Category: Hardware

Open source intrinsic imaging

“> Leonardo Lupori and Raffaele Mazziotti are two fellows in lab of the excellent Tommaso Pizzorusso. They have developed an intrinsic signal optical imaging rig and are sharing all of the materials. Here’s their web site with the resources and links. More on intrinsic imaging… Yet more again…



Coolant lines for lasers

Many lasers have baseplates with channels through which chilled water is pumped to dissipate heat and stabilize the temperature of the system. I haven’t had much trouble with the chillers and baseplates of Newport/Spectra-Physics systems. However, most of the Coherent Chameleon systems I’ve worked with (3 out of 4) have had problems with the water



A custom swivel/gimbal for luers

This from Matt Palmatier: Drug self-administration labs need swivels and there are plenty of medical devices (rotating luer fittings) that perform this function for pretty cheap. However, suppliers-that-shall-remain-nameless charge quite a bit for simple luer fittings that turn. For example, a disposable turning luer costs about $4. A drug self-administration swivel costs about $35. That’s



Raspberry Pi mini monitor

Labrigger has been experimenting with Raspberry Pis. We still find a lot of uses for Arduinos for little jobs around experimental rigs. Their simplicity and predictable performance (no background processes) make them easy to implement and reliable. Given how useful Arduinos have been, it stands to reason that something with more power, like a Raspberry



Inexpensive IR viewer options

From Benjamin Judkewitz: I needed an IR viewer to see a Ti:S beam and was really surprised to find that most viewers still sell for > 1000 € (or $). Visualizing NIR used to be really simple with smartphones (enabling public installations like this one by JPL/NASA), but that was before nearly all makers started



Lens designs

In the talk I gave at the Short Course at SfN 2014, I briefly discussed the process of optical system design. A common strategy is to start with a published design, or at least a general scheme (series of lens types), and then make modifications to fit the target application. Finding these published designs can



Embrio for LabVIEW like programming of Arduino hardware

Embrio isn’t completely open. They want to sell $50 licenses. Let’s get that out of the way first. However, it is an interesting alternative for programming Arduino hardware. It’s a visual programming environment, like LabVIEW. In some ways, it is richer than LabVIEW, and perhaps more comparable to MAX in that variable values can be



Sound dampening cabinets

Experiment rooms can get noisy, so Labrigger puts the noisy bits in sound dampening cabinets like these. A separate room could be ideal, but this works too. Just put all the noisy equipment (rackmount portions of Ti:Sapph laser systems, water chillers, or anything with noisy fans). There are lots of resellers. The one we used



Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi B plus kits for cheap

The Raspberry Pi 2 is here, and thus there are good deals on the Raspberry Pi B+. You’ll have to decide if any of these kits are a good deal for you. The Raspberry Pi 2 will be at the same price point ($35) as the prior generation. Anandtech has a nice rundown on this



3D printed electronics

It’s been promised for a while now, but someone has to do the hard work to make it happen. That inevitably involves some pretty pitiful looking stepping stones on the way to the promised land. So try to ignore the fact that this is among the worst looking 3D printed crap you’ve ever seen and



Arduino + x86 power

The Intel Galileo is an interesting mashup. It’s Arduino compatible. You can hand it to an undergrad and they can download the Arduino IDE and program it on their own with relatively little training. However, it’s also a 32-bit x86 SoC, so it’s running that Arduino sketch in one thread while having plenty of processing



TriggerScope for imaging system device control

Austin Blanco has designed and built an open-source system for controlling complex imaging systems called TriggerScope. It’s highly customizable out of the box, and both the firmware and software are open.



Olympus 10x for two-photon microscopy

Olympus released a suite of new objectives this year, and one of them is this 10x/0.6 NA. This is probably the longest focal length (180/10 = 18 mm) objective you can get and use with a standard two-photon system and see activity in single neurons. 0.6 NA might not be enough for tissue bulk labeled



Patch clamp amplifier in chip form

See that metal box the pipette holder is attached to? That’s not a headstage, that’s the whole patch clamp amplifier. Reid Harrison is the lead author (co-senior authors are Craig Forest and Ed Boyden) on a paper reporting their successful development of a microchip with all of the functionality of a patch clamp amplifier. Don’t



Field of view = 3.5 mm with cellular resolution

In this preprint, Stirman et al. report achieving a 3.5 mm field of view with 2-photon excitation with cellular resolution. The design involves custom scan optics and a custom objective built in the SLAB. It’s an air immersion objective with about a 9.5 mm working distance. Rapid dissemination is a priority. If you’re interested, contact