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Olympus IX81/IX71/BX61/BX51 adapter


Controls Olympus IX81, IX71, BX61, BX51 microscopes


Jeff Kuhn and Arthur Edelstein, BX61 support added by Shalin Mehta


not Open Source


Windows, Mac OS X (through serial port)

Available since version:


Default serial port settings:

AnswerTimeout 500
BaudRate 19200
DelayBetweenCharsMs 0
Handshaking Off
Parity Even
StopBits 2


Cabling and DIP switches

Olympus microscopes generally require straight-through (not null-modem) RS-232 cables (confirmed with an IX2-UCB).

These serial port settings require all DIP switches on the front of the “Frame Control Unit” (the box connected to the serial cable) to be in their default position: off (zero). Switching of these DIP switches must be done while the unit is turned off.

BSW Software

The IX-81 seems to require the Olympus BSW software to be installed and configured otherwise Micro-Manager complains about “Error in device OlympusHub: Error code 17 (11 Hex)”. Make sure you can connect successfully in BSW, i.e. “Log in”.

Hardware Configuration Wizard

Add an Olympus Hub device to your hardware configuration and choose its serial port. Other devices (stage, filter wheel, etc) then communicate to the hardware through the (software) Hub.

Device Configuration

There are two modes of Control: Computer and “Manual + Computer”. The former is faster, but disables the manual controls. The latter is slower, but allows you to manually control the turret positions, focus drive, etc.

If you are using the Olympus ZDC unit (Z-drift correction), you will need to set two properties: the ObjectiveTypeSetting and the SearchRange (a size in microns). Choose MeasureOffset->Now to fix your current z offset, and then running autofocus will return the focus drive to that offset.

For the BX61, currently only one filter wheel is supported, which is connected to FW1 port on the controller.

Click here to search for Olympus on the Micro-Manager mailing list archive.