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Andor SDK3

Revision as of 03:29, 15 September 2017 by Jack (Talk | contribs)

Summary: Interfaces with Andor sCMOS cameras
(Use Andor DeviceAdapter instead for other Andor CCD and EMCCD cameras)
Author David Gault (Andor)
Maintainers Matt Milford (Andor)
Norman Glasgow (Andor)
Documentation: Norman Glasgow (Andor)
Pariksheet Nanda (Andor)
License: BSD
Platforms: Windows, Linux, (No Mac driver available)
Devices: Neo, Zyla


Andor Driver Pack 3 (sCMOS)

Support Advisory
Andor Linux SDK3 reportedly supports up to kernel 3.18.2
Support Advisory
Snapping an imaging may use the oldest image, and not the latest image, possibly due to pulling the wrong image from a double buffer
Support Advisory
Images may start to scroll to the center of the field after each snap, shifting one line at a time. Restarting the camera and uManager fixes the issue
Support Advisory
Linux 32-bit users should install Andor SDK 3.4.30007.0 until Bitflow fixes a 32-bit issue
Support Advisory
Zyla cameras running DriverPack3 / SDK3 3.7.30004.0 can cause a "blue screen of death" upon PC shutdown when certain other devices are installed (e.g. Arduino). This is not a serious problem, just annoying. The solution is to fully uninstall the SDK3 and Bitflow driver (and even run a registry cleaning software for good measure). Then install Andor SDK 3.8.30007.0 to the Micro-Manager install directory. Restart the PC and power cycle the camera before starting Micro-Manager.

Install the Andor Driver Pack 3 (sCMOS) to the working Micro-Manager Directory e.g.

   C:\Program Files\Micro-Manager-1.4\

and ensure you restart the computer.

This is publicly available here.

On a 32-bit Windows OS, the 32-bit DLLs will be installed to a subfolder of the MicroManager directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Micro-Manager-1.4\Win32\). These DLLs must then be copied to the Micro-Manager Directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Micro-Manager-1.4\), replacing the 64-bit DLLs.

Disable computer power savings

Disable C-states power saving in the BIOS. For Windows Vista and later, also disable PCI Express > Link State Power Management in Power Options.


Increase Sequence buffer size

It is possible to achieve full frame rate with enough RAM. Again using a 64-bit OS, set this value to 5120 MB:

     Tools > Options... > Sequence buffer size [MB]

Depending on the amount of RAM on the PC or processing performance, this may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Linux Installation

The following assumes you installed the Andor SDK in /usr/local/lib/

Put the following line into /etc/udev/rules.d/andor.rules

SUBSYSTEM=="video4linux", KERNEL=="video[0-3]*", ATTR{name}=="bitflow", GROUP="users"

Add the following lines to /etc/rc.d/rc.local

# Bitflow and Andor
/sbin/modprobe v4l2_common
# /sbin/modprobe v4l1_compat -- only include this line if your kernel version is 
#   .. below 2.6.38 - use 'uname -a' to find out your kernel version
/sbin/modprobe videodev
/sbin/insmod /usr/local/andor/bitflow/drv/bitflow.ko fwDelay1=200 customFlags=1

Reboot the machine.

Usage notes

  • Trigger mode is dynamically set by µManager when using Multi-Dimensional > Time points.
    • "exposure" < "interval" ignores the "interval" time and instead uses "frame rate" property from the "Device/Property Browser"
    • "exposure" > "interval" sets Software Triggers acquisition.
  • Save data to a large storage drive such as 1 TB, 950 MB/sec PCI-e SSD (OCZ-Z drive R2 P-88) or 4x Kingston 256GB SSD (RAID 0) on LSI MegaRAID setup


Zyla support in Micro-Manager

Please read the section on High Speed Acquisition in Micro-Manager. The minimum version of Micro-Manager required is 1.4.11 (Nov 8th, 2012), but 1.4.16 or later is strongly recommended. Consider trying the latest nightly build from here.

DeviceCreate function failed

This error appears in the hardware wizard if the Andor camera SDK has been installed, but the computer has not been restarted.

Error: Circular buffer overflowed.

If one encounters this error, increase sequence buffer size. In the µManager toolbar one can set the Sequence buffer size in the main menu:

     Tools > Options... > Sequence buffer size [MB]

Reason: Due to the rate that the camera acquires data it's not uncommon for µManager to run out of "Circular Buffer" memory during sequence acquisitions (50+ images). The circular buffer is where images wait when they've been taken off the camera but have not yet been processed by µManager. The error message is:

     Micro-Manager Error:
     Error: Circular buffer overflowed.

Restart uManager for this change to take effect.

Error: Internal inconsistency: unknown system exception occurred

If you see this message when snapping an image, try a lower AcquisitionWindow size (the default is the full Full Image) to confirm that the camera is capable of sending an image. The BitFlow frame grabber PCIe card fits in 4x splots, but some motherboards don't have the bandwidth to run it and the card may need to be instead installed on an 8x or 16x slot.


Development support

Please liaison with Micro-Manager developers to contact the Andor software team

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

Andor support

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