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Nikon Ti motorized microscope

Summary:Adapter for Nikon Ti motorized microscopes
Author:Nico Stuurman and Roy Wollman
Karl Hoover (additional accessory devices, Matlab compatibility)
Mark Tsuchida
Maintainer:Mark Tsuchida
License:Source code cannot be made available
Platforms:Windows 32-bit and 64-bit (uses driver supplied by Nikon)
Devices:Microscope hub (TIScope), nosepiece (TINosePiece), condenser turret (TICondenserCassette), shutters (TIDiaShutter, TIEpiShutter and TIAuxShutter), optical path (TILightPath), reflector turrets (TIFilterBlock1 and -2), filter wheels (TIExcitationFilterWheel and TIBarrierFilterWheel), focus (TIZDrive), PerfectFocus (TIPFSStatus and TIPFSOffset), XY stage (TIXYDrive), halogen lamp (TIDiaLamp), TIRF attachment (TITIRF)
Since version1.2.18; major update in 1.4.15
Peripheral device discovery:Supported

This adapter communicates to all the devices on the Ti microscope through the TIScope hub device. Thus, to use any of these devices, you will need to first add the TIScope device.


Do not plug the Ti microscope into a USB 3 port (usually colored blue). The scope may not report its status correctly to the PC after manual operations (observed at least with firmware 5.00, driver or Use a USB 2 port.

This adapter uses the driver and API supplied by Nikon. The latest version of Ti Setup Tool (which includes drivers for the Ti microscope and TiControl, a control and configuration utility) can be downloaded from the Nikon website.

The required Nikon driver and interface libraries (a.k.a. the redistributable components of the Nikon Ti SDK) can also be installed using our own installer:

SDK Version 32-bit Installer 32-bit Driver Version 64-bit Installer 64-bit Driver Version N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 32-bit
(updated July 3, 2013) 64-bit
(updated July 3, 2013) 32-bit
(uploaded July 16, 2013) 64-bit
(uploaded July 16, 2013)

After installing one of these, you might need to tell Windows to use the new driver by opening the Windows Device Manager, finding the Nikon Ti microscope (under Imaging Devices), and choosing Properties from the right-click menu. Click Update Driver and tell Windows to search C:\Program Files\Nikon\Shared\Drivers (or the appropriate equivalent on your system). Note that the driver version number differs from the SDK and library (DLL) version numbers (the main DLL is normally installed at C:\Program Files\Nikon\Shared\Bin\NikonTi.dll).

To uninstall any of these packages, go to the Programs and Features control panel; the package should be listed with Micro-Manager as Publisher and you can right-click to uninstall.

It is normally okay to install both Nikon's Ti Setup Tool and our TiSDKRedist package. The newer DLLs and drivers will be used by both Micro-Manager and TiControl. To revert to an older version of the driver and DLLs, you will need to uninstall all the packages that include them (our TiSDKRedist, Ti Setup Tool, NIS-Elements, etc.).

Another good way to be able to revert to a previous version is to create a restore point in Windows before installing the new version. This can be done on Windows 7 in Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > System Protection (or search for "create a restore point" in the Control Panel search box). This will allow you to undo the installation (and all software installations/removals following that point).

Device-specific notes

There has been a major update to the NikonTI device adapter in version 1.4.15 (nightly build of 20130719). The notes below apply to the new version, unless otherwise noted.

Turret devices

In our experience, movement of the dichroic turret (Filter Block Cassette) causes significant vibrations in the microscope. This results in blurry images. To avoid this, add a delay (step 4 of the hardware configuration wizard) to the FilterBlock device. A delay of 250 msec seems to work well.

Note that for the turret devices in the NikonTI adapter, Delay is measured starting when the movement has completed.

The ExtraDelayMs property defaults to the Delay set in the Hardware Configuration Wizard, and allows you to experiment with different delays without going through the Wizard. Unlike the Delay set in the Wizard, the value is not automatically saved, though.


When the Delay is set to zero, the device is considered busy until the driver reports back that the movement has completed. When Delay is greater than zero, the report from the driver is ignored and a fixed delay is used (measured from the start of the movement).

Halogen lamp

With some versions of the Nikon drivers, the TIDiaLamp control may be unstable (may cause Micro-Manager to crash). If you are having issues, you might want to try and configure without the DiaLamp.

The TIDiaLamp device is a shutter device (although it will only make sense to use it as a shutter when doing time-lapse imaging with an extremely long interval).

There is a ComputerControl property, which needs to be On in order to control the lamp. Lamp intensities set through manual control and through computer control are independent of each other.

The Delay setting works similarly to the shutters, but also applies when setting the Intensity.

PerfectFocus (PFS)

The valid range for Position depends on the objective in use, even though the apparent range is fixed. The units are not micrometers. For historical reasons, the Position values used by Micro-Manager are 1/40 of the raw steps reported by the Nikon driver.


The TIAnalyzer device is available when there is an analyzer in one of the reflector turrets (Filter Block Cassettes), and simply rotates the turret. We recommend using the TIFilterBlock devices instead.


It is possible to control the IntensiLight epi-fluorescence light source shutter. If you want to control the IntensiLight with Micro-Manager, you can either connect it directly to the computer, or you can attach it to the Nikon Ti controller. In the latter case, you will need to go into TiControl -> setting, click on "Connection", select the left most icon, set the connected shutter to IntensiLight and type to Epi (I had mine attached to shutter 2). Now, you can control the shutter with the Epi Shutter button on the microscope. You can now use the EpiShutter Nikon Ti device in Micro-Manager to control the IntensiLight shutter. Note that you will not be able to control the ND filters this way.

Tube Lens

The manual tube lens switcher of the Nikon Ti is not encoded (the computer has no way of knowing its state). You can encode the tube lens switcher yourself following these instructions: Encoding_the_Nikon_TI_Eclipse_tube_lens.

How to report problems

It is not unusual for bugs to depend on the version of Nikon software (driver and libraries) and microscope firmware. When reporting problems with the NikonTI adapter, please include, in addition to the Micro-Manager and Windows version, the Nikon firmware, driver, and software versions.

Version information is displayed in the Device/Property Browser, under the TIScope device (check "Show read-only properties"). If you can't get the device to load, the CoreLog (with debug logging enabled) may contain the driver and software versions.

The driver version can also be checked in the Windows Device Manager (The Ti microscope should be listed under Imaging Devices, if correctly connected and installed).

The Nikon software version is typically the version of the file C:\Program Files\Nikon\Shared\Bin\NikonTi.dll.

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