Leica DMSTC Motorised XY Stage and CTRMIC microscopes in Openlab

Technical Note: 216
Reads: 9577
Creation Date: 14/12/2001
Modification Date: 12/02/2004

This stage can be used in conjunction with supported Leica electronic microscopes previous to the CTRMIC range by connecting the stage controller to the F-bus of the microscope then connecting the RS232 interface of the microscope via the appropriate adapter to the computer.

The F-bus does not exist on the CTRMIC controller and the FX-bus does not support this stage.



The Leica DMSTC Motorised XY Stage is supplied with a controller, joystick and cables. Install the stage following the manufacturer's instructions.

Openlab uses the RS232 serial interface to control the Leica DMSTC Motorised XY Stage. An Improvision Zeiss/Leica microscope cable and an adapter such as a Keyspan USB to twin serial (Mac) adapter (Improvision part number 292) or a female to female RS232 cable and a Keyspan USB to 4 serial (PC) adapter (Improvision part number 1837) will be required as appropriate.

If using the 4 port adapter it is advisable to set the adapter to INT (better performance) in the USB settings: From the Apple Menu go to the Control Panels>Keyspan 4-port serial adapter. This will access the Keyspan 4-port serial addapters Serial Assistant. Click in the "Advanced Settings" button. Under the "USB Settings" click in INT to enable.


Detailed installation instructions for the stage are found in the instruction manual. To link the device to the computer connect the RS232 to serial cable to the DMSTC controller port labelled RS232 and the other end to the computer via the appropriate adapter.


You will need: Openlab (the control of this stage has been tested with 3.0.5) Leica Hardware Support Module XY Stage Module

Configuring the Openlab Preferences: Start up Openlab and open the Openlab Preferences dialogue from the Edit menu. Select the Serial Ports option from the list in the left hand side of the dialogue. From the pop up next to the device labelled "Leica" select the name of the port that the serial cable is plugged into. In the XY stage palette select the "Leica X-Y Stage" option from the "Device" menu. The default serial port configuration within Openlab is incorrect for this stage. Change the Baud rate in the serial ports to 19200. Double click on the word "Leica" in the Serial Ports preferences.

Use the Leica CTRMIC Hardware Support module for communication with the microscope. These microscopes are handled in a separate technical note.


XY Stage palette and Stage Manager window.

General Operating Guidelines

Once the controller has been initialised, start Openlab and calibrate the stage via the "Control" menu in the XY Stage Palette. Openlab will not communicate with the stage until calibration is complete. It is advisable to re-calibrate each time you run Openlab. If Openlab quits and re-starts the reported stage area is still reliable. If however the stage controller is turned off whilst using Openlab re-calibration is required.

There are three dipswitch settings at the back of the controller. Switch one must be in the DOWN (off) position to send communication via the RS232 port. Switches 2 and 3 control the direction of the stage in x and y. The result of the various dipswitch settings is illustrated on the back of the controller.