Motorised 100mm Rail for the automated capture of sequences of partially focussed images with a rechargeable battery pack for field work. Includes motorised rail, blue-tooth enabled controller, 12v2A power supply, USB cable, motor cable, shutter extension cable, shutter release cable, 1/4 camera bolt, tripod mounted specimen holder with crocodile clip, rechargeable battery box, motor and camera control software for PC and Mac.
We have occasionally been asked to better explain the accuracy of our focus rail. Every focus rail of all makes (that is available to most users) uses an electrical stepper motor whose spindle is connected to a lead screw (a threaded pole) and on that threaded sits a bearing that moves up and down the lead screw as it rotates. There are three factors that determine the accuracy of movement:
1) The lead screw pitch (the angle of the thread)
2) The rotational accuracy of the stepper motor and the controller
3) The build quality of the components
The lead screw pitch on the current focus rails is 1mm. This means that the bearing (which holds the camera or specimen) will move 1mm if the lead screw is rotated one full turn by the stepper motor. 1mm is unusually fine, cheaper lead screws (commonly used on advanced motorised microscopes by leading microscope manufacturers) are 2mm or even 4mm.
The stepper motor used is a high quality make. There are two types of motor rotation:
a) The fundamental steps, these are highly accurate, discrete points of movement, on the current motor that is 200 per full revolution.
b) However it is normal to use microstepping where this is further divided into 6400 microsteps by the stepper motor controller. These are not as accurate as full steps but perfectly good enough for most purposes and completely normal to use for these applications, indeed they are overkill for most uses. It means in practice that a movement resolution of 1mm/200 = 5microns can easily be achieved - absolutely plenty for all circumstances using lenses and good enough for most microscope objectives except the extremely high magnification ones. But actually 0.16 microns movement intervals could be selected which is way more than is needed for any optical microscopy experiment (the resolving power of an optical microscope, based on the highest numerical aperture and the wavelength of light is considered to be 0.8 microns).
The system components are very high quality, more than adequate to maintain repeatable performance. Only careless damage, dirt or overloading will create issues over time (keep the lead screw, bearings and side bearing poles clean!). As is true of all such systems.
Could it all be even better - absolutely yes but it is rather unlikely that it is either needed and certainly extremely unlikely that potential users would be prepared to pay for the upgrades required such as gearing and linear encoder systems with the associated upgraded controllers.
Ultramacro's sister companies have been involved in the design and manufacture of motorised microscopy components for over 35 years, indeed we were the original inventors of motorised focussing and XY motion systems, we know this area inside out and will be happy to advise further if you wish.
The motorised rail is based on the WeMacro rail system, it has a number of unique features:
High quality, aviation grade plugs:
Easy Vertical or Horizontal Installation
There are two 1/4-Inch-20 female threaded holes and two 3/8-Inch-16 female threaded holes in the front of the rail which allows the rail be installed vertically.
Multiple points to support your lenses
On some lenses, especially tube lenses with Infinity Corrected Objectives mounted, the body of lens will be heavy and the centre of gravity will amplify the vibration from camera’s mirror. We provide two M5 threaded holes which will support the lens and reduce a lot of vibration time.
If you require additional support please see our Lens Supports
Please see the shutter cables page for information on which cable you will need.