Setting Up WeMacro Rail and Getting First Shot

The WeMacro order arrived with all pieces well protected.

WeMacro rail and stand unboxed

Setup took roughly 1 hour. The WeMacro site instructions had high quality images when this-looks-like-this-fits-here wasn’t enough.

The tube lens has 6 or 7 pieces, though it would be hard (impossible?) to thread them together incorrectly. I don’t fully understand the light science behind how the tube lens, Raynox 150, and the infinity lens technically work together. That said, infographics for infinity lenses around the web gave me enough sense to move on. Note to self: I still need to measure the distance between the infinity lens and the sensor (180mm is ideal for the ones WeMacro sells). I’m just assuming they sold tube lenses that are at the proper distance.

My goal at this point was to go through the full run-through of getting enough shots from the camera and stacking them with software.

The software to control the stepper motor that moves the camera in tiny increments towards the specimen is provided by WeMacro. I wish the software was open source and see no reason they shouldn’t make it such. I used the Windows version and it was plug and play. Previous WeMacro motor controllers used a different chip and required manual drivers to be installed.

Side note, I’ve explained “drivers” to my parents before as the “translation book” between the grammar a piece of hardware uses and the grammar the computer software does. Gets the job done for “explain like I’m 5”.

In order to avoid vibration I couldn’t physically move once the setup was going. It’s a perfect time to meditate for a few minutes.

My first attempt yielded 80 pitch black images. Whoops. I had the shutter speed wrong. My second attempt yielded 80 images that were more or less exactly what I needed to move forward.

I put all the images in Zerene Stacker (currently on a 30-day trial) without much regard to settings or quality. I had no proper lighting set up at this point so the final image is trash. Voila…a poorly lit screw top using the 4x objective. Success!

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