Some of the advantages of our Z-axis drives include:
- Rather than a one-size-fits-all design, our Z-drives are custom designed for each microscope. When installed, they become an integral part of the microscope. This is the next best thing to being designed-in by the microscope manufacturer. In fact, a number of manufacturers sell drives that simply clamp on or are stuck to the fine focus knob in an open-loop configuration. The reason that most manufacturers go this route is because it takes a great deal of time and consideration to custom-design a z-axis drive for each and every microscope manufactured. We know that it takes a great deal of effort to custom design these drives because this is the way that we do it!
- A switch located on the control console operates a clutch that disengages the motor drive from the fine focus shaft when the drive is not needed. When disengaged the microscope can be focused manually from both sides with the microscope's fine focus knobs. Since the ASI drive shaft clamps directly onto the microscope's fine focus shaft the positioning is extremely accurate. The position is also still displayed and is still available for interrogation by computer. This feature lets the researcher note specific focus positions, or allows a computer to memorize them for later use in driving the z-axis.
- The remote focus knob on the control console has several useful purposes. It is a convenient means of fine focusing without having to reach in around a lot of apparatus often surrounding the microscope during complex experiments. Where cell poking is taking place, it allows vibration-free fine focusing.
- On all of our drives, the original fine focus knob on the drive side of the microscope (usually the left), is brought out on an extension shaft. On some of our drives, depending upon the microscope, the original coarse focus knob is accessible as well. When the clutch is disengaged, or the motor drive shut off, the microscope can be manually focused from either side with no added torque felt on the knob and no cable to twist up.
Installation requires no modification to the microscope other than removal of the fine focus knob and replacement of a back plate or base plate, depending on the particular microscope. All of the necessary hardware components, tools and detailed instructions, including videotapes on installing the drive, are provided with every unit.