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Motorized Microscope Focus Controller
MFC1 Controlling the Fine Focus of
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MFC1 USB, Power, and Ground Connections
The MFC1 Motorized Microscope Focus Controller is a compact module enabling motorized control of the focusing mechanism built into commercial optical microscopes, such as the Nikon Ti Eclipse shown in the photo above. The encoded stepper motor attaches to the fine focus knob of the microscope to provide remote adjustment over the entire focus range of the microscope.
The MFC1 features a universal design that is compatible with most commercially available inverted and upright microscopes. The motor is easily installed: simply remove the red backing on the tape, center the motor over the fine focus knob, and press the motor onto the knob. The base incorporates 1/4" (M6) slots, which can be used to attach the unit to an optical table. To accommodate a range of fine focus knob heights, the motor's height is adjustable by loosening the cap screws on the sides of the motor using a 3 mm hex key and sliding the unit up or down along the posts (see Specs tab for height range). Four CL5 clamps are included to aid in securing the microscope body and to keep it from shifting when the MFC1 is in use.
The MFC1 is controlled via the mini USB connection on the back of the controller (see the image to the right). As shown in the Software tab, the unit comes with a GUI to control the motor, either via text box entry or slider adjustment. Positional information is recorded when the focus is adjusted, both remotely via the controller and when adjusted manually. In addition, the microscope focus controller may be controlled with our ThorImage®LS software, which is provided with our multiphoton and confocal imaging systems, or integrated into custom imaging software via the LabVIEW software development kit.
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Mechanical Drawing of the MFC1 Focus Controller
Calculating the Focus Controller Resolution
The linear resolution of the MFC1 focus controller, when installed on the microscope, can be calculated using the equations below:
For a standard microscope with 100 μm of distance per revolution of the fine focus knob, the linear resolution would be 6.03 nm per microstep, or 96.5 nm per step. The achievable linear resolution is generally limited by the backlash of the microscope.
MFC1 Focus Controller Software
Below is a link to the latest version of the software for the MFC1 Motorized Microscope Focus Controller. The software download page offers a link to the GUI interface as well as a LabVIEW software development kit (SDK) and support documentation to allow the focus controller to be controlled using custom imaging software.
The MFC1 may also be controlled using the ThorImage®LS software package, which is included for users of Thorlabs' multiphoton and confocal imaging systems. This eases integration of this accessory into our standard microscopy systems and allows all imaging processes to be handled through one software package.
Each Controller Ships with the Following Items: