(simple) Illumination Control Extension

I’m an engineer and not a microscopy expert, but playing around with my (semi)built microscope, it becomes evident that light intensity plays a very important role for achieving optimal imaging conditions.

It’s become evident through experimentation that fine-tuning light intensity is essential for capturing clear and detailed images. The short video bellow is a good proof of that:

Anyway, I missed a light intensity control in my OFM, I drew inspiration from more intricate setups such as the grid illumination extension and devised a simplified version of my own. Since others may encounter similar challenges, I’m sharing my build here for anyone interested.

In order to make it work, all 4 layers of the OFM architecture must be adjusted:

  1. GUI/API Extension:
    The OFM extension, Illumination Control Extension, adds a new menu to the microscope user interface, allowing users to control light intensity via the GUI.
  2. Driver (board library):
    The pySangaboard fork has to be installed, replacing the current pySangaboard library v0.3.3. This fork introduces a new LightControl class as an optional module, exposing light control capabilities to the OFM extensions.
  3. Firmware:
    The Sangaboard fork has to be installed in the Arduino Nano (Sangaboard alternative). This forked version listens to commands from the serial port (sent by the pySangaboard library) and adjusts the duty cycle of the PWM outputs (analog outputs).
  4. Hardware:
    My OFM uses an Arduino Nano as an alternative to the Sangaboard. Two of its analog ports (PWM enabled outputs) should be connected to two LDO6AJSA modules, which serve as PWM controlled current drivers for the illumination LEDs.

Note: These forks may be merged into the main branch if deemed appropriate by maintainers. Otherwise, adjustments will be made to align the hardware with the main branch as they evolve and the required illumination control becomes native.

To get more details, please access the Illumination Control Extension.