Some beginner questions

Hi All,

i’ve stumbled across this project and i’m about to pull the pin on ordering parts.

before i do, i have a couple of questions that i haven’t been able to find in the forums or on the main site. Forgive me if these have been answered and i’ve missed them.

  1. What is the functional difference between the microscope and the Delta stage scope?
    what sort of application differences would you expect from each one and why would someone use one over the other?

  2. There’s a lot of references to the sangaboard. this looks like a nice driver but there’s very little information about it. are a lot of people using it? is there a benefit of this over using individual boards? will there ever be a fully complete board on sale anywhere?

  3. Excuse my ignorance but on a traditional microscope, the objective lenses are viewed via a 10x eyepiece. this would magnify a 40x objective lens to 400x. How would the openflexure achive these magnification levels with the current setup? or is this acheived via software and the pi cam?

also, the CSV link to the BOM seems to be broken. is there anyone out there who has published their own BOM and parts sources that i could look at?

Looking forward to getting onboard. thanks for all the info so far!

For your questions, 1. The microscope has three separate actuators for the three axes x,y for the stage and z for the optics to focus. This is means it is obvious what to adjust to get the correct motion and you can operate it by hand if you want to. The delta configuration has three actuators spaced at 120degrees around the stage. This means that all three actuators have to move in the correct combination to achieve a pure x,y or z motion. That is not really possible by hand, but is easy for motor control. The advantage you gain is that the stage moves in all directions, so the optical module can be fixed and is then more stable for heavy optics.
In practice both systems work well.
2. The Sangaboard is not yet available. However it is a microcontroller with the Arduino bootloader and simple stepper motor drivers, so the individual boards provide the same function. You have more wires to connect and you have to organise the motor power supply for the individual boards.
3. The eyepiece and your eyes are replaced by a camera and screen in a digital microscope. The overall magnification has little meaning in that case, as the screen could be a 100" projector, but that would not improve the quality of the image. @r.w.bowman has carefully designed the optics modules to give approximately the same field of view and resolution as a conventional microscope using the objective lens. There is a post about that somewhere.

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Finally found it again: Magnification, Resolution and Field of View (

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Awesome, thank you. this is great.