective is threaded onto a nosepiece, which holds the objective at the throat depth, or the distance from the optical path to the support rail of the microscope body. This nosepiece is secured to a motorized focusing module, used for focusing the objective as well as for moving it out of the way for sample handling. To ensure a light-tight path from the objective, the microscope body comes with a bellows (not pictured).

Various modules are available for sample viewing and data collection. Trinoculars have three points of vision to view the sample directly as well as with a camera. Double camera ports redirect or split the optical path among two viewing channels. Camera tubes increase or decrease the image magnification. For data collection, Thorlabs offers both cameras and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), the latter being necessary to detect fluorescence signals for confocal microscopy. Breadboard tops provide functionality for custom-designed data collection setups. Modules are attached to the microscope body via a circular dovetail (see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details).

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
The rigid stand (purple) pictured is one of various sample mounting options available.

Sample/Experiment Mounting

Various sample and equipment mounting options are available to take advantage of the large working space of this microscope system. Large samples and ancillary equipment can be mounted via mounting platforms, which fit around the microscope body and utilize a breadboard design with regularly spaced tapped through holes. Small samples can be mounted on rigid stands (for example, see the purple component to the right), which have holders for different methods of sample preparation and data collection, such as slides, well plates, and petri dishes. For more traditional sample mounting, slides can also be mounted directly onto the microscope body via a manual XY stage. The rigid stands can translate by way of motorized stages (sold separately), while the mounting platforms contain built-in mechanics for motorized or manual translation. Rigid stands can also be mounted on top of the mounting platforms for independent and synchronized movement of multiple instruments, if you are interested in performing experiments simultaneously during microscopy.

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For sample viewing, Thorlabs offers trinoculars, double camera ports, and camera tubes. Light from the sample plane can be collected via cameras, photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), or custom setups using breadboard tops. Click here for additional information about viewing samples with a Cerna microscope.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Sample Viewing Breadboards
& Body Attachments
Cameras PMTs

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Microscope objectives are held in the optical path of the microscope via a nosepiece. Click here for additional information about viewing a sample with a Cerna microscope.

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Large and small experiment mounting options are available to take advantage of the large working space of this microscope. Click here for additional information about mounting a sample for microscopy.

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Thorlabs offers various light sources for epi- and trans-illumination. Please see the full web presentation of each to determine its functionality within the Cerna microscopy platform.

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Epi-illumination illuminates the sample on the same side as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include fluorescence, confocal, and reflected light microscopy. Click here for additional information on epi-illumination with Cerna.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Epi-Illumination Web Presentation Body Attachments Light Sources
Epi-Illumination Body Attachments Light Sources

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Trans-illumination illuminates from the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, oblique, and darkfield microscopy. Click here for additional information on trans-illumination with Cerna.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Brightfield Web Presentation DIC Web Presentation Dodt Web Presentation Condensers Web Presentation Condenser Mounting Web Presentation Illumination Kits Web Presentation Other Light Sources
Brightfield DIC Dodt Condensers Condenser Mounting Illumination Kits Other Light Sources

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The microscope body provides the foundation of any Cerna microscope. The 7.74" throat depth provides a large working space for experiments. Click here for additional information about the Cerna microscope body.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Microscope Body Web Presentation Microscope Body Translator
Microscope Bodies Microscope Translator
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+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MCM3001 Support Documentation
MCM3001Three-Channel Controller and Knob Box for 1" Cerna Travel Stages
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MCM3002 Support Documentation
MCM3002Three-Channel Controller and Knob Box for 2" Cerna Travel Stages
$3,893.46
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MCM3003 Support Documentation
MCM3003Three-Channel Controller and Knob Box for 2" Stages with DRV014 Motor
$4,224.59
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