Recording Position from Digital Micrometers
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Figure 2: The SBC-COMM package shown above can be used to log data position data displayed by the DM713 digital micrometer.
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Figure 1: The DM713 digital micrometer (right) is included with and used to adjust the retardance provided by the SBC-VIS Soleil-Babinet compensator (left).
Digital micrometers, such as the DM713, are handy for moving a piece of optomech a specific distance. For example, a user might want to increment a translation stage holding a sample in front of an objective lens in order to focus the light to equally spaced points within the sample.
However, there are also times where the user might want to record the position of an event. One example could be making a distance measurement where the micrometer is set to a starting position, zeroed, and then translated the desired amount to display the distance.
Using the DM713 alone creates an extra step where the user has to read and record the display, which can be tedious in a dark lab where the display is not visible. One solution is to use Thorlabs' SBC-COMM, which includes an RS-232 interfacing cable. Thorlabs has created software application notes that walk the user through creating Visual C#® and LabVIEW® programs to continuously measure distances with the DM713.
Another solution is to purchase the Mitutoyo® 05CZA662 SPC cable and IT-016U USB input tool that provide a push button and USB interfacing cable. With this device the user can open any text entry software package, press the single push button, and the device acts like a keyboard to enter the number into the software.